Saving reason : Jurgen Habermas's synthesis of western philosophy.

Tate, Jeffrey L. (2013) Saving reason : Jurgen Habermas's synthesis of western philosophy. Masters thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Abstract

This dissertation argues that Jürgen Habermas’s philosophy of communicative reason successfully defends the Enlightenment notion of Reason as the vehicle of truth and progress, while integrating Postmodern insights into the illusory nature of metaphysical foundations. Habermas discards the Enlightenment philosophy of the subject with its subjective reasoning, to create his paradigm of mutual understanding using intersubjective reasoning. In so doing, Habermas integrates philosophical hermeneutics and the Linguistic Turn, while using Pragmatism to avoid the Postmodern danger of relativism. The Enlightenment philosophy of the subject as developed from Descartes through Hegel entails aporias of subjectivism. The hermeneutic turn in philosophy reduced subjectivism by de-reifying the division of the objective and subjective worlds, and by including interpersonal learning within its paradigm. The Linguistic Turn in philosophy highlighted the linguistic nature of all knowledge and truth, threatening to relativize both, with their validity limited to a particular language and culture. The legacy of Nietzsche transmitted through Foucault highlights the irrational motivations behind all reasoning, which is reduced to being the tool of selfish power. Gadamer adds his voice both to the linguistification of knowledge and to the aesthetization of rational judgment. Peirce, however, while accepting the linguistification of truth, emphasizes the practical evidence of truth statements as a criterion of their validity. Into this philosophical mixture, Habermas, integrates speech-act theory and theories of cognitive-moral development to create his theory of communicative reason, which grounds the validity of statements on illocutionary speech, but retains non-linguistic experience as a foundation for truth. While giving a nod to non-rational influences on reasoning, Habermas give little attention to this in his philosophy, and I outline the elements of psychoanalytic theory that should be integrated into his philosophy to make it less rationalistic.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations.;.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy, Western
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2014 09:36
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2016 16:49
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/335

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