Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy

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MIT Press, 1998 - Law - 631 pages
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In Between Facts and Norms Jürgen Habermas works out the legal and politicalimplications of his Theory of Communicative Action (1981), bringing to fruition the projectannounced with his publication of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere in 1962. Thisnew work is a major contribution to recent debates on the rule of law and the possibilities ofdemocracy in postindustrial societies, but it is much more.The introduction by William Rehgsuccinctly captures the special nature of the work, noting that it offers a sweeping, sociologicallyinformed conceptualization of law and basic rights, a normative account of the rule of law and theconstitutional state, an attempt to bridge normative and empirical approaches to democracy, and anaccount of the social context required for democracy. Finally, the work frames and caps thesearguments with a bold proposal for a new paradigm of law that goes beyond the dichotomies that haveafflicted modern political theory from its inception and that still underlie current controversiesbetween so- called liberals and civic republicans.The book includes a postscript written in 1994,which restates the argument in light of its initial reception, and two appendixes, which cover keydevelopments that preceded the book.Habermas himself was actively involved in the translation,adapting the text as necessary to make it more accessible to English-speaking readers.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Pianojazz - LibraryThing

Arguably Habermas' most important work, at least among those translated from the German into English. It is also a work of immense learning; one not easily penetrated despite a careful translation ... Read full review

Review: Between Facts & Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law & Democracy (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought)

User Review  - Sorina - Goodreads

I mean I understood about every other page (if I was lucky). But seriously, apart from writing on things that I believed he could have said in much common sense terms, he does make a couple of valid ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

William Rehg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. He is the translator of Jürgen Habermas's Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996) and the coeditor of Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics and Pluralism (1997) and The Pragmatic Turn: The Transformation of Critical Theory (2001), all published by the MIT Press.

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