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 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,

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

If you would be interested in participating in any of these, please
contact Clive Cazeaux by 1 June 2009 at

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
by 3 August 2009.

Deadline summary:
Paper abstracts by 1 June 2009 to
Graduate papers in full by 3 August 2009 to

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
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