Thomas McCarthy John C. Shaffer Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
His major research interests are in social and political philosophy, German philosophy, and critical theory. He is the author of The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas (MIT Press, 1978), Ideals and Illusions (MIT Press, 1991) and Critical Theory (Blackwell, 1994), and Race, Empire, And the Idea of Human Development (Cambridge UP, 2009), and the general editor of the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
- The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas (MIT Press, Hutchinson Press, 1978); paperback edition (MIT Press, 1981; Polity Press, Blackwell, 1984)
- Ideals and Illusions: On Reconstruction and Deconstruction in Contemporary Critical Theory, (MIT Press, 1991)
- Critical Theory (Basil Blackwell, 1994), co-authored with David Hoy
- Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
- Understanding and Social Inquiry (Notre Dame Press, 1977), co-edited with Editor: F. Dallmayr
- After Philosophy: End or Transformation? (MIT Press, 1986), co-edited with K. Baynes and J. Bohman
- Zwischenbetrachtungen im Prozess der Aufklärung (Suhrkamp Verlag, 1989), co-edited with A. Honneth, C. Offe, A. Wellmer.
- English edition in two volumes:
- The Philosophical Forum, Vol. XIII, No. 1 (Fall, 1981), Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
- The European Journal of Philosophy, Vol.7, No. 2 (August, 1999), Hegel and His Legacy
- Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought (MIT Press)
Selection of Recent Articles
- "On Reconciling National Diversity and Cosmopolitan Unity," Public Culture11(1999):175-208; reprinted in D. P. Gaonkar, ed., Alternative Modernities (Duke University Press, 2001), pp. 197-235, and in C. Cronin & P. DeGreiff, eds., Global Justice and Transitional Politics (MIT Press, 2002), pp. 235-274.
- "Political Philosophy and Racial Injustice: From Normative to Critical Theory," in S. Benhabib & N. Fraser, eds, Pragmatism, Critique, Judgment (MIT Press, 2004), pp. 147-168.
- "Vergangenheitsbewältigung in the USA: On the Politics of the Memory of Slavery," Political Theory 30 (2002): 623-648.
- "Coming to Terms with the Past, Part II: On the Morality and Politics of Reparations for Slavery," Political Theory 32 (2004): 750-772.
- "Multicultural Cosmopolitanism: Remarks on the Idea of Universal History," forthcoming in Stephen Schneck, ed., Letting Be: Fred Dallmayr's Cosmopolitical Vision (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006), pp. 188-213.
- “From Modernism to Messianism: Liberal Developmentalism and American Exceptionalism,” Constellations 14 (2007).