rgen Habermas both agree that all theoretical and practical determinations are normative affairs. But what grants this normative order the power to be objective ? While Brandom assumes that ever new appeals to reliable perceptual judgments and inferentialist determinations eventuate objectivity, Habermas thinks that such an objectivistic presumption fails to sustain a thoroughgoing critique of norms. He insists that Brandoms model of the determination of norms cannot transcend the limits of the given social community the actors share. Habermas thus delimits (...) an additional intersubjective space, internal to the structure of speech, by which discursive actors can distance themselves from the limits of a de facto system of norms and construct norms that have a universal extension. While pointing out that in a more recent work Brandom in fact has made a stronger case for objectivity, I explore a model that is distinct from each of their approaches: Davidsons. Davidson holds onto a causal story about rationality, while appealing to an objectivity that requires neither inferentialism nor a trans-subjective discursive space. Davidson is more sparing: he requires as the basis of the rational only the existence of another interpreter and an assumption about the basic veridicality of ones beliefs about the world. This weak naturalist move, I conclude, furnishes an adequate answer to the objectivity problem while relying upon fewer problematic assumptions about what constitutes rationality. Key Words: Robert Brandom causation Donald Davidson discourse Jürgen Habermas inferentialism normativity objectivity pragmatism triangulation. (shrink)
Jurgen Habermas, particularly in his master work Theory of Communicative Action (1981), takes us several of the basic insights of the philosophical tradition of reflection initiated by Kant, and sets it on a new and highly original emancipative path. He claims that reflection not only can determine the limits of reasoning about thought and action, but also can grasp the limits that human agents face in freeing themselves form unjust social and economic structures. Human agents can engage in constructive and (...) emancipative communication with others by determining the limits not of their own consciousness, but of the intersubjective structures shared in everyday communication. Reflection Revisited examines Habermas’ own two-stage development of this theory of emancipative reflection and explicates how he applies reflection specifically to the problems of personal identity development and ethics. (shrink)
This is the first systematic assessment of the work of J[um] rgen Habermas - the key theorist of the later Frankfurt School, whose writing has had a major impact on social theory and sociology. These four volumes comprise the key secondary literature on Habermas. Edited by David Rasmussen and James Swindal, leading commentators on Habermas's work, this will be the standard reference work on one of the canonical theorists of the 20th century. VOLUME ONE: The Foundations of Habermas's Project VOLUME (...) TWO: Law and Politics VOLUME THREE: Ethics VOLUME FOUR: Communicative Rationality, Formal Pragmatics, Speech Act Theory and Truth. (shrink)
_Ethics: Contemporary Readings_ is designed to lead any student into the subject, through carefully selected classic and contemporary articles. The book includes articles by the leading figures in the field and provides an excellent entry to the topic. The book complements Harry Gensler's _Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction_.
v. 1. The engagement with postmodernity and phenomenology. Hermeneutics and epistemology. Metaphysics -- v. 2. Normativity and reason. Discourse ethics -- v. 3. Law, democracy, and the public sphere. Cosmopolitanism and the nation state -- v. 4. Habermas and psychology. Habermas and bioethics. Habermas and feminism. Aesthetics. Habermas and religion. Habermas and science.
Introduction : action, thought, pragmatism -- Neo-pragmatism and its critics -- Methodology : reconstructive dialectics -- A history of action theory -- Defining actions -- The explanation of action -- A material explication of agency -- Agency and existence.
Joseph Heath's Communicative Action and Rational Choice stands out clearly as one of the most astute and original of the several critiques of Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action to have emerged in the last decade. Heath refrains from engaging merely in skirmishes with various details of Habermas's theory; he rather aims directly at its core issue: the critique of instrumental reason. Heath argues that Habermas's key criticism—that instrumental reason cannot account for successful communication—is not critical enough. Heath argues that (...) instrumental reason cannot account even for the successful monological action. Heath then claims that one can construct a critical rational theory without much of the problematic addenda that Habermas requires, particularly the need for a tripartite theory of validity claims. (shrink)