Critical social theory in Germany is currently in a period of transition. The 75-year-old "Frankfurt\ud School" tradition was led first by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, and then by Jürgen\ud Habermas. Although Habermas and other members of the "second generation" remain active, his\ud 1994 retirement marked the end of an era and the emergence of a new generation in critical social\ud theory, led by Axel Honneth. Though the criteria for a generation are no less problematic than those\ud of a "school" - there are thorny issue of who's in and who's out, or whether members of the new\ud generation have so "betrayed" the tradition as to not belong to it - this changing of the guard allows\ud some historical perspective on key turns in critical social theory in Germany.The present essay\ud aims to characterize this new generation of German critical social theorists both in its distinctiveness\ud and in its continuity with the broad Frankfurt School tradition
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