File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2000/habermas.0012, message 4


Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 08:51:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject: HAB: re: Autonomy and Solidarity


Matthew, 

I regret that I didn't keep up with the "Third Rock" series last
month, which began as a response to me that I didn't answer. I was
out of town the week of Nov. 20, and when I got back, there was a lot
of exchanges; I didn't catch up, but rather, as you know, got off in
another direction. I'm almost afraid of getting into exchanges
because I know I'll soon have scarce time to continue fairly and risk
seeming inconsiderate when I suddenly withdraw. 

When Habermas talks about the "provincial German context" within
which he grew up, it's unclear that he's referring to personal
influences. I grew up in a Protestant context, but I'm not a
religious person. Habermas may be alluding to the background he had
to *outgrow* or avoid (though, of course, he was deeply influenced by
Kant--as many philosophers would be--though not by the mandarin
neo-Kantism of his province!). One really can't infer from the quote
anything about influences. It seems to me that JH is merely
indicating the intellectual background he was born into. Heidegger
was a towering figure in that "provincial" context, but we can't
infer anything from that about Heidegger's influence on Habermas.
(Though I wish to believe that influence was substantial, I recognize
that there may not be a lot of substantive basis for this
wishfulness).

Best regards,

Gary





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