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Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory Between Critical Theory and Post-Marxism by Mark Devenney

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2    Language, communication, performativity

Reading Habermas's theory of communicative rationality as a response to the aporias of Adorno's critical theory accents the political implications of Habermas's work. In particular Habermas wants to rescue the promise of enlightenment through an analysis of modern processes of rationalisation. He argues that modern societies bear an intuitive rationality which provides orientation for a modern democratic politics, as well as a normative basis for the judgement of the particular path rationalisation has taken. Habermas finds this potential in the pragmatics of everyday communication. Such a study of language, he claims, avoids the almost total inclusion of language in an instrumental relation to nature. ...

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