Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Habermas and Post-Metaphysical approach.
The fundamental insight of a postmetaphysical approach is that we start from “within.” There is no way to circumvent our own way of life or form of life. We start from within our own position or situation. We are always already within our language and our own life form so there is no way to understand nature or reality from “without.” We can only understand them from within. The postmetaphysical approach starts with rejecting objectivism of the kind which purports to grasp objects from “nowhere” or “without.” In this sense “objectivism” is equal to metaphysics. This postmetaphysical stance is not just a methodological position but a certain conception of our situation in the world which is essentially based on a certain reading of the history of Western Philosophy. This postmetaphysical approach essentially rests on Kant’s transcendentalism which differentiates between “transcendental” and “empirical” and proclaims that the conditions of the possibility of experience cannot be given in experience. The upshot of such a transcendental approach is the rejection of the kind of metaphysical objectivism referred to above. Thus, Habermas’ commitment to a postmetaphysical approach implies his commitment to an essentially Kantian transcendentalism. However, Habermas takes his commitment to transcendentalism in a methodological sense since he wants to avoid Kantian idealism while adopting the postmetaphysical stance flowing from it. In this sense Habermas starts from the vantage point of Kantian transcendentalism sans his idealism in order to reconcile Kant and Darwin.