Category Archives: Habermas

Zu theoremen der Motivationskrise

“Eine prinzipielle Moral ist mithin ein System, das nur allgemeine Normen zulässt (d.h. Normen ohne Ausnahmen, ohne Privilegierungen und ohne Einschränkung des Geltungsbereichs). (..) Formalität heisst, dass keine konkreten Verpflichtungen (wie im traditionellen Naturrecht oder in der Ethik), sondern nur abstrakte Erlaubnisse rechtlich normierbar sind (Handlungen dürfen nicht geboten, sondern nur freigestellt oder verboten werden).”  Jürgen
Habermas, Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus, edition suhrkamp, 1973.

[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 14/10/2008. I will be restricted to re-posting the old material for lack of inspiration and motivation. It should get a little bit better post after post. At least that’s what I hope.]

[Amateuristic English translation: ” A principled morality is therefore a system that only allows general norms (i.e. norms without any exceptions, privileges or limts on its applicability). (..) Formalness means that there are no concrete obligations (like in natural law or in ethics) but only abstract permissions which are rightfully put as norms (actions cannot be ordered but only allowed or forbidden).”]

Not what I wanted to quote; I would have preferred something non-political, in English and preferably something linguistic. But this is what I came across, and my old fascination with the subject outweighs the less-than-lyrical Habermasian style.

So, here goes: morality and ethics or, cross-wise, content and form.
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Erlaüterungen zur Diskursethik

“Die(se) Differenzierung zwischen einem modernen und einem traditionalen Weltverständnis ist nur möglich, wenn konkurrierende Weltauslegungen nicht überhaupt inkomensurabel sind, wenn wir (..) die Übersetzungen von einem Kontext in in den anderen überhaupt zulassen. Genau das bestreitet der starke Kontextualismus. Ihm zufolge gibt es keine ‘Rationalität’ in der Einzahl. Nach dieser Auffassung wohnen verschiedene Kulturen, Weltbildern, Traditionen oder Lebensformen je besondere ‘Rationalitäten’ inne. Jede von ihnen soll mit dem Kontext eines besonderen Weltverständnisses intern verschränkt sein.” J. Habermas, Erläuterungen zur Diskursethik, suhrkamp taschenbuch (1991), p. 208.

[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 16-08-2008. It is probably somewhat unfortunate that this happens to be a Habermas quote. I would have preferred something lighter but have no time to make a new one and want to stick to my chronological strategy as far as re-posting from The Old Site is concerned. Let’s see.]

[Amateuristic translation: “This distinction between a modern and a traditional world view is only then possible, when competing interpretations of the world are not simply incompatible, (..) when we admit translations from one context into another at all. That’s precisely what strong contextualism denies. Following strong contextualism there can be no ‘rationality’ in singular. According to this view different ‘rationalitues’ are inherent in different cultures, conceptions of the world, traditions or life forms. Each of these would be inherently locked up in the context of their specific world views.”]

[Re-posting note: In fact, the theme of not being content either with views of The Truth and views of unavoidability of multiple truths is a crucial one. Both views are radical and therefore reprehensible. Both views have a root cause in the wrong understanding of language which is where Habermas is basically correct. That said, the below will probably be even more painful to read than Habermas’ own writing.]

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