Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Habermas’s Moral Cognitivism and the Frege-Geach Challenge

James Gordon Finlayson's above tilted article has been published by European Journal of Philosophy in its recent issue.

Its an interesting and thought provoking article (though in my opinion Finlayson gets Habermas wrong particularly on his theory of meaning). I might post some thoughts on the article in the future posts.

Gordon has kindly made available a shorter version of the article for students; it can be accessed from here

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

JOBS: La Trobe

Associate Lecturer/Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
School of Communication, Arts & Critical Enquiry
La Trobe University
Bundoora Campus (Melbourne) Australia 3086

Closing date: 23rd December 2005

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates in all areas of
Philosophy for two full-time, continuing positions (though it is likely that
one of the appointments will be offered to a specialist in ethics). The appointments may be made at any of levels A, B or C in light of qualifications and previous experience. Remuneration package of:

Level A - $47,981 to $65,114 per annum;
Level B - $68,543 to $81,395 per annum;
Level C - $83,963 to $96,816 per annum, which includes 17% employer superannuation.

The Program in Philosophy at La Trobe has a distinguished history and expects the new appointees to make distinguished contributions not only to the Program but to the discipline as well. Information about the Program can be found at here or by contacting the
Coordinator of the Program, Robert Young (via email at or phone on 61 3 9479 2424).

There are six other universities located in Melbourne, several of whom offer Philosophy, so there is a significant concentration of members of the profession. The University occupies a fine campus in Melbourne and offers an excellent work environment.

Applicants must obtain details of how to apply by visiting our website
,email, or telephone (03) 9479 1365, quoting position number 50016139. La Trobe University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Update: Deadline extended, new Deadline: 13.01.2006

Habermas on Analytic and continental divide

There is yet another 'debate' about continental analytic divide here. This reminded me of Habermas' lecture on the topic where he analyses parallels and contrasts between the analytic and hermeneutic interpretation of the so called linguistic turn. The whole lecture is worth reading. It is now included as the first chapter of Habermas' Truth and Justification. Habermas on the whole thinks that the so called divide between analytic and continental philosophy is obsolete (underestimation to say the least!). However Habermas thinks that the divide has relevance in one crucial aspect. It is worth quoting Habermas on this point:

“I have yet to mention the most salient and striking difference between the hermeneutic and the analytic tradition. Since analytic philosophy of language more or less confines itself to issue it has inherited from the epistemological tradition, it lacks a certain sensibility for as well as the tools for dealing with the looser and larger issues of a diagnostics of an era. Since Hegel, the philosophical discourse of modernity has, therefore, been the domain of so-called continental philosophy. In this regard, the opposition between analytic and continental currents, which has otherwise become obsolete, still somewhat makes sense. Even Wittgenstein’s reflections on technology, his skepticism about progress, his loathing of sociology, the contrast of “culture” and “civilizaiton,” . . . still are of a rather private and ornamental nature and, in any case, do not affect the structure of his inimitable philosophical work.

For Heidegger, in contrast, cultural criticism is a pervasive feature of his entire philosophy. The author of Being and Time already brings together Aristotle and Kierkegaard, pre-Kantian metaphysics and post-Kantian ethics in grand posture of a critic of his time.” (TJ: 77-78).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Modernization, Rights, and Democratic Society: The Limits of Habermas’s Democratic Theory

by Jeff Noonan
Abstract "Jürgen Habermas’s discourse-theoretic reconstruction of the normative foundations of democracy assumes the formal separation of democratic political practice from the economic system. Democratic autonomy presupposes a vital public sphere protected by a complex schedule of individual rights. These rights are supposed to secure the formal and material conditions for democratic freedom. However, because Habermas argues that the economy must be left to function according to endogenous market dynamics, he accepts as a condition of democracy (the formal separation of spheres) a social structure that is in fact anti-democratic. The value of self-determination that Habermas’s theory of democracy presupposes is contradicted by the actual operations of capitalist markets. Further democratic development demands that the steering mechanisms of the capitalist market be challenged by self-organizing civic movements."

from here
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