It will sound strange to many ears but Habermas like Foucault can be regarded as a philosopher of the present. Habermas’ aim is to:
• Understand the present reality in its diversity and in its multifacetedness.
• Analyse the reality (both factually and normatively) and try to understand what is wrong with our situation (and of course what is not wrong).
• The assessment must be based on principles (It cannot be arbitrary).
• However the principles are not eternal (they are things of this word). The principles must be tested by confronting them against the counter arguments and confronting them with the reality itself.
• By the above procedure the principles prove their worth and to the extent they prove their worth they are entitled to “objectivity” (and they attain cognitive status).
• The assessment must be both factual and normative.
• The factual and normative analysis should give us a map of the present possibilities in terms of (a) who are we? (b) what is right and what is intolerable in our situation (c) what are the possibilities, what are the alternatives that are factually possible and normatively desirable. (d) what can be done and what should be done.
• Our assessment of our present situation (both factually and normatively) must lead to a reconstitution of the present.