Habermas, Jürgen (18 June 1929 - )
A German sociologist and philosopher, Habermas is known for being a proponent of critical theory, a social theory with Marxist roots which, in the 1930s, was developed by the Frankfurt School.
A pragmatist, he criticized industrial societies for doing whatever is necessary to attain given ends, an emphasis which he argued prevented them from appreciating the importance of communication action and coming to agreement with others.
At the University of Frankfurt, he constructed a theory of “discourse ethics” according to which moral judgments would have validity if agreed to by agents in an ideal speech situation.
His works include Knowledge and Human Interests (1968), Theory of Communicative Action (1981), Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (1983), and Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996).
Habermas is a member of the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism.