Recognition. Reflections on a Contested Concept

Di Boris Rähme

In: Riconoscersi. Corpo e gender tra individuale e sociale XLII , No. 1-3 ( 2013 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


In recent years the term ‘recognition’ has been used in ever more variegated theoretical contexts. This article contributes to the discussion of how the concept expressed by this term should be explicated and understood. For the most part it takes the concept itself as its topic rather than making theoretical use of it. Drawing on important work by Ikäheimo and Laitinen and taking Honneth’s tripartite division of recognition into love, respect, and esteem as a starting point, I introduce the conceptual distinction between recognitive attitudes, recognitive relations, and recognitive acts, discuss Brandom’s attempt at explaining self-consciousness in terms of reflexive recognition mediated by intersubjective recognitive relations and, finally, suggest some critical points on how Butler puts the concept of recognition to work in her approach to ethics.