Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Habermas, Jurgen (1929-)
After a brief look at Jurgen Habermas's background, the entry introduces the three most important parts of Habermas's work: his theory of communicative action and reason, his theory of discourse ethics, and his theory of deliberative democracy. In the final section, the entry gives an overview of Habermas's most recent work, where he applies the theoretical insights to pressing contemporary problems. Habermas was born in 1929 and grew up in a middle-class family in the small German town of Gummersbach. In 1944, Habermas joined Hitler Youth and was sent to help at the western front. Although the experience of World War II itself does not seem to have influenced his life and writings significantly, the break with Germany's Nazi past and the postwar confrontation with the Holocaust had a significant impact on the young Habermas. This is so to the extent that his subsequent philosophical, sociological, and political work can ...