Habermas and validity claims
Jari I. Niemi
Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Indiana, USA
At the heart of Jürgen Habermas’s explication of communicative rationality is the contention that all speech acts oriented to understanding raise three different kinds of validity claims simultaneously: claims to truth, truthfulness, and normative rightness. This paper argues that Habermas presents exactly three distinct, logically independent arguments for his simultaneity thesis: an argument from structure; an argument from criticizability/rejectability; and an argument from understanding/reaching understanding. It is further maintained that the simultaneity thesis receives cogent support only from the Argument from understanding/reaching understanding, and only if the notion of ‘understanding’ is expanded to that of ‘agreement’."