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Reconstruction and hermeneutics: a study on the relationship between the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas and Hans-Georg Gadamers hermeneutics

Grant number: 17/19934-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Fernando Costa Mattos
Grantee:Felipe Ribeiro
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The present research proposal aims to investigate the relationship between the reconstructive model of Jürgen Habermas' critical theory and Hans-Georg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics. On one hand, we would like to explain how, until 1970, Habermas nourished his own critical theory with hermeneutical reflection, while criticized it in name of a form of knowledge interested in human emancipation. On the other hand, we would like to show how, with Habermas' separation between auto-reflection and reconstruction and the following elaboration of a universal pragmatics, from 1970 onwards, critical theory will try to substitute hermeneutics' claims to universality. This means that Habermas will not surrender a positive function to Gadamer's philosophy inside critical theory anymore. The passage between these two moments will try to clarify both moments of Gadamer-Habermas' debate, as well as the general relationship between critical theory and hermeneutics, and to contribute to a better comprehension of the transformations realized inside Habermas' critical theory. These two moments will take us to ask if there isn't any interest left for critical theory in Gadamer's philosophy - if there's nothing left from hermeneutics reflection that remains irreducible to universal pragmatics. Gadamer certainly defends that when he insists on showing that, even there where reconstructive sciences try to escape hermeneutical reflection, this one still must be present. The conflict between both authors will then take us to try to sustain the interest for future developments in the study of both authors combined. We aim to do this in the form of a comparison between Habermas' critics of world-life colonization, as presented in his Theory of Communicative Action, and the way that Gadamer directed his hermeneutics against the invasion of commercial and industrial symbols into language realm. This comparison aims to allow us to keep both authors in a "tense constellation", as Richard Berstein says. (AU)

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