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


aqil said...

hi brother, im a big fan of habermas. thanks for your good writing in this blog. very useful. now im going to further study on habermas, specifically his thought on religion and public sphere. do you know, where is the best place (and the right supervisor too) for this study?

thanks in advance.

aqil fithri, malaysia

Ali Rizvi said...

Hi aqil,

I'll recommend Maeve Cooke. See her homepage here for further ifo,


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