The Hegelian insight that subjectivity depends on recognition has been taken up by two competing traditions: Post-Hegelian theories (Honneth, Brandom) take recognition to be a precondition for a critical stance of subjects towards society. In contrast, theories of subjection (Althusser, Butler) take the dependency of subjects on subordinating relations of recognition as undermining their capacity for critique. I argue that this worry has not been taken seriously enough by the post-Hegelian tradition, especially by its model of immanent critique. However, theories of subjection ignore that the very structure of recognitive relations supports critical capacities that can never be fully effaced by ideology.
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