chapter  5
The Generalized Other, Concrete Others
Pages 23

Benhabib's study concedes the question, and at least the form of Habermas's response. Adorno's complaint here is that the present conception of communication, of which Habermas's is an example, reduces it because in it the goal of agreement between subjects trumps response to die Sache selbst, the real thing. Benhabib distinguishes between immanent and defetishizing critique, and between categorial and normative critique. Categorial immanent critique involves demonstrating how the accepted definitions and significations of the categories of political economy turn into their opposites without the intervention of a separate categorial framework. However idiosyncratic it may be, the point here is that the concrete other as Benhabib conceives it is logically more akin to emphatic 'truth' than another layer of communicative rationality itself. Even granting the pragmatic contradiction, however, does not stretch very far for Benhabib's purposes since within our tradition no pragmatic contradiction is involved in our denying the universalizability of need interpretations.