Social Imaginaries

Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring 2018

Festschrift for Peter Wagner

Axel Honneth
Pages 157-169

How to Envision Social Progress Today?
On Peter Wagner’s Progress: A Reconstruction

It seems evident that ‘progress’ is a necessary and unavoidable perspective for all those of us today who aim at revitalizing emancipatory action. How could it be possible to start to thinking about the first steps to take in enhancing our present situation without a rough idea of the direction those steps are supposed to follow; since all emancipation is meant to bring about some kind of improvement of the existing living-conditions or an increase in human freedom, it seems justified to say that at least a vague anticipation of what such ‘improvement’ or ‘increase’ would consist in is an inevitable requirement for engaging in such practices. Against this background, the article will discuss Peter Wagner’s notion of progress.