Max Weber: Soziologie der Motivationen und Theorie der Rationalisierung (German Edition)

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Third, he identifies corresponding speech act types—constatives, regulatives, and expressives—that, seen from the perspective of a competent language user, contain immanent obligations to redeem the aforementioned claims by respectively providing grounds, articulating justifications, or proving sincerity and trustworthiness. Naturally, these presumptions are defeasible. Yet, the point is that speakers who want to reach an agreement have to presuppose sincerity, truth and rightness so as to be able to mutually accept something as a fact, valid norm, or subjectively held experience.

Depending on the speech act type, one claim often predominates for example, constatives raise a validity claim of truth and, more often than not, speech rests on undisturbed background agreements about facts, norms, and experiences. Moreover, minor disagreement can be quickly resolved through clarifying meaning, reminding others of facts, asking about preexisting commitments, highlighting situational features, and so on. In discourse the validity claims that are always immanent within speech become explicit.

The notion of validity is most often used in formal logic where it refers to the preservation of truth when inferentially moving from one proposition to another in an argument. This is not how Habermas uses the term.

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While there are many similarities that clearly position New Atheism within the history of scientism, we find that the form of scientism the New Atheists employ owes at least as much to the current state of the religious field as to their scientistic predecessors. S cholarly interest about the relationship between Karl Marx and Max Weber is hardly new. Bulmer, Martin ed. This interplay is bookended by broader moral discourses at both levels, thereby helping the outcomes of such discourses stay in the realm of permissibility. Birdwhistell, Ray [] Introduction to Kinesics. He was recruited into the Hitler Youth in and sent to man defenses on the western front shortly before the war ended.

What then does he mean by validity? It is instructive to look at the assumptions behind his theory of meaning. When his model of meaning emphasizes what language does over what it merely says or means the operative assumption is that the primary function of speech is to arrive at mutual understandings enabling conflict-free interaction. Moreover, at least with respect to claims of truth and rightness, he assumes genuine and stable understandings arise out of the give and take of reasons.

Claims of truth and rightness are paradigmatically cognitive in that they admit of justification through reasons offered in discourse. What Habermas means by validity then is a close structural relationship between the give and take of reasons and either achieving an understanding or more strongly a consensus that allows for conflict-free interaction.

As we cannot know in advance what reasons will bear on a given issue, only robust and open discourses license us to take the provisional consensuses we do achieve as valid. At the same time, we never start this give-and-take of reasons from scratch. People are born into cultures operating on background understandings that are embodied in inherited norms of action. One way to understand his particular interpretation of it is through the lens of his debate with Gadamer. Broadly speaking, Habermas agrees with the view of language held by Gadamer and hermeneutics generally: language is not simply a tool to convey information, its most basic form is dialogic use in context, and it has an inbuilt aim of understanding.

On such a view, objectivity is not just correspondence to an independent world but instead something that is ascribed to mutual understandings about the world, relations to others, and oneself intersubjectively achieved in communication. Moreover, communication has an underlying structure that makes understandings possible in the first place.

Meaning is therefore in some sense parasitic on this background structure. On this much Gadamer and Habermas agree. But Gadamer takes all this to mean that explicit understanding and misunderstanding are only possible due to a taken-for-granted understanding of cultural belonging and socialization into a natural language. For Habermas the lifeworld is a reservoir of taken-for-granted practices, roles, social meanings, and norms that constitutes a shared horizon of understanding and possible interactions.

We pick it up by being socialized into the shared meaning patterns and personality structures made available by the social institutions of our culture: kinship, education, religion, civil society, and so on. The lifeworld sets out norms that structure our daily interactions. We simply assume they stand on good reasons and deploy them intuitively.

But what if someone willfully breaks or explicitly rejects a norm? This calls for discourse to explain and repair the breach or alter the norm. As a micro-level example: if someone breaks a promise then they will be asked to justify their behavior with good reasons or apologize. Such communication is also called for when norms suffer more serious breakdowns: one may question the reasons behind norms and whether they remain valid, or run into a new and complex situation where it is unclear which norms, how, to what extent, and if they apply. Regardless of how serious the norm breach or breakdown is, we need to engage in discourse to repair, refine, and replenish shared norms that let us avoid conflict, stabilize expectations, and harmonize interests.

Communicative action can be seen as a practical attitude or way of engaging others that is highly consensual and that fully embodies the inbuilt aim of speech: reaching a mutual understanding. In later writings Habermas distinguishes weak and strong communicative action. The weak form is an exchange of reasons aimed at mutual understanding. The strong form is a practical attitude of engagement seeking fairly robust cooperation based in consensus about the substantive content of a shared enterprise.

This allows solidarity to flourish. A key difference between strategic and communicative action is that strategic actors have a fixed, non-negotiable objective in mind when entering dialogue. The point of their engagement is to appeal, induce, cajole, or compel others into complying with what they think it takes to bring their objective about. In contrast, communicatively acting parties seek a mutual understanding that can serve as the basis for cooperation. The contrast between communicative and strategic action is tightly linked to the distinction between communicative and purposive rationality.

Purposive rationality is when an actor adopts an orientation to the world focused on cognitive knowledge about it, and uses that knowledge to realize goals in the world. As noted, it has social strategic and non-social instrumental variants. Communicative rationality is when actors also account for their relation to one another within the norm-guided social world they inhabit, and try to coordinate action in a conflict free manner.

On this model of rationality, actors not only care about their own goals or following the relevant norms others do, but also challenging and revising them on the basis of new and better reasons. Approaching rationality after action orientations is not merely stylistic. Habermas notes that while many theorists start with rationality and then analyze action, the view of action that such an order of analysis primes us to accept can tacitly smuggle in quasi-ontological connotations about the possible relations actors can have amongst themselves and to the world.

Habermas feels the notion of rationality in his Theory of Communicative Action resists such critiques. The contrast between communicative and strategic action mainly concerns how an action is pursued. For instance, in my rural town I may have a discussion with neighbors whereby we determine we share an interest in having snow cleared from our road, and that the best way to do this is by taking turns clearing it. This could count as an instance of communicative action. But, imagine a wealthy and powerful recluse who is indifferent to his neighbors.

He could just pay a snowplow to clear the road up until his driveway. He could also use his power to manipulate or threaten others to clear the snow for him for example, he could call the mayor and hint he may withhold a campaign donation if the snow is not cleared. Strategic action and purposive rationality are not always undesirable. There are many social domains where they are useful and expected. Indeed, they are often needed because communicative action is very demanding and modern societies are so complex that meeting these demands all the time is impossible. Speakers engaged in communicative action must offer justifications to achieve a sincerely held agreement that their goals and the cooperation to achieve them are seen as good, right, and true see section 4.

But, in complex and pluralistic modern societies, such demands are often unrealistic. Modern social contexts often lack opportunities for highly consensual discussion. This is why Habermas thinks weak communicative action is likely sufficient for low stakes domains where not all three types of validity claims predominate, and why strategic interaction is well-suited for other domains. For Habermas, modern societies require systematically structured social domains that relax communicative demands yet still achieve a modicum of societal integration.

For example, if a state bureaucracy administers a benefit or service it takes itself to be enacting prior decisions of the political realm. As such, open-ended dialogue with a claimant makes no sense: someone either does or does not qualify; a law either does or does not apply.

Similarly, in a clearly defined and regulated market actors know where market boundaries lie and that everyone within the market is strategically engaged. Each market actor seeks individual benefit. It makes little sense to attempt an open-ended dialogue in a context where one supposes all others are acting strategically for profit. Both domains coordinate action, but not through robustly cooperative and consensual communication that yields solidarity.

Certainly, not all large-scale and institutionalized interaction is strategic. Some social domains like scientific collaboration or democratic politics institutionalize reflexive processes of communicative action see section 5 on democratic theory. In such fora cooperation may yield solidarity across the enterprise. Even so, the systems integration like that found in bureaucracies or markets sharply differs from integration through communicative action. It should be stressed that these are simply paradigmatic examples, and that the same social domain can be institutionalized differently across societies.

It is therefore more useful to look at the coordinative media that are typically used to interact with and steer any given institutionalized system rather than positing a fictive typology of clear social domains wherein it is assumed that either strategic or communicative action takes place. Habermas identifies three such media: speech, money, and power. Speech is the medium by which understanding is achieved in communicative action, while money and power are non-communicative media that coordinate action in realms like state bureaucracies or markets.

This all might seem to imply that there is no single correct way for system and lifeworld to jointly achieve social integration. Indeed, the complementarity between system and lifeworld laid out in Theory of Communicative action is broad enough to accommodate a wide range of institutional pluralism with respect to the structure of markets, bureaucracies, politics, scientific collaboration, and so on.

Socialization into a lifeworld precedes social integration via systems. This is true historically and at the individual level. Moreover, Habermas claims the lifeworld has conceptual priority with respect to systems integration. His thinking runs as follows: the lifeworld is the codified yet revisable stock of mutual normative understandings available to any person for consensually regulating social interaction; it is the reservoir of communicative action. Systems integration represents carefully circumscribed realms of instrumental and strategic action wherein we are released from the full demands of communicative action.

Yet the very definition and limitation of these realms always depends on communicative action regarding, for example, the types of markets or state administration a community wants to have and why. Without being rooted in the mutual understandings of the lifeworld, we would get untrammeled systems of money and power disconnected from the intersubjectively vouchsafed practical reason that Habermas thinks underpins all meaning. The organizing principles of systems themselves would stop being coherent. For instance, market competition makes sense against a backdrop of normative principles like fairness, equal opportunity to compete, rules against capitalizing on secret information, and so on.

Similarly, if markets were so regulated that there was no genuine risk or opportunity they would also start to loose coherence as an enterprise. In both these skewed hypothetical scenarios the system is rigged and thus, if there are functional alternatives, it is not worth participating in. This is a variant of his early anti-technocracy argument. As such, systems designed to achieve these ends are primed to loose coherence and legitimacy based in widely accepted structuring principles.

Habermas thinks the lifeworld self-replenishes through communicative action: if we come to reject inherited mutual understandings embedded in our normative practices, we can use communicative action to revise those norms or make new ones. Mechanisms of systems integration depend on this lifeworld backdrop for their coherence as enterprises achieving a modicum of social integration.

This is a main thesis in Theory of Communicative Action : strategic action embodied in domains of systems integration must be balanced by communicative action embodied in reflexive institutions of communicative action such as democratic politics. If a society fails to strike this balance, then systems integration will slowly encroach on the lifeworld, absorb its functions, and paint itself as necessary, immutable, and beyond human control.

Current market and state structures will take on a veneer of being natural or inevitable, and those they govern will no longer have the shared normative resources with which they could arrive at mutual understandings about how they collectively want their institutions to look like. In Theory of Communicative Action Habermas pins his hopes for resisting the colonization of the lifeworld on appeals to invigorate and support new social movements at the grassroots level, as they can directly draw upon the normative resources of lifeworld.

This model of democratic politics essentially urges groups of engaged democratic citizens to shore up the boundaries of the public sphere and civil society against encroaching domains of systems integration such as the market and administrative state. As section 5 will show, this model was heavily revised in Between Facts and Norms. Before turning to that work, we must flesh out discourse ethics—an idea that figured into Theory and Communicative Action but which was only fully developed later.

It is designed for contemporary societies where moral agents encounter pluralistic notions of the good and try to act on the basis of publically justifiable principles. This theory first received explicit and independent articulation in Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action German , English a and Justification and Application German a, English , but it was anticipated by and depends on ideas in Theory of Communicative Action. The overview that follows draws upon these works. Much like the prior section, it only traces the broad outline of discourse ethics.

Discourse ethics applies the framework of a pragmatic theory of meaning and communicative rationality to the moral realm in order to show how moral norms are justified in contemporary societies. It could be seen as a theory that uncovers what we pragmatically do when we make and defend the moral validity claims underlying and manifested in our norms.

Yet, we need to be careful with this characterization. Because of its cognitive commitments to moral learning and knowledge discourse ethics cannot simply be a reconstructive description of how it is we practically avoid conflicts and stabilize expectations in post-conventional social contexts. It is also an attempt to provide a formal procedure for determining which norms are in fact morally right, wrong, and permissible. Discourse ethics is squarely situated in the tradition of Neo-Kantian deontology in that it takes the rightness and wrongness of obligations and actions to be universal and absolute.

On such a view, the same moral norms apply to all agents equally. They strictly bind one to performing certain actions, prohibit others, and define the boundaries of permissibility. As long as these caveats are kept in mind we can understand discourse ethics by analyzing the practice of making and defending validity claims and how there are certain conditions of possibility tacitly underpinning and enabling this practice. What are the conditions that enable this practice?

As touched on above, Habermas posits certain unavoidable pragmatic presuppositions of speech which, when realized in discourse, can approximate a counterfactual ideal speech situation to greater or lesser degrees ; MCCA, Discourse participants need to presuppose these conditions in order for the practice of discursive justification to make sense and for arguments to be truly persuasive. Four of these presuppositions are identified as the most important: i. The point is not that actual discourses ever realize these conditions—this is why the ideal speech situation is best understood as a counterfactual regulative ideal.

As soon as a violation is discovered this casts doubt upon the validity of the discursive outcome. In addition to these pragmatic presuppositions Habermas proposes his discourse principle D. BFN ; TIO 41 While D was initially framed as a principle for moral discourses it was soon revised to the more general form above, as there are many practical norms concerning interpersonal interaction that are not directly moral even if they must be compatible with morality.

Yet even in its broadened form it is crucial to note that D only applies to discourses concerning practical norms about interpersonal behavioral expectations, not all discourses about theoretical, aesthetic, or therapeutic concerns which may or may not involve interpersonal social interaction.

The guiding thought is that if discourses about an action norm are carried out in a sufficiently ideal manner and they yield consensus then this is a good indication the norm is valid. The principle does not hold that consensus reached through discourse constitutes validity, nor that whatever norm people coalesce around after discourse that looks sufficiently ideal is assured to be valid.

Rather, D simply holds that consensus about a norm can be a good test of validity if it has been achieved in the right type of discursive way. It is important to note that, because of its very broad scope, D mainly functions by pointing out invalid norms. By itself the discourse principle cannot tell us which norms are valid. It can only help us identify norms that are good candidates for validity. Moreover, before the validity of an action norm can be assessed, we need more details on the types of discourse and validity claims at issue TIO Each type deploys practical reason differently, framing and analyzing questions under the rubrics of the purposive practical , the good ethical , or the just moral.

Instead, any norm can be discursively thematized in any of these ways and should not be arbitrarily limited to a given type. With that caution in mind, we can begin to understand discourse types and the norms they produce. Ethical discourses are a good place to start. For, while they are constrained by the outcomes of moral discourses and therefore not foundational, our prior discussion of the lifeworld provides an apt segue.

Ethical discourses are paradigmatically about clarifying, consciously appropriating, and realizing the identity, history, and self-understanding of a group or individual. They make validity claims to authenticity rather than truth or rightness. They also involve value judgments about a particular social form or practice concerning the good life in a community. This is one reason why the outcomes of ethical discourses will have relative validity: they are meant to redeem validity claims for actors in some community or another.

Another reason is that values differ from the types of generalizable or universalizable interests embodied in moral norms. While moral norms are supposed to strictly oblige agents to either do or not do some action, values admit of degree. While moral norms express principles backed by reasons, values are affective components of meaning acquired in virtue of living in a given social context. They are connected to reasons but not reducible to them.

Values can orient us to goals, aid motivation, and help successfully navigate the lifeworld but cannot ground moral obligations by themselves. Like many philosophers, Habermas separates the realm of the right from the realm of the good. Following a loosely Hegelian terminology, he parses this as the difference between morality and ethicality.

Ethicality is a way of life composed of both cognitive and affective elements as well as more structural elements that reproduce this way of life: laws, institutions, conventions, social roles, and so forth. It is particularistic in that it defines goals in terms of what is good for a group as a whole and its members. No one can simply drop their internalized ethical perspective just as no one can simply step out of the lifeworld they have inherited.

Individuals are always in some sense bound up with the identity, practices, and values of their upbringing and traditions even if they come to largely reject them. Ethical discourses explain how this is by mediating between inheritance and transcendence. While we inherit and internalize an ethical perspective as individuals, we can always question parts of it that we wish to challenge, refashion, or reject for lack of sufficient reasons underwriting certain norms.

This dialectic between the ethicality we internalize through socialization and the way in which we wish to consciously reappropriate and dis own portions of such ethicality helps to explain why, in contrast to other discourse types, Habermas pays a great deal of attention to ethical discourses at both the individual and group levels. Ethical discourses at the individual level are called ethical-existential while ethical discourses at the group level are referred to as ethical-political discourse. For example, an individual considering a certain profession would engage in an ethical-existential discourse for example, is this profession right for me given my character and goals?

There are two key points about these levels. First, the outcomes of such discourses are constrained by morality irrespective of what would be authentic at individual or group levels: an individual cannot simply decide to become a serial killer just as a country cannot simply enact a policy that has patently immoral consequences for example, for those outside it.

While Habermas thinks it is important to account for the way in which morality is embedded in social contexts through ethical discourses, he is staunchly opposed to postmodern or communitarian takes on morality and justice. Second, there will often be a reflexive interplay between these two levels of ethical discourse. Discourses about what it means to genuinely inhabit a collective identity can impact the ordering and strength of the values held by individuals, and discourses about who one fundamentally is and wishes to be can, through resistance to dominant interpretations of traditions and highlighting unacknowledged injustices, impact how others in a collectivity appropriate their identity and normative practices moving forward.

This interplay is bookended by broader moral discourses at both levels, thereby helping the outcomes of such discourses stay in the realm of permissibility. Pragmatic discourses are similar to ethical discourses in that they start from the teleological perspective of an agent who already has a goal. But in contrast to the reflexive, clarifying, and potentially transformative self-realization and collective self-determination of ethical discourses, pragmatic discourses simply start with a goal of presumed value and set about realizing it.

This goal may involve identity and values but it could also refer to more pedestrian concerns and interests. Because the goal is presumed to be worthwhile the values, interests, or goals at issue show up as relatively static. Pragmatic discourses simply focus on the most efficient way to realize or bring about a goal, and their claim to validity concerns whether or not certain strategies or interventions in the world are likely to produce a desired result. Finally, we turn to what might be seen as the most important type of discourse: moral discourses.

Moral discourses are broader in scope and establish stronger validity claims than either ethical or pragmatic discourses. They seek to discern and justify norms that bind universally rather than simply in the confines of a specific community or because an agent happens to find a goal valuable. These norms have binarily coded, unconditional validity instead of the gradated, relative validity of the outcomes produced by pragmatic and ethical discourses. While U has gone through several different formulations, the basic idea is that for whatever valid moral norms there are, such norms can be accepted by all affected persons in a sufficiently ideal discourse wherein they assert their own interests and values.

U checks if the norms we take to be moral actually are in virtue of whether or not they are universalizable. If they are not universalizable, they cannot be moral norms. Beyond this basic characterization there are some interpretive issues with U. Three are worth brief focus: its apparent reference to consequences, where U comes from, and the role of interests.

Fully satisfying U would require discourse participants who had unlimited time, complete knowledge, and no illusions about their own interests and values; it would require participants who transcended their human condition. The circumscribed task of U is key: it is only supposed to justify moral norms in the abstract. What about novel, atypical, or completely unforeseen situations to which the norm might unexpectedly apply? Discourses of application look at a concrete case and survey all potentially applicable norms, relevant facts, and circumstances.

There is a division of labor between the two types of recursively related discourse: whereas discourses of justification lay out the reasons why we should endorse a norm as a general rule with reference to typical situations, discourses of application seek to apply norms to concrete cases which may be wholly new or defy expectations.

As fallible agents we can make a variety of different errors in our discursive justification of a norm or fail to anticipate new situations or altered understandings of facts, values, and interests—a failure that would be revealed in application. The recursive interplay of justification and application is supposed to progressively address prior errors and oversights. New insights gleaned from application discourses or novel situations can lead us to revisit norms whose justification was taken for granted, and this refinement of our understanding regarding how and why norms are justified will help us apply them better.

If we had providential foreknowledge we would not need application discourses. The second interpretive issue is where U comes from. Habermas initially claimed that U could be formally deduced from a combination of the pragmatic presuppositions of discourse and D , but weakened this claim shortly thereafter JA 32 n In short, U is now proposed as the best candidate principle for helping to explain moral normativity.

The reference to interests leads us to the third interpretive issue with U. The inclusion of value orientations is potentially confusing. As noted above values are not necessarily cognitively grounded. As Habermas has always presented his moral theory as cognitivist it would be odd to give values such a central role.

How then should the inclusion of value orientations be understood? This does not mean that values are on a par with interests. Instead, his point is that interests and values are always bound together.

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Value orientations exert at least some indirect influence on moral discourses insofar as they subtly influence the very interpretation of our own interests JA Proceeding as if value orientations can be expunged from moral discourses may in fact introduce discursive blind spots. A final interpretive issue that merits attention is the precise status of moral rightness.

Habermas has always held that morality and truth are analogous in that both are cognitive, binarily coded, and subject to learning processes. Moreover, he has always been sharply critical of approaches that would reduce morality to a purely subjective or relativized affair. Yet, given that rightness is not reducible to truth and that Habermas has repeatedly disclaimed a moral realist reading of his theory, it is unclear precisely how far this analogy is supposed to extend. He now wishes to articulate a notion of moral rightness that can be cashed out in terms of a pragmatist constructivism that also avoids the perils of relativism and skepticism—that is, which maintains an anti-realist account of moral rightness that still resists collapsing into a form of moral consensus theory.

Whether he succeeds in this endeavor is a hotly debated topic. Moral norms cannot pick up the slack to achieve social integration and cohesion by themselves. And, as Habermas noted in Theory of Communicative Action , while systems like the bureaucratic state and economy can achieve stability and coordinate expectations through money and power, this can erode mutual understandings and social solidarity; markets and bureaucracies tend to displace and colonize the lifeworld.

Modernity and Social Movements

Indeed, his political essays from this period cast democratically created law as holding the line against system encroachments in a siege mentality BFN , Habermas b This may leave us asking: What other resources exist for legitimate social integration? If law is linked to democratic political structures in the right way it confers legitimacy on legal norms, thereby fostering social integration and stability. Broadly speaking, the relation between legal legitimacy, procedural-democratic popular sovereignty, and public discourse is nested and reflexive: legitimate law must be rooted in democracy, which itself depends upon a robust public sphere.

A vibrant democratic public sphere is what allows for the revision and questioning of prior law. As long as legal decisions are arrived at in the right type of procedural, discursive fashion there is a presumption in favor of their rationality and legitimacy. And, as long as the public sphere continues to be a robust and open forum of contestation, any prior decisions are revisable such that there is a circulation between the informal public sphere and more formal institutions of the state.

While the prior model saw democratically generated law as a defensive dam or shield against the demands of systems, the new model sees a certain type of lawmaking as mediating the circulation between lifeworld and system in a way that produces legitimate and binding legal norms. Modern law works with systems and alongside post-conventional morality to stabilize social expectations and resolve conflicts. We can start to understand the relation between law, democracy, and the public sphere by focusing on legal legitimacy and democracy. Between Facts and Norms posits a tension within law itself, as well as an internal relation between modern law and democracy.

To function, all law must demand compliance, threaten coercion, and however tacitly appeal to an underlying normative justification. This tension helps explain the relation between law and democracy in contemporary contexts. Pre-modern law appealed to God, nature, human reason, or shared culture for its justificatory backing. In post-conventional societies the fact that law is coercible and changeable yet merely rooted in fallible humans is laid bare.

The thought is that democracy is the only mode of lawmaking that is up to this legitimacy-engendering task. The democracy Habermas has in mind differs from overly populist varieties. This non-subordinate concordance of legality and discourse theoretic morality is the hardest sense of legitimacy to explain and the easiest to overlook, so it is fruitful to start there. Yet it seems puzzling to hold that democratically determined law should be compatible with but not subordinate to discourse-theoretic morality.

What about cases where law and morality seem to conflict?

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At a general level these answers take the same shape: while there are many ways that legal systems can square with moral permissibility, there are nevertheless structural and conceptual features endogenous to processes of modern procedural-democratic popular sovereignty that, at least at an abstract level, tend to harmonize legal norms with moral permissibility.

This avoids concerns with morality trumping legality in an exogenous manner. One reason to expect that democratically legitimate law and moral permissibility will be at least in principle commensurable is that they are both rooted in D. We saw above how the moral principle U expresses the way D is specified for moral discourses. Habermas also proposes a principle of democratic legitimacy L that expresses the way D is specified for political discourses producing law.

Modern positive law is enacted and conventional, enforceable and coercive, rooted in institutions with some reflexivity, tailored to protect individuals through rights, and limited in scope BFN , IO If law is to function as a tool for the consensual regulation of social conflicts and the integration of society, then it needs to take on this form. The principle of democratic legitimacy L is part of the normative backing that is supposed to emerge, albeit in nuce and very abstractly, from the historical interpenetration of D and the legal form that has culminated in the structures of modern democratic state.

This principle captures how D is specified for political discourses so that democratic procedures underwrite the legitimacy of legal norms. Legitimacy does not arise out of formal legality alone; it needs the added normative backing of democracy. To achieve this, political discourses must be structured in a way where formal legislative institutions accurately represent and address deliberations going on in the informal public sphere, and where there are institutionalized procedural mechanisms organized in a way to help screen out weak arguments BFN The details of this structuring will be clarified below, particularly in relation to the process model and the relationship between democracy and the public sphere.

However, the mere fact that U and L are rooted in D does little to ensure the commensurability of law and discourse-theoretic morality. Fortunately, there are additional reasons why we might expect such a harmonization. The basic argument is that in order for L to be realized it must make reference to a concrete community engaged in self-determination through modern law. This legal identity is constituted by a core of rights that secure the status and private autonomy of individuals such that they can not only live their individual lives but also genuinely deliberate on equal footing, free from coercion, and so forth about the terms of shared life together.

Yet, these individual rights cannot be effective unless they presuppose other rights to participation and basic material provision—rights that secure public autonomy. The claim is that the legal manifestations of private and public autonomy, often expressed in the idioms of human rights and popular sovereignty, mutually presuppose one another. What results is an abstract system of rights made up of five core types. What are these right types? First, in order to discursively engage one another people need to be reasonably secure.

Therefore, rights that guarantee the status of individual persons are required. Three types of rights jointly achieve such protection: i. These rights secure the individual private autonomy prioritized by classical liberalism. But any community engaged in specifically democratic self-determination must also safeguard the ability to actively use the freedom afforded by this secure status to deliberate, disagree, and come to mutual understandings in concert with others. If individual rights are to be effectively used iv.

These rights secure the collective public autonomy prioritized by classical republicanism. They enable discourses in the public sphere as well as equal access to channels of political say and influence; they enable democratic popular sovereignty by making sure everyone can participate on fair and equal terms, and that information, innovative ideas and arguments about how to structure common life are kept freely circulating and scrutinized. Lastly, these four right types are insufficient if basic needs are threatened or go unmet. Formal guarantees of freedom and participation mean little if they amount to the freedom to starve.

So, as a final step, Habermas proposes some measure of v. Democratic states have often done a poor job fully realizing these rights, but the claim is simply that these general right types are conceptually required if self-determination through law is to achieve the dual sense of legitimacy noted above.

In this same spirit of clarification, it is also important to note that the abstract system only identifies certain right types , not some list of concrete rights. Communities have incredibly wide interpretive latitude when it comes to how these rights show up. The expectation of a non-hierarchal harmonization of morality and legality may now seem less puzzling. Ideally, lawmaking discourses approximate L against the backdrop of an abstract system of rights inscribed in the political structures of a democratic community.

This places some broad constraints on how deliberations unfold and the type of norms they can produce. Moreover, apart from these structural background constraints political discourses are also themselves unique. The basic idea is that for any provisional policy conclusion there is an obligation to respond to objections stemming from more abstract aspects of an issue or levels of discourse; discursive processes cannot be arbitrarily limited. Any moral aspects need to be explicitly discussed, and they filter or check more particularistic issue-aspects and discourses Cf.

BFN and the emendation at on whether to refer to the structured interplay as between discourses or aspects of a case.

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The abstract system of rights and the process model mean that, within political deliberations about how to structure common life together, it will in principle always be possible for more abstract moral discourses to weakly check pragmatic and ethical-political discourses. And, this checking will be endogenous to structures of democratic self-determination.

So far the focus has been on the relation between law and democracy without much reference to the public sphere. However, it is hard to overstate the importance Habermas places on democratic deliberation rooted in the public sphere. None of the formal or structural mechanisms mentioned so far guarantee that public political discourses or laws will be specified in a given way. There is assurance neither that the abstract system of rights or L will be meaningfully realized, nor that the interplay of various types of concerns in political discourses will unfold along the process model.

Everything hangs on the quality and institutional structuring of deliberation in the public sphere. Indeed, the primary reason why democracy confers legitimacy upon legislative outcomes is that it is rooted in a model of distinctly procedural popular sovereignty that simultaneously expresses the will of the community and that leads to more rational outcomes. He divides the political public sphere into informal and formal parts.

The informal public sphere includes all the various voluntary associations of civil society: religious and charitable organizations, political associations, the media, and public interest advocacy groups of all varieties BFN In this sphere public political deliberation is free and unorganized. Through this open clash of views and arguments individuals and collectivities can both persuade and be persuaded, thereby contributing to the emergence of considered public opinions.

In contrast, the formal public sphere includes institutionalized forums of discourse and deliberation like congress, parliament, and the judiciary as well as more peripheral administrative and bureaucratic agencies associated with state structures.

A Weber-Marx Diawgue: C E U Cfntr/\L

This sphere is supposed to be organized in such a way that it renders decisions reflecting the considered public opinions of the informal public sphere. Formal institutionalized decision making bodies must be porous to results of the informal public sphere. The informal public sphere is the key forum for generating a type of normative power that can integrate society through mutual understandings and solidarity rather than through money or administrative-bureaucratic power.

Communicative power arises from jointly authored norm expectations that are cognitively grounded in the force of better reasons and motivationally grounded albeit weakly in mutual recognition and collective ethical discourses. Moreover, because this mutual understanding was presumably reached through persuasive discourse where reasoned dissent was and remains a real possibility, norm acceptance can also motivate in a spirit of anti-paternalistic empowerment: parties recognize each other as accountable and responsible for their actions in accord with a norm until new counter-reasons are discovered.

Yet, because the motivation accompanying cognitive insight is fragile and weak, communicative power must also be rooted in a community with a shared ethical-political identity and legitimate law so that motivational deficits can be met with supplemental resources of a shared life and law. Communicative power can only arise if the informal public sphere has certain characteristics. First and foremost, it must be relatively free of distortions, coercion, and silencing social pressures so that communication can work as a filter for fostering more rational individual and collective will formation BFN Moreover, civil society must be animated by a political culture so that members actively participate in voluntary associations and public discourse about the terms of common life together BFN Normative power potentials cannot be generated if members largely retreat into private concerns or a society is internally segmented and riven with special interests Flynn ; Bohman and Rehg The political institutions of the formal public sphere are arranged so as to be porous to the inputs of the informal public sphere, to further refine and focus public opinion, and to make decisions.

If the state or other powerful actors reverse this flow by simply positing new laws or rules and either demanding compliance or inducing it in some other way, then this exercise of non-communicative administrative-bureaucratic power would be neither legitimate nor stable.


Only communicative power has the legitimating force needed so that a community can both author and rationally abide by the law. Democratically generated law ensures normative power potentials flow in the right direction and that they are maintained when implemented by institutions of the administrative state. This account of procedural-democratic collective self-determination should not be confused with traditional national self-determination. Insofar as we can speak about the will of a community it is an anonymous and subjectless public opinion emerging out of the discursive structures of communication themselves BFN , , , , In early writing Habermas claimed that as the rationality and pluralism of enlightenment ideals slowly took hold in modern societies the mythic explanations of religion would be less important.

But, he slowly came to revise his view on religion in modern societies. At present, the way he sees religion fitting into the public sphere of a liberal democracy is what is important. In liberal democracies, untrammeled populism is held in check by not only individual rights but also the very nature of public debate: citizens collectively self-determine through persuasion and rational argumentation.

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To do this amidst the pluralism of modernity, the laws they make must be grounded in public reasons accessible to all. The question is what this means for religious citizens. There have been a variety of answers. For instance, in Political Liberalism John Rawls held that liberal democratic citizens should ultimately only endorse policies that they can support on the basis of secular reasons.

Habermas is sympathetic to the vision of liberal democracy animating this view of how religious citizens should act. Indeed, he criticizes thinkers like Wolterstorff who insist that religious citizens ought to be allowed to try to base coercive law on their own particularistic values and conception of the good.

But when it comes to the institutions of the formal public sphere concerning coercive lawmaking, justifications should only be based in reasons that all can accept. For present purposes, the most charitable reading is that Habermas assumes all democratic citizens have an obligation to adopt a thoroughly self-reflective attitude. But, this also means non-religious citizens must move beyond a dogmatic secularist understanding wherein it is impossible for religious claims to have any cognitive value whatsoever. Indeed, given that some fundamental moral notions—such as equal human dignity—have been inextricably tied to the history of world religions, he claims it is not always clear where the boundaries of the religious and secular are.

Determining these boundaries and what can count as publicly acceptable may at times be a cooperative task wherein each side takes the claims of the other with some degree of seriousness b, 45 and b, Constitutional patriotism maintains that, in contrast to national identities of the past, modern political communities can base their collective identities around the unique ways they appropriate and embed the abstract, universalistic principles of democratic self-determination within their unique histories and traditions. This particularist anchoring would presumably include the way in which a community takes up the abstract system of rights, the process model, and L.

This is essentially the integrative potential of democratic citizenship when it is actively used. While this is a far cry from empirical realities in many parts of the world, Habermas sees the European Union as illustrative in this regard. Finally, Habermas sees constitutional patriotism as a normative resource that could help to expand civic solidarity across political borders and uncouple legal structures from the nation-state so they could be scaled-up into new institutions of international law. Such developments would allow new forms of democratic self-governance above the nation-state at regional and global levels DW Deliberative democracy is committed to institutionalized discourse that in some way makes it possible for law to be justified to the persons who are affected by or subjected to it.

Given increasing global interdependence this obviously pushes in cosmopolitan directions. However, at the same time, it is important to remember that communicative power must be rooted in a community with a shared ethical-political identity, and that constitutional patriotism is parasitic upon a particular political culture. This rootedness means that civic solidarity and new forms of self-governance can stretch, but only so far. This anchored cosmopolitanism yields a multi-level constitutionalization of international law that aims at some measure of global governance without government.

A supranational organization akin to a reformed United Nations is envisioned as securing international peace, security, and core human rights. At the mid-level, transnational authorities like the EU would tackle technical issues through coordinative efforts and political issues through negotiated bargaining among sufficiently representative regional regimes of commensurate stature. Finally, nation-states would retain their status as the locus of democratic legitimation. This would require the spread of democratic structures to each nation-state so that laws can reflect the will of the community and so that they could be reliably in line with the basic human rights secured by a supranational organization.

This vision of a multi-level political system for the constitutionalization of international law can be criticized as demanding both too much and too little. From this perspective of democratically legitimate law, the proposed system may demand too little.

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From the perspective of rootedness in political culture, the multi-level system may also demand too much with the extension of civic solidarity to transnational regimes. While Habermas is certainly aware of these criticisms, he is largely focused on defending his political theory in broad, systematic terms. If the broad normative outlines are correct then the overall theory will stand regardless of how the empirical details are filled in. Indeed, Habermas is rather unique among contemporary philosophers both in his systematic approach to large areas of theory and in his willingness to allow others to fill in the details of how particular claims might work.

He has always insisted that philosophers do not speak from a privileged place of knowledge. The best that they can hope for is to articulate a theory that can be convincingly and rigorously tested and debated in the public sphere. We can perhaps understand not only his political theory, but several other theoretical projects in this spirit of a public intellectual putting forth a theory for testing and debate that requires further articulation by those who come after. The article presented a general and reasonably complete introduction to Habermas.

However, given the breadth of his work and space constraints, the following should also be consulted:. Most of Habermas's work can be found in German and English. After the original year of publication and title, see the square brackets for the English translation.

For some texts a translation does not exist, only exists in part, or is divided between texts. Max Cherem Email: Max. Cherem kzoo. Enduring Themes in Formative and Transitional Work a. References and Further Reading a. General Introductions to Habermas The article presented a general and reasonably complete introduction to Habermas. However, given the breadth of his work and space constraints, the following should also be consulted: McCarthy, Thomas. The MIT Press. White, Stephen K. Cambridge University Press. Finlayson, James Gordon. Habermas: A Very Short Introduction.

Oxford University Press. Fultner, Barbara ed. Acumen Press. Bohman, James and Rehg, William. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Thomas Gregersen maintains an online bibliography at the Habermas Forum. The following printed bibliographies are also useful: There is no question that the collectible muscle car market is hot, and there are few cars hotter than those sold with the distinctive Yenko stripes and badges. A wide range of Chevrolet cars received.

This book examines the Israeli attitude towards Wagner in light of remembrance of the Holocaust and the shape of the new Israeli national identity. To many in Israel, Richard Wagner is a symbol of the. Powered by Marknet Pdf Books Base. Twitter Facebook. Home DMCA. Selected cases are from the typical confusion of today's youth encounter.