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ERIC Number: ED312699
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Pages: 33
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Habermas on Habermas: The Perils of Communicative Action in Our Postmodern World.
Gander, Eric M.
This paper discusses the theories of Jurgen Habermas, one of the most influential and prolific constructive philosophers of the past quarter century, with the purpose of showing why Habermas' goal to uncover the inherent aspects of language which make possible communication is unattainable. The paper argues that the very self-referentiality implied by any discussion of language renders impossible any certain knowledge of the subject. In the first section, the paper locates Habermas within a tradition stretching from the Enlightenment to the present, and sketches the way in which his theory is tied up with a conception of human nature which privileges rationality. The next section explicates Habermas' theory, with some marginal comments which are intended to serve both as limited critiques and as points of clarification. In the paper's third section, the central critique of Habermas' theory is developed, attempting to demonstrate the impossibility of "rationally" reconstructing the universal conditions of understanding, since the results of a seemingly rational analysis are always already interpreted within language. Twenty-two notes are included. (SR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A