Jurgen Habermas (1928 – )
Born June 18, 1929, Jurgen Habermas is a German Philosopher and sociologist, best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere.
Considered to be the most important German philosopher of the last half of the 20th century, Habermas has greatly influenced many realms of intellectual thought including communication studies, cultural studies, moral theory, law, linguistics, literary theory, philosophy, political science, religious studies, theology, sociology, and democratic theory.
Born with a cleft palate that required two surgeries, Habermas has argued that his speech disability made him think differently about the importance of communication. At age ten Habermas joined the Hitler youth, and at 15 was sent to the Western Front during the last few months of World War II. After the War he continued his education, receiving his first Ph.D. in philosophy in 1954 before pursuing a second, which he completed in 1961.
His dissertation was published as his first book The Structural Transformation Of the Public Sphere was published in 1962 in German, later translated into English in 1989.
Habermas spent many years as a professor in Germany and the United States, as well as in public discourse discussing and debating philosophical issues as well as publishing books on various topic, especially related to the public sphere, politics, and communication. He has received numerous awards for his scholarship.