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With the author Rahel Jaeggi and Oliver Nachtwey • Moderation: Robert Misik Book premiere

The abolition of slavery, the introduction of social security systems, and the sanctioning of marital rape are generally viewed as social progress - as a change for the better. Nevertheless, the idea of a general progressive movement has lost its old luster and even arouses skepticism. However, the diagnosis of regression is on everyone's lips. It is posed to various contemporary phenomena, from right-wing authoritarian populism to democratic fatigue.



In her book, Rahel Jaeggi defends the pair of concepts progress and regression as an indispensable social-philosophical tool for the criticism of our time. She sees as progressive or regressive not only the result, but above all the shape of social transformations themselves. By asking about the blockages in experience that promote regressive tendencies, she develops a concept of progress that avoids Eurocentric distortions as well as the idea of inevitable ones Development trend. Progress, she shows, is not the lead up to an already known goal, but rather the never-completed process of emancipation.


Moderated by Robert Misik, Rahel Jaeggi discusses the basic thesis of her newly published book with Oliver Nachtwey: Can regressive tendencies, such as those Nachtwey described in Injured Freedom, be traced back to blocked experiences in social transformations? And what changes in political thinking if, as Jaeggi suggests, progress is understood not as a preliminary to an already known goal, but as the never-completed process of emancipation?


The philosopher Rahel Jaeggi is professor of practical philosophy at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She has headed the Center for Social Critique in Berlin since 2018. Its thematic focus lies in the areas of social and legal philosophy as well as political philosophy, philosophical ethics, anthropology and social ontology. The subject of her research includes, among other things: the concepts of alienation, commodification or reification, ideology, way of life, institution and solidarity. Jaeggi is considered a representative of contemporary critical theory.

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