Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Philosophical Foundations of Habermas’ Critique of Particularistic Liberalism


Jürgen Habermas has emerged as a sharp, and occasionally harsh, critic of the Bush administration’s policies since the Iraq war. Habermas has developed this critique in several of his short pieces and interviews, some of which are available in fine collections in both English and other languages. However, the occasional and journalistic character of Habermas’ political interventions often hide the theoretical basis of his critique. In this paper, I argue that Habermas’ critique of the Bush administration’s foreign policy emanates from, and is founded upon, his conception of modernity, and specifically his views about the relationship between “particularity” and “generality.” The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how Habermas’ critique can actually be read as a critique of particularism, which Habermas sees operating behind American (and British) foreign policy, and which, in his view, compromises the key achievements of modernity (especially in its Kantian version.)

read full paper here (pdf)


gary e. davis said...

Ali, you may believe it's humility that keeps you from making note of your paper to the 200+ subscribers to the Yahoo! Habermas group, but it could be a kind of closet vanity. Anyway, I'm glad to see your paper online and hope you're going well.

Ali Rizvi said...

Gary, no, it's just didn't occur to me. You may post to the group if you think some people might be interested. Hope you're well and flourishing.

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