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Practical rationality with a practical intent: a revised Habermasian conception centred on communicative negotiation

Shiakides, Sotos 2010. Practical rationality with a practical intent: a revised Habermasian conception centred on communicative negotiation. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This dissertation explores how and to what extent rationality can provide guidance for human action – individual and collective, private and public; particularly under the conditions of modernity. The theme is approached through an examination of Habermas' various pertinent contributions. In both the pre-communicative and the communicative phases of his work, Habermas has been concerned to show the one-sided and distorted nature of modern, instrumental rationalisation, and to invigorate the unfinished project of enlightenment. Thus he has endeavoured to develop and philosophically justify a complementary, communicative practical rationality. Communicative rationality would be employed for rationalising social interaction, whereas instrumental rationality would be restricted to human beings' interchange with nature, concerned with securing their means of material reproduction. One exception to this supposed exhaustive dichotomy is the case of human interaction entwined so closely with the means of material reproduction that if it were conducted communicatively, rather than instrumentally, it would be so inefficient as to threaten material reproduction itself. Fields of social interaction that, for the sake of material reproductive efficiency, need to be coordinated instrumentally are the economy and state administration. This study identifies and mainly concentrates on a lacuna common to Habermas' pre-communicative and communicative conceptual frameworks, one that results in an effective veto on the possibility that human agents can communicatively pursue their own ends by means of other agents. In this way, the vast range of social interactions in which the ends of human beings must inevitably be satisfied through the active involvement or consent of other human beings are a priori ceded to strategic action, contrary to Habermas' own intentions. To remedy this, my study sets out to develop philosophical justification for a revised conception of practical rationality centred on the notion of communicative negotiation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 04:27

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