David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Philosophy Today 22:169-184 (2006)
My paper argues that Jürgen Habermas’s transformation of critical social theory seriously weakens the potential of the concept of instrumental reason as a tool of social critique. I defend the central role of the concept of instrumental reason in both i) the critique of social injustice, and ii) the diagnosis of pathologies of meaning stemming from cultural modernization. However, I argue that the root of these problems cannot come into view from within the Habermasian paradigm. Contra Habermas, I argue that the problem of a ‘loss of freedom’ is better characterized as a process of integration through power; the problem of a ‘loss of meaning’ must also be reconceived as a problem of moral disintegration. My claim is that a proper understanding of these processes requires an engagement with the understanding of instrumental reason in earlier critical theory as primarily a distortion of the relation of language and experience. This necessitates rethinking the task of critical social theory along the lines of the concept of Selbstbesinnung (self-awareness) rather than according to Habermas’s Kantianized version of self-reflection
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Joseph Heath (1996). Rational Choice as Critical Theory. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (5):43-62.
Kieran Setiya (2007). Cognitivism About Instrumental Reason. Ethics 117 (4):649-673.
Herta Nagl-Docekal (1999). The Feminist Critique of Reason Revisited. Hypatia 14 (1):49-76.
Dieter Freundlieb (1988). Rationalism V. Irrationalism? Habermas's Response to Foucault. Inquiry 31 (2):171 – 192.
Herbert Schnadelbach (1998). Transformations of the Concept of Reason. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):3-14.
Herbert Schnädelbach (1998). Transformations of the Concept of Reason. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):3 - 14.
Ali Mesbah, Religion, Rationality, and Language : A Critical Analysis of Jürgen Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action.
Roger Foster (2005). Pierre Bourdieu’s Critique of Scholarly Reason. Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (1):89-107.
Yvonne Sherratt (1999). Instrumental Reason's Unreason. Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (4):23-42.
Kevin DeLuca (2001). Rethinking Critical Theory: Instrumental Reason, Judgment, and the Environmental Crisis. Environmental Ethics 23 (3):307-325.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads13 ( #122,531 of 1,102,801 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #61,871 of 1,102,801 )
How can I increase my downloads?