The Theory of Communicative Action
The Theory of Communicative Action is a two-volume 1981 book by Jürgen Habermas, in which the author continues his project of finding a way to ground "the social sciences in a theory of language", set out in On the Logic of the Social Sciences. The two volumes are Reason and the Rationalization of Society, in which Habermas establishes a concept of communicative rationality, Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, in which Habermas creates the two level concept of society and lays out the critical theory for modernity. After writing The Theory of Communicative Action, Habermas expanded upon the theory of communicative action by using it as the basis of his theory of morality and law; the work has inspired many responses by social theorists and philosophers, in 1998 was listed by the International Sociological Association as the eighth most important sociological book of the 20th century. The theory of communicative action is a critical project which reconstructs a concept of reason, not grounded in instrumental or objectivistic terms, but rather in an emancipatory communicative act.
This reconstruction proposes "human action and understanding can be fruitfully analysed as having a linguistic structure", each utterance relies upon the anticipation of freedom from unnecessary domination. These linguistic structures of communication can be used to establish a normative understanding of society; this conception of society is used "to make possible a conceptualization of the social-life context, tailored to the paradoxes of modernity."This project started after the critical reception of Habermas's book Knowledge and Human Interests, after which Habermas chose to move away from contextual and historical analysis of social knowledge toward what would become the theory of communicative action. The theory of communicative action understands language as the foundational component of society and is an attempt to update Marxism by "drawing on Systems theory, developmental psychology, social theory". Based on lectures developed in On the Pragmatics of Social Interaction Habermas was able to expand his theory to a large understanding of society.
Thomas A. McCarthy states that The Theory of Communicative Action has three interrelated concerns: to develop a concept of rationality, no longer tied to, limited by, the subjectivistic and individualistic premises of modern philosophy and social theory; the Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 1 sets out "to develop a concept of rationality, no longer tied to, limited by, the subjectivistic and individualistic premises of modern philosophy and social theory." With this failure of the search for ultimate foundations by "first philosophy" or "the philosophy of consciousness", an empirically tested theory of rationality must be a pragmatic theory based on science and social science. This implies that any universalist claims can only be validated by testing against counterexamples in historical contexts – not by using transcendental ontological assumptions; this leads him to look for the basis of a new theory of communicative action in the tradition of sociology. He starts by rereading Max Weber's description of rationality and arguing it has a limited view of human action.
Habermas argues that Weber's basic theoretical assumptions with regard to social action prejudiced his analysis in the direction of purposive rationality, which purportedly arises from the conditions of commodity production. Taking the definition of action as human behaviour with intention, or with subjective meaning attached Weber's theory of action is based on a solitary acting subject and does not encompass the coordinating actions that are inherent to a social body. According to Weber, rationalisation creates three spheres of value: the differentiated zones of science and law. For him, this fundamental disunity of reason constitutes the danger of modernity; this danger arises not from the creation of separate institutional entities but through the specialisation of cognitive and aesthetic knowledge that in turn permeates and fragments everyday consciousness. This disunity of reason implies that culture moves from a traditional base in a consensual collective endeavour to forms which are rationalised by commodification and led by individuals with interests which are separated from the purposes of the population as a whole.
This'purposive rational action' is steered by the "media" of the state, which substitute for oral language as the medium of the coordination of social action. An antagonism arises between these two principles of societal integration—language, oriented to understanding and collective well being, "media", which are systems of success-oriented action. Following Weber, Habermas sees specialisation as the key historical development, which leads to the alienating effects of modernity, which'permeate and fragment everyday consciousness'. Habermas points out that the "sociopsychological costs" of this limited version of rationality are borne by individuals, what György Lukács had in mind when he developed Marx's concept of reification in his History and Class Co
Legitimation Crisis (book)
Legitimation Crisis is a 1973 book by the philosopher Jürgen Habermas. It was published in English in 1975 by Beacon Press and with an introduction by Thomas McCarthy, it was published by Suhrkamp. The title refers to a decline in the confidence of administrative functions, institutions, or leadership: a legitimation crisis
Communicative rationality or communicative reason is a theory or set of theories which describes human rationality as a necessary outcome of successful communication. In particular, it is tied to the philosophy of German philosophers Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, their program of universal pragmatics, along with its related theories such as those on discourse ethics and rational reconstruction; this view of reason is concerned with clarifying the norms and procedures by which agreement can be reached, is therefore a view of reason as a form of public justification. According to the theory of communicative rationality, the potential for certain kinds of reason is inherent in communication itself. Building from this, Habermas has tried to formalize that potential in explicit terms. According to Habermas, the phenomena that need to be accounted for by the theory are the "intuitively mastered rules for reaching an understanding and conducting argumentation", possessed by subjects who are capable of speech and action.
The goal is to transform this implicit "know-how" into explicit "know-that", i.e. knowledge, about how we conduct ourselves in the realm of "moral-practical" reasoning. The result of the theory is a conception of reason that Habermas sees as doing justice to the most important trends in twentieth century philosophy, while escaping the relativism which characterizes postmodernism, providing necessary standards for critical evaluation. According to Habermas, the "substantive" rationality that characterized pre-modern worldviews has, since modern times, been emptied of its content and divided into three purely "formal" realms: cognitive-instrumental reason; the first type applies to the sciences, where experimentation and theorizing are geared towards a need to predict and control outcomes. The second type is at play in our moral and political deliberations, the third type is found in the practices of art and literature, it is the second type. Because of the de-centering of religion and other traditions that once played this role, according to Habermas we can no longer give substantive answers to the question "How should I live?"
Additionally, there are strict limits which a "post-metaphysical" theory must respect – namely the clarification of procedures and norms upon which our public deliberation depends. The modes of justification we use in our moral and political deliberations, the ways we determine which claims of others are valid, are what matter most, what determine whether we are being "rational". Hence the role that Habermas sees for communicative reason in formulating appropriate methods by which to conduct our moral and political discourse; this purely formal "division of labour" has been criticized by Nikolas Kompridis, who sees in it too strong a division between practical and aesthetic reasoning, an unjustifiably hard distinction between the "right" and the "good", an unsupportable priority of validity to meaning. There are a number of specific trends that Habermas identifies as important to twentieth century philosophy, to which he thinks his conception of communicative rationality contributes. To look at these trends is to give a clear outline of Habermas's understanding of communicative rationality.
He labels all these trends as being post-metaphysical. These post-metaphysical philosophical movements have, among other things: called into question the substantive conceptions of rationality and put forward procedural or formal conceptions instead. Habermas' conception of communicative rationality moves along with these contemporary currents of philosophy. Concerning it can be said that: rationality refers to the use of knowledge in language and action, rather than to a property of knowledge. One might say that it refers to a mode of dealing with validity claims, that it is in general not a property of these claims themselves. Furthermore...this perspective suggests no more than formal specifications of possible forms of life... it does not extend to the concrete form of life... Concerning and explicitly understands communicative rationality according to the terms of a reconstructive science; this means that the conception of communicative rationality is not a definitive rendering of what reason is, but rather a fallible claim.
It can prescribe only formal specifications concerning what qualifies as reasonable, being open to revision in cause of experience and learning. On and, Habermas's entire conceptual framework is based on his understanding of social interaction and communicative practices, he ties rationality to the validity basis of everyday speech; this framework locates reason in the everyday practices of modern individuals. This is in contradistinction to theories of rationality that seek
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
The German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its Grundgesetz Article 23. The end of the unification process is referred to as German unity, celebrated on 3 October. Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany; the East German government started to falter in May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. It caused an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Austria via Hungary; the Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty. Other negotiations between the GDR and FRG and the four occupying powers produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" granting full sovereignty to a unified German state, whose two parts were bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupied regions.
The 1945 Potsdam Agreement had specified that a full peace treaty concluding World War II, including the exact delimitation of Germany's postwar boundaries, required to be "accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established." The Federal Republic had always maintained that no such government could be said to have been established until East and West Germany had been united within a free democratic state. The key question was whether a Germany that remained bounded to the east by the Oder–Neisse line could act as a "united Germany" in signing the peace treaty without qualification. Under the "Two Plus Four Treaty" both the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic committed themselves and their unified continuation to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundaries constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a Government of Germany, hence that there were no further lands outside those boundaries that were parts of Germany as a whole.
The united Germany is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the former West Germany. As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged, it maintains the United Nations membership of the old West Germany. For political and diplomatic reasons, West German politicians avoided the term "reunification" during the run-up to what Germans refer to as die Wende; the official and most common term in German is "Deutsche Einheit". After 1990, the term "die Wende" became more common; the term refers to the events that led up to the actual reunification. When referring to the events surrounding reunification, however, it carries the cultural connotation of the time and the events in the GDR that brought about this "turnaround" in German history. However, anti-communist activists from Eastern Germany rejected the term Wende as it was introduced by SED's Secretary General Egon Krenz.
In 1945, the Third Reich ended in defeat and Germany was divided into four occupation zones, under the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, France. The capital city of Berlin was divided into four sectors. Between 1947 and 1949, the three zones of the western allies were merged, forming the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, aligned with capitalist Europe; the Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic with its capital in East Berlin, part of the communist Soviet Bloc. The FRG was a member of the western military alliance, NATO and the GDR was a member of the Warsaw Pact. Germans lived under such imposed divisions throughout the ensuing Cold War. Into the 1980s, the Soviet Union experienced a period of economic and political stagnation, correspondingly decreased intervention in Eastern Bloc politics. In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, challenging Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down the wall" which divided Berlin.
The wall had stood as an icon for the political and economic division between East and West, a division that Churchill had referred to as the "Iron Curtain". Gorbachev announced in 1988 that the Soviet Union would abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine and allow the Eastern bloc nations to determine their own internal affairs. In early 1989, under a new era of Soviet policies of glasnost and taken further by Gorbachev, the Solidarity movement took hold in Poland. Further inspired by other images of brave defiance, a wave
The Holocaust known as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by local collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews—around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe—between 1941 and 1945. Jews were targeted for extermination as part of a larger event during the Holocaust era, in which Germany and its collaborators persecuted and murdered other groups, including Slavs, the Roma, the "incurably sick", political and religious dissenters such as communists and Jehovah's Witnesses, gay men. Taking into account all the victims of Nazi persecution, the death toll rises to over 17 million. Germany implemented the persecution of the Jews in stages. Following Adolf Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in January 1933, the regime built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and those deemed "undesirable", starting with Dachau on 22 March 1933. After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March, which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society, which included a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935.
On 9–10 November 1938, during Kristallnacht, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked, smashed or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria, which Germany had annexed in March that year. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering World War II, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews. Thousands of camps and other detention sites were established across German-occupied Europe; the deportation of Jews to the ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question", discussed by senior Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942. As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed within Germany itself, throughout occupied Europe, across all territories controlled by the Axis powers. Paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen, in cooperation with Wehrmacht police battalions and local collaborators, murdered around 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings between 1941 and 1945.
By mid-1942, victims were being deported from the ghettos in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were killed in gas chambers. The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945; the term holocaust, first used in 1895 to describe the massacre of Armenians, comes from the Greek: ὁλόκαυστος, translit. Holókaustos; the Century Dictionary defined it in 1904 as "a sacrifice or offering consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations". The biblical term shoah, meaning "destruction", became the standard Hebrew term for the murder of the European Jews, first used in a pamphlet in 1940, Sho'at Yehudei Polin, published by the United Aid Committee for the Jews in Poland. On 3 October 1941 the cover of the magazine The American Hebrew used the phrase "before the Holocaust" to refer to the situation in France, in May 1943 The New York Times, discussing the Bermuda Conference, referred to the "hundreds of thousands of European Jews still surviving the Nazi Holocaust".
In 1968 the Library of Congress created a new category, "Holocaust, Jewish". The term was popularized in the United States by the NBC mini-series Holocaust, about a fictional family of German Jews, in November 1978 the President's Commission on the Holocaust was established; as non-Jewish groups began to include themselves as Holocaust victims too, many Jews chose to use the terms Shoah or Churban instead. The Nazis used the phrase "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Most Holocaust historians define the Holocaust as the enactment, between 1941 and 1945, of the German state policy to exterminate the European Jews. In Teaching the Holocaust, Michael Gray, a specialist in Holocaust education, offers three definitions: "the persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945", which views the events of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938 as an early phase of the Holocaust; the third definition fails, Gray writes, to acknowledge that only the Jewish people were singled out for annihilation.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines the Holocaust as the "systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators", distinguishing between the Holocaust and the targeting of other groups during "the era of the Holocaust". According to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, most historians regard the start of the "Holocaust era" as January 1933, when Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. Other victims of the Holocaust era include. Hitler came to see the Jews as "uniquely dangerous to Germany", according to Peter Hayes, "and therefore uniquely destined t
Knowledge and Human Interests
Knowledge and Human Interests is a 1968 book by the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, in which the author discusses the development of the modern natural and human sciences. He criticizes Sigmund Freud, arguing that psychoanalysis is a branch of the humanities rather than a science, provides a critique of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Habermas's first major systematic work and Human Interests has been compared to the philosopher Paul Ricœur's Freud and Philosophy, it received positive reviews. However, critics have found Habermas's attempt to discuss the relationship between knowledge and human interests unsatisfactory, his work obscure in style; some commentators have found his discussion of Freud valuable, while others have questioned his conclusions. His interpretation of Freud has been criticized by the philosopher Adolf Grünbaum in The Foundations of Psychoanalysis. According to Habermas, he first expounded the views he developed in the book in his Frankfurt inaugural address of June 1965, while his discussion of positivism and historicism had its origins in lectures he delivered in Heidelberg in 1963 and 1964.
He expressed his indebtedness to the philosopher Karl-Otto Apel and the psychoanalysts Alexander Mitscherlich and Alfred Lorenzer. Habermas describes his work as "a oriented attempt to reconstruct the prehistory of modern positivism with the systematic intention of analyzing the connections between knowledge and human interests." Habermas writes. Habermas discusses the philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, Auguste Comte, Ernst Mach, Charles Sanders Peirce, Wilhelm Dilthey, critiques the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Knowledge and Human Interests was first published by Suhrkamp Velag in 1968, with the exception of its appendix, first published in Merkur in 1965. In 1972, Knowledge and Human Interests was published in an English translation by the philosopher Jeremy J. Shapiro by Heinemann Educational Books. In 1987, an English edition was published by Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers. Knowledge and Human Interests was discussed by the philosopher Alan Ryan in The New York Review of Books.
Ryan argued that the work represented Habermas's "most radical thoughts about the connection between philosophical speculation and social emancipation". However, he maintained that the implications of Habermas's ideas for the social sciences were unclear, that Habermas failed to develop them in his subsequent work, he observed that, "Readers who thought Habermas had glimpsed something important but elusive have always been disappointed." Knowledge and Human Interests received positive reviews from Fred E. Jandt in the Journal of Applied Communications Research, Thomas B. Farrell in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, a mixed review from the sociologist Steven Lukes in the British Journal of Sociology; the book was reviewed by the sociologist David Martin in the Jewish Journal of Sociology, the sociologist Anthony Giddens in the American Journal of Sociology, Andrew Edgar in Sociology, Lawrence Hazelrigg in Current Perspectives in Social Theory. Other discussions include those by Paul Ricœur in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Rainer Nagele, Roland Reinhart, Roger Blood in New German Critique, Kenneth Colburn Jr. in Sociological Inquiry, Steven Vogel in Praxis International, Richard Tinning in Quest, Ananta Kumar Giri in the European Journal of Social Theory, Jennifer Scuro in The Oral History Review, Myriam N. Torres and Silvia E. Moraes in the International Journal of Action Research.
In Philosophy of the Social Sciences and Human Interests received discussions from Stephen D. Parsons and Michael Power. Jandt found the book promising, though he considered it difficult to assess because of Habermas's competence in fields ranging from the logic of science to the sociology of knowledge. Farrell dispassionate in its approach, he believed that it formed part of a body of work which "comprises a dialectic sufficiently rigorous to indict and dislodge behavioral and scientistic theories of communication."Lukes found the book disappointing. He wrote that, "Its style is unnecessarily obscure and high-flown, its lack of fine-grained philosophical analysis disappointing, its concentration on the exegesis of other thinkers diversionary." He maintained that while Habermas had interesting things to say about several thinkers Freud, most of the exegesis was "familiar", while some of it was "perverse", such as Habermas's "juxtaposition of Comte and Mach under the label of'positivism'." He credited Habermas with providing a systematic account of his view of his "philosophical ancestors", which he considered valuable since Habermas was an important representative of the Frankfurt School, but believed Habermas failed to provide a satisfactory discussion of critical science or a direct discussion of the connection between knowledge and human interests.
Ricœur endorsed Habermas's view that psychoanalysis misunderstood itself by claiming to be a natural science. Colburn questioned whether Habermas's attempt to demonstrate the connection between knowledge and interest helped him to critique positivism, he argued against Habermas. He criticized Habermas's definition of knowledge. Giri discussed Habermas in relation to the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo. Torres and Moraes described Knowledge and Human Interests as a "seminal work", credited Habermas with providing "the theoretical framework for understanding curriculum and