File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2001/habermas.0110, message 87

Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 22:58:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: HAB: The Ethic of the Species

Does replying to oneself mean a failure to learn from silence--a
narcissistic act of reflection?

Habermas's new essay--surely just in draft stage (looking like the
outline of a book)--is intensely interesting to me, and I'm close to
completing a detailed analysis of its "argumentation sketch" (which
was the status of the much longer _Legitimation Crisis_ which
anticipates TCA).  Those who know Habermas's thinking will see that
he's exploring a new kind of argument--recalling the anthropological
orientation of TCA, but now exploring an integration of such thinking
with autonomous moral universalism that, I believe, is new for him. 

His "mixed-up set of intuitions" (last paragraph of introductory
section) that, he intimates, might suggest "metaphysical bias" (first
paragraph of section III) seem to me to express an open process of
letting a community of discourse affect the development of a
position. That is, the enthymemicness of the essay--and it IS
that--announces a new direction of thinking that hasn't yet found (so
far as the essay expresses) its confident way. 

The proper response is *not* critique, but inventiveness. 

Does anyone else feel that his argument is not yet really made? Does
anyone else feel that the argument IS convincingly made and would
care to say what the fundamental argument is and why it works?  

--- Gary E Davis <> wrote:

>  the anthropological ethical basis of moral sense is asserted often
in his essay--and so many instances of JH's appeal for moral
universalism is made in valuational terms that aren't generally
considered subject to impartial comprehension (but belong to one or
another "comprehensive doctrine,...

This was an initial reaction, just after finishing my first
analytical reading of the essay.  I'd put it differently now, but the
spirit of the comment remains: an ambivalence about what's really
impartial and what's part of *his* comprehensive doctrine (that is
just another voice in the round).

But reactions don't accomplish much. 

Anyway, if this seemed out of place...

> The Inner Child is alive and well.

..then you might have thought that my comments earlier this month
that alluded to the Inner Child and which proffered a
depth-anthropological basis for ethics prior to any awareness of
Habermas's new essay were out of place, too. 

Not that I generally enjoy gloating. 

(and without rhetorical ambivalence)

cheers to a preference for Habermas over the puerile exchanges of
some others,


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