Sociology Index

Jurgen Habermas

Jurgen was one among distinguished sociologists. The main theme of Jurgen Habermas' theory is that valid knowledge can only emerge from a situation of open, free and uninterrupted dialogue. Jurgen Habermas is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. In Jurgen Habermas's recent work he has criticized postmodernism in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. In Towards a Rational Society and Theory and Practice Jurgen Habermas argued that the idea of a neutral apolitical science, based on a rigid separation of facts and values, is untenable since questions of truth are inextricably bound up with the political problems of freedom to communicate and to exchange ideas.

Jurgen Habermas has been a prominent critic of positivism and economic determinism in Knowledge and Human Interests. Jurgen Habermas has also been highly critical of systems theory, engaging in a prolonged debate with N. Luhmann in Theorie der Gessellschaft oder Sozialtechnologie? Jurgen Habermas has been influential in recent studies of the state and the decline of normative legitimacy in Legitimation Crisis. Jurgen Habermas's work on the concept of modernity, particularly with respect to the discussions of rationalization originally set forth by Max Weber was highly acclaimed.

Jurgen Habermas has been influenced by American pragmatism, action theory, and poststructuralism. In 1964, strongly supported by Theodor Adorno, Habermas returned to Frankfurt to take over Horkheimer's chair in philosophy and sociology. Jurgen Habermas is most famous for his ideas of communicative rationality in the public sphere ‘ this is defined as using knowledge in language and action ‘ a way of dealing with claims. According to Habermas, there are three types of formal reasoning: cognitive-instrumental reason (which is used in sciences), moral-practical reason (which concerns ethics and morality) and aesthetic-expressive reason (concerning the arts). His interest is in the second, particularly when understanding the breakdown of traditional religious strictures. In The Theory of Communicafive Action he criticized Western social theory for its failure to avoid reductionism and to develop a valid theory of communication and rationality.