Thursday, April 04, 2019

New book by Habermas on the history of philosophy [updated]

A new book by Jürgen Habermas is coming out on Suhrkamp Verlag in September 2019:

Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie (1.700 pages)

Band 1: Die okzidentale Konstellation von Glauben und Wissen 

Band 2: Vernünftige Freiheit. Spuren des Diskurses über Glauben und Wissen 




Kurzbeschreibung

"Das neue Buch von Jürgen Habermas ist auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie. Es gibt im Stil einer Genealogie darüber Auskunft, wie die heute dominanten Gestalten des westlichen nachmetaphysischen Denkens entstanden sind. Als Leitfaden dient ihm der Diskurs über Glauben und Wissen, der aus zwei starken achsenzeitlichen Traditionen im römischen Kaiserreich hervorgegangen ist. Habermas zeichnet nach, wie sich die Philosophie sukzessive aus ihrer Symbiose mit der Religion gelöst und säkularisiert hat. In systematischer Perspektive arbeitet er die entscheidenden Konflikte, Lernprozesse und Zäsuren heraus sowie die sie begleitenden Transformationen in Wissenschaft, Recht, Politik und Gesellschaft.

Das neue Buch von Jürgen Habermas ist aber nicht nur eine Geschichte der Philosophie. Es ist auch eine Reflexion über die Aufgabe einer Philosophie, die an der vernünftigen Freiheit kommunikativ vergesellschafteter Subjekte festhält: Sie soll darüber aufklären, »was unsere wachsenden wissenschaftlichen Kenntnisse von der Welt für uns bedeuten – für uns als Menschen, als moderne Zeitgenossen und als individuelle Personen«."


On the forthcoming book see:

* Jürgen Habermas - "Acceptance Speech", receiving the John W. Kluge Prize in Washington September 29, 2015.  

* Jürgen Habermas - "The New Philosophical Interest in Religion. A Conversation with Eduardo Mendieta", Jürgen Habermas - Postmetaphysical Thinking II (Polity Press, 2017), pp. 59-76. Online version here

* Eduardo Mendieta - "Appendix: Religion in Habermas's Work", Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen - Habermas and Religion (Polity Press, 2013), pp. 403-407.

* Eduardo Mendieta - "Religion", Amy Allen & Eduardo Mendieta (eds) - The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019) pp. 394-399.

According to Eduardo Mendieta, Habermas's manuscript in the fall of 2017 consisted of the following nine chapters (The Cambridge Habermas Lexicon, 2019, p. 398f):

"The first chapter deals with the genealogy of postmetaphysical thinking, and begins with the crisis scenarios and histories of decay that have characterized the philosophy of the twentieth century.

The second chapter is an intensive engagement with Jaspers’ notion of the Axial Age, focusing on the “sacred roots of the inheritance of the Axial Age,” and taking up themes such as the cognitive breakthrough and preservation of the sacred core of Axial Age religions, the relationship between myth and ritual, the meaning of ritual practices, and the path of the Axial Age’s transformation of consciousness.  

The third chapter engages in a comparative view of the different Axial Age pictures of the world, and here Habermas takes up themes in ancient Judaism, Buddha’s teachings and practice, Confucianism, and Taoism, and ancient Greek “philosophy of nature” up through Socrates. 

Chapter four, which focuses on the “Symbiosis of Faith and Knowledge in Christian Platonism and the development of the Roman-Catholic Church,” has extensive engagements with Plotinus and Augustine. 

Chapter five focuses on “Christian Europe” and the advancing differentiation between the “sacerdotium” and “regnum.” In this chapter we encounter treatments of Aristotle’s challenge to thirteenth century theology, and Aquinas’s response, as well as the consequences for political philosophy of the ontologization of Aristotelian ethics. 

Chapter six, titled “The Via Moderna,” engages Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and the “nominalistic revolution,” as well as the works of Machiavelli and Francisco de Vittoria. 

Chapter seven deals with the “separation between faith and knowledge,” and focuses on the relationship between Protestantism and the rise of the philosophy of the subject. 

Chapter eight focuses on the emergence of postmetaphysical thinking in the works of Hume and Kant. 

Finally, chapter nine, titled “The Linguistic Corporalization of Reason. From Subjective Spirit to the Communicatively Socialized Learning Subject,” focuses on the factors that catalyzed paradigm shifts, and concludes, for the moment, on certain motifs in the linguistic turn in the works of Herder, Schleiermacher, and Humboldt."


Maybe the title of Habermas's book is a reference to Johann Gottfried Herder's "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie zur Bildung der Menschheit" (1774) ["This Too a Philosophy of History for the Formation of Humanity"] and his book  "Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit" (1784-1791) ["Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Mankind"]




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