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ERIC Number: ED458646
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Critical Theory & Textual Arguments: Expanding Habermas's Analysis of Literary Claims.
Stroud, Scott R.
Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action has held much promise for critical theory and its examination of the structure of society. This theory, however, has been accused by some as being limited in regard to other forms of discourse, especially fictional, mythical, and religious texts. Habermas has argued that literature (i.e., fictive narrative) is fundamentally different from scientific and philosophical texts. For him, the intersubjective "force" of the communicative acts committed within the fictional narrative remain binding only within its borders--the reader is not obligated to take a position on the validity claims being advanced within the story. This paper focuses on Habermas's thought on narrative discourse in general, arguing that his analysis of its argumentative power is too limited. Drawing on insights within Paul Ricoeur's notion of the world-projection that texts open the auditor to, the paper first notes how narratives can place the reader in a novel's lifeworld, thus forcing certain claims about this possible world and its composition onto the reader's judgmental shoulders. Insights from Walter Fisher's theory of narrative are then used to expand Habermas's notion of literary argument, illustrating that the audience is aptly interested in evaluating the values and motives for action and belief that the narrative offers. (Includes 34 notes.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A