Saturday, December 19, 2009

Habermas on ethics, morality and European identity


Habermas on ethics, morality and European identity
Author: Russell Keat a
Affiliation: a School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, UK


Abstract
This paper examines Habermas's theoretical account of ethical (as distinct from moral) reasoning in politics, presented in Between facts and norms, and considers its possible application to his later discussion of European identity and the need for political union to address the impact of globalisation and the threat posed by neoliberalism. It argues that this practical application of the theory point to serious defects in it: a failure to show that ethics differs from morality in being inseparable from identity, and an inability to explain how a genuinely rational debate about the specifically ethical dimensions of political issues can be conducted. It concludes by considering the relationship between Habermas's view of the place of ethics in political reasoning and debates about neutrality and perfectionism in liberal theory, including Dobson's recent argument in Supranational citizenship that different principles should operate at different levels of governance.

source

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Science as instrumental reason: Heidegger, Habermas . .

Abstract In modern continental thought, natural science is widely portrayed as an
exclusively instrumental mode of reason. The breadth of this consensus has partly
preempted the question of how it came to persuade. The process of persuasion, as it
played out in Germany, can be explored by reconstructing the intellectual exchanges
among three twentieth-century theorists of science, Heidegger, Habermas, and
Werner Heisenberg. Taking an iconic Heisenberg as a kind of limiting case of ‘‘the
scientist,’’ Heidegger and Habermas each found themselves driven to place new
constraints on their previously more capacious assessments of science, especially its
capacity to reflect on its method. Tracing how that happened, through archival and
historical contextualization and close readings of their texts, lets us make visible
Heidegger and Habermas’s intellectual affinities and argumentative parallels, which
derived not only from their shared grounding in earlier reactions against positivism,
but also from confrontation with contemporary events. The latter included, for
Heidegger, the rise of a technically powerful science exemplified by nuclear
physics, and for Habermas, post-World War II controversies over science, technology,
and their socially critical possibilities.

full article here

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Habermas’s Later Pragmatist Turn

Habermas’s Later Pragmatist Turn
By Ali Rizvi

Robert Brandom describes pragmatism “as a movement centered on the primacy of the practical.” This primacy of practice over theory is manifested in Habermas’s writings in two ways. First, it emerges in his lifelong insistence on the primacy of “know how” (what he often calls intuitive knowledge) over “know that.” This is a key Heideggerian distinction, which Habermas uses in his theoretical analyses and his formal pragmatics, as well as in developing his social theory. Second, it is manifested in Habermas’s rejection of what he calls the “spectator model” of knowledge, and his insistence that action has “cognitive” significance – in other words, that our way of acting is also our way of knowing the world. This is also derived from Heidegger’s notion of “being in the world.”

Habermas has always been a pragmatist in the senses mentioned above, but after Knowledge and Human Interest (KHI) he did not pay much attention to issues in theoretical philosophy; therefore, with his Truth and Justification (TJ) he wanted to amend this situation. In TJ, Habermas went back to revive the “weak naturalism” he espoused in KHI, and in so doing he aimed to achieve two things. First, he wished to relate his theoretical enterprise both to his formal pragmatics and to his theory of communicative action. Second, he wanted to overcome certain impasses and aporias that his theories of communicative action and social evolution face. His renewed emphasis on pragmatic themes is of crucial importance to both these endeavors.

In KHI, Habermas tried to marry Kantian transcendentalism with naturalism (in the broad sense of the term) by maintaining a distinction between “subjective/objective nature” and “nature in itself.” This, according to Habermas and his critics, led to an aporia similar to the one that Kant faced when making a distinction between “phenomenon” and “noumenon.” The aporia is this: in order to maintain the distinction between “subjective/objective nature” and “nature in itself,” it appears necessary to have a “glimpse behind the stage set by the human mind.” (TJ: 22). But to do this would be to violate the basic assumption of post metaphysics, which is something that Habermas wanted to avoid at any cost. In TJ, however, Habermas aims to show that the afore-mentioned aporia is not so much a result of attempting to marry a transcendental approach to naturalism, but is rather the result of a representationalism which must be abandoned in the wake of pragmatism. Representationalism conceives knowledge in terms of a two-way relation between subject and object, where access to what is beyond the object must be conceived in terms of a glimpse behind the constitution of the human mind. However, if knowledge is considered in pragmatic terms, and if we consequently abandon the representational model of knowledge and give action its cognitive due, we can transcend this aporia. Habermas claims that this requires the adoption of what he calls a “non-classical” form of realism.

In developing his formal pragmatics and theory of communicative action, Habermas initially tried to go beyond the representational model of knowledge, replacing the two-way model of representation with a three-way model in which an actor tries to reach an understanding with another actor about something in the world. Similarly, in his theory of communicative action, Habermas conceptualized objectivity as a condition of reaching an understanding between two or more interlocutors. However, this theory of objectivity is a far cry from our own realist intuitions about the world, and so Habermas’s renewed emphasis on pragmatism leads him to reconsider and deepen this model. The world is not only a condition of mutual understanding, but is also something we encounter in pursuing actions. We experience the resistance of reality when our plans are frustrated; we experience its cooperation when we are able to fulfil our plans of action.

The world that we experience in pursuing our material goals is beyond objectification (because objectification involves “mind” and not “being in the world” as such), and so we are able to get a “glimpse” into the existence and reality of a world beyond our “objectification,” albeit through our actions and not through our minds. This world which is beyond the world of our objectification is nothing but “nature in itself.” Thus we gain access to “nature in itself,” in this model, not on the level of perceptions of mind but through “disclosures” of action. This in turn helps us overcome the aporia mentioned above, of having to “glimpse beyond the stage set by the human mind” without having to relinquish the distinction between subjective world, objective world and nature in itself. The distinction is pertinent on the level of mind, but on the level of action we experience something which is beyond the distinctions which are made indispensible within the bounds of our mind and our language. Here, the world overwhelms us in a way, and we experience its resistance or cooperation on an immediate, direct and unmediated level.

The resistance (or cooperation) of the world that we face at the pragmatic level must also feed back to our linguistic and mental apparatus. This suggests that our mental and linguistic apparatuses have also developed under the constraints of reality, even if the constraint is an indirect one. This suggests a way out of contextualism that haunts any serious version of transcendentalism and linguistic turn. Habermas now claims that if our conceptual apparatus has developed under the constraints of reality, which has been shown to be a reality that resists us and is beyond the whims and caprice of our individual or communal desires, then we must take the continued viability of our conceptual repertoire as proof of their objectivity. This pulls the rugs from under the feet of any contextualism. However this doesn’t entail a return to conceptual realism, as the constraint on our conceptual apparatus is an indirect one and there is a certain distance between the constraints of reality and the workings of our language and our conceptual apparatus (Habermas calls it “half transcendence”). In this way, in Habermas’s “later” theoretical philosophy pragmatism plays a crucial role in combining transcendentalism and naturalism on the one hand, and realism and transcendentalism on the other.


References


Aboulafia, Mitchell, Myra Bookman and Catherine Kemp, eds, Habermas and Pragmatism (London: Routledge, 2002).

Brandom, Robert. “Pragmatics and Pragmatisms,” in Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism, eds. James Conant and Ursula M. Zeglen, 40-58 (London: Routledge, 2002).

Jürgen Habermas. Knowledge and Human Interests , trans. Jeremy J. Shapiro (London: Heinemann, 1972).

Habermas, Jürgen. “A Postscript to Knowledge and Human Interests.” Philosophy of Social Sciences 3 (1973): 157-189.

Habermas, Jürgen. On the Pragmatics of Communication, ed. Maeve Cooke (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998).

Habermas, Jürgen. On the Pragmatics of Social Interaction: Preliminary Studies in the Theory of Communicative Action, trans. Barbara Fultner (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001).

Habermas, Jürgen. “Transcendence from Within, Transcendence in this World” in Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity, 67-94, ed. Eduardo Mendieta (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002).

Habermas, Jürgen. Truth and Justification, ed. and trans. Barbara Fultner (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003).

Habermas, Jürgen. Zwischen Naturalismus und Religion: Philosophische Aufsätze (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2005). [Why no translation?]

Habermas, Jürgen. “The Language Game of Responsible Agency and the Problem of Free Will: How Can Epistemic Dualism Be Reconciled with Ontological Monism?” (trans. Joel Anderson). Philosophical Explorations: An International Journal of the Philosophy of Mind and Action 10:1 (March 2007).

McDowell, John. Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996).

McDowell, John. “Experience the World,” in Reason and Nature : Lecture and Colloquium in Münster, 1999 (Münster : LIT, 2000).

McDowell, John. “Towards Rehabilitating Objectivity,” in Robert Brandom, ed., Rorty and his Critics, 109-123 (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000).

Renn, Joachim. “One world is enough.” European Journal of Social Theory 3, 4 (2000): 485-498.

Swindal, James. “Habermas's ‘Unconditional Meaning Without God': Pragmatism, Phenomenology, and Ultimate Meaning.” Ultimate Reality and Meaning 26, 2 (2003): 126-149.

© 2009, Ali Rizvi.
[This is the English version of “Pragmatische Wende,”in Habermas-Handbuch: Leben –Werk – Wirkung, Herausgegeben von Hauke Brunkhorst, Regina Kreide und Cristina Lafont, Verlag J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart, 2009: 360-362.].

Audio with Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, Judith Butler & Cornel West

Audio with Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, Judith Butler & Cornel West from the conference on "Rethinking Secularism: The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere"
(New York University, October 22, 2009): Here

The link courtesy of Thomas

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The philosopher-citizen, by Charles Taylor

Jürgen Habermas is one of the most prominent philosophers on the global scene of the last half century. His work is of an impressive range and depth. It would be impossible to sum it up in a short essay, but I shall try to single out three facets of his extraordinary achievement which help throw light on his deserved fame and influence.(read full here)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Habermas and analytical Marxism

Habermas and analytical Marxism
Joseph Heath

University College, University of Toronto, Canada

John Roemer once described the ‘intellectual foundations’ of analytical Marxism as the recognition that, despite having a valid core, Marxism rested upon outdated social science. The solution, he believed, was to update the theory ‘using state-of-the-art methods of analytical philosophy and "positivist" social science’. If one takes this definition literally, Jürgen Habermas’ early work qualifies as that of an analytical Marxist. Yet although he developed his project in a way that was independent of the self-identified analytical Marxists, there are important points of convergence in their views. In particular, in their efforts to update Marxism, both Habermas and the analytical Marxists managed to talk themselves out of being Marxists in any recognizable sense of the term. This is a noteworthy outcome, given the differences in their points of departure. This article tracks the intellectual history of these two movements, in order to identify the tendencies that pushed this rather disparate group of theorists in the same direction.

Key Words: analytical Marxism • capitalism • egalitarianism • exploitation • functionalism • Jürgen Habermas • rational choice theory

Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 35, No. 8, 891-919 (2009)

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Philosophy of Jürgen Habermas:

The Philosophy of Jürgen Habermas
A Critical Introduction
Uwe Steinhoff


"Jürgen Habermas seeks to defend the Enlightenment and with it an <"emphatical>", <"uncurtailed>" conception of reason against the post-modern critique of reason on the one hand, and against so-called scientism (which would include critical rationalism and the greater part of analytical philosophy) on the other. His objection to the former is that it is self-contradictory and politically defeatist; his objection to the latter is that, thanks to a standard of rationality derived from the natural sciences or from Weber's concept of purposive rationality, it leaves normative questions to irrational decisions. Habermas wants to offer an alternative, trying to develop a theory of communicative action that can clarify the normative foundations of a critical theory of society as well as provide a fruitful theoretical framework for empirical social research.

This study is a comprehensive and detailed analysis and sustained critique of Habermas' philosophical system since his pragmatist turn in the seventies. It clearly and precisely depicts Habermas' long chain of arguments leading from an analysis of speech acts to a discourse theory of law and the democratic constitutional state. Along the way the study examines, among other things, Habermas' theory of communicative action, transcendental and universal pragmatics and the argument from <"performative contradictions>", discourse ethics, the consensus theory of truth, Habermas' ideas on developmental psychology, communicative pathologies and social evolution, his theory of social order, the analysis of the tensions between system and lifeworld, his theory of modernity, and his theory of deliberative democracy. For all Habermas students this study will prove indispensable."

Sample chapter

Friday, July 03, 2009

A review of The Future ofHuman Nature. byJ¨urgen Habermas

here (scroll down to read)

Critical Theory of World Risk Society: A Cosmopolitan Vision

Critical Theory of World Risk Society:
A Cosmopolitan Vision
Ulrich Beck

A critical theory of world risk society must address at least three questions: (1) What is the basis of the critique? What is “critical” about this critical theory? (The question of the normative horizon of the world risk society) (2)What are the key theses and core arguments of this theory? Is it an empirical theory of society with critical intent? (3) To what extent does this theory break with the automatisms of modernization and globalization which have taken on a life of their own and rediscover the openness of human action to the future at the beginning of the 21st century political perspectives, cosmopolitan alternatives?

free download from here

Stanford Encyclopedia entry on Max Horkheimer

here

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jürgen Habermans on Ralf Dahrendorf

German sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf died today at the age of 80. Jan Feddersen writes: "Dahrendorf was the first intellectual star of the fledging Bundesrepulik to seek and find acknowledgement abroad. He also studied in USA, received his first PhD in 1952 for a dissertation on the concept of justice in the writings of Karl Marx. In 1957 he obtained his 'habilitation' - recognition of the right to lecture in German universities - with the publication of 'Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society'. Jürgen Habermas, who celebrated his 80th birthday last week, and had been an admirer of Dahrendorf's since that time, as he admitted at Dahrendorf's birthday celebrations a few weeks ago, said: "With his constructive intellect that preferred to create clarity with idealised stylisations than to juggle with hermeneutics, Dahrendorg was remarkable for his powerful eloquence, his natural command of authority and his somewhat angular manner of speech. What singled him out from his peers was his ability to see off received ideas with avant-gardist aplomb."

from here

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sentimentality, communicative action and the social self: Adam Smith meets Jürgen Habermas

Sentimentality, communicative action and the social self: Adam Smith meets Jürgen Habermas
David Wilson
Department of Economics, Finance and International Business, London Metropolitan University, 84 Moorgate, London EC2M 6SQ, UK, d.wilson@londonmet.ac.uk

William Dixon

Department of Economics, Finance and International Business, London Metropolitan University, 84 Moorgate, London EC2M 6SQ, UK

There is a long and tortuous history of misinterpreting Smithian social theory. After rehearsing that history we offer here a way of understanding Smith that, unlike much of recent revisionist Smith scholarship, does not further add to this confusion. Our proposal is to understand the relation between moral and economic behaviour in Smith as analogous to the way in which Habermas makes strategic (and normatively oriented) behaviour parasitic on a more basic communicative competence. Given this analogy, it is ironic that Habermas's own understanding of Smith's theory also leaves much to be desired.


Key Words: economics • Jürgen Habermas • morality • sentiment • Adam Smith



History of the Human Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 3, 75-99 (2009)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Towards Reconciling Two Heroes: Habermas and Hegel

Brandom's first major (?) piece on Habermas! Can be downloaded from here

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays

Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays

Jürgen Habermas, Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays, Ciaran Cronin (trans.), Polity Press, 2008, 361pp., $26.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780745638256.

Reviewed by Jeffrey Flynn, Fordham University

Habermas's central aim in this collection of essays is to articulate the appropriate relation between "postmetaphysical thinking" and science and religion. He takes up issues related to both the philosophical and the public use of reason, and makes interesting proposals regarding their interrelation. Habermas is clearly worried about the spread of naturalistic worldviews ("scientism") and religious fundamentalism, but he dismisses neither naturalism nor religion. Rather, he defends what he calls "soft naturalism," which embraces a non-reductionist account of human language and thought in which normativity and intersubjectivity are central. Regarding religion, Habermas maintains that philosophy has long been enriched by secular "translations" of religious ideas. Moreover, he views at least "modernized" religions as allies in the public sphere in combating the effects of uncontrolled capitalist modernization and the spread of reductionistic thinking.


full here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CFP reminder: Joint Society for European Philosophy and Forum for European Philosophy 2009

This is the third and final ‘call for papers’ for the 5th Annual Joint Conference of the Society for European Philosophy and the Forum for European Philosophy at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff; Wales, 27-29 August 2009.


Keynote speakers:

Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht)
Claire Colebrook (Penn State)
Leonard Lawlor (Penn State)
Christopher Norris (Cardiff)


The SEP-FEP Joint Conference offers faculty and graduate students the
opportunity to present papers in any area of European Philosophy.
Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by 1 June 2009 to
Juliana Cardinale, either in electronic form to J.Cardinale@lse.ac.uk or
by mail to:

Forum for European Philosophy
Room J5, European Institute
Cowdray House, Portugal Street
London School of Economics, London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom


There are also two open plenary sessions:

1. The Future of Hermeneutics (Chair: Nicholas Davey, Dundee) and

2. The Role of Imagery in Ontology and Thought (Chair: Clive Cazeaux,
UWIC).

In addition, proposals relating to Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project are
especially welcome. Cardiff is a city of arcades. A work of sound art
based on Cardiff's arcades has been commissioned to accompany the
conference.

If you would be interested in participating in any of these, please
contact Clive Cazeaux by 1 June 2009 at ccazeaux@uwic.ac.uk


A prize of £250 will be awarded to the best graduate paper, as judged by
members of the SEP and FEP Committees. Graduates who would like their
papers considered for the prize should email their papers (maximum 3,000
words) as Word 2003 attachments to Clive Cazeaux at ccazeaux@uwic.ac.uk
by 3 August 2009.


Deadline summary:
Paper abstracts by 1 June 2009 to J.Cardinale@lse.ac.uk
Graduate papers in full by 3 August 2009 to ccazeaux@uwic.ac.uk

Further details, including registration and accommodation, are available
on the conference website here

New blog on Habermas and Rawls

A new exciting blog by Thomas Gregersen! According to Thomas it will bring news on the political thoughts of Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls.The blog will mainly have comments on new books and articles, and information about conferences and other events.

It will be written in both English and German.

See here

The blog will be a supplement to his Habermas website


Its Habermas bibliography and lists on secondary literature will still be updated regularly.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Habermas' acceptance speech for Brunet Prize for Human Rights 2008

Jürgen Habermas received the International Brunet Prize for Human Rights 2008 at a ceremony on May 9, 2009, in Pamplona, Spain.

Read Habermas's acceptance speech (in German) here

The link courtesy of Thomas

Friday, May 01, 2009

Morality and Critical Theory: On the Normative Problem of Frankfurt School Social Criticism

Morality and Critical Theory: On the Normative Problem of Frankfurt School Social Criticism
James Gordon Finlayson

I. The Problem of Normative Foundations: Habermas's Original Criticism of Adorno and Horkheimer: In The Theory of Communicative Action, Jürgen Habermas writes:

From the beginning, critical theory labored over the difficulty of giving an account of its own normative foundations ...1

Call this Habermas's original objection to the problem of normative foundations. It has been hugely influential both in the interpretation and assessment of Frankfurt School critical theory and in the development of later variants of it. Nowadays it is a truth almost universally acknowledged that any critical social theory in possession of normative...

full here

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bibliography of the secondary literature on Habermas

Articles and books on Jürgen Habermas 1992-2009


A bibliography of the secondary literature 1992-2009 on Jürgen Habermas is now available here



The link and info courtesy of Thomas Gregersen

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Habermas's Political Thought 1984-1996: A Historical Interpretation

In the latest issue of the journal "Modern Intellectual History" (April 2009) Matthew Specter has written a very interesting article on Habermas' s recent political thought:

The article is available here free


The link and info courtesy of Thomas Gregersen

Friday, February 20, 2009

Clarifying the Foucault—Habermas debate

Clarifying the Foucault—Habermas debate
Morality, ethics, and `normative foundations'
Matthew King

Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada


Habermas charges that Foucault's work `cannot account for its normative foundations'. Responses to Habermas have consisted mostly of, on one hand, attempts to identify foundational normative assumptions implicit in Foucault's work, and, on the other hand, attempts to show that Foucault's work discredits the very idea of normative foundations. These attempts have suffered from a lack of clarity about Habermas' notion of normative foundations. In this article I clarify the terms of the debate by considering Habermas' critique of Foucault in light of his moral philosophy. I examine three representative responses to Habermas on Foucault's behalf, which attempt to identify normative foundations in Foucault's work, and I show why none of them meets Habermas' requirements. Finally, I argue that while Foucault's political judgments cannot have normative foundations, Foucault does adhere to the principles of Habermas' discourse ethics, and his doing so does not conflict with his genealogical approach.

Key Words: cryptonormativity • discourse ethics • Michel Foucault • foundations • Jürgen Habermas • truth

from here

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Fut

Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future
Nikolas Kompridis, Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future, MIT Press, 2006, 333pp., $37.50 (hbk), ISBN 9780262112994.


Reviewed by Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame
==


The fate of reason today hangs in the balance. This is no small matter. Ever since its historical beginnings, reason or rationality has been the central focus and point of honor of Western modernity -- a focus enshrined in Descartes' cogito, Enlightenment rationalism, and Kantian (and neo-Kantian) critical philosophy. The result of this focus was an asymmetrical dichotomy: separated from the external world of "matter" (or nature), the cogito assumed the role of superior task master and overseer -- a role fueling the enterprise of modern science and technology. During the past century, the edifice of Western modernity has registered a trembling, due to both internal and external contestations. Subverting the modern asymmetry, a host of thinkers – with views ranging from American pragmatism to European life philosophy and phenomenology -- have endeavored to restore pre-cognitive "experience" (including sense perception and affect) to its rightful place. In the context of French "postmodernism," a prominent battle cry has been to dislodge "logocentrism" (the latter term often equated with anthropocentrism). In the ambiance of recent German philosophy, the battle lines have been clearly marked: pitting champions of modern rationalism, represented by Jürgen Habermas, against defenders of experiential "world disclosure," represented by Martin Heidegger. In his book, Nikolas Kompridis endeavors to shed new light on this controversy, with the aim not so much of bringing about a cease fire but of providing resources for arriving at better mutual understanding.

Kompridis does not exactly assume a position above the contestants (he repeatedly rejects the "view from nowhere"). As the book's subtitle indicates, his point of departure is "critical theory" as championed by the Frankfurt School, and his attempt is to nudge that theory beyond a certain rationalist orthodoxy in the direction of possible "future" horizons. While appreciating some of its merits -- such as the "linguistic turn" and the emphasis on "communicative" rationality -- Kompridis finds Habermas's reformulation of the Frankfurt program on the whole unhelpful and debilitating. In his words (p. 17): "For all there is to recommend it, Habermas's reformulation has produced a split between new and old critical theory so deep that the identity and future of critical theory are at risk." The main reason is that the "normative gain" deriving from the linguistic turn remains attached to narrow rationalist premises that have "needlessly devalued" the theory's potential. In Kompridis's view, Habermas's evolving thought exhibits a break or rupture (quite apart from the linguistic turn): namely, a move toward pure "theory" which happened soon after the publication of Knowledge and Human Interests. "That turn to theory," he writes (pp. 232-234), "refashioned the project of critical theory as a strenge Wissenschaft, less bound by or beholden to the historical and existential exigencies of modernity" -- thereby undermining modernity's intrinsic "relation to time." As a result of this refashioning, critical theory was catapulted in the direction of an abstractly rational universalism disdainful of cultural and practical modes of pluralism. The upshot was a growing "insensitivity to particularity," justifying the suspicion that the basic concepts of communicative rationality had from the start been "rigged in favor of the universal." But, the book adds sharply, "a provinciality-destroying reason is a meaning-destroying reason" and the latter is "a history-destroying reason."


Full here
 
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