Posted on Sep 26, 1997

Schenectady, N.Y. (Sept. 26, 1997) – Jürgen Habermas, one of the greatest social thinkers of the century, will give a speech titled “Learning from Catastrophes? — A Brief Look Back at the Short Twentieth Century” on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Union College's Nott Memorial.

Habermas, a well-known German philosopher and leading representative of the Frankfurt school of critical theory, has refashioned thinking about technology and culture, politics and postmodernism, law and democracy. His scholarly work, which includes critical analysis of contemporary society, ranges across many of the humanities and social sciences. The author of numerous books and articles, he is perhaps best known for his books Knowledge and Human Interests, Postmetaphysical Thinking, and Between Facts and Norms.

In his talk at Union, Habermas will examine the peculiar face of the twentieth century (between 1914 and 1989) characterized by the Cold War, Decolonization, and the reduction of class conflict against the background of changing trends in demographic growth, in technology, and in patterns of production. Committed to illuminating living controversies, Habermas will consider the challenges now posed to the fragile welfare-state compromise by the stresses and dislocations of economic globalization. Finally, he will ask the question, is there any viable alternative to the neoconservative response?

Habermas will be a guest at Union for one week, leading discussions and seminars for Union faculty and students.

The lecture on Thursday evening is free and open to the public. The sixteen-sided Nott Memorial is located at the center of campus and parking is available on campus and on nearby sidestreets.