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Jürgen Habermas

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Jürgen Habermas – Biographic Notes

by Thomas Gregersen



1929    Born June 18 in Düsserdorf, Germany
            Mother: Grete Habermas (1894-1983)
            Father: Ernest Habermas (1891-1972)
            Brother: Hans-Joachim Habermas (1925- )
            Sister: Anja Habermas (1937- )

1929-48  Brought up in Gummersbach, where his father was director
              of the Bureau of Trade and Industry

1944    Member of the Hitler Youth

1949-54  Student at universities in Göttingen (1949/50), Zurich (1950/51)
              and Bonn (1951-54)

1953    Writes a famous article, which criticizes Martin Heidegger’s
            Nazi affiliation 

1954    Ph.D. dissertation on Schelling, Bonn University

1952-56  Free-lance journalist at ”Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”
              and ”Handelsblatt”

1955    Reads Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno’s Dialektik der
            Aufklärung”

            Marries Ute Wesselhoeft

1956-61  Residence in Frankfurt am Main

1956-59  Assistant for Theodor W. Adorno, Institute for Social
              Research, Frankfurt

1956    First child: Tilmann Habermas

1957-58  Active participation in the antinuclear movement

1959    Becomes an active member of the social democratic student
            movement
            Departure from Institute for Social Research after
            criticism from its director, Max Horkheimer
            Second child: Rebekka Habermas

1961    Habilitation at Marburg University (with Wolfgang
            Abendroth):”Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit”
            Associate professor at Marburg University

1962    Professor of philosophy at Heidelberg University
            (aften recommentations from Hans-Georg Gadamer)

            Critique of positivism

1964    Professor of philosophy and sociology, Institute for Social
            Research, Frankfurt (succeeds Horkheimer)

1964-71  Residence in Steinbach am Taunus, Hessen

1966    Conference on the Vietnam War (with Herbert Marcuse),
            Frankfurt

1967    Warns the student movement against ”Left Fascism”
            (Rudi Dutschke)
            Third child: Judith Habermas

1968    "Erkenntnis und Interesse"

1970    Essays on hermeneutic and philosophy of language
            (Habermas’ ”linguistic turn”)

1971    Departure from Goethe University, Frankfurt, in wake of
            servere criticism from the Marxist student movement
            The Christian Gauss Lectures, Princeton University

1971-81  Director for Max Plack Institute, Starnberg
            (with Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker)

1971-83  Residence in Starnberg, Bayern

1973    "Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus"

1974    Hegel Prize, Stuttgart

            Critique of system theory (Luhmann) and essays on
            theories of social evolution

1975-82  Guest professor at Goethe University, Frankfurt

1977    Critique of ”Beruftsverbot” and the authoritarian response
            to terrorism (”The German Autumn”)

1980    Critique of postmodernism and neo-conservatism
            Adorno-prize, Frankfurt

1981    "Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns" on sociological theory

1983    Professor at Philosophy Department, Goethe University,
            Frankfurt
       
            Essays on moral theory (discourse ethic)

1983-94  Residence in Frankfurt

1984    Speech in the Spanish Parliament on the crisis of the
            welfare state

            Discussion group in Frankfurt with Joscha Fischer et.al.

1985    "Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne"

1986    Tanner Lectures on Human Values, University of Utah
            ”The Historian’s Debate” in Germany

1987    Sonning Prize, Copenhagen, Denmark (Lecture on
            Kierkegaard)

            Essays on post-metaphysical thinking

1990    Critique of ”DM-nationalism”

1992    "Faktizität und Geltung" on theory of law and democracy

1993    Emeritus

1994-    Residence in Starnberg, Bayern

1994-    Guest professor at Northwestern University, USA (fall courses)

1995    Discussion with John Rawls on political liberalism

1996    Lectures in Hong Kong and South Korea

            Essays on globalization, the European Community and
            on human rights

1998    Discussion with Gerhard Schröder, Berlin

1999    The liberal Theodor Heuss Prize, Stuttgart

2001    Frankfurt Book Fair Peace Prize
            Visits China (lecture on human rights)

            Essays on bioethics and on religion
            Appeals for an European Constitution
            Critique of the invasion in Iraq

2002    Lectures in Iran on secularization

2003    Essays on Europe after the Iraq war (with Jacques Derrida)

2004    Koyoto prize, Japan

2005    Discussion with Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
            on religion
            Holberg prize, Bergen, Norway

2006    Lectures and essays on religion in the public sphere

2008    Debate on the crisis of the EU

2009    Visiting professor at Stony Brook University, New York


Further information:

1. Martin Beck Matustik -– Jürgen Habermas. A Philosophical-Political Profile (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001)

2. Stefan Müller-Doohm - Jürgen Habermas. Leben Werk Wirkung (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2008)

3. Rolf Wiggershaus –- Jürgen Habermas (Rowohlt, 2004)

4. Detlef Horster - Jürgen Habermas zur Einführung (Junius, 1999)

5. Peter Dews (ed.) -– Habermas: Autonomy & Solidarity. Interviews with Jürgen Habermas (Verso, 1986)

6. Jürgen Habermas –- ”Öffentlicher Raum und politische Öffentlichkeit”, in Jürgen Habermas – Zwischen Naturalismus und Religion (Suhrkamp, 2005) pp. 15-26