W hen writing an intellectual biography? Stefan Muller-Doohm, emeritus professor in Oldenburg, has specialized in the sociology of intellectuals, and has written, among other things, a standard work on Adorno. His recently published biography of Jurgen Habermas is 750 pages long, a veritable caliber of bricks; but one does not get the impression that its author has set himself more goals as a biographer than the extremely honest one of comprehensively tracing the career, work and life of the person portrayed, i.e., in exhaustive detail.
The reviews, which were published around Habermas’ 85. birthday on 18. June appeared, criticized that restrained enough not to spoil the congratulatory mood. And yet they named a sore point: When the "Suddeutsche Zeitung" criticizes that "Muller-Dohm remains mute as an interpreter of his main figure," that is: as a biographer, he does not take a stance on his object, then it raises a value judgment that would be devastating for any biographer of Bismarck or Hitler.