Sunday, January 08, 2006

Habermas' notion of truth

"he [Habermas] attempts to develop an account of truth that does not imply that truth is “absolute” or transcendent—i.e., valid for all people and all societies at all times. His “discourse” theory of truth is based on the observation that communication, unlike other forms of human action, is oriented toward “consent” rather than “success,” in that it aims to achieve mutual understanding rather to change or master some aspect of the world. The process of constructing such an understanding, however, requires that each individual assume that the utterances of the other are for the most part “true,” and that the other can provide reasons to support the truth of his utterances should he be called upon to do so. The notion of truth is thus not a metaphysical fiction but a regulative ideal that makes communication possible."


Two quick comments:

the above only describes Habermas' discourse theory of truth which he has already abandoned.

also it should be noted that for Habermas 'absolute' and 'transcendent' mean different things. Absolute means the claim to truth are not limited to particular spaces and times, however transcendent means something which is not this worldly and which is not affected by space and time, like Kant's realm of pure intelligibility.

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