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Comparing Habermas with Dooyeweerd

At present, this page contains only a table comparing terms that Habermas uses with those Dooyeweerd uses.

Habermas Dooyeweerd Notes
Validity claims (of an utterance) Degree to which the utterance, as human functioning, is functioning in line with the norms of all the relevant aspects.
Emancipation. Shalom. The possibility of redemption of a situation.
Rationality. 'Rightness'; things being as they should be. Note that Habermas' use of 'rightness' is restricted to the juridical aspect.
Value Spheres Aspects as ways in which things can be meaningful or important. Habermas's three value spheres (objective, subjective, social) correspond with three groups of Dooyeweerdian aspects.
Action Types Aspects as ways of functioning. See tabular comparison of Dooyeweerd's aspects and Habermas' Action Types.
'Ideal dialogue' Dialogue in which we function well in every aspect.
Ideal dialogue can never be achieved; it is not a goal but an hypothetical state. No aspect is absolute, including the lingual, so we can never achieve ideal dialogue
Communication is disturbed by power relations. Communication is disturbed by religious presuppositions or ground motives - functioning in the pistic aspect of commitment. (What we often mean by 'power relations' has a strong pistic aspect.)
Lifeworld "pre-reflective background consensus" (B) and "horizon against which aspects of the lifeworld become objects of reflection" (H) Dooyeweerd's whole suite of aspects, together with the potential or actual living that they engender, taken in their integrated coherence in everyday living. Notice how 'lifeworld' covers two things. It has been noted [Ray, 1993] that Habermas' concept of lifeworld is a little ambiguous. Note also that lifeworld is conceived as having a communicative flavour. Also that it 'vanishes' when examined, whereas Dooyeweerd's everyday living is enriched by reflection
Lifeworld carries assumptions are about who we are - what we value, what we believe, for what we are willing to sacrifice, what we desire or aspire to or, on the other hand, are offended by or avoid This is precisely Dooyeweerd's pistic aspect: whose kernel meaning is 'our vision of who we are'.
Lifeworld is generated by communicative action, in which, face to face, we come to shared understandings and visions. Lifeworld is multi-aspectual. Notice Habermas' tendency to elevate the communicative (lingual-social) aspects.
System media (money, voting power, etc.) are legitimized by the lifeworld media (influence and value-commitments). Similar to saying that their meaning cannot come from within themselves. However, Dooyeweerd would say that also lifeworld itself gains its meaning (is 'legitimized') by something beyond itself. Namely the aspects. Note Dooyeweerd's notion of Meaning as 'referring beyond' to the other.
'Crisis' (as system colonizes lifeworld) Loss of meaning (as things are absolutized)
Reason for crisis: the value commitments that legitimize the system media are not being regenerated. Reason for crisis: elevation, amounting to absolutization, of one of the system aspects (formative etc.).

This page is part of a collection of pages that discusses Habermas in light of Dooyeweerd and vice versa, which in turn is part of links to various thinkers, within The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Email questions or comments would be welcome.

Copyright (c) 2002 Andrew Basden. But you may use this material subject to conditions.

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Created: 18 March 2003 Last updated: 9 November 2004 some about lifeworld. 1 April 2005 action types.