Communication and rational justification: A phenomenological stance

Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (6):55-79 (2001)
As a response to the common criticism that phenomenology is handicapped by its descriptive faith, this article outlines a program for showing what a rational justification can be from a phenomenological perspective. The phenomenological position defended here stands between Rorty's thesis of objectivity in solidarity and Habermas's view of rationality through universal claims. In the first part of the article, I show how a justification of a stance, an action, or a behavior can only make appeal to standards and criteria which derive from a culture; in the second part, I argue that, since justification involves the making of claims, a claim makes both its author and its community accountable and liable for what is claimed; the third part shows how the encounter between cultures and communities exerts a greater scrutiny on claims made in one culture or community, thereby leading to progress in the justification process. Key Words: deconstruction • justification • phenomenology • relativism • validity claims.
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