Critical Review 5 (2):247-260 (1991)
Thomas McCarthy has provided a trenchant critique of the deconstructionist turn in recent philosophy and has outlined a program of reconstruction in its aftermath. He develops his version of reconstructionist philosophy against the backdrop of Kant's doctrine of critical reason and the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas. However, McCarthy's reconstructionist design is not simply an appropriation and defense of Habermas. He provides a critical reformulation of the Habermasian position, deftly using Habermas against himself. The author is in accord both with McCarthy's disposition to problematize the premises of deconstruction and his call for philosophical reconstruction. In continuing the conversation, however, he distances himself farther than does McCarthy from the criteriological concept of rationality that was proposed by Kant and which continues to inform Habermas's requirement for the grounding of validity claims. In the process the author proposes a new approach to the resources of reason along the lines of what he has come to call the dynamics of transversal rationality.
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