The 2004 Laureates / Arts and Philosophy Category / Thought and Ethics

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Jürgen Habermas

Germany / June 18, 1929
Philosopher; Professor Emeritus, University of Frankfurt

"A philosopher who made achievements in social philosophy, in particular establishment of the communicative action theory and discourse ethics, and its application in practical activities for a public-minded ideal society"
With his far-ranging grasp of both theory (epistemology) and practice (ethics and social philosophy), Professor Habermas has developed a theoretical construct of social philosophy that deals with the act of communication and the formation of consensus through debate, thereby creating an image of what human society should and can be. He has had a great influence on society, both as a superb theoretician, and as a person who speaks out passionately in accordance with his own philosophy about real social issues.

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

1929
Born in Düsseldorf, Germany
1949-1954
Studied at Universities of Göttingen, Zürich, and Bonn
1954
University of Bonn Ph.D. (Philosophy)
1956-1959
Assistant to Theodor W. Adorno, Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt
1961
Habilitation for Philosophy, University of Marburg under Wolfgang Abendroth
1961-1964
Associate Professor, University of Heidelberg
1964-1971
Full Professor of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Frankfurt
1971-1980
Director, Max-Planck-Institute for the Research of Life Conditions in the Scientific-Technological World
1980-1981
Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Social Sciences
1983- present
Professor, University of Frankfurt, (Professor Emeritus since 1994)
1994- present
Permanent Visiting Professor, Northwestern University

SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS

1974
Hegel Prize, City of Stuttgart
1976
Sigmund Freud Prize, German Academy of Language and Poetry
1980
Adorno Prize, City of Frankfurt
1985
The Geschwister-Scholl Prize, City of Munich
1987
The Sonning Prize, University of Copenhagen
2003
Prince of Asturias Prize for Social Sciences, Prince of Asturias Foundation

SELECTED WORKS

1962
Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. Neuwied-Berlin: Luchterhand (trans. T. Burger, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 1989)
1968
Erkenntnis und Interesse. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp (trans. J. Shapiro, Knowledge and Human Interests, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1973)
1981
Theorie des kommunikative Handelns. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2 vols. (trans. T. McCarthy, The Theory of Communicative Action, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1984/1987)
1992
Faktizität und Geltung. Beiträge zur Diskurstheorie des Rechts und des demokratischen Rechtsstaats. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp (trans. W. Rehg, Between Facts and Norms, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996)
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