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Where do you go beyond structure and agency?

In his book The structure of social theory, Anthony King argues that understandings  of society need to go beyond the restrictive dualism of structure and agency – a dualism that according to him takes us too far away from human relations and leaves sociology marooned in the mythical state of the lone individual. Contemporary social […]

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Knowing Your Place

An Awareness of What is Missing, Part 2

In their introductory chapter to the collection of the same name, Michael Reder and Josef Schmidt connect Habermas and his ‘awareness of what is missing’ to other thinkers such as Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno and most notably Bertolt Brecht (pictured).The Brecht link makes sense (there’s a link there also to Bloch): although Habermas never makes […]

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An Awareness of What is Missing, Part 1

Recent discussion over reason and religion has been so overshadowed by the work of Richard Dawkins and his ilk, that it might surprise some to suggest a debate could ever take place between the two. It might be the case that such debates have a tendency towards polarity, but the dead hand of fundamentalism on […]

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The Significance of Respect

This post provides further commentary on the work of Axel Honneth (pictured), described in a previous post as a key influence on Dirty Looks. Dirty Looks is about 4 months old now, and over the coming months I intend to provide further clarification on the central ideas behind this site. One of them is the […]

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The Case of Castoriadis v. Habermas

The content of Dirty Looks is strongly influenced by the linguistic or intersubjective ‘turn’ taken by Jürgen Habermas, a key figure in continental philosophy and in particular critical theory. Habermas made the move away from the philosophy of consciousness in order to build a theory of communicative rationality, a theory he hoped could provide a […]