Saturday, October 06, 2007

The limits of dialogical rationality


Dialogical rationality or dialogical modes of understanding are normally considered to be the preferred modes of understanding the “other,” be that other a culture or another mode of thinking. However, I will argue that the dialogical model of understanding is most efficient in the cases where we have considerable amount of background consensus, i.e., where we are not dealing with the other what’s “our” own. I will argue that the dialogical model is least efficient when it comes to understanding the other. I shall bring home this point by concentrating on the works of Habermas and Foucault (with occasional references to Gadamer). I shall not be arguing that dialogical mode of understanding is totally irrelevant for understanding the other. However, what I will argue is that it give little or no access when it comes to the crunch issues (the issues that with the “otherness” of the other.)

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