1st Edition

The Theory and Practice of Recognition

Edited By Onni Hirvonen, Heikki J. Koskinen Copyright 2023

    This volume presents new essays on the theory and practice of recognition. In order to retain its overall plausibility as a critical social theory, contemporary recognition theory needs to be able to successfully combine theory with real-life perspectives, in both contemporary and historical contexts.

    Contemporary recognition theory has developed into an established and active multidisciplinary research programme. The chapters in this volume have two main purposes. First, they engage in theoretical development of the contemporary theories of recognition. They explore the conceptual histories and the environments of recognition, as well as the connection between recognition and authenticity, emancipation, and social ontology. Second, they connect the theoretical insights of contemporary recognition with analyses of contemporary and historical social practices. These contributions explore themes such as populism and polarization, models of harmful invisibilization and social ignorance, the problem of evil and suffering, and social justice phenomena such as the #MeToo movement.

    The Theory and Practice of Recognition will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in social and political philosophy, social ontology, political theory, and sociology.

    The Theory and Practice of Recognition: An Introduction, Onni Hirvonen and Heikki J. Koskinen

    I Recognition, Personal Life, and the Constitution of the Self

    1. Authenticity and the Problem of Social Recognition, Cillian McBride

    2. Recognition and the Human Life-Form: Towards an Anthropological Turn in Critical Theory, Heikki Ikäheimo

    3. Mutual Recognition and Well-Being: What Is It for Relational Selves to Thrive?, Arto Laitinen

    4. Recognition: Intersubjectivity and Self-Respect, Antje Gimmler

    5. Varieties of Social Invisibilization and Non-person Treatment, Carl-Göran Heidegren

    6. The Gift Model of Recognition, Veronika Hoffmann

    II Political Practice and the Theory of Recognition

    7. Populism, Polarization, and Misrecognition, Christopher F. Zurn

    8. The Environment of Recognition, Simon Thompson

    9. Creating Irrelations: The #MeToo Phenomenon in the Light of Recognition Theory, Jaana Hallamaa

    10. How to Criticize? On Honneth’s Method, Mikael Carleheden

    11. Emancipation and Interpretation of Norms in Contemporary Recognition Theory, Heikki J. Koskinen

    12. Institutionally Mediated Recognition: A Vicious Circle?, Onni Hirvonen

    III Historical and Religious Practices of Recognition

    13. Recognition and Fides: Old and New Paths of Conceptual History, Risto Saarinen

    14. "I Am Not Like Other People!" Desire for Esteem within the Community of Equals, Ritva Palmén

    15. Citizens and the Criteria for Recognition in the Roman Empire, Maijastina Kahlos

    16. Beyond the Theory-Practice Dichotomy: Pragmatism, Antitheodicy, and the Recognition of Suffering, Sami Pihlström


    Onni Hirvonen is Senior Researcher in philosophy in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä. His main interests are in Hegelian philosophies of recognition and contemporary social ontology. His recent publications in these areas include the peer-reviewed articles "Recognition and Civic Selection" (2021), "The Problem of the First Belief: Group Agents and Responsibility" (2020), and "Recognitive Arguments for Workplace Democracy" (with Keith Breen, 2020). He has edited a book on the philosophy and politics of recognition in Finnish (2020).

    Heikki J. Koskinen is a PhD and a docent of theoretical philosophy. He works as a Senior Advisor at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Koskinen is the author of From a Metaphilosophical Point of View: A Study of W. V. Quine’s Naturalism (2004). He has co-edited several books including Categories of Being: Essays on Metaphysics and Logic (2012) and Recognition and Religion: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives (Routledge, 2019). Koskinen’s recent journal publications include "Antecedent Recognition: Some Problematic Educational Implications of the Very Notion" (2018), "Mediational Recognition and Metaphysical Power: A Systematic Analysis" (2020), and "Recognition, Identity, and Authenticity in the Blues" (2021).

    "This volume is an unforeseen synthesis of a wide range of expertise, an essential reading to any scholar working in the field of social philosophy."

    Joona Taipale, University of Jyväskylä, Finland