1887

n Acta Academica - Contingency and universality in the Habermas-Rorty debate

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 0587-2405

Abstract

In this article the debate between Habermas and Rorty on the issue of relativism is discussed critically. Developments in Rorty's position are pointed out, for example his current acceptance of the epithet "relativist" as opposed to his earlier rejection of this self-description in view of his denial that a pragmatist such as himself has any, even a relativist, epistemology. Attention is also paid to Rorty's current denial of the relevance of the idea of "metaphors of making rather than finding" for this debate, against his earlier espousal of this distinction. His main effort is to create a vocabulary that might transcend the obsolete distinctions of "Platonism" such as truth-falsity, rational-irrational and subjective-objective. On the other hand, there is Habermas's unmasking of the undeniable and unavoidable performative contradiction in Rorty's work, as well as his argument that Rorty fails to develop a new vocabulary, but rather succumbs to the well-known Social Darwiniansm of the nineteenth century. The author shows why Habermas emerges from this debate much better than Rorty. End

<b>Kontingensie en universaliteit in die Habermas-Rortydebat</b> <br>In hierdie artikel word die debat tussen Habermas en Rorty oor die kwessie van relativisme krities bespreek. Daar word gewys op ontwikkelinge in Rorty se posisie, byvoorbeeld sy aanvaarding van die term "relativisme" teenoor sy vroeëre afwysing van dié selfbeskrywing in die lig van sy ontkenning dat 'n pragmatis soos hyself oor enige epistemologie, insluitende 'n relativistiese een, beskik. Aandag word ook geskenk aan Rorty se teenswoordige afwysing van die tersaaklikheid van "metaphors of making rather than finding", teenoor sy vroeëre motivering van sy standpunt in die lig van hierdie onderskeiding. Voorop staan sy poging om 'n woordeskat te skep wat die geykte teenstellings van "Platonisme" (bv waarheid-leuen, rasioneel-irrasioneel, subjektief-objektief) en hul gepaardgaande epistemologiese veronderstellings transendeer. Hierteenoor staan Habermas se ontmaskering van die performatiewe kontradiksie in Rorty se werk, asook sy argument dat Rorty geen nuwe woordeskat ontwikkel nie, dog bloot 'n negentiendeeeuse Sosiale Darwinisme in ere probeer herstel. Die skrywer toon aan waarom Habermas in hierdie debat veel beter daarvan afkom as Rorty. End

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/content/academ/2005/sup-2/EJC15163
2005-01-01
2019-08-17

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