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By Juergen Habermas

Jürgen Habermas, professor of philosophy on the collage of Frankfurt, has been hailed because the "foremost social and political philosopher in Germany today" (Times Literary Supplement). incorporated listed below are essays on his theories of communique, socialization, social evolution, and the improvement of legislations and morality.

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Sample text

The validity of a propositional content depends, by contrast, on whether the proposition stated represents a fact (or whether the existential presuppositions of a mentioned propositional content hold) ; the validity of an intention expressed depends on whether it corresponds to what is actually intended by the speaker; and the validity of the utterance performed depends on whether this action conforms to a recognized normative background. Whereas a grammatical sentence fulfills the claim to comprehensibility, a successful utterance must satisfy three additional validity claims: it must count as true for the participants insofar as it represents something in the world; it must count as truthful insofar as it expresses something intended by the speaker; and it must count as right insofar as it conforms to socially recognized expectations.

Something like a transcendental investigation of processes of understanding seems plausible to me as long as we view these under the aspect of processes of experience. It is in this sense that I speak of communicative experience; in understanding the utterance of another speaker as a participant in a communication process, the hearer (like the observer who perceives a segment of reality) has an experience. From this comparative perspective, concrete utterances would correspond to empirical objects, and utterances in general to objects in general (in the sense of objects of possible experience).

Every coherent experience is organized in a categorial network; to the extent that we discover the same implicit conceptual structure in any coherent experience whatsoever, we may call this basic conceptual system of possible experience transcendental. 4 8 The strong apriorism of Kantian philosophy gives way to a weaker version. From now on, transcendental investigation must rely on the competence of knowing subjects who judge which experiences may be called coherent experiences in order to analyze this material for general and necessary categorial presuppositions.

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