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In several specialist areas, recognition is the declaration by a legal entity to another legal entity or to third parties to approve of a specific claim , situation or status quo .


The verb "to recognize" is the clarification of the verb "to recognize". Legal subjects associated with recognition can be natural or legal persons or even states . The acknowledgment , on the other hand, is a type of contract ( acknowledgment of guilt ) or a procedural act . The term recognition is also used as a synonym for acceptance , praise or respect . Mutual recognition is considered necessary for any kind of coexistence , for example in marriage , in a school class or at work . If a group member is not recognized, they run the risk of becoming an outsider .


Many areas of law deal with the legal concept of recognition .

  • In civil law, the recognition is a commonly used legal term.
With the according § 80 para. 1 BGB rise to a legal capacity Foundation recognition required by the competent state authority one has permission meant.
According to § 1592 No. 2 BGB, paternity is specified through recognition. The recognition of paternity, which is already permissible before the birth in accordance with Section 1594 (1) BGB, requires the consent of the mother ( Section 1595 (1) BGB) and must be certified ( Section 1597 (1) BGB).
The recognition of foreign decisions in matrimonial matters according to § 107 FamFG only takes place if the state judicial administration has determined that the requirements for recognition are met.
The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards is based on Section 1061 (1) ZPO according to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of June 10, 1958.
  • Right of asylum : With the application for asylum , according to § 13 Abs. 2 AsylG, the recognition as a person entitled to asylum and international protection within the meaning of § 1 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 AsylG is applied for. The reasons for the expiry of the recognition as a person entitled to asylum are finally listed in § 72 AsylG. According to Section 73 AsylG, the revocation must be made immediately if the requirements for recognition as a person entitled to asylum no longer exist.
The Directive 2011/95 / EU (the Qualification Directive) sets standards for the recognition of refugee status for refugee status.
  • Canon Law : In the case of religious communities, “recognition” usually means recognition as a religious community under public law . "With the legal recognition of a religious community, the state expresses that it is in its interest and that it would like to cooperate with it". In Austria, the prerequisites for the legal recognition of religious communities are regulated in the Recognition Act of 1874 and in Section 11 of the Confessional Community Act.
  • International law : The concept of recognition appears as diplomatic recognition in political science literature. It means the acceptance of a political system as a state under international law and the beginning or completion of diplomatic relations . The principle of recognition has its origins in international law. Recognition in international law is the express or implied expression of will of a subject under international law (mostly a state) with the content of accepting a certain fact, a certain legal situation or a certain claim as existing or lawful. The essential importance of the recognition of states under international law is that it describes the acceptance of a state of affairs in which no objection is made in cases in which a state of affairs was brought about by other legal entities. Recognition can have a constitutive or declaratory effect; it takes place implicitly through the establishment of diplomatic relations . The prevailing opinion assumes that recognition today only has a declaratory meaning, because it merely states that from the perspective of the recognizing state, the other entity has the elements that a state must possess. Because the recognition is usually based on the fulfillment of the three-element teaching . A well-known problem of international recognition was the recognition of the GDR by the Federal Republic .

There are also regulations for the recognition of school achievements for university entrance. Regulations on the “recognition of academic achievements”, for example in examination regulations , as well as regulations for the recognition of achievements or degrees obtained abroad are also very widespread . In Germany, due to the cultural sovereignty of the federal states , the regulations of the federal states take effect, possibly coordinated by the conference of ministers of education . In the case of professional qualifications, the law for improving the determination and recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad ( Recognition Act ) applies in Germany; In addition, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications is regulated in European secondary law by Directive 2005/36 / EC on the recognition of professional qualifications .

Social and State Philosophy

The recognition of other people, things or sentences restricts a subject's freedom of action : The recognition of other people includes obligations towards them, which range from their respect as persons, through the approval of their wishes, to the appreciation of their achievements. In relation to legal entities such as associations, municipalities or states, recognition means an "official confirmation, declaration of validity or legality". In relation to statements or norms , recognition means their observance, approval or acceptance of the truth . In that recognition acquires meaning for human action in recognition, recognition links theoretical and practical philosophy . In logic , recognition plays a role in Gottlob Frege's statement theory .

Philosophical approaches that use recognition or terms with similar meaning can be traced back to Rousseau . The concept of recognition is fundamental to Immanuel Kant's philosophy , even if he does not use it directly. This is already expressed in the human rights formula of the categorical imperative , according to which one should never treat oneself or another person as a means, but also as an end. So one has to reconcile one's own arbitrariness with the arbitrariness of others according to a general law of freedom. Accordingly, every human being has "a legitimate right to respect from his fellow human beings, and for this he is mutually connected to everyone else."

Johann Gottlieb Fichte made a first attempt to systematize the concept of recognition in his Basis of Natural Law (1796).

"In the mutual request for free action and in the limitation of one's own sphere of action in favor of the other, both individual and common consciousness are formed - one is not without the other."

Building on this, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel developed a theoretical system in his early writings in Jena from 1802–1807, at the center of which was a concept of recognition. In Fichte and Hegel, recognition to a certain extent replaces the social contract as the basis of law and state. The development of the philosophical theory of recognition initially ended with Hegel.

Alexandre Kojève , who came from Russia and lives in France, revived Hegel's approach immediately after the end of the Second World War . Following the young Hegel, he emphasized that recognition was necessary in order to develop self-confidence. This also means that no one can reach this stage of development for himself alone. Only when several “consciousnesses” collide does what Hegel calls the “movement of recognition”, “dialectic of recognition” and necessitate the “struggle for recognition” as a specific human being. Hegel describes this in his “Phenomenology of the Spirit” in the chapter “Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness; Domination and bondage ”. From this, Karl Marx developed his model of the class struggle with serious consequences . In the 20th century, this also influenced psychoanalytic designs, such as Jacques Lacans . Tzvetan Todorov's understanding of society also ties in with Hegel and Kojève, turning against Thomas Hobbe's image of society as a necessary evil.

  • In Germany, Hegel's principle of recognition was taken up again in 1968 by Jürgen Habermas . Habermas pointed to its topicality and emphasized the advantages of the concept of recognition over problems of the theories of Immanuel Kant or Karl Marx : In Kant, the clarification of moral questions lacks interpersonal interaction and thus actual intersubjectivity. Marx, however, reduced interaction to work . With the recognition, however, Hegel correctly kept interaction and work apart.


In the theory and terminology of Gottlob Frege , judgment is the recognition of the truth value of a thought.


Psychology regards the close connection between recognition (as praise, confirmation or respect) and the development and maintenance of a person's self-esteem .

For the psychoanalysis recognition - as more or less involuntary gesture of consciousness within the depth psychology of defense mechanisms - a mode of (literal) perception of external circumstances (such as the anatomical difference between the sexes) in its psychological significance (. See about castration anxiety ) and the counter-movement to Denial .

In Claude Steiner's “ Emotional Competence ” concept , the idea of ​​recognition plays a central role: It is assumed that many people suffer from a considerable lack of recognition and attention, so-called positive strokes . Internalized dysfunctional relationship patterns from childhood and further development are assumed to be the causes. Mental illnesses are stated to be the consequences of this lack of attention.

Claude Steiner developed the idea of ​​the “stroke economy”: recognition is unconsciously kept short within the family. In this way, parents achieve that a situation in which unlimited recognition is given is transformed into a situation in which recognition is in short supply and the price for it is correspondingly high. According to Steiner, this helps parents to control their children. Steiner believes that adults still unconsciously follow these rules in everyday life and thus give and receive too little recognition.


The recognition of others is worked out as a basic theological dimension of intercultural communication and education by Edmund Arens and Helmut Peukert .

See also



  • Axel Honneth : Fight for recognition. On the moral grammar of social conflicts . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-518-58128-7 .
  • Jakub Kloc-Konkołowicz: Recognition as an obligation. Classic concepts of recognition and their relevance to the current debate. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2015, ISBN 978-3-8260-5831-8 .
  • Rainer-Mathias Limmer: The concept of recognition. Philosophical-psychological investigations . Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich 2005 ( online , PDF , 0.98 MB).
  • Christine Wimbauer : When work replaces love. Dual career couples between recognition and inequality. Campus, Frankfurt / New York 2012, ISBN 978-3593397825 .
  • Germo Zimmermann : Recognition and coping with life in voluntary work. A qualitative study on the inclusion of disadvantaged young people in child and youth work . Bad Heilbrunn: Verlag Julius Klinkhardt, 2015. ISBN 978-3-7815-2005-9


  • Edmund Arens (Ed.): Recognition of Others. A basic theological dimension of intercultural communication. Freiburg i.Br. 1995, ISBN 3-451-02156-0 .
  • Axel Honneth: Wilderness. The struggle for recognition in the early 21st century , From Politics and Contemporary History , 1–2 / 2011, online version .
  • Thomas Laugstien: Recognition , in: Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism , Vol. 1, Argument-Verlag, Hamburg, 1994, Sp. 249-261.
  • Helmut Peukert : Education as a perception of the other. The dialogue in educational thinking in modern times. In: I. Lohmann / W.Weiße (ed.): Dialogue between cultures. Münster / New York 1994, 1-14.
  • Josef Senft : Recognition of the Other: Paradigm of social-ethical and religious-pedagogical education. In: Orientation 61 (1997) No. 3, pp. 28-30.
  • Peter Sitzer / Christine Wiezorek: Recognition . In: Wilhelm Heitmeyer / Peter Imbusch (ed.): Integration potentials of a modern society . VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-531-14107-4 , pp. 101-132.
  • Herrmann Weber: "The 'Recognition' of Religious Communities by Granting Corporate Rights in Germany" in Richard Potz and Reinhard Kohlhofer (eds.): The "Recognition" of Religious Communities Publ. Austria, Vienna, 2002. pp. 57–74.

Web links

Wiktionary: recognition  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 17; Compare the phrase “He recognized woman” for “to take as wife” in the Bible.
  2. BGBl. 1961 II p. 121
  3. Herrmann Weber, The 'Recognition' of Religious Communities by Granting Corporate Rights in Germany , in Richard Potz / Reinhard Kohlhofer (eds.), The "Recognition" of Religious Communities, Verlag Österreich, Vienna, 2002. p. 57
  4. Barbara Gartner, The status of Islamic and Islamist communities under religious law , Springer, Vienna-New York, 2011, p. 517
  5. Barbara Gartner, The Status of Islamic and Islamist Communities under Religious Law , Springer, Vienna-New York, 2011, p. 519
  6. Katja Funken, The Recognition Principle in International Private Law , 2009, p. 23 f.
  7. Rudolf L. Bindschedler, Recognition in Völkerrecht , in: Reports of the German Society for Völkerrecht, Issue 4, 1961, p. 1
  8. ^ Karl Doehring, Völkerrecht , 2004, p. 412
  9. Andreas von Arnauld, Völkerrecht , 2014, p. 38
  10. a b c d e f Gabriel Amengual: Recognition . In: Hans Jörg Sandkühler (Ed.): Encyclopedia Philosophy . Vol. 1: A-N. Meiner, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-7873-1452-0 , pp. 66-68.
  11. Immanuel Kant: Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals , BA 67
  12. Immanuel Kant: Metaphysics of Morals , RL, Academy Edition Volume VI, 230
  13. Immanuel Kant: Metaphysics of Morals , TL, Academy Edition Volume VI, 462
  14. quoted from Ludwig Siep, Recognition as a principle of practical philosophy. Investigations into Hegel's Jena philosophy of mind . Alber, Freiburg / Munich 1979, p. 22
  15. Jürgen Habermas, Work and Interaction. Comments on Hegel's “Jenenser Philosophy of Mind” , in: Jürgen Habermas, Technology and Science as “Ideology” , Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1968, pp. 9–47. See also Jürgen Habermas, Knowledge and Interest , Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1968, p. 81
  16. Jürgen Habermas: Work and Interaction. Comments on Hegel's “Jenenser Philosophy of Spirit” . In: Jürgen Habermas: Technology and science as "ideology" . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1968, p. 46.
  17. Karl-Heinz Ilting, recognition. To justify practical sentences , in: Gerd-Günther Grau (Ed.), Problems of Ethics. Presented for discussion at the 1971 scientific conference of the inner circle of the General Society for Philosophy in Germany. V. Alber, Freiburg im Breisgau / Munich 1972
  18. Ludwig Siep, Recognition as a Principle of Practical Philosophy. Investigations into Hegel's Jena philosophy of mind . Alber, Freiburg / Munich 1979, p. 22
  19. Andreas Wildt, Autonomy and Recognition. Hegel's criticism of morality in the light of his Fichte reception , Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart, 1982
  20. Avishai Margalit: The Decent Society : (1996) translated by Naomi Goldblum, German: Politics of dignity. About respect and contempt, Fischer 1999
  21. Among other things, 2009 in "Raster des Krieges" / "Frames of War".
  22. Gottlob Frege, `` The thought: a logical investigation '', in: Contributions to the Philosophy of German Idealism I, 2, 1918, p. 58 (62), in: Frege, Logical investigations , 3rd ed., 1986, ISBN 3-525-33518-0 , p. 30 (35): “We therefore distinguish 1. the grasping of the thought - the thinking, 2. the recognition of the truth of a thought - the judgment, 3. the manifestation of this judgment - the Claim."
  23. Claude Steiner: Emotional Competence . Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-36157-3 .