Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929 in Düsseldorf, Germany) is a philosopher and social theorist in the tradition of critical theory. His work focuses on the foundations of social theory and epistemology, the analysis of advanced capitalist industrial society and of democracy and the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, and contemporary (especially German) politics. Habermas considers his own major achievement the development of the concept and theory of communicative reason or communicative rationality, which distinguishes itself from the rationalist tradition by locating rationality in structures of interpersonal linguistic communication rather than in the structure of either the cosmos or the knowing subject. He carries forward the tradition of Kant and the Enlightenment and of democratic socialism through his emphasis on the potential for transforming the world and arriving at a more humane, just, and egalitarian society through the realization of the human potential for reason. Jürgen Habermas's main aim has been to construct a social theory that is also a non-oppressive and inclusive universalist moral framework.
His defence of modern society and civil society has been a source of inspiration to others, and is considered a major philosophical alternative to the varieties of poststructuralism. He has also offered an influential analysis of late capitalism.