A critique of Habermas' theory of practical rationality

Studies in East European Thought 33 (3):251-265 (1987)
Abstract
Habermas' theory of practical rationality is a significant theoretical attempt to preserve both rationality and democracy at the level of political decision making that transcends both technocratic and decisionistic theories of rationality. Habermas' theory of rationality accords with his epistemological, sociological, psychological, and linguistic premises. His theory, however, overlooks the interactions between instrumental action and symbolic interaction, the relevance of professional knowledge of facts for the choice of ends, the conflict between the norms of efficiency and democracy, and the duality of subject and object in historical formation. The rational interest in reproduction of free communication, however, can be used to reformulate Habermas' theory of rationality.
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