d. 2. december 2009 kl. 17:00 på Sociologisk Institut, Øster Farimagsgade 5 a, 1014 København K i lokale 1.1.18

Sociology without an empirical fundament is empty – but sociology without normativity lacks orientation! This transformed version of the famous Kantian relation between concept and perception characterises in a nutshell the specific normative approach Critical Theory advocated from the very beginning. In consequence the justification of the normative critical standpoint had always been a central topic of the metatheoretical considerations from the very beginning of critical theory with Adorno and Horkheimer to Marcuse, Habermas and up to Honneth.

A particularly good example of the problematic relation between empirical content and normative framework is the notion of the public sphere and the role of the citizen within. What kind of thick or thin presuppositions govern the idea of a vital public sphere or the framework of recognition for reproduction of solidarity? And how are diagnosis of the times connected to these presuppositions? How valid and informative are these diagnosis, then? The talk will defend the idea of a critical public sphere, but will also argue to intertwine empirical research and critical framework in a more flexible and nevertheless closer way.

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