Studies in Christian Ethics 22 (3):290-313 (2009)

For all Habermas's remarkable contribution to moral theory, his discourse ethics has left behind some debatable points. In particular, `delinguistified media' such as money and power have been excluded from the domain of moral discourse. The exclusion of money and power from the domain of moral discourse has also motivated Habermas to develop an idea of `colonization of lifeworld by system' by giving us the impression that the delinguistified media are the main culprit of colonizing the lifeworld. In this article, by drawing on Reinhold Niebuhr's theological ethics, I argue that the lifeworld is colonized not by the delinguistified media as such, but, rather, by the people who mismanage money and power. I also develop the argument that in order to `decolonize' the colonized lifeworld, we need the substantive ethical ideals as well as the communicatively established law to guide the moral conduct of these system managers
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DOI 10.1177/0953946809106234
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