Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Transcendnetal consciousness and Nature

“. . . Habermas’ attempt to quarantine the need for a ground in nature to the prehistory of transcendental consciousness is overwritten by three related factors. Firstly, there is the need to supplement our knowledge of nature with a reflection that is not necessarily subject to the technical interest of prediction and control. Secondly, in order to explain the immanent facticity of nature there is admission that nature is disclosed within language. And thirdly, there is the argument derived from Frank that it is the irreducibility of world-disclosure that institutes and maintains the movement towards intersubjective consensus within language. The combined force of these factors is to suggest that not only can an adequate understanding of nature not be confined to any single language practice, but also that nature is an irreducible, immanent, and productive presence within language. If this is the case, then the indefinite deferral of the need to address the issue of ultimate foundations, [which is supposedly required to enable a post-metaphysical quasi-transcendental philosophy such as Habermas’ to focus on issues that can be agreed upon], cannot be justified as these foundations in the form of nature permeate language in a way that disrupts the supposed internality of language. And if the internality of language cannot be maintained, then the question of ultimate foundations cannot be legitimately quarantined from rational discourse.”
"Habermas, Schelling and Nature" in Critical Theory After Habermas

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