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Question Concerning Reason Qua Communication
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AIM: Online Status For omhats
I would like to initiate a disucssion around the question of Jurgen Habermas' work as it relates to Heidegger, i.e.; how strong an influence do you believe Heidegger's work has been on Habermas? on the Frankfurt School in general? What do you make of Habermas' hermeneutic critique of Heidegger in his "The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity"? Does Habermas improve the Heideggerian, hermeneutical trend in contemporary Continental philosophy with his rehabilitated sense of reason as communicative action, requiring hearing by an other, as opposed to the instrumental/tautological or monological use of reason. This approach is still quite different from the more radical critique of reason by such as Rorty and Derrida.

It is my opinion that of all contemporary philosophical writers, Habermas has developed the best 'new synthesis' of Heidegger's insights by blending them with a rehabilitated conception of reason (reason understood primarily as communicative action) for the purpose of mounting more effective challenges to the narrow-minded forces of scientistic, rigidly procedural, ahistorical, etc. modes of thinking. For those not familiar with Habermas, an excellent introduction, with plenty of the Heideggerian influence in evidence, is "On Habermas" by Leslie Howe from the Wadsworth Philosophers Series:

There is also an essay, which I have not read yet, which should be highly relevant to this question titled "Heidegger, Habermas, and the Mobile Phone". It has been published in both of these books:

"The End of Everything: Postmodernism and the Vanishing of the Human"

"Heidegger, Habermas and the Mobile Phone (Postmodern Encounters Series)"


Tom McDonald

Posts: 2 | Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA | Registered: May 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by omhats:
on the Frankfurt School in general?
Thanks for the references; I'll have to look into Habermas in particular.  Generally in terms of the Frankfurt school, however; the caustic ad hominem attacks of Adorno come to mind in Jargon der Eigentlichkeit (1964).  Unreadable.  Self his incipit, quoting from Beckett, makes clear he's more motivated by an antiolatry than genuine philosophical difference:
“Il est plus facile d'élever un temple
que d'y faire descendre l'objet du culte.”
I may follow up, however, on some of your leads that nearly appertain to Habermas.

Adorno, Theodore: Jargon der Eigentlichkeit.  Frankfurt am Main, 1964.

Posts: 63 | Location: Baden-Württemberg | Registered: December 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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