Sociology -- Philosophy, Communication -- Philosophy


In her recent article "Realism and Idealism: Was Habermas's Communicative Turn a Move in the Wrong Direction?" Maeve Cooke examines the evolution of Jürgen Habermas’s thought over the past five decades. According to Cooke, Habermas’s so-called ‘communicative turn’ was a necessary step in his philosophy’s systematic attempt to derive a universal norm from the immanent context of human practices and institutions. In her opinion, however, Habermas’s theory is unable to achieve such "transcendence from within" due to the inherent problem of justification in his theory’s treatment of normative validity claims. Cooke believes that despite Habermas’s exhaustive efforts to provide a communication-based model for an ideal theory of law, any political theory that discredits the possibility of metaphysical truth inevitably relinquishes the "context-transcending moment" that his idea of validity is meant to capture.

I examine how Habermas derives the normative ideals of validity in democratic will-formation from the Theory of Communicative Action, and compare this with the approach proposed by Cooke. In conclusion, I characterize their respective methods as mutually exclusive in terms of their assessment of the epistemic condition of modernity.



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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