Cover of Habermas by William Outhwaite
A Critical Introduction, Second Edition
William Outhwaite


228 pages.
from $25.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804769013
Paperback ISBN: 9780804769020


Excerpts and More

This new edition of a well-regarded book provides a concise and exceptionally clear introduction to Habermas's work, from his early writings on the public sphere, through his work on law and the state, to his more recent discussion of science, religion and contemporary Europe. Outhwaite examines all of Habermas's major writings and steers a steady course through the many debates to which they have given rise. One major feature of this volume is that it provides a detailed critical analysis of Habermas's most important work, The Theory of Communicative Action. As well as looking at Habermas's appraisal of figures such as Foucault and Derrida, Outhwaite also examines the philosopher's resolute defense of the Enlightenment project and his work on law and democracy, with its implications for the important topic of European integration.

Upon publication, Outhwaite's book quickly became established as an authoritative guide to Habermas. This updated edition will be invaluable for students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, especially in sociology, politics, philosophy, and social theory.

About the author

William Outhwaite is Chair of Sociology at Newcastle University. He is the author of European Society (2008), The Future of Society (2006) and, with Larry Ray, Social Theory and Post-Communism (2005).

"Outhwaite here delivers the perfect combination of accessibility and analytic depth. Habermas's work is notoriously difficult, wide ranging and constantly evolving—yet this classic text introduces his ideas with clarity, never sacrifices their sophistication and covers all the issues. Students love this book and researchers constantly return to it. If you want to really grasp this extraordinary and important thinker, you will need Outhwaite's help."

—Ricardo Blaug, University of Leeds

"William Outhwaite's book on Habermas is an excellent book, which has stood the test of time remarkably well. In what is now an increasingly crowded market it is still the obvious recommendation for readers seeking an advanced account of all aspects of Habermas's work. This new and updated edition is verywelcome indeed."

—Chris Thornhill, University of Glasgow