The Struggle for Recognition and the Return of Primary Intersubjectivity

Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 89)


I argue that Axel Honneth (2012), reappropriated Colwyn Trevarthen's distinction between primary and secondary intersubjectivity,into his critical social theory. How the concept of primary intersubjectivity gets re-incorporated, or indeed, re-cognized in Honneth’s conception of recognition, however, is a complex issue that Iexplore in this essay. It is linked to questions not only about child development, but also about whether one should understand recognition in terms of a summons (Aufforderung), following Fichte, or in terms of a struggle, as Honneth, following Hegel, suggests, or in terms of a gift, as Ricoeur, following Hénaff suggests.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Memphis (USA)MemphisUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Law, Arts and the HumanitiesUniversity of Wollongong (AU)WollongongAustralia

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