Transcendental Pragmatics and Discourse Ethics. Elements and Perspectives of Apel's Discourse-Philosophy. The author follows Apel's intellectual biography and shows the conception of a critique of meaning qua ‘reflection upon the discourse within the discourse’ to be the centre of Apel's language-pragmatic ‘Transformation of Philosophy’. Beginning with an explication of the situation of a speaker/thinker, especially of the situation of a philosophising speaker/thinker, Apel reconstructs a two fold apriori of communication: Every thought is situated within the context of a particular, historically (...) evolved, community of language and interaction. At the same time, however, the validity-claims of thoughts transcend the context of their origin towards an unlimited community of argumentation. On the basis of the first apriori Apel criticises the methodical solipsism as well as the objectivism of modern philosophy and theory of science. Drawing upon the second apriori he develops a universalist critique of meaning of relativism and contextualism. In the sixties and seventies Apel worked out a differentiated theory of the – more or less – communicatively cognizing humanities and set it apart from the theory of the causal-explanatory natural sciences, thus challenging the objectivism of a Theory of Unified Science. Building upon this work Transcendental Pragmatics, as developed by Apel and others, sets philosophy primarily two tasks: firstly, a internal reconstruction of argumentative discourse as the situation of speech and thought which seeks to elucidate the conditions of the meaningfulness, i. e. the presuppositions, of discourse. These presuppositions comprise, thus Apel with Habermas, the four validity-claims to intelligibility, sincerety/credibility, truth and normative rightness/legitimacy. Their moral content consists, thus Apel, not only in the recognition of the equality of all beings capable of discursive reasoning but also in their recognition of a co-responsibility for the realizability of discourses and of responsibility. The author argues that the existence of a co-responsibility of this kind is indisputable because the discursive claims to validity are intertwined with a set of ‘primordial promises of dialogue’. Only with the elucidation and explication of these promises can the reconstruction of the internal conditions of discourse be completed.The second task of a pragmatics of argumentation isthe strict resp. actual reflection of the thinker upon the presuppositions of the discourse in which he currently engages. This reflection has a Socratic character and can only be done in the form of discussion and debate with critics of the reconstruction. In this context, the author proposes a method of Socratic reflection upon the presuppositions of dialogue which suspends the usual, theoretically oriented, attitude of the scientist and the philosopher in favour of an actual reflective attitude. Within a dialogue with a sceptic who doubts one of the results of the internal reconstruction of dialogical presuppositions, say X, it is tested whether his doubt as to the unrestricted validity of X can be understood as a sincere contribution to the current dialogue or whether this particular sceptical thesis does not make sense, because it is incompatible with the role of a sincere participant of argumentation which, after all, the sceptic cannot refuse to claim for himself.Finally the author explains Apel's characterization of the tension between “Discourse and Responsibility”. In the course of discussions with Max Weber, Lawrence Kohlberg, Hans Jonas et al., Apel formulates and justifies an ethics of responsibility and gives an affirmative answer to the crucial question of whether the fulfilment of the moral obligations connected with the recognition of co-responsibility can be demanded within the non-dialogical circumstances of social reality. Apel's answer employs the idea of counter-strategies which are morally legitimate in virtue of their being worthy of argumentative consensus. (shrink)
Summary It is argued that the âpragmatic turn represented by Kuhn's work constitutes a modification but not a change of the paradigm of âanalytic philosophy of science. To show this, that paradigm (P) is reconstructed in terms of five programmatic schemata of knowledge production.