Distorted communications

feminism's dispute with Habermas

Pauline Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The paper reviews the extent to which main formulations in Habermas's recent major work, Between Facts and Norms, make ground against feminist objections to the Habermasian project. Although the later work does not tamper with the core project of Habermas's theory of modernity, the terms in which the procedural norms of democratic interaction are now conceived clarify the sympathetic relevance of Habermas's project to feminism's own vital concerns. There is reason to suppose Habermas's construction of the motivations that prompt and guide struggles to achieve personal autonomy is rather too narrowly conceived to capture the range of impulses that inform contemporary feminism. Despite this, I suggest that there remain good reasons for supposing that the recent conception of the project opens up the possibility for a more positive stage in Habermas's dialogue with feminism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-62
Number of pages24
JournalPhilosophy & Social Criticism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • aesthetic communication
  • feminism
  • Habermas
  • private/public relations
  • public sphere

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