Truth and Justification
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Truth and Justification

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In this important new book, Jurgen Habermas takes up certain fundamental questions of philosophy. While much of his recent work has been concerned with issues of morality and law, in this new work Habermas returns to the traditional philosophical questions of truth, objectivity and reality which were at the centre of his earlier classic book
Knowledge and Human Interests.


How can the norms that underpin the linguistically structured world in which we live be brought into step with the contingency of the development of socio-cultural forms of life? How can the idea that our world exists independently of our attempts to describe it be reconciled with the insight that we can never reach reality without the mediation of language and that 'bare' reality is therefore unattainable?



In Knowledge and Human Interests Habermas answered these questions with reference to a weak naturalism and a transcendental-pragmatic realism. Since then, however, he has developed a formal pragmatic theory which is based on an analysis of speech acts and language use. In this new volume Habermas takes up the philosophical questions of truth, objectivity and reality from the perspective of his linguistically-based pragmatic theory. The final section addresses the limits of philosophy and reassesses the relation between theory and practice from a perspective that could be described as 'post-Marxist'.



This volume, now available in paperback as well, by one of the world's leading philosophers will be essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy, social theory and the humanities and social sciences generally.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 164 x 236 x 25mm | 668g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745624243
  • 9780745624242
  • 1,615,194

Back cover copy

In this important new book, Jürgen Habermas takes up certainfundamental questions of philosophy. While much of his recent workhas been concerned with issues of morality and law, in this newwork Habermas returns to the traditional philosophical questions oftruth, objectivity and reality which were at the centre of hisearlier classic book Knowledge and Human Interests.


How can the norms that underpin the linguistically structuredworld in which we live be brought into step with the contingency ofthe development of socio-cultural forms of life? How can the ideathat our world exists independently of our attempts to describe itbe reconciled with the insight that we can never reach realitywithout the mediation of language and that 'bare' reality istherefore unattainable?


In Knowledge and Human Interests Habermas answered thesequestions with reference to a weak naturalism and atranscendental-pragmatic realism. Since then, however, he hasdeveloped a formal pragmatic theory which is based on an analysisof speech acts and language use. In this new volume Habermas takesup the philosophical questions of truth, objectivity and realityfrom the perspective of his linguistically-based pragmatic theory.The final section addresses the limits of philosophy and reassessesthe relation between theory and practice from a perspective thatcould be described as 'post-Marxist'.


This new volume by one of the world's leading philosophers willbe essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy, social theory and the humanities and social sciences generally.
show more

Table of contents

Translator's Introduction VII


Introduction: Realism after the Linguistic Turn 1


1. Hermeneutic and Analytic Philosophy: Two Complementary Versions of the Linguistic Turn 51


2. From Kant's "Ideas" of Pure Reason to the "Idealizing" Presuppositions of Communicative Action: Reflections on the Detranscendentalized "Use of Reason" 83


3. From Kant to Hegel: On Robert Brandom's Pragmatic Philosophy of Language 131


4. From Kant to Hegel and Back Again: The Move toward Detranscendentalization 175


5. Norms and Values: On Hilary Putnam's Kantian Pragmatism 213


6. Rightness versus Truth: On the Sense of Normative Validity in MoraiJudgments and Norms 237


7. The Relationship between Theory and Practice Revisited 277


Notes 293


Index 321
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About Jürgen Habermas

Jurgen Habermas is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt.
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