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Title: Imagining God's reign : ideal speech and our common future
Author: Adams, N. S.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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This focus of this dissertation is the concept known as 'ideal speech situation'. This concept was formulated by the German Philosopher and Social Theorist Jürgen Habermas, and has a twofold function. Firstly, it is intended to describe the conditions that a speech situation must satisfy if any agreement resulting from discussion is rightly to be called 'rational'; secondly it is intended to demonstrate that all participants in any speech situation presuppose (whether explicitly or not) that they are committed to these conditions. This dissertation is concerned with the second of these two functions. My thesis is that Habermas does not intend the ideal speech situation to be a 'regulative ideal' in the sense familiar from Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. I seek to show that many existing interpretations of Habermas' concept wrongly interpret it as such a regulative ideal, and that this greatly impairs the general understanding of its applicability. This is demonstrated by an analysis of the language Habermas uses to describe the ideal speech situation. More specifically, this dissertation situates some of the most important claims he makes within debates about the notion of 'future' found in modern German philosophy and theology. Particular reference is made to Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Jürgen Moltmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg and Karl Rahner. Partly against Habermas himself, I argue that an understanding of the ideal speech situation within the context of 'eschatology' is appropriate to his own language, especially to his use of words such as 'anticipation' and 'foreshadowing'. I also suggest that this reading better articulates the concept's field of application.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available