Habermas and critical theory

This area of research revolves around the work of Jürgen Habermas, the leading German critical thinker of his generation.

The first aspect of Habermas' work that caught his attention was the notion of "public sphere" (Öffentlichkeit). In Espaço Público em Habermas and other writings, Carreira da Silva tries to explain how this crucial notion has evolved in the course of Habermas’s 40-year long career. The notion of public sphere is, he suggests, a useful interpretive key to Habermas’s theoretical strategy as well as to his contributions to social and political theory.

More recently, Filipe Carreira da Silva has discussed Habermas' political thinking more generally (in particular, his notion of "constitutional patriotism" and model of deliberative democracy) as well as Habermas' reliance on American philosophical pragmatism to produce a critical theory of society (see chapter 7 of Social Theory in the Twentieth Century, a social theory textbook he co-authored with Patrick Baert in 2010). Also, it was through Habermas' work that Filipe Carreira da Silva first became interested in civic republicanism, a political tradition revived by the Cambridge School since the 1970s.

In 2019, Filipe co-authored "Habermas in Portugal" where he discusses the reception of Habermas in Portuguese academia. This is a book chapter of Global Habermas, a collective volume put together to celebrate Habermas' 90th birthday. 



  • 2006. Habermas, Rorty e o Pragmatismo Americano. Dados - Revista de Ciências Sociais 49(1): 43-60. [online] [document (pdf)]
  • 2005. Cidadãos da Europa: Algumas Reflexões sobre o Patriotismo Constitucional. Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais 70: 127-145.
  • 2001. Habermas e a Esfera Pública: Reconstruindo a História de uma Ideia. Sociologia - Problemas e Práticas 35: 117-138.
    [online] [document (pdf)]
  • 2001. Espaço Público e Democracia: o Papel da Esfera Pública no Pensamento Político de Habermas. Análise Social Vol. XXXVI (Primavera-Verão), 158-159: 435-459. [online]

Chapters in Books

  • 2019. Habermas in Portugal. In: Habermas Global. The Reception of his Work/Habermas global - Wirkungsgeschichte eines Werks. Luca Corchia, Stefan Müller-Doohm, William Outhwaite (eds.) Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag. With Mónica Brito Vieira. [online] [document (pdf)]  German version here
  • 2013. Jürgen Habermas e o projecto de uma teoria crítica da sociedade. In Pensamento Crítico Contemporâneo. J. Neves, F. Ramalho (eds.). Lisboa: Edições 70. [document (pdf)]