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Tikhonova S. V. Axel Honneth: The limits of legal freedom. Izv. Saratov Univ., Economics. Management. Law, 2022, vol. 22, iss. 4, pp. 473-479. DOI:

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Axel Honneth: The limits of legal freedom

Introduction. The approach to substantiating legal genesis through social theory suggested by J. Habermas was further developed in the works of A. Honnet, the representative of the later Frankfurt school. His proposed version of the theory of subjectivity led to a rethinking of the concept of freedom, in which the limits of legal freedom are defined in a new way. Theoretical analysis. The concept of recognition developed by Honnet expands the understanding of intersubjective interaction and its social and legal effects. The autonomy of the subject is revised towards recognition, which means that the degree of autonomous behavior depends on the social environment and the success of the individual’s intersubjective strategies in it. Socialization is a process in which a person learns to understand and recognize not only others, but also himself / herself, trusting them and relying on them. In a world where the concrete Self is devalued and rejected by others, the Self is deprived of the strength to assert itself and self-esteem. This model is diametrically opposed to the liberal doctrine based on the idea of an atomicisolated individual. Еmpirical analysis. The author considers the concept of freedom put forward by Honnet and establishes that legal freedom is only one of its elements, unable to independently ensure the realization of social freedom. Results. The concept of Honnet clearly fixes the place and role of legal freedom in ensuring social freedom. On the one hand, it contributes to strengthening the humanistic principles of modern legal understanding, turning it towards social solidarity. On the other hand, the statement of the force of law that is binding on intersubjective institutions opens up new research perspectives for the analysis of legal reality.

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