Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (4):23-41 (1998)

Joseph Heath
University of Toronto, St. George
Even though the concept of a 'validity claim' is central to Habermas's theory of communicative action, he has never given a precise definition of the term. He has stated only that truth is a type of validity claim, and that rightness and sincerity are analogous to truth. This paper explores the basis of this analogy, arguing that rightness and sincerity must share at least two characteristics with the truth predicate: each must be the designated value in an appropriate system of logic, and each must serve as the 'central notion' in a theory of meaning for some corresponding class of speech acts. It is these two characteristics that establish the internal connec tion between understanding and justification that Habermas's more general project requires. However, there is an unnoticed tension between these two characteristics, since the relative autonomy of linguistic meaning from specific contexts of use appears to require that speech acts be governed by a uniform logic, and thus by a single validity claim. Key Words: communicative action • - Habermas • - pragmatics • - speech act theory • - truth • - validity claim.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/019145379802400402
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,742
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Colonization Thesis: Habermas on Reification.Timo Jütten - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):701 - 727.
Jürgen Habermas.James Bohman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Communication and Content: Circumstances and Consequences of the Habermas-Brandom Debate.Kevin Scharp - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (1):43 – 61.
Habermas's Moral Cognitivism and the Frege-Geach Challenge.James Gordon Finlayson - 2005 - European Journal of Philosophy 13 (3):319–344.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
81 ( #117,642 of 2,349,835 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #511,368 of 2,349,835 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes