File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2001/habermas.0101, message 57

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001 18:02:42 -0600 (Central Standard Time)
Subject: Re: HAB: Help, please

Thad--Far from accepting Kohlberg's theory as an expert truth,
Habermas corrected Kohlberg's claim (made in "From Is to Ought")
of having overcome the naturalistic fallacy.  H argued that K's
claim could be formulated not as a matter of
empirically-discovered truth but rather as a matter of
reconstructive science (with a dialectical relationship between
theory and empirical results).  H's correction appears as
"Interpretive Social Science vs. Hermeneuticism", pp.251-269 of
Norma Haan, Robert N. Bellah, Paul Rabinow, and William M.
Sullivan, eds. Social Science as Moral Inquiry (NY:  Columbia
University Press, 1983).  Kohlberg acknowledged this correction
in Essays on Moral Development.  Vol. II:  The Psychology of
Moral Development (NY:  Harper & Row, 1984).  Habermas's entire
book, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (Cambridge,
MA:  MIT, 1983/trans. 1990) can be thought of as a systematic
presentation and application of this correction to the problem
of grounding ethics generally;  the first chapter ("Philosophy
As Stand-In and Interpreter") is most relevant, but it's hard to
understand when taken out of the context of the book as a whole.  
(Which is, in turn, pretty difficult itself -- but best of luck
grappling with it.)

Hope this helps.



On 14 Jan 2001 wrote:

> Hello All:
> I am an undergraduate philosophy/mass communication major at the University
> of North Carolina at Asheville, and I am going to be writing my senior
> research thesis on Habermas' notions of paradigm and paradigm shift.
> Specifically, I will be questioning whether or not Habermas is a radical or
> a conservative. He criticizes the circularity and emptiness of positivism,
> yet he refers to (what I think are) the positivists' institutional
> standards
> when deciding who is communicatively competent and who is not (...i.e. his
> reference to Kohlberg, experts, etc.). Can anyone direct me to important
> passages where Habermas talks about the feasibility of a paradigm shift
> toward a critical method and rising above the current paradigm that
> distinguishes positivist methods and hermeneutics when studying human
> beings?
> Thad
>      --- from list ---

| Stephen Chilton, Associate Professor, Dept of Pol Science 
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