Foucault with Habermas: toward a complementary critical reading of modernity

Juan Pablo Rodríguez

Resumen


This essay examines Foucault’s and Habermas’s critical project in order to show their complementary character. In the examination of the main aspects of their oeuvres, it is argued, contrary to what some authors state, such as Habermas, that Foucault’s position on modernity is not that of total rejection, but rather ambivalent. It is therefore possible to consider Foucault’s theory as a critical counterweight to Habermas’s. The point is made that Foucault’s theory awards flexibility to some theoretical distinctions upon which Habermas builds his own project.

This enables making profound criticisms of modernity without relinquishing the project of modernity. It is thus possible to see the critical project of Habermas and Foucault as two complementary readings of modernity. Some aspects of the Habermas/Foucault debate are addressed in order to support this argument.


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