Thursday, March 18, 2010

New book: "Beyond Universal Pragmatics"

Beyond Universal Pragmatics
Studies in the Philosophy of Communication

Ed. by Colin B. Grant

(Peter Lang, 2010)

239 pp.


The explicit ambition of this collection is to move 'beyond' the Universal Pragmatics of Jürgen Habermas. It is without doubt an ambitious programme whose architect, Jürgen Habermas, has conducted since the 1960s a series of reflections on the rational potential of western society from the Enlightenment to the present. It is no exaggeration to say that the reconstruction of the rational basis of society underpins his entire critical project to this day and thus underlines the fundamental unity and continuity in his work. However, this theoretical emphasis on the irreducibility of the rational content of debate cannot avoid abstracting putative communicative universals from the empirical communication practices which are always embedded in multiple contexts of discourse, identity, media and institutions. This tension in Habermas's oevre has developed an antagonistic potential.

The nine contributions in this volume from the fields of psychology, politics, media, epistemology and aesthetics set out to move beyond the influence of communicative universals and propose alternative approaches to the challenge of reconciling autonomy, interaction and social organisation.

The collection is dedicated to Jürgen Habernas and Niklas Luhmann!


Colin B. Grant: Introduction

Edmond Wright: Habermas as Lacking in Faith?

Mark Olssen: Discourse, Complexity, Life: Elaborating the Possibilities of Foucault's Materialist Concept of Discourse

Bart Vandenabeele/Stijn Van Impe: Kant 'after' Habermas and Searle. Towards a Pragmatics of Aesthetic Judgements

Siegfried J. Schmidt: The Self-Organisation of Human Communication

João Salgado/Jaan Valsiner: Dialogism and the Eternal Movement within Communication

Katerina Strani: Communicative Rationality and the Challenge of Systems Theory

Loet Leydesdorff: Luhmann Reconsidered. Towards an Empirical Research Programme in the Sociology of Communication?

Tino G.K. Meitz: In Praise of Hubris: Habermas, Epistemology and Theory Formation

Colin B. Grant: Radical Contextualism vs. Universal Pragmatics

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