In the contemporary (practical) philosophy, recognition is one of the central concepts. Humans are thematized as individuals who recognize one another as moral and legal persons. The central problem of the globalized, multicultural societies is how to harmonize the legal persons (who are free and equal) with moral persons (who may have their unique identity). In The Nature of the Self the thesis is elaborated that, in the contemporary discussion, a central dimension of recognition is lacking. All forms of moral and legal recognition presuppose the recognition at a more fundamental level: the recognition of the body by the mind.
The systematic development of this relation can be performed with the help of a critical reconstruction of Hegel 's project in the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Philosophy of Right.
This reconstruction results in a differentiated concept of the self: in three forms of the self (corresponding with three forms of recognition) and their institutional embodiment. This concept of the self not only competes with the position of Jurgen Habermas and Axel Honneth (as it is explicitly elaborated), but also with the one of John Rawls.