Habermas has a rare and enviable capacity to sense the issues that are relevant to the present. In the mid-1980s he was among the most vocal opponents of the right-wing historiographers in the Historian Controversy, whom he accused of wanting to relativize the crimes of the Nazi regime, in the interests of normalizing West German foreign policy. More recently he has engaged in debates around gene technology and their threat to our self-understanding as autonomous moral persons. He has been true to his own view that the task of the public intellectual is to “stir up critical developments when everyone else is still doing business as usual.” Philosophers should do more of that. As a bunch, we tend to be too inward looking.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Gordon Finlayson.