Monday, January 31, 2005

natura naturans in early and later Habermas: A comparison

Habermas: (in PT)

“It seems to me that it has been clear since Marx that the normative content of modernity can be taken up and preserved even and especially under materialist premises.’

““Nature in itself” does not coincide with objectivated nature. What Marx had in mind is the emergence in natural history of the sociocultural form of life of Homo sapiens, which goes beyond physically objectified nature to conceptually include, as it were, a piece of natura naturans.” (p. 20)

Dews’ comments on the above:

“Habermas’s gesture towards the double terminology of natura naturata and natura naturans is as surprising as it is illuminating.”(The Limits of Disenchantment Essays on Contemporary European Philosophy p. 161).

Habermas again (in KHI):

“Marx in the idealist tradition tacitly retained synthesis as a point of reference: the synthesis of a portion of subjective nature with nature that is objective for it, while the contingent conditions of synthesis point to a nature in itself that has been disclosed. “Nature in Itself” is a construction. It designates natura naturans that has created both subjective nature and what confronts it as objective nature. But it does so in such a way that we, as knowing subjects, in principle cannot take up a position outside of or “beneath” the cleavage of “nature in itself” into a subjective and objective nature.” (p. 286).

My question:

Compare what Habermas says in PT and KHI and try to figure out what is surprising in his recent formulation, i.e. in PT.

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