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The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason Paperback – March 1, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0807014011 ISBN-10: 080701401X

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The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason + The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society + Dialectic of Enlightenment (Cultural Memory in the Present)
Price for all three: $89.05

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 457 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (March 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080701401X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807014011
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

One of the broadest, most comprehensive, elaborate and intensely theoretical works in social theory. Social theory and philosophy may never be the same again. --Philosophy and Social Criticism

About the Author

Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929) is a German sociologist and philosopher in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism.

Customer Reviews

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14 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second volume of the two that constitute "The Theory of Communicative Action" (the first volume subtitle is "Reason and the Rationalization of Society"). The first volume was published in English in 1984, while the second volume appeared in 1987. The two volumes are not independent books and should be read as a single book. See review of the two volumes in "The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society" (v. 1).
See review for the two volumes: The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society (The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol1)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lara on January 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is clearly written for an academic audience. It is very dense (sometimes extremely dense), but it is unbelievably rich at the same time. Well worth investing the effort to read it. Incredibly thorough and well-documented. A classic from the great Juergen Habermas!
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14 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Justin Evans on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a difficult book to rate, since it's obviously very important/influential. And the horrific style could bias anyone against it. But I finally settled on two stars. Why?

* Habermas' theory is meant to be an advance beyond previous critical theories. He argues that their focus on consciousness philosophy (broadly speaking, an individualist approach to social theory, which assumes that individuals are the primary bearers of meaning) leads them into all sorts of problems. But his interpretations of those previous critical theories are, not to put too fine a point on it, appalling. He misreads Hegel; he misreads Marx to such a great extent that one might almost believe he'd never even read *Capital*; and his take on earlier critical theorists is more or less limited to Horkheimer's 'Eclipse of Reason.' Habermas' main criticism of Adorno is that Adorno seeks a solution to the problems of modern societies in a kind of irrationalist mysticism. It is no surprise that almost all of his evidence for this is taken from books *about*, rather than *by* Adorno. (Good rebuttals of Habermas' readings of Hegel and Marx can be found in Pippin's 'Idealism as Modernism,' and Postone's 'Time, Labor and Social Domination' respectively.)
* For Habermas, the main problem with previous critical theories is that they don't seem to be grounded. Habermas sees a strict dichotomy here. Either you ground your theory by taking on a universalist perspective, or you lapse into relativism. Because critical theory has tended to avoid universalism, it must be relativistic. This is tied to his failure to understand Hegel's work. Hegel shows that the dichotomy between universalism and relativism is flawed; that something can be grounding without being universal.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Saladin on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I would like to thank to great scientist for his great contribution to social sciences and yet to all humanity. It can be your life-saver if you strive to make real research in this post-modern condition.
If you cannot see the importance and meaning of the books and important difference between two volumes, it is better to question your own "dasein" in academic field. Good luck..
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