File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9806, message 8

Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 01:54:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: reification, agency, Habermas

On Tue, 2 Jun 1998 wrote:

> Wait, Habermas claims that in our 'totally administered society' (to borrow
> Adorno's phrase) there is a clash between strategic action including strategic
> linguistic action as systematically distorted and perlocutionary, and
> communicative action when language is justified through validity claims.  I
> don't think Habermas means to say that coordination exists without the
> subjects intersubjective coordinating activity.  Administered activity or
> strategic action when actors and speakers manipulate each other is not
> coordination, rather it is a form of steering.  

Well ... at p. 101 of the first volume of the Theory of Communicative
Action, Habermas writes:  "Concepts of social action are distinguished ...
according to how they specify the coordination among the goal-directed
actions of different participants:  as the interlacing of egocentric
calculations of utility ... ; as a socially integrating agreement about
values and norms instilled through cultural tradition and socialization;
as a consensual relation between players and their publics; or as reaching
understanding in the sense of a cooperative process of interpretation."
So, there at least for Habermas coordination is something that can be
achieved through strategic action.  Perhaps he uses the word differently
elsewhere.... A matter of semantics, but when dealing with someone like
Habermas, semantics can be important.... Anyway, if you want to pursue
this further, maybe we should take it off the list.

----Matthew A. King------Department of Philosophy------McMaster University----
     "The border is often narrow between a permanent temptation to commit
     suicide and the birth of a certain form of political consciousness."
-----------------------------(Michel Foucault)--------------------------------


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