Critique of Positivism, Hermeneutics and Communicative Reason in Habermas


In general, Jürgen Habermas is considered one of the main authors of the Frankfurt School and one of the greatest intellectuals of the Western world still among us. His research conceives of communicative reason as an alternative to instrumental reason and recovers the emancipatory content of the project of modernity. We will begin by presenting his critique of positivism and then discuss his dispute with Gadamer over hermeneutics. Habermas adopts hermeneutics, albeit with some criticism, as a facilitator of self-reflection that enables the errors of both objectivist social science and the vulgar analysis of language to be revealed to the social sciences. This is followed by this thinker's perspective on the interests that guide knowledge and, finally, we will undertake an approach to the theory of communicative rationality, which affirms the universalist optimism of Habermas, based on a healthy pluralism that allows human consensus.

Keywords: Habermas; critique of positivism; hermeneutics; interests of knowledge; communicative rationality

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