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Theory and Practice Paperback – March 9, 1988


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Theory and Practice + Knowledge & Human Interests + The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For almost twenty years now Juergen Habermas has been perhaps the most consistently (as distinct from fashionably) influential thinker in the philosophy of the social sciences and in the area or socially oriented philosophies" – Times Literary Supplement

"
It is not altogether easy to assess the work of a scholar whose professional competence extends from the logic of science to the sociology of knowledge, by way of Marx, Hegel, and the more recondite sourse of European metaphysical tradition ... At an age when most of his colleagues have painfully established control over one corner of the field, he has made himself the master of the whole, in depth and breadth alike." – George Lichtheim

"
Strongly recommended for students of philosophy and social thought." – Kirkus Reviews 

Review

'It is not altogether easy to assess the work of a scholar whose professional competence extends from the logic of science to the sociology of knowledge, by way of Marx, Hegel, and the more recondite sources of European metaphysical tradition.... At an age when most of his colleagues have painfully established control over one corner of the field, he has made himself the master of the whole, in depth and breadth alike.' George Lichtheim --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (March 9, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080701527X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807015278
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gunlover on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jurgen Habermas is truly one of the great political thinkers of the 20th Century. In his book "Theory and Practice," Habermas explores the human sciences and role that human interests have in their development. It is Habermas' contention that the so-called "value-free" character of the human sciences (e.g. economics, sociology, psychiatry, etc.) represents a false assumption of neutrality and objectivity.

In "Theory and Practice", Habermas asserts that normative valuations are embedded within the theoretical assumptions of the human sciences. In Habermas' words, "The interest in attaining control over society initially invested in the cognitive initiative of scientific theories interferes with the simultaneous interest in society `in-itself.' Therefore, a prior understanding originating in interested experience always infiltrates the fundamental concepts of the theoretical system" (p. 210).

Basically, Habermas asserts that knowledge and interest are inseparable. "[W]e are practically interested in society. For even if we place ourselves (fictitiously) outside the social interrelationships of life in order to confront them, we still remain part of them, even in the act of insight, as subject and object in one" (p. 210).

From a philosophical perspective, Habermas rejects the Cartesian notion of a solipsistic ego comprehending itself apart from exterior phenomena. In his book, Habermas goes into a brief but succinct discussion of Hegel and his treatment of the subject/object dichotomy. Habermas praises Hegel's recognition that the "I" does not represent "the reflection of the solitary `I' on itself" (p. 152).
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Format: Paperback
Jürgen Habermas (born 1929) is a German philosopher and sociologist who is one of the leading figures of the Frankfurt School. He wrote many books, such as The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society, The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Truth and Justification, The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this revised edition of the original 1971 book, “In the preface to the first German edition I held out the prospect of a systematic investigation into the relationship between theory and praxis. I have not progressed much beyond this announcement of intent but this does not mean that since that time I have neglected this theme. On the contrary, my published work since then shows that the problem has in no way relaxed its hold on me.
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