Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The practices of theorists: Habermas and Foucault as public intellectuals

The practices of theorists: Habermas and Foucault as public intellectuals
Thomas Biebricher
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt,

The scholarly works of Jürgen Habermas and Michel Foucault have been subject to ongoing scrutiny for a number of decades. However, less attention has been given to their activities as public intellectuals and the relation between these and their philosophical and theoretical projects. Drawing on their own conceptualization of the role of the intellectual, the article aims to illuminate these issues by examining Habermas’ advocacy of a ‘Core Europe’ and his defense of NATO bombardments in Kosovo in 1999 as well as Foucault’s involvement with the Groupe d’Information des Prisons (GIP) and a wide variety of his interviews, op-ed articles, etc. In showing that the intellectuals’ views differ in important ways from those of the scholars but nevertheless inhabit a crucial position in the overall edifice of their oeuvres, the article concludes that the practices of theorists deserve more attention for a comprehensive and more nuanced account of their thought.
from here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth

Habermas is mentioned in this piece in NYT, reporting cognitive research on reasoning and argumentation by two French researchers:

"Because “individual reasoning mechanisms work best when used to produce and evaluate arguments during a public deliberation,” Mr. Mercier and Ms. Landemore, as a practical matter, endorse the theory of deliberative democracy, an approach that arose in the 1980s, which envisions cooperative town-hall-style deliberations. Championed by the philosophers John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas, this sort of collaborative forum can overcome the tendency of groups to polarize at the extremes and deadlock, Ms. Landemore and Mr. Mercier said."
full here
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