Thursday, June 18, 2009


the concept of modernization refers to a bundle of processes that are cumulative and mutually reinforcing: to the formation of capital… the development of the forces of production… the establishment of a centralized state power and the formation of national identities; to the proliferation of rights of political participation, of urban forms of life, and of formal schooling; to the secularization of values and norms.” Philosophical Discourse, 2.

‘In modernity… religious life, state, and society as well as science, morality, and art are transformed into just so many embodiments of the principle of subjectivity.” Philosophical Discourse, 18.

habermas is probably one of the last of the "old school" philosophers. his ability to synthesize various disparate concepts(ranging through german philosophical history & marxism & sociology & linguistics & psychology & pragmaticism)is greater than rorty's & his intended goal(a rational form of politics)is admirable & needed. primarily, habermas has been trying to figure a way out of the dilemma freud outlined in civilization & it's discontents. what if unconditional love & meaningful work were the only ways to appease the individual when they capitulate their individulism for the safety & luxury of civilization? in late capitalism, where are you supposed to find meaningful work? in a culture of narcissism, where are you supposed to find unconditional love?

his thinking has impacted sociology & politics & philosophy, along w/working on a new model of human psychology. mainly, he relies on a fundamental belief in communicative rationality, a kind of ideal form of democracy where everyone is allowed to contribute to the dialogue &, by that allowance, agrees to follow whatever & whereever the dialogue leads. it's just a little more complicated than that. the structure allows for minority opinions to be heard. it addresses the overemphasis on the individual that prioritizes subjectivity in favor of the collective.

it's a deeply thought & felt philosophy.

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