The Philosophy of Jurgen Habermas: A Critical Introduction

Hardcover | June 15, 2009

byUwe Steinhoff

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Jurgen Habermas seeks to defend the Enlightenment and with it an "emphatical, "uncurtailed"conception of reason against the post-modern critique of reason on the one hand, and against so-called scientism (which would include critical rationalism and the greater part of analytical philosophy)on the other. His objection to the former is that it is self-contradictory and politically defeatist; his objection to the latter is that, thanks to a standard of rationality derived from the natural sciences or from Weber's concept of purposive rationality, it leaves normative questions toirrational decisions. Habermas wants to offer an alternative, trying to develop a theory of communicative action that can clarify the normative foundations of a critical theory of society as well as provide a fruitful theoretical framework for empirical social research.This study is a comprehensive and detailed analysis and sustained critique of Habermas' philosophical system since his pragmatist turn in the seventies. It clearly and precisely depicts Habermas' long chain of arguments leading from an analysis of speech acts to a discourse theory of law and thedemocratic constitutional state. Along the way the study examines, among other things, Habermas' theory of communicative action, transcendental and universal pragmatics and the argument from "performative contradictions, discourse ethics, the consensus theory of truth, Habermas' ideas ondevelopmental psychology, communicative pathologies and social evolution, his theory of social order, the analysis of the tensions between system and lifeworld, his theory of modernity, and his theory of deliberative democracy. For all Habermas students this study will prove indispensable.

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Jurgen Habermas seeks to defend the Enlightenment and with it an "emphatical, "uncurtailed"conception of reason against the post-modern critique of reason on the one hand, and against so-called scientism (which would include critical rationalism and the greater part of analytical philosophy)on the other. His objection to the former is ...

Uwe Steinhoff studied philosophy, psychology and politics in Frankfurt a.M., Berlin and Wurzburg. He is the author of On the Ethics of War and Terrorism and of Effiziente Ethik: Uber Rationalitat, Selbsterschaffung, Politik und Postmoderne as well as of articles on ethics, political philosophy, epistemology and postmodernism. He is As...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:June 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199547807

ISBN - 13:9780199547807

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. "Communicative"vs. purposive rationality2. The justification of discourse ethics3. The failure of discourse ethics and the theory of communicative action in their attempted empirical demonstration and application to politics, law and societyConclusionAppendixNotesReferencesIndex