Some problems with Gadamer's and Habermas' dialogical model of sociological understanding

Despite differences between them, Gadamer and Habermas both argue that in order to understand the practices and beliefs of other cultures and periods of history fully and critically, researchers should enter into imaginary ‘dialogue’ with their subjects about the nature of the world. Objectivity of understanding in their view consists not in prior suppression of our contemporary preconceptions and interests but in a process of actively seeking agreement with others over appropriate world-views and normative beliefs. This paper challenges Gadamer's and Habermas' thesis on three fronts. It argues that, the notion of 'dialogue' with past personages and abstract social totalities is not clear, even when qualified as 'imaginary'; to derive normative Verständigung from descriptive Verstehen is not conceptually well-founded, nor pertinent to the thematic goals of research; and however deeply interpreters remain tied to the culture of their upbringing, they are not thereby licensed to incorporate value-judgments into the research process. Rather than providing any methodological norms for research, dialogue ought best be seen as characterising certain moral and political responsibilities of scientists in relation to civil society and the public sphere
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1468-5914.00108
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

17 ( #156,876 of 1,724,953 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,164 of 1,724,953 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.