File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2000/habermas.0004, message 45


Subject: HAB: Re: Re: On Habermas's Understanding of Language and the[Freudian]Unconscious
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 00:33:20 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.


I think there is a simple misunderstanding here. The date 1990 for the publication of "On Hermeneutics' Claim to Universality" refers to the English translation. I believe that it was originally printed as "Univeralit=E4tsanspruch der Hermeneutik" in K.-O. Apel ed. 1971 Hermeneutik und Ideologiekritik  (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag). This would place it only a mere three years after the appearance of Erkenntnis und Interesse  in 1968 (Suhrkamp Verlag). Hence Ken's original query seems to have a sound basis.

-Tom Murphy

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: .
  To: habermas-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu
  Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 11:56 PM
  Subject: HAB: Re: On Habermas's Understanding of Language and the[Freudian]Unconscious


   
  kenneth.mackendrick-AT-utoronto.ca wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something rather simple
     here.  It seems to me that this is a radical departure from Freud, no longer is
     the unconscious conceived of in Freudian terms, rather, in structuralist (?)
     terms.

  Not to seem glib, but there's a quarter century of Habermas' development of thinking, between the two passages you quote.  He was more linguistic-relativist, in the late 60s. In the middle '70s, he turned more cognitivist. By the 1990s, an "early" / "later" Habermas distinction, based in very different eras of work, seems pertinent.
   

    In Knowledge and Human Interests, Habermas maintains,
    >>      The ego's flight from itself is an operation that is carried out in and
    with language. Otherwise it would not be possible to reverse the defensive
    process hermeneutically... the distinction between word-presentations and
    asymbolic ideas is problematic, and the assumption of a non-linguistic
    substratum, in which these ideas severed from language are "carried out," is
    unsatisfactory. In addition, it is not clear according to what rules (other
    than grammatical rules) unconscious ideas could be connected with verbal
    residues (Habermas 1971: 241).

    Joel Whitebook, in "Reason and Happiness" in Habermas and Modernity, commenting
    on Habermas's argument, writes,

    >>      Habermas wants to argue that, as inner nature is susceptible of
    socialization, i.e. "linguisticalization," it must in some sense already be
    protolinguistic; thus, he must deny the existence of the unconscious as a
    "nonlinguistic substratum" (Whitebook 1985: 156).

    I think this is clear from Habermas's argument in Knowledge and Human
    Interests, there is no "thing-representation" apart from "word-representation."
    For Habermas, "language is the only thing we can know" (as he noted in his 1965
    address).  As far as I can see, this holds just as true for his theory today as
    it did in 1965.

    However Habermas also wrote, in his reply to Gadamer "On Hermeneutics' Claim to
    Universality"

    >>      The genetic epistemology of Jean Piaget lays bare the language-
    independent roots of perational thinking.  To be sure, such thinking can reach
    full develoment only on the strength of an integration into the linguistic rule
    system of the cognitive schemata which originate prelinguistically in the sphere
    of instrumental action. However, there are ample indications that language is
    merely "superimposed" on categories such as space, time, causality, and
    substance, and on rules which govern the combination of symbols according to the
    laws of formal logic - both of which have a prelinguistical foundation. On this
    hypothesis, it would be possible to exlpain the monological use of language for
    hte organization of rational goal-oriented behavior and the construction of
    scientific theories: in such cases natural language could be seen as freed, so
    to speak, from the structure of intersubjectivity - as functioning, in other
    words, without its dialogical element and severed from [colloquial]
    communication, subject only to the conditions of operative intelligence
    (Habermas 1994: 300).

    I'm having some difficulty reconciling the two statements.  First, that the
    uncs is purely linguistic in character (which is a position that I think
    Habermas still holds) (or at least it is only relevant to us in and through
    language) and the idea that there is a prelinguistic "operational" dynamic
    underlying this linguisticalization.  Maybe I'm missing something rather simple
    here.  It seems to me that this is a radical departure from Freud, no longer is
    the unconscious conceived of in Freudian terms, rather, in structuralist (?)
    terms.

    thanks,
    ken

         --- from list habermas-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---


HTML VERSION:

I think there is a simple misunderstanding here. The date 1990 for the publication of "On Hermeneutics' Claim to Universality" refers to the English translation. I believe that it was originally printed as "Univeralit=E4tsanspruch der Hermeneutik" in K.-O. Apel ed. 1971 Hermeneutik und Ideologiekritik  (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag). This would place it only a mere three years after the appearance of Erkenntnis und Interesse  in 1968 (Suhrkamp Verlag). Hence Ken's original query seems to have a sound basis.

-Tom Murphy

----- Original Message -----
From: .
To: habermas-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 11:56 PM
Subject: HAB: Re: On Habermas's Understanding of Language and the[Freudian]Unconscious

 
kenneth.mackendrick-AT-utoronto.ca wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something rather simple
     here.  It seems to me that this is a radical departure from Freud, no longer is
     the unconscious conceived of in Freudian terms, rather, in structuralist (?)
     terms.


Not to seem glib, but there's a quarter century of Habermas' development of thinking, between the two passages you quote.  He was more linguistic-relativist, in the late 60s. In the middle '70s, he turned more cognitivist. By the 1990s, an "early" / "later" Habermas distinction, based in very different eras of work, seems pertinent.
 

In Knowledge and Human Interests, Habermas maintains,

>>      The ego's flight from itself is an operation that is carried out in and
with language. Otherwise it would not be possible to reverse the defensive
process hermeneutically... the distinction between word-presentations and
asymbolic ideas is problematic, and the assumption of a non-linguistic
substratum, in which these ideas severed from language are "carried out," is
unsatisfactory. In addition, it is not clear according to what rules (other
than grammatical rules) unconscious ideas could be connected with verbal
residues (Habermas 1971: 241).

Joel Whitebook, in "Reason and Happiness" in Habermas and Modernity, commenting
on Habermas's argument, writes,

>>      Habermas wants to argue that, as inner nature is susceptible of
socialization, i.e. "linguisticalization," it must in some sense already be
protolinguistic; thus, he must deny the existence of the unconscious as a
"nonlinguistic substratum" (Whitebook 1985: 156).

I think this is clear from Habermas's argument in Knowledge and Human
Interests, there is no "thing-representation" apart from "word-representation."
For Habermas, "language is the only thing we can know" (as he noted in his 1965
address).  As far as I can see, this holds just as true for his theory today as
it did in 1965.

However Habermas also wrote, in his reply to Gadamer "On Hermeneutics' Claim to
Universality"

>>      The genetic epistemology of Jean Piaget lays bare the language-
independent roots of perational thinking.  To be sure, such thinking can reach
full develoment only on the strength of an integration into the linguistic rule
system of the cognitive schemata which originate prelinguistically in the sphere
of instrumental action. However, there are ample indications that language is
merely "superimposed" on categories such as space, time, causality, and
substance, and on rules which govern the combination of symbols according to the
laws of formal logic - both of which have a prelinguistical foundation. On this
hypothesis, it would be possible to exlpain the monological use of language for
hte organization of rational goal-oriented behavior and the construction of
scientific theories: in such cases natural language could be seen as freed, so
to speak, from the structure of intersubjectivity - as functioning, in other
words, without its dialogical element and severed from [colloquial]
communication, subject only to the conditions of operative intelligence
(Habermas 1994: 300).

I'm having some difficulty reconciling the two statements.  First, that the
uncs is purely linguistic in character (which is a position that I think
Habermas still holds) (or at least it is only relevant to us in and through
language) and the idea that there is a prelinguistic "operational" dynamic
underlying this linguisticalization.  Maybe I'm missing something rather simple
here.  It seems to me that this is a radical departure from Freud, no longer is
the unconscious conceived of in Freudian terms, rather, in structuralist (?)
terms.

thanks,
ken

     --- from list habermas-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---

--- from list habermas-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---

Driftline Main Page

 

Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005