Ľubomír Dunaj

Axel Honneth v interkultúrnej perspektíve. Prípad Čína

Axel Honneth in an Intercultural Perspective. The Case of China

Politické vedy, Volume 23, Number 3/2020, pages 118-144



Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
DUNAJ, Ľ. 2020.Axel Honneth v interkultúrnej perspektíve. Prípad Čína. In Politické Vedy. [online]. Vol. 23, No. 3, 2020. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 118-144. Available at:


Axel Honneth's philosophy has received a world-wide reception in recent decades. However, the works, which attempted to open Honneth to the perspectives of comparative and intercultural philosophy and political theory are rather scarce. Hence, this article focused on “a global extension” of its philosophy, in order to enable his theory of justice to respond more adequately to the challenges associated with increasing global interactions. China and Chinese philosophy were chosen as a case study. The text began by showing several reasons which could lead to interest in China and Chinese philosophy. It continued by introducing key ideas of Honneth’s theory of justice and then mentioned the recognition turn as one of the leading paradigms of critical social theory that has taken place in recent decades (of which Axel Honneth is a prominent representative). However, despite the possibilities offered by such an approach for analysis of different societies, Honneth’s normative reconstructions are restricted primarily to Western European countries and North America and did not attempt to “test” its own theory outside the West. In the subsequent part of the paper, certain key ideas of Honneth's theory of justice were introduced. The paper then outlined how to appropriately proceed with the normative reconstruction of China, and the role of Chinese philosophy in the transformation of Chinese society, accompanied by Fabian Heubel’s commentary. This author worked with Honneth's philosophy in the perspective of Chinese philosophy and interpreted the Chinese modernization as the product of many sources. Therefore, Heubel spoke of the “hybrid” development of Chinese society through the 20th century to the present. The final part of the paper also emphasized the relevance of the “Chinese path” for the contemporary Slovak reality, which is chosen as an example of another “hybrid society”. The conclusion indicated, that Honneth’s methodology enables us to better grasp the modern developments in China, but this philosophical confrontation of Western as well as Chinese sources can be productive for both sides. 

Key words:           Political Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, China, Hybridity, Legitimacy, Freedom, Normative Reconstruction, Transformation

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