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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Dreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable ReasoningReligion without GodRelying on OthersRemembering HomeResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsRestraining RageRethinking ExpertiseRethinking IntrospectionRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeRethinking the DSMRethinking the Sociology of Mental HealthRethinking the Western Understanding of the SelfReturn to ReasonRevolt, She SaidRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard Rorty's New PragmatismRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRise And Fall of Soul And SelfRitalin NationRobert NozickRousseauRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Derrida on DeconstructionRules, Reason, and Self-KnowledgeSaints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural IrelandSartreSartreSartreSartre in Search of an EthicsSatisficing and MaximizingSaving GodScandalous KnowledgeSchizophreniaSchizophrenia and the Fate of the SelfSchizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion?SchopenhauerSchopenhauer's TelescopeScienceScience and EthicsScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologyScience and SpiritualityScience and the Pursuit of WisdomScience Fiction and PhilosophyScience Fiction and PhilosophyScience in Civil SocietyScience in DemocracyScience RulesScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealityScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealSciences from BelowScientific EvidenceScientific IrrationalismScientific PerspectivismScientific PluralismScientific Realism and the Rationality of ScienceScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecond NatureSecond OpinionsSecond PhilosophySecrets of the MindSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSecurity, Territory, PopulationSeeing and VisualizingSeeing DoubleSeeing Fictions in FilmSeeing RedSeeing Wittgenstein AnewSeeing, Doing, And KnowingSelfSelf and OtherSelf and SubjectivitySelf, No Self?Self-ConsciousnessSelf-ConstitutionSelf-ExpressionSelf-FulfillmentSelf-Knowledge and ResentmentSelf-Knowledge and Self-DeceptionSelf-Made MadnessSelf-Reference and Self-AwarenessSelf-Representational Approaches to ConsciousnessSelvesSentimental RulesSexing the BodySexualized BrainsShades of LonelinessShame and GuiltShame and NecessityShame and PhilosophyShop Class as SoulcraftShynessSigns, Mind, And RealitySimone de BeauvoirSimple MindednessSimulating MindsSimulation and SimilaritySinging in the FireSisyphus's BoulderSituating SemanticsSix Questions of SocratesSkeptical FeminismSkepticismSketch for a Theory of the EmotionsSleeping With Extra-TerrestrialsSlothSocial EpistemologySocial PhenomenologySocializing MetaphysicsSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSocratesSocrates CafeSocrates in LoveSocratic Moral PsychologySoft 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Man, and the MonsterThe Wing of MadnessThe Wonder of ConsciousnessThe Work of MourningThe Works of AgencyThe World in My Mind, My Mind in the WorldThe World of PerceptionThe World of PerversionTheoretical Issues in Psychology: An IntroductionTheories of Human NatureTheory and RealityTheory of MindTherapeutic ActionThere is No Such Thing as a Social ScienceThere's Something About Mary Things and PlacesThinking About FeelingThinking about Free WillThinking and SeeingThinking for CliniciansThinking for CliniciansThinking of AnswersThinking through the BodyThinking TwiceThinking with WhiteheadThis is Madness TooThomas KuhnThomas KuhnThomas Kuhn's ""Linguistic Turn"" and the Legacy of Logical EmpiricismThought in a Hostile WorldThought in ActionThought's FootingThreads of LifeThree Faces of DesireThrough the Looking GlassTime and IdentityTo Have Or To Be?TolerationTortured SubjectsTowards a Science of Consciousness IIITowards Non-BeingTraumaTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTrue to LifeTrue to Our FeelingsTrusting on the EdgeTrusting the Subject?Truth & PredicationTruth and Truth-MakingTruth and TruthfulnessTruth as One and ManyTuringTwo Great Problems of LearningTwo Regimes of MadnessUgly FeelingsUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Kant's EthicsUnderstanding LoveUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding PeopleUnderstanding Phenomenal Consciousness Undoing GenderUnifying HinduismUniversitiesUnlearning or 'How NOT to Be Governed?'Unnatural SelectionUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnto OthersUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisVarieties of Anomalous ExperienceVarieties of MeaningVarieties of Practical ReasoningViolence Against WomenViolence and the BodyVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesVirtues of ThoughtVision and BrainVision and MindVision's InvisiblesVisual CultureVital NourishmentVulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied EthicsW. K. Clifford and "The Ethics of Belief"Waking LifeWandering SignificanceWays of KnowingWeakness of Will and Practical IrrationalityWeakness of Will from Plato to the PresentWeakness of Will in Renaissance and Reformation ThoughtWelfare and Rational CareWhat Are We?What Art IsWhat Emotions Really AreWhat Good Are the Arts?What If Medicine Disappeared?What Is a Human?What Is an Emotion: Classic and Contemporary ReadingsWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is Medicine?What is Mental Disorder?What Is Posthumanism?What Is Secular Humanism?What Is the Good Life?What is the Self?What Is This Thing Called Happiness?What Is Thought?What Makes Us Think?What Nietzsche Really SaidWhat Should I Believe?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong With Science?When Self-Consciousness BreaksWhere Biology Meets PsychologyWhere the Action IsWhere the Roots Reach for WaterWhispers from the EastWho Rules in ScienceWho Was Jacques Derrida?Who's in Charge?Whose Freud?Why Everyone (Else) Is a HypocriteWhy God Won't Go AwayWhy Read Mill Today?Why the Mind is Not a ComputerWhy Things Matter to PeopleWhy Think?Why Think? Why Truth MattersWhy We DanceWider than the SkyWilliam Blake on Self and SoulWilliam James at the BoundariesWilliam James on Ethics and FaithWilling, Wanting, WaitingWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWise TherapyWitchcrazeWithin ReasonWithout ConscienceWittgensteinWittgenstein and Approaches To ClarityWittgenstein And PsychologyWittgenstein and PsychotherapyWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWittgenstein Reads WeiningerWomen, Body, IllnessWomen, Madness and MedicineWords and ImagesWorld, Affectivity, TraumaWritten in the FleshYoga - Philosophy for EveryoneYour Drug May Be Your ProblemZizekZombies and Consciousness
Jürgen Habermas was recently celebrated by Harvard University
as "one of the most important philosophers and social theorists
in the world today - and a formidable exponent of the Enlightenment
ideals of rationality and universality." Indeed, Jürgen
Habermas is the latest (and perhaps last) member of a long line
of adventuresome and wide-ranging thinkers coming out of the Frankfurt
School. Best known as a critical theorist, Habermas' work encompasses
topics including moral philosophy, philosophy of the social sciences,
legal theory, and aesthetics. In addition, he has not been shy
of crossing the disciplinary lines of history, sociology, and
developmental psychology. As a philosopher, Habermas stands in
marked contrast with the specialization witnessed amongst philosophers
in the United States since the rise of analytical philosophy.
Yet for all of its ranging, Habermas' work has been, at least
since the mid-seventies, grounded on his philosophy of language
and nourished by critical dialogue with American philosophers
such as John Searle and Richard Rorty. This interest in philosophy
of language emerges from his enduring interest in social criticism,
and, in particular, his pursuit of a universal, normative basis
for social criticism. While language has a variety of morally
unsavory uses, Habermas argues that its primary function is the
achievement of understanding between language users. The use of
language to achieve an understanding with others puts us under
certain restraints, such as requiring us to back our claims up
with reasons. By unpacking the presuppositions involved in using
language to achieve an understanding with others, Habermas hopes
to find ways to understand concepts like truth, meaning, and rightness
that avoid relativism. Yet he also recognizes the force of some
'post-modern' criticisms of the philosophical tradition and so
aims to remain 'postmetaphysical,' that is, to avoid appealing
to any overarching ontological framework to ground normative claims.
On the Pragmatics of Communication compiles Jürgen
Habermas's central essays on the philosophy of language starting
with his 1976 essay "What is Universal Pragmatics?"
up to a 1996 critical commentary on the notorious post-modern
pragmatist Richard Rorty. Given the centrality of communication
to Habermas's thought as a whole, this book could justly be said
to get to the core of Habermas's thought.
Several chapters of this book directly expound Habermas' philosophy
of language. In these essays, he is concerned to formulate and
to defend his answer the central question in the philosophy of
language: what is it to understand a well-formed symbolic expression?
Following philosophers like the later Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin,
and John Searle, Habermas looks at language in its use, that is,
his unit of analysis is a speech act or utterance rather than
a sentence or proposition. This approach contains a danger to
which the later Wittgenstein and Austin may have succumbed; in
looking at language use, one risks getting lost in its unending
complexity, making any sort of general, theoretical answer to
the above question impossible. Habermas therefore tries to hold
onto the insights of truth-conditional semantics, which puts cognitive
validity at its center, though possibly at the expense of the
diversity of linguistic functions, along with the potential ability
of the pragmatic approach to address those functions.
Truth-conditional semantics rests on the view that "to understand
a proposition is to know what is the case if it is true,"
as Wittgenstein put it in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
Truth-conditional semantics therefore emphasizes the representation
of states of affairs in sentences treated abstractly, as logical
propositions. While philosophers have argued that truth-conditional
semantics grounds meaning in any of the various uses of language,
Habermas holds that, in the end, truth-conditional semantics does
not even sufficiently ground the meaning of sentences used to
represent states of affairs. For beyond simple predications, truth
conditional semantics fails to cash out adequately what it is
for a language user to know the truth conditions for a sentence.
Habermas therefore draws on Dummett's extension of truth-conditional
semantics. Dummett suggests that in order to understand a sentence
we must know the rules for its verification. Dummett therefore
speaks of assertibility conditions, that is, conditions under
which one is entitled to make a given claim. A hearer understands
a sentence, for Dummett, just in case she knows the kinds of reasons
a speaker could use to vindicate her claim that particular truth
conditions are satisfied. Habermas preserves Dummett's insight
while attempting to extend it to include other linguistic functions
and to account more adequately for the pragmatic, intersubjective
component of the vindication of claims to validity, drawing on
the use theory of meaning.
Use theory or pragmatic approaches argue that the meaning of a
word is its use within language games, in which utterances and
non-linguistic activities are entwined. On this view, the meaning
of an utterance depends on its relation to a background pre-understanding
of established institutions and customs that pattern the relations
between utterances and actions. Although Habermas does want to
look at language in its use himself, he worries about this view
as articulated by the later Wittgenstein. In particular, he is
concerned that the validity of claims is assimilated by Wittgenstein
to the prevailing social conditions, so that there can be no context-transcendent
claims to truth or rightness.
Habermas wants to find a way of looking at language in its use
that stays at a level of generality sufficient to be comprehensive,
orderly, and to yield a conception of validity for utterances
in their various uses, yet without losing a grip on those various
uses. To categorize speech acts, Habermas revives a schema developed
by psychologist Karl Bühler in the nineteen thirties. This
schema divides expressions according to their employment to express
the intentions of a speaker, to represent states of affairs, and
to establish relations with an addressee.
Habermas wishes to shift Bühler's categories so as to bring
them into his formal pragmatic model. For Habermas, every speech
act "relates simultaneously to something in the objective
world, to something in the subjective world, and to something
in a shared social world." Bühler's categories take
on new meaning for Habermas in being connected to the kinds of
reasons that can be used to redeem the various claims. Instead
of Dummett's assertibility conditions, Habermas speaks of 'acceptability
conditions.' As with Dummett, a hearer understands a speech act
just in case she knows the kinds of reasons that could be used
to vindicate the claim, but Habermas broadens the grounds upon
which a claim can be criticized. Habermas divides acceptability
conditions with respect to the three different 'world-relations,'
defined in terms of how we can go about criticizing and providing
reasons for our claims.
Each speech act can be criticized as false with respect to its
existential presuppositions, as untruthful or insincere with respect
to the speaker's intent, and as inappropriate to the normative
context. Even a simple assertion like "it's raining"
can be contested from each dimension: one can ask whether it is
in fact raining, whether the speaker really intends simply to
inform us of the weather, and whether it is an appropriate context
in which to make such an announcement. Of course, this speech
act is by virtue of its structure an assertion; it makes its most
direct claim about the objective world, because in normal contexts
the most direct challenge to it would be a particular state of
affairs not holding, i.e., it's not raining.
A key insight here is that linguistic understanding is linked
to achieving an understanding with another person. As Habermas
puts it, "one would not know what it is to understand the
meaning of an utterance if one did not know that the utterance
can and should serve to bring about an agreement." In the
case of a successful speech act, the hearer realizes the conditions
that make it acceptable and that the speaker "makes a credible
warranty for the validity of what is said." In such a case,
the hearer is rationally motivated to say 'yes' to the offer.
The speech act can rationally motivate the hearer, Habermas holds,
only because the utterance obliges the hearer to respond to cognitively
testable validity claims connected with the type of speech act
that it is. Indeed, this 'binding effect' carries over into the
'sequel of interaction,' guiding the speaker and hearer in accordance
with the semantic content of the accepted offer. So, successful
communication depends on the speaker and hearer taking on specific
commitments (though not necessarily symmetrically) in accordance
with the content of an accepted offer. For example, in order for
a promise to be a successful speech act, the speaker must be ready
to show chiefly the normative appropriateness of the promise and
then to 'make good' on the offer contained in the promise. The
hearer must be ready chiefly to recognize the fulfillment of the
conditions that render the promise appropriate and then acknowledge
when the speaker has carried through with it.
The formal pragmatic account of language yields a concept of communicative
rationality grounded on the accountability necessary to take on
the obligations that arise from speech acts. This view
of rationality supplements the traditional conception oriented
toward maximizing one's strategic outcome toward a view that is
centered on meeting the demands of reaching an understanding.
The rational individual on this view is oriented toward validity
claims as the condition of possibility for mutual understanding.
Communicative action, that is, action oriented toward achieving
an understanding is structured around validity claims, for they
are "the stewards of a rationality that presents itself as
the structural interconnection of validity conditions." By
Habermas' account, then, natural language is holistic; it reaches
across particular 'language games,' for every speech act is, he
claims, connected "by logical-semantic threads" to others
that can take on the pragmatic role of reasons in further exchange.
The concept of communicative rationality thereby gives us a model
of human activity as potentially universally structured by a holistic
language used with a telos of understanding.
We can readily see that this account of the pragmatics of achieving
an understanding and the accompanying conception of rationality
has a certain normative content. Yet this theory provides only
the groundwork for Habermas' well-known contributions to moral
and political theory. These essays provide the reader with an
important foundation for any serious study of those twin projects.
Yet they are also independently interesting as contributions to
contemporary philosophy. As becomes clear in the articles responding
to John Searle, Richard Rorty, and others, also collected in this
volume, Habermas' treatment of language provides a point of departure
for addressing a range of issues in contemporary philosophy. Without
going into detail, the argument for universal presuppositions
to be found within the pragmatics of achieving an understanding
yields a pragmatism that does not simply affirm the validity of
the contingent arrangement of our practices. It allows us to make
sense of context-transcendent claims to truth and rightness, claims
that many contemporary pragmatists, particularly Rorty, seem to
It should come as no surprise that these texts plunge the reader
directly into some of the most abstruse philosophical discourse
in the corpus of Habermas, who often writes in jargon-laden, programmatic
prose. Non-philosophers and analytical philosophers alike may
find these stylistic faults at times agonizing. In addition, these
works, when extracted from the overarching philosophical project
of which they are a central part, are sometimes so exacting that
one may lose sight of the larger project that motivates them.
Finally, Habermas' criticism of his opponents can, at its worse,
come off as an appeal to 'guilt by association' with philosophies
he finds to be out of date. He associates both Charles Taylor
and Richard Rorty with Romantic philosophy, seeming to insinuate
a connection with the invocation of the philosophies in Nazi Germany.
Yet if the reader can patiently wade through these difficulties
and shortcomings, she will surely find a philosophical project
with far-reaching implications.
© 2001 John Wright
John Wright, Ph.D. teaches
philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook.