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|Title:||Constructing a Global Account of Reason|
|Other Titles:||Discourse, Moral Engagement and Ecological Truth|
|Abstract:||In this dissertation I argue that Jürgen Habermas’ discourse ethics is our best understanding of morality, but that as it stands it has some serious deficiencies that need to be overcome before it can live up to its own promise. In particular, its insistence that facts, norms and self-expressions constitute the full range of validity claims available to us privileges Western voices in discourse, and undermines its own principles of equality and coercion-free dialogue. According to Habermas, others who do not utilise validity claims in the same way that Western speakers do are merely blurring the lines between these three categories and hence fall short of the ideal practices of discourse. In other words, they are less than fully rational. Rather, I argue that these three categories do not exhaust the full range of possible reasons. I suggest that we ought to understand statements that do not fit as one of these kinds of validity claim as instances of different kinds of claims entirely. Instead of being a confused blurring-of-the-lines, expressions on the part of indigenous and “traditional” societies that do not conform to Habermas’ categories of fact, norm or self-expression are just as likely to be instances of an expanded ontology of reasons that are equally legitimate. After examining some alternative explanations regarding claims that do not fit into Habermas’ categories, I finally suggest and describe a different, place-based kind of validity claim that I refer to as “ecological truth”, and suggest that it shows up the limitations of Habermas’ ontology of reasons. Ecological truth is a potential kind of reason available in discourse that is rooted in a close intertwining of practices and communities with particular ecologies and environments. This kind of reason cannot be subsumed into the categories of fact, norm and self-expression.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Constructing a Global Account of Reason - Michael Hemmingsen (Dep. of Philosophy).pdf||Dissertation||1.83 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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