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Kenneth Baynes

Kenneth Baynes


300 Hall of Languages

Research and Teaching Interests

Ken Baynes works primarily in social and political philosophy, with a special focus in critical theory (the "Frankfurt School") and modern and contemporary German philosophy. He is a co-editor of After Philosophy: End or Transformation? (MIT Press), and Discourse and Democracy (SUNY Press), and the author of The Normative Grounds of Social Criticism: Kant, Rawls and Habermas (SUNY Press). His current interests are in the normative or obligatory character of rules and practices, attempts to ground moral principles in practical reason, and the relationship between democracy and basic rights, including "multicultural rights" (if indeed there are any!). You can find many of his papers at his site on, here.

Selected Publications

  • Discourse and Democracy: Essays in Habermas's Between Facts and Norms, co-edited with Rene von Schomberg (Albany: SUNY Press, 2002)
  • The Normative Grounds of Social Criticism: Kant, Rawls, and Habermas (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992)
  • Translation of Axel Honneth, The Critique of Power (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991)
  • After Philosophy: End or Transformation?, co-edited with James Bohman and Thomas McCarthy (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987)


“Rawls and Critical Theory,” in A Companion to Rawls, ed.

            by Jon Mandle and David Reidy, (Blackwell, forthcoming, 2012)

“Morality and Critical Theory,” in International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. by H.

            Lafollette (forthcoming 2012)

 “Making Global Governance Public,” in Territories of Citizenship, ed. by E. Erman and

            L. Beckman (New York:  Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 123-145.

 “Self, Narrative and Self-Constitution:  Revisiting Taylor’s Self-Interpreting Animals,”

            The Philosophical Forum (December 2010), 441-457

“Deliberative Democracy and Public Reason,” Veritas 55 (2010), 135-163

“Discourse Ethics and the Political Conception of Human Rights,” Ethics and Global

            Politics 2.1 (2009), 1-21.

 “Toward a Political Conception of Human Rights,” Philosophy and Social Criticism 35

            (2009), 371-390.

 “Democratic Equality and Respect,” Theoria 117 (December 2008), 1-25.

 “The Hermeneutics of ‘Situated Cosmopolitanism’,” Philosophy and Social Criticism

                  33 (2007), 301-08

“’Gadamerian Platitudes’ and Rational Interpretations,” Philosophy and Social Criticism

            33 (2007), 65-80

 “Ethos and Institution:  On the Site of Distributive Justice” The Journal of Social

            Philosophy 37 (2006), 184-198.

“Understanding Evil” (Review Essay), Constellations 11 (2004), 434-444.

“Freedom and Recognition in Hegel and Habermas”, Philosophy and Social Criticism 28

           (2002), 1-17.

"Rights as Critique and the Critique of Rights: Karl Marx, Wendy Brown and the Social

            Function of Rights," Political Theory 28 (2000), 451-468.