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Cogent Science in ContextThe Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas$
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William Rehg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262182713

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262182713.001.0001

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Habermas’s Critical Theory and Science

Habermas’s Critical Theory and Science

Truth and Accountability

(p.100) (p.101) 4 Habermas’s Critical Theory and Science
Cogent Science in Context

William Rehg

The MIT Press

This chapter provides some background on Habermas’s larger critical-theory project—an attempt to integrate the perspectives on argumentative practices—along with an explanation of why his discourse theory is regarded by him as important for the project. This project provides an answer to the question of vision that arises from the differences in how the relation between science and society is conceived by an individual. The chapter emphasizes that Habermas’s discourse theory as a theory of scientific inquiry and argumentation has been developed in the areas of morality, politics, and law, and that there is a need to extend it to the field of sciences, as well. It concludes that the employment of Habermas’s theory of communicative action for purposes of critical assessment also depends on “a particular vision of social emancipation.”

Keywords:   Habermas’s discourse theory, scientific inquiry, scientific argumentation, social emancipation, science, communicative action

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