File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2000/habermas.0005, message 61


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 12:23:31 -0400
Subject: Re: HAB: RE: lifeworld and phenomenology


Dear Mr. Heath;

I thank you for your response. I have read some of your articles, 
especially the review of Cooke's _Language and Reason_, and I must 
say that I was impressed by your knowledge of what looked like deep 
issues in habermassian texts. I hope that, in my reply here, you will 
not be annoyed by my own short knowledge of Habermas' writings.

Like Mr. Erik Davis, but maybe for different reasons, I was surprised 
by your following comment:


>
>My more general concern that is some unlucky person might come along, who
>despite being well-versed in the relevant phenomenological writings, might
>not be intimately acquainted with the writings of Talcott Parsons. Such a
>person might, just might, become confused about the range of philosophical
>issues that can be addressed fruitfully using Habermas's system/lifeworld
>distinction. :)
>


What do you think is the range of philosophical problems that can't 
be addressed by Habermas' own distinction? Do you mean that a 
much-Talcott-inspired lifeworld doesn't encompass the whole domain 
of, say, culture? The result being that so-called "colonizations" of 
lifeworld by system could be only partial colonizations, the domain 
of "culture" having then a possibility of answering to these 
problems, contrary to what Habermas is saying. Or are you implying 
that the distinction itself is not that pertinent, so that there 
really is no colonization at all?

My own and very faillible comment is that Habermas seems to be very 
suspicious about cultural legitimation, up to a point where he 
completely dismisses the possible force of reasonable cultural 
patterns. But on another level, he seems to be much aware of the 
consequences of his suspicion, and that is why he "nods" back to 
Husserl-Schutz-Luckmann.

I hope I'm not distracting this conversation too much,


Martin Blanchard
University of Montreal


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