Re: >Habermas is Habermas, 'nough said.

The idea of a form of rational
> communication which is non-essentialist is not, of itself,
> an impossible ideal. But we have to make allowances for
> different kinds of rationality; this, unfortunately, is
> habermas' fatal weakness.

It is not only Habermas' fatal weakness, but much of current
philosophical debate's current weakness. Few people take up the question
of what it means to say there are different kinds of rationality and then
of describing what kinds of rationality there are. Part of the problem
might be that everything is written in the dominant rationality of the
Kantian/generally philosophical tradition. This automatically makes other
forms of rationality suspect. Perhaps this is why Adorno writes in such an
odd way.
But the other problem is really getting a handle on what these
other forms of rationalities are. Is the Gilligan-type female rationality
really a "rationality" or another way of relating to the world which does
not rely on reason. Hoe many rationalities are there? Two, as in
Horkheimer/Adorno and Marcuse or multitudes as in anthropology and
Foucault? Coudl the multiple forms of rationality in Foucault be
classified under two kinds of rationality: enlightenment-dominating kind
and "aesthetic, or not? And exactly what is this aesthetic reason which
Adorno and Marcuse refer to?

Even Habermas speaks of these two kinds of rationality, but in his
enthusiasm to spell out exactly what communicative rationality is, he never
dessiminates aesthetic reasoning- he only uses it as a place holder.

University of Kentucky


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