This article aims at examining the mainstream approach of normative philosophy (which John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas share) in order to underline a series of elements showing how rationalist paradigm and social criticism have a polar, not dichotomic, relationship. Such a description comes from an interpretative reading of Michael Walzer's and Iris Marion Young's texts on criticism: they imagine a «bridge» between the rationalist paradigm and the radical approaches on social criticism. This is made possible by peculiar behavioral patterns which are supposed to be kept by the social critic. This possible connection firstly allows a form of normativity which is not detached from concreteness and from the dimension of identity and the body. Secondly, it allows a focus on the virtues for a good criticism, such as for its final orientation inside a perspective of democratic inclusion.