Praxis Seminar: Research Colloquium in Practical Philosophy 2020/21, Session 4

Gianfranco Casuso

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Socio-Epistemic Pathologies. The Double Dimension of Social Criticism and the Problem of Asymptomaticity

10 November 2020, 18h00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+0)

This session will take place via streaming (Zoom link here)



It is common to affirm – and that is what Honneth believes that Critical Theory has done since its origins – that the indicator that can give us the clue that a social situation hides pathological features is suffering – not just that of members of social groups easily identifiable as vulnerable or disadvantaged, but potentially all people to varying degrees. Be that as it may, suffering should be a kind of “symptom” of social pathology. However, and here is where the difficulties begin, immediately appealing to the individual experience of suffering does not necessarily allow us to get out of the trap, because the problem lies in that the dual pathological condition of society is so powerful that under a veil of normality it even blocks the emergence of every possible symptom. In my talk, I will try to delve into this problematic link between suffering and social pathology as developed by Honneth, both from his own Hegelian reading of a deficit of rationality, and from Adorno’s idea of a sick normality. This will be done against the background of the less worked phenomenon of social asymptomaticity.