#73 Overall Influence

Jürgen Habermas

German sociologist and philosopher


Why is this person notable and influential?
By Dr. Sara L. Austin

Jürgen Habermas is a German philosopher mostly associated with the influential Frankurt School in Germany, part of the Institute for Social Research, at Goethe University Frankfurt, and historically an important center for research on social theory and critical philosophy. Habermas, now 90, earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Bonn in 1954. Habermas is a famed philosopher who has taught a number of influential philosophers, including Hans Joas at the University of Chicago.

Habermas is known for his work on communicative rationality, a position that place emphasis on rationality developing out of interpersonal communication, rather than objective structures in the universe, as with traditional rationalism in philosophy. Significantly, Habermas’s theory attempts to advance the aims of human emancipation in terms of a universalism in morals. Habermas has drawn on diverse philosophical positions and schools, from the older German philosophical thought of legends like Kant to 19th century American schools such as pragmatism. Importantly, Habermas breaks with schools of thought like postmodernism, with his hope that Enlightenment rationality and science can be salvaged and developed within contemporary frameworks.

Habermas has won numerous awards throughout his long and distinguished career, including the Hegel Prize, the Sigmund Freud Prize, and the Theodor W. Adorno Award. He won the Karl Jaspers Prize in 1995, and the Viktor Frankl Award in 2011.

Featured in Top Influential Philosophers Today

Major published works by Jürgen Habermas:

From Wikipedia

Jürgen Habermas is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. His work addresses communicative rationality and the public sphere.Associated with the Frankfurt School, Habermas's work focuses on the foundations of epistemology and social theory, the analysis of advanced capitalism and democracy, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, albeit within the confines of the natural law tradition, and contemporary politics, particularly German politics. Habermas's theoretical system is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, and rational-critical communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and pursue rational interests. Habermas is known for his work on the concept of modernity, particularly with respect to the discussions of rationalization originally set forth by Max Weber. He has been influenced by American pragmatism, action theory, and poststructuralism.

Source: Wikipedia

Published Works

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Other Resources


What schools is this person affiliated with?

University of Marburg

German university

Heidelberg University

Public research university in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

University of Zurich

University in Switzerland

University of Bonn

Public research university located in Bonn, Germany

University of Göttingen

University in the city of Göttingen, Germany

Northwestern University

Private research university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, United States

Goethe University Frankfurt

University in Frankfurt, Germany

Notable Works

What contributions to academia has this person made?

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#9 World Rank
#32 World Rank