Communication and the Evolution of Society

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Polity Press, 1991 - Social Science - 239 pages
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In this important volume Habermas outlines the views which form the basis of his critical theory of modern societies. The volume comprises five interlocking essays, which together define the contours of his theory of communication and of his substantive account of social change. ′What is Universal Pragmatics?′ is the best available statement of Habermas′s programme for a theoryof communication based on the analysis of speech acts. In the following two essays Habermas draws on the work of Kohlberg and others to develop a distinctive account of moral consciousness and normative structures. ′Toward a Reconstruction of historical Materialsim′ takes these issues further, offering a wide–ranging reconstruction of Marx′s historical materialsim understood as a theory of social evolution. The final essay focuses on the question of legitimacy and on the legitimation problems faced by modern states. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the key questions of social and political theory today.

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

A collection of essays which is probably the best introduction to Habermas' work in his own words. The five essays introduce one aspect of his project: his reliance on an interpretation of speech-act ... Read full review

About the author (1991)

Jurgen Habermas is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt and Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He was recently awarded the 2004 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy by the Inamori Foundation. The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.

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