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The Philosophy of Jürgen HabermasA Critical Introduction$
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Uwe Steinhoff

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547807

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547807.001.0001

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The Justification of Discourse Ethics

The Justification of Discourse Ethics

Chapter:
(p.78) 2 The Justification of Discourse Ethics
Source:
The Philosophy of Jürgen Habermas
Author(s):

Uwe Steinhoff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547807.003.0003

In his preliminary considerations Habermas tries to demonstrate the initial plausibility of his programme of moral justification. He then uses Karl-Otto Apel's “transcendental pragmatics” for identifying rules of discourse. According to transcendental pragmatics, rules or presuppositions of discourse cannot be denied without so-called “performative self-contradictions”. The next step is to derive the fundamental discourse-ethical justification principles U and D from these discovered rules of discourse. According to U and D, only those norms are valid that in an ideal discourse situation would meet with the acceptance of each speaker affected by the norm. An alternative way of justifying U and D would appeal to Habermas' consensus theory of truth and validity. Finally, Habermas tries to show how norms that are justified with help of the principles U and D can reasonably be applied to real situations. The chapter explains and critically discusses each step in Habermas' line of reasoning.

Keywords:   Karl-Otto Apel, application, argumentation, cognitivism, discourse ethics, ethics, justification, morality, rules of discourse, transcendental pragmatics

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