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I MET JÜRGEN HABERMAS once. It was long ago, when I was an undergraduate. One of my teachers had studied with him and, in an effort to enliven the intellectual environment of the small, out-of-the-way liberal arts university I was then attending, somehow convinced the most famous critical theorist of the day to come to San Francisco. I seem to recall the promise of opera tickets somehow sweetening the deal. Whatever it took, it was worth it. My classmates and I, along with a whole lot of other people, got to see one of the most important philosophers in recent memory alive and in person — not only that, I got his autograph. It’s a funny story. ¤. Some background first. It was the ’90s an... Full story

22 August