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Jürgen Habermas
Full name Jürgen Habermas
Born June 18, 1929 (1929-06-18) (age 80)
Era 20th century
Region Western Philosophy
School Continental philosophy
Main interests Social Theory · Epistemology
Political theory · Pragmatics
Notable ideas Communicative rationality
Discourse ethics
Deliberative democracy
Universal pragmatics
Communicative action
Public Sphere

Jürgen Habermas (English pronunciation: /ˈjɜrɡən/ or /ˈjʊərɡən ˈhɑːbərmɑːs/,[1] German: [ˈjʏʁɡən ˈhaːbɐmaːs]; born June 18, 1929) is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his work on the concept of the public sphere, the topic of his first book entitled The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. His work focuses on the foundations of social theory and epistemology, the analysis of advanced capitalistic societies and democracy, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, and contemporary politics—particularly German politics. Habermas's theoretical system is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, and rational-critical communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and pursue rational interests. Habermas is known for his work on the concept of modernity, particularly with respect to the discussions of "rationalization" originally set forth by Max Weber. Whilst influenced by American pragmatism, structural functionalism, and even poststructuralism, many of the central tenets of Habermas' thought remain broadly Marxist in nature.

Contents

Biography

Born in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1929, to a middle class and rather traditional family, Habermas came of age in postwar Germany. In his early teens, during World War II, Habermas was profoundly affected by the war. The Nuremberg Trials were a key formative moment that brought home to him the depth of Germany's moral and political failure under National Socialism.

Until his graduation from gymnasium, Habermas lived in Gummersbach, near Cologne. His father, Ernst Habermas, was executive director of the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and was described by Habermas as a Nazi sympathizer. He was brought up in a staunchly Protestant milieu, his grandfather being the director of the seminary in Gummersbach. He studied at the universities of Göttingen (1949/50), Zürich (1950/51), and Bonn (1951–54) and earned a doctorate in philosophy from Bonn in 1954 with a dissertation written on the conflict between the absolute and history in Schelling's thought, entitled, Das Absolute und die Geschichte. Von der Zwiespältigkeit in Schellings Denken ("The absolute and history: on the schism in Schelling's thought"). His dissertation committee included Erich Rothacker and Oskar Becker.

From 1956 on, he studied philosophy and sociology under the critical theorists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main Institute for Social Research, but because of a rift between the two over his dissertation—Horkheimer had made unacceptable demands for revision—as well as his own belief that the Frankfurt School had become paralyzed with political skepticism and disdain for modern culture—he finished his habilitation in political science at the University of Marburg under the Marxist Wolfgang Abendroth. His habilitation work was entitled, Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit; Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der Bürgerlichen Gesellschaft (published in English translation in 1989 as The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: an Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society). In 1961, he became a privatdozent in Marburg, and—in a move that was highly unusual for the German academic scene of that time—he was offered the position of "extraordinary professor" (professor without chair) of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg (at the instigation of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl Löwith) in 1962, which he accepted. In this same year he gained his first serious public attention, in Germany, with the publication of his habilitation, Strukturwandel der Offentlichkeit (Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere; English ed., 1989), a detailed social history of the development of the bourgeois public sphere from its origins in the 18th century salons up to its transformation through the influence of capital-driven mass media. In 1964, strongly supported by Adorno, Habermas returned to Frankfurt to take over Horkheimer's chair in philosophy and sociology. The philosopher Albrecht Wellmer was his assistant in Frankfurt from 1966 to 1970.

He accepted the position of Director of the Max Planck Institute in Starnberg (near Munich) in 1971, and worked there until 1983, two years after the publication of his magnum opus, The Theory of Communicative Action.

Habermas then returned to his chair at Frankfurt and the directorship of the Institute for Social Research. Since retiring from Frankfurt in 1993, Habermas has continued to publish extensively. In 1986, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is the highest honour awarded in German research. He also holds the uncharacteristically postmodern position of "Permanent Visiting" Professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and "Theodor Heuss Professor" at The New School, New York.

Habermas was awarded The Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences of 2003. Habermas was also the 2004 Kyoto Laureate in the Arts and Philosophy section. He traveled to San Diego and on March 5, 2005, as part of the University of San Diego's Kyoto Symposium, gave a speech entitled The Public Role of Religion in Secular Context, regarding the evolution of separation of Church and State from neutrality to intense secularism. He received the 2005 Holberg International Memorial Prize (about € 520,000). In 2007, Habermas was listed as the 7th most-cited author in the humanities (including the social sciences) by The Times Higher Education Guide, ahead of Max Weber and behind Erving Goffman.[2]

Teacher and mentor

Habermas is a famed teacher and mentor. Among his most prominent students were the pragmatic philosopher Herbert Schnädelbach (theorist of discourse distinction and rationality), the political sociologist Claus Offe (professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin) , the social philosopher Johann Arnason (professor at La Trobe University and chief editor of the journal Thesis Eleven), the sociological theorist Hans Joas (professor at the University of Erfurt and at the University of Chicago), the theorist of societal evolution Klaus Eder, the social philosopher Axel Honneth (the current director of the Institute for Social Research), the anarcho-capitalist philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the American philosopher Thomas McCarthy, the co-creator of mindful inquiry in social research Jeremy J. Shapiro, and the assassinated Serbian prime minister Zoran Đinđić.

Theory

Habermas has constructed a comprehensive framework of social theory and philosophy drawing on a number of intellectual traditions:

Jürgen Habermas considers his major contribution to be the development of the concept and theory of communicative reason or communicative rationality, which distinguishes itself from the rationalist tradition by locating rationality in structures of interpersonal linguistic communication rather than in the structure of either the cosmos or the knowing subject. This social theory advances the goals of human emancipation, while maintaining an inclusive universalist moral framework. This framework rests on the argument called universal pragmatics - that all speech acts have an inherent telos (the Greek word for "end") — the goal of mutual understanding, and that human beings possess the communicative competence to bring about such understanding. Habermas built the framework out of the speech-act philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, and John Searle, the sociological theory of the interactional constitution of mind and self of George Herbert Mead, the theories of moral development of Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg, and the discourse ethics of his Heidelberg colleague Karl-Otto Apel.

Habermas's works resonate within the traditions of Kant and the Enlightenment and of democratic socialism through his emphasis on the potential for transforming the world and arriving at a more humane, just, and egalitarian society through the realization of the human potential for reason, in part through discourse ethics. While Habermas has stated that the Enlightenment is an "unfinished project," he argues it should be corrected and complemented, not discarded. In this he distances himself from the Frankfurt School, criticizing it, as well as much of postmodernist thought, for excessive pessimism, misdirected radicalism and exaggerations.

Within sociology, Habermas's major contribution was the development of a comprehensive theory of societal evolution and modernization focusing on the difference between communicative rationality and rationalization on the one hand and strategic/instrumental rationality and rationalization on the other. This includes a critique from a communicative standpoint of the differentiation-based theory of social systems developed by Niklas Luhmann, a student of Talcott Parsons.

His defence of modernity and civil society has been a source of inspiration to others, and is considered a major philosophical alternative to the varieties of poststructuralism. He has also offered an influential analysis of late capitalism.

Habermas perceives the rationalization, humanization, and democratization of society in terms of the institutionalization of the potential for rationality that is inherent in the communicative competence that is unique to the human species. Habermas contends that communicative competence has developed through the course of evolution, but in contemporary society it is often suppressed or weakened by the way in which major domains of social life, such as the market, the state, and organizations, have been given over to or taken over by strategic/instrumental rationality, so that the logic of the system supplants that of the lifeworld.

Reconstructive science

Habermas introduces the concept of “reconstructive science” with a double purpose: to place the “general theory of society” between philosophy and social science and re-establish the rift between the “great theorization” and the “empirical research”. The model of “rational reconstructions” represents the main thread of the surveys about the “structures” of the world of life (“culture”, “society” and “personality”) and their respective “functions” (cultural reproductions, social integrations and socialization). For this purpose, the dialectics between “symbolic representation” of “the structures subordinated to all worlds of life” (“internal relationships”) and the “material reproduction” of the social systems in their complex (“external relationships” between social systems and environment) has to be considered. This model finds an application, above all, in the “theory of the social evolution”, starting from the reconstruction of the necessary conditions for a phylogeny of the socio-cultural life forms (the “hominization”) until an analysis of the development of “social formations”, which Habermas subdivides into primitive, traditional, modern and contemporary formations. This paper is an attempt, primarily, to formalize the model of “reconstruction of the logic of development” of “social formations” summed up by Habermas through the differentiation between vital world and social systems (and, within them, through the “rationalization of the world of life” and the “growth in complexity of the social systems”). Secondly, it tries to offer some methodological clarifications about the “explanation of the dynamics” of “historical processes” and, in particular, about the “theoretical meaning” of the evolutional theory’s propositions. Even if the German sociologist considers that the “ex-post rational reconstructions” and “the models system/environment” cannot have a complete “historiographical application”, these certainly act as a general premise in the argumentative structure of the “historical explanation”.

(Abstract of Luca Corchia, Explicative models of complexity. The reconstructions of social evolution for Jürgen Habermas, in S. Balbi - G. Scepi - G. Russolillo - A. Stawinoga (eds.), Book of Short Abstracts, 7th International Conference on Social Science Methodology - RC33 - Logic and Methodology in Sociology, Napoli, Italia, 9.2008, Jovene Editore, 2008.

The public sphere

In The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere Jürgen Habermas developed the influential concept of the public sphere, which emerged in the 18th century in Europe as a space of critical discussion, open to all, where private people came together to form a public whose "public reason" would work as a check on state power. Habermas argues that prior to the 18th century, European culture had been dominated by a "representational" culture, where one party sought to "represent" itself on its audience by overwhelming its subjects.[3] As an example of "representational" culture, Habermas argued that Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles was meant to show the greatness of the French state and its King by overpowering the senses of visitors to the Palace.[4] Habermas identifies "representational" culture as corresponding to the feudal stage of development according to Marxist theory, arguing that the coming of the capitalist stage of development marked the appearance of Öffentlichkeit (the public sphere).[5] In the culture characterized by Öffentlichkeit, there occurred a public space outside of the control by the state, where individuals exchanged views and knowledge.[6] In Habermas's view, the growth in newspapers, journals, reading clubs, Masonic lodges, and coffee-houses in 18th century Europe, all in different ways, marked the gradual replacement of "representational" culture with Öffentlichkeit culture.[7] Habermas argued that the essential characteristic of the Öffentlichkeit culture was its "critical" nature.[7] Unlike "representational" culture where only one party was active and the other passive, the Öffentlichkeit culture was characterized by a dialogue as individuals either met in conversation, or exchanged views via the print media.[7] Habermas maintains that as Britain was the most liberal country in Europe, the culture of the public sphere emerged there first around 1700, and the growth of Öffentlichkeit culture took place over most of the 18th century in Continental Europe.[7] In his view, the French Revolution was in large part caused by the collapse of "representational" culture, and its replacement by Öffentlichkeit culture.[7] Though Habermas' main concern in The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere was to expose what he regarded as the deceptive nature of free institutions in the West, his book had a major effect on the historiography of the French Revolution.[5]

According to Habermas, a variety of factors resulted in the eventual decay of the public sphere, including the growth of a commercial mass media, which turned the critical public into a passive consumer public; and the welfare state, which merged the state with society so thoroughly that the public sphere was squeezed out. It also turned the "public sphere" into a site of self-interested contestation for the resources of the state rather than a space for the development of a public-minded rational consensus.

In his magnum opus Theory of Communicative Action (1981) he criticized the one-sided process of modernization led by forces of economic and administrative rationalization. Habermas traces the growing intervention of formal systems in our everyday lives as parallel to development of the welfare state, corporate capitalism and the culture of mass consumption. These reinforcing trends rationalize widening areas of public life, submitting them to a generalizing logic of efficiency and control. As routinized political parties and interest groups substitute for participatory democracy, society is increasingly administered at a level remote from input of citizens. As a result, boundaries between public and private, the individual and society, the system and the lifeworld are deteriorating. Democratic public life only thrives where institutions enable citizens to debate matters of public importance. He describes an ideal type of "ideal speech situation",[8] where actors are equally endowed with the capacities of discourse, recognize each other's basic social equality and speech is undistorted by ideology or misrecognition. In this version of the consensus theory of truth Habermas maintains that truth is what would be agreed upon in an ideal speech situation.

Habermas has expressed optimism about the possibility of the revival of the public sphere. He discerns a hope for the future in the new era of political community that transcends the nation-state based on ethnic and cultural likeness for one based on the equal rights and obligations of legally vested citizens. This deliberative theory of democracy requires a political community which can collectively define its political will and implement it as policy at the level of the legislative system. This political system requires an activist public sphere, where matters of common interest and political issues can be discussed, and the force of public opinion can influence the decision-making process.

Several noted academics have provided various criticisms of Habermas's notions regarding the public sphere. John B. Thompson, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Jesus College[9], has pointed out that Habermas's notion of the public sphere is antiquated due to the proliferation of mass-media communications. Michael Schudson from the University of California, San Diego argues more generally that a public sphere as a place of purely rational independent debate never existed.

Habermas versus Postmodernists

Habermas offered some early criticisms in an essay, "Modernity versus Postmodernity" (1981), which has achieved wide recognition. In that essay, Habermas raises the issue of whether, in light of the failures of the twentieth century, we "should try to hold on to the intentions of the Enlightenment, feeble as they may be, or should we declare the entire project of modernity a lost cause?"[10] Habermas refuses to give up on the possibility of a rational, "scientific" understanding of the life-world.

Habermas has several main criticisms of postmodernism.

  • First, the postmodernists are equivocal about whether they are producing serious theory or literature.
  • Second, Habermas feels that the postmodernists are animated by normative sentiments but the nature of those sentiments is concealed from the reader.
  • Third, Habermas accuses postmodernism of being a totalizing perspective that fails "to differentiate phenomena and practices that occur within modern society"[10].
  • Lastly, Habermas asserts that postmodernists ignore that which Habermas finds absolutely central - namely, everyday life and its practices.

Important Transitional Works

In the period between Knowledge and Human Interest and The Theory of Communicative Action, Habermas began to develop a distinctive method for elaborating the relationship between a theoretical social science of modern societies, on the one hand, and the normative and philosophical basis for critique, on the other. Following Horkheimer's definition of critical theory, Habermas pursued three aims in his attempt to combine social science and philosophical analysis: it must be explanatory, practical, and normative. This meant that philosophy could not become the sole basis for normative reflection. Rather, Habermas argued, adequate critique requires a thoroughgoing cooperation between philosophy and social science.

In this transitional phase from Knowledge and Human Interest to The Theory of Communicative Action, Habermas's basic philosophical endeavor was to develop a more modest, fallibilist, empirical account of the philosophical claim to universality and rationality.

Key Dialogues

Historikerstreit (Historians' Quarrel)

Habermas is famous as a public intellectual as well as a scholar; most notably, in the 1980s he used the popular press to attack the German historians Ernst Nolte, Michael Stürmer, Klaus Hildebrand and Andreas Hillgruber. Habermas first expressed his views on the above-mentioned historians in the Die Zeit (literally The Times) newspaper on July 11, 1986 in a feuilleton (opinion piece) entitled “A Kind of Settlement of Damages”. Habermas criticized Nolte, Hildebrand, Stürmer and Hillgruber for “apologistic” history writing in regards to the Nazi era, and for seeking to “close Germany’s opening to the West” that in Habermas’s view had existed since 1945.[11] He argued that they had tried to detach Nazi rule and the Holocaust from the mainstream of German history, explain away Nazism as a reaction to Bolshevism, and partially rehabilitate the reputation of the Wehrmacht (German Army) during World War II. Habermas wrote that Stürmer was trying to create a "vicarious religion" in German history which together with the work of Hillgruber glorifying the last days of the German Army on the Eastern Front was intended to serve as a "...kind of NATO philosophy colored with German nationalism"[12] The so-called Historikerstreit ("Historians' Quarrel") was not at all one-sided, because Habermas was himself attacked by scholars like Joachim Fest[13], Hagen Schulze[14], Horst Möller[15], Imanuel Geiss[16] and Klaus Hildebrand[17] In turn, Habermas was supported by historians such as Martin Broszat[18], Eberhard Jäckel[19], Hans Mommsen[20] and Hans-Ulrich Wehler[21].

Habermas and Derrida

Habermas and Jacques Derrida engaged in a series of disputes beginning in the 1980s and culminating in a mutual understanding and friendship in the late 1990s that lasted until Derrida died in 2004[22]. They originally came in contact when Habermas invited Derrida to speak at The University of Frankfurt in 1984, the next year Habermas published "Beyond a Temporalized Philosophy of Origins: Derrida" in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity in which he described Derrida’s method as being unable to provide a foundation for social critique.[23] Derrida, citing Habermas as an example, remarked that, "those who have accused me of reducing philosophy to literature or logic to rhetoric ... have visibly and carefully avoided reading me"[24]. After Derrida’s final rebuttal in 1989 the two philosophers didn’t continue, but groups in the academy “conducted a kind of ‘war’, in which we ourselves never took part, either personally or directly” [22]. Then at the end of the 1990s Habermas approached Derrida at a party held at a university in the United States where they were both lecturing. They then met at Paris over dinner, and afterwards have participated in many joint projects. In 2000 they held a joint seminar on problems of philosophy, right, ethics, and politics at the University of Frankfurt[22]. In the aftermath of 9/11, Derrida and Habermas laid out their individual opinions on 9/11 and the War on Terror in Giovanna Borradori's Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida. In early 2003, both Habermas and Derrida were very active in opposing the coming Iraq War, and called for in a manifesto that later became the book Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe for a tighter union of the states of the European Union in order to provide a power capable of opposing American foreign policy. Derrida wrote a foreword expressing his unqualified subscription to Habermas's declaration of February 2003, "February 15, or, What Binds Europeans Together: Plea for a Common Foreign Policy, Beginning in Core Europe,” in Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe which was a reaction to the Bush administration demands upon European nations for support for the coming Iraq War[25]. Habermas has offered further context for this declaration in an interview.

Dialogue with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)

In early 2007, Ignatius Press published a dialogue between Habermas and Roman Catholic Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), entitled The Dialectics of Secularization.
It addresses such important contemporary questions as these:

  • Is a public culture of reason and ordered liberty possible in our post-metaphysical age?
  • Is philosophy permanently cut adrift from its grounding in being and anthropology?
  • Does this decline of rationality signal an opportunity or a deep crisis for religion itself?

In this debate a recent shift of Habermas became evident — in particular, his rethinking of the public role of religion. Habermas writes as a “methodological atheist,” which means that when doing philosophy or social science, he presumes nothing about particular religious beliefs. Yet whilst writing from this perspective his evolving position towards the role of religion in society has led him to some challenging questions, and as a result conceding some ground in his dialogue with the Pope, that would seem to have consequences which further complicate the positions he holds about a communicatively rational solution to the problems of modernity.

In an interview in 1999 Habermas stated that,

"For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of a continual critical reappropriation and reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we must draw sustenance now, as in the past, from this substance. Everything else is idle postmodern talk."[26]

The statement was later misquoted in a number of American newspapers and magazines as: "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization,"[27] which Habermas did not say.

Habermas now talks about the emergence of "post-secular societies" and argues that tolerance is a two-way street: secular people need to tolerate the role of religious people in the public square and vice versa.[28]

Habermas Today

Habermas currently ranks as one of the most influential philosophers in the world.[citation needed] Bridging continental and Anglo-American traditions of thought, he has engaged in debate with thinkers as diverse as Gadamer and Putnam, Foucault and Rawls, Derrida and Brandom. His extensive written work addresses topics stretching from social-political theory to aesthetics, epistemology and language to philosophy of religion, and his ideas have significantly influenced not only philosophy but also political-legal thought, sociology, communication studies, argumentation theory and rhetoric, developmental psychology and theology. Moreover, he has figured prominently in Germany as public intellectual, commenting on controversial issues of the day in German news papers such as Die Zeit.

Two broad lines of enduring interest are found in Habermas's work, one having to do with the political domain, the other with issues of rationality, communication, and knowledge.[29]

Major works

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Ethics; David Ingram, Jennifer A. Parks
  2. ^ "The most cited authors of books in the humanities". timeshighereducation.co.uk. 2009-03-26. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=405956&sectioncode=26. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  3. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution Class War or Culture Clash?, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987, 1998 page 26
  4. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution Class War or Culture Clash?, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998 page 26
  5. ^ a b Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution Class War or Culture Clash?, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998 pages 26-27
  6. ^ Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution Class War or Culture Clash?, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987, 1998 page 27
  7. ^ a b c d e Blanning, T.C.W. The French Revolution Class War or Culture Clash?, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998 page 27
  8. ^ http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&vid=ISBN0802087612&id=tKDU3l3cq60C&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=ideal+speech+situation&sig=EsYFyIjaDQsWsYWUgtjvMK-13gU
  9. ^ Jesus College website
  10. ^ a b Ritzer, George, Sociological Theory, From Modern to Postmodern Social Theory(and beyond) Pg. 567-568, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, New York, New York, 2008
  11. ^ Habermas, Jürgen “A Kind of Settlement of Damages On Apologetic Tendencies In German History Writing” pages 34-44 from Forever In the Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 page 43
  12. ^ Habermas,Jürgen "A Kind of Settlement of Damages" page 34-44 from Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1993 pages 42-43
  13. ^ Fest, Joachim "Encumbered Remembrance: The Controversy about the Incomparability of National-Socialist Mass Crimes" pages 63-71 & “Postscript, April 21, 1987” pages 264-265 from Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 64-65.
  14. ^ Schulze, Hagen “Questions We Have To Face: No Historical Stance without National Identity” pages 93-97 from Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 page 94
  15. ^ Möller, Horst “What May Not Be, Cannot Be: A Plea for Rendering Factual the Controversy about Recent History” pages 216-221 Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 216-218
  16. ^ Geiss, Imanuel "On the Historikerstreit" pages 254-258 from Forever In The Shadow Of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1993 page 256
  17. ^ Hildebrand, Klaus "The Age of Tyrants: History and Politics The Administrators of the Enlightenment, the Risk of Scholarship and the Preservation of a Worldview A Reply to Jürgen Habermas" pages 50-55 & “He Who Wants To Escape the Abyss Will Have Sound It Very Precisely: Is the New German History Writing Revisionist?” pages 188-195 from Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993.
  18. ^ Broszat, Martin “Where the Roads Part: History Is Not A Suitable Substitute for a Religion of Nationalism” pages 123-129 Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 page 127
  19. ^ Jäckel, Eberhard “The Impoverished Practice of Insinuation: The Singular Aspect of National Socialist Crimes Cannot Be Denied” pages 74-78 from Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 74-75
  20. ^ Mommsen, Hans “The New Historical Consciousness and the Relativizing of National Socialism” pages 114-124 from Forever In The Shadow of Hitler? edited by Ernst Piper, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1993 pages 114-115.
  21. ^ Evans, Richard In Hitler's Shadow, New York : Pantheon Books, 1989 pages 159-160
  22. ^ a b c Derrida, J. “Honesty of Thought” in ‘’The Derrida-Habermas Reader’’ ed. Thomassen L. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago Ill. Pp. 300-306. P.302
  23. ^ Thomassen, L. “Introduction: Between Deconstruction and Rational Reconstruction” in ‘’The Derrida-Habermas Reader’’ ed. Thomassen L. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago Ill. Pp. 1-7. P.2
  24. ^ Derrida, J. “Is There a Philosophical Language?” in ‘’The Derrida-Habermas Reader’’ ed. Thomassen L. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago Ill. Pp. 35-45. P.37
  25. ^ Habermas, J. and Derrida, J. “February 15, Or What Binds Europeans Together: A Plea for a Common Foreign Policy, beginning in the Core of Europe” in ‘’The Derrida-Habermas Reader’’ ed. Thomassen L. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago Ill. Pp. 270-277. P.302
  26. ^ Habermas, Jurgen, Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity, edited by Eduardo Mendieta, MIT Press, 2002, page. 149. And Habermas, Jurgen, Time of Transitions, Polity Press, 2006, page. 150-151.
  27. ^ For misquotation, see Christian Science Monitor, September 15, 2006; Foreign Policy, June 2007 (web version by Philip Jenkins); Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2007, and September 19, 2009; Philip Jenkins's book "God's Continent" (Oxford University Press, 2007) p. 263; Christopher Caldwell's book "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe" (Doubleday); Dinesh D'Souza, What's so great about Christianity (2007), 41; Commenweal, A Review of Religion, Politics and Culture, editors' blog, July 18, 2006; Los Angeles Times, 8/19/2009. Wall Street Journal, 9/17/2009. In fact, the statement was made by a journalist commenting on Habermas.[1]
  28. ^ A “post-secular” society – what does that mean? by Jurgen Habermas June 2008
  29. ^ The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy page 1 from Habermas,Jürgen edited by Edward N. Zalta, The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University

Further reading

  • Jürgen Habermas: a philosophical—political profile by Marvin Rintala, Perspectives on Political Science , 2002-01-01
  • Jürgen Habermas by Martin Matuštík (2001) ISBN 0742507963
  • Postnational identity: critical theory and existential philosophy in Habermas, Kierkegaard, and Havel by Martin Matuštík (1993) ISBN 0898624207
  • Thomas McCarthy, The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas, MIT Press, 1978.
A highly regarded interpretation in English of Habermas's earlier work, written just as Habermas was developing his full-fledged communication theory.
  • Raymond Geuss, The Idea of a Critical Theory, Cambridge University Press, 1981.
A clear account of Habermas' early philosophical views.
  • J.G. Finlayson, Habermas: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2004.
A recent, brief introduction to Habermas, focusing on his communication theory of society.
  • Erik Oddvar Eriksen and Jarle Weigard, Understanding Habermas: Communicative Action and Deliberative Democracy, Continuum International Publishing, 2004 (ISBN 082647179X).
A recent and comprehensive introduction to Habermas' mature theory and its political implications both national and global.
  • Flyvbjerg, Bent. ""Habermas and Foucault: Thinkers for Civil Society?", British Journal of Sociology, vol. 49, no. 2, June 1998, pp. 210-233.
  • Detlef Horster. Habermas: An Introduction." Pennbridge, 1992 (ISBN 1-880055-01-5)
  • Martin Jay, Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from Lukacs to Habermas (Chapter 9), University of California Press, 1986. (ISBN 0-520-05742-2)
  • Ernst Piper (editor) "Historikerstreit": Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse um die Einzigartigkeit der nationalsozialistschen Judenvernichtung, Munich: Piper, 1987 translated into English by James Knowlton and Truett Cates as Forever In The Shadow Of Hitler? : Original Documents Of the Historikerstreit, The Controversy Concerning The Singularity Of The Holocaust, Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1993, (ISBN 0391037846) Contains Habermas's essays from the Historikerstreit and the reactions of various scholars to his statements.
  • Edgar, Andrew. The Philosophy of Habermas. Мontreal, McGill-Queen’s UP, 2005.
  • Adams, Nicholas. Habermas & Theology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Mike Sandbothe, Habermas, Pragmatism, and the Media, Online publication: sandbothe.net 2008; German original in: Über Habermas. Gespräche mit Zeitgenossen, ed. by Michael Funken, Darmstadt: Primus, 2008.
  • Müller-Doohm, Stefan. Jürgen Habermas. Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 2008 (Suhrkamp BasisBiographie, 38).
  • Moderne Religion? Theologische und religionsphilosophische Reaktionen auf Jürgen Habermas. Hrsg. v. Knut Wenzel und Thomas M. Schmidt. Freiburg, Herder, 2009.

Awards

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929) is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and American pragmatism. He is best known for his work on the concept of the public sphere, which he has based in his theory of communicative action.

Sourced

  • Christianity has functioned for the normative self-understanding of modernity as more than a mere precursor or a catalyst. Egalitarian universalism, from which sprang the ideas of freedom and social solidarity, of an antonomous conduct of life and emancipation, of the individual morality of conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct heir to the judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in the light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.
    • "Conversation about God and the World." Time of transitions. Cambridge: Polity Press 2006, p. 150-151.

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