Abstract
This is a constructive critique of Habermas’s account of rationality, which is central to his political theory and has sparked theoretical and empirical research across academia. Habermas and many critical theorists caricature means-ends rationality, e.g. by wrongly depicting it as egocentric. This weakens Habermas’s attempt to distinguish means-ends rationality from his hugely important and influential idea of communicative rationality. I suggest that sincerity and autonomy, rather than non-egocentrism, are the key distinguishing features of communicative rationality. This shows that communicative rationality actually overlaps with means-ends rationality. Indeed, means-ends rationality is needed by critical theorists, as I exemplify by showing its use in deliberative democracy. Moreover, means-ends rationality will be present in discourse ethics, as I show with the example of moral discourse about gay marriage. My article thus challenges decades of what Habermas and critical theorists have written on means-ends and communicative rationality, but I stay broadly true to – and hopefully improve – Habermas’s account of rationality.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1474885119867679
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,979
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
The Nature of Rationality.Robert Nozick - 1994 - Princeton University Press.
Studies in the Way of Words.D. E. Over - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (160):393-395.
Knowledge and Human Interests.Richard W. Miller - 1975 - Philosophical Review 84 (2):261.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Critique of Habermas' Theory of Practical Rationality.Nader Saiedi - 1987 - Studies in Soviet Thought 33 (3):251-265.
A Critique of Habermas' Theory of Practical Rationality.Nader Saiedi - 1987 - Studies in East European Thought 33 (3):251-265.
Instrumental Rationality.Timo Airaksinen & Katri Kaalikoski - 1994 - ProtoSociology 6:177-188.
‘Practical Comparability’ and Ends in Economics.Ricardo F. Crespo - 2007 - Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (3):371-393.
Satisficing and Optimality.Michael Byron - 1998 - Ethics 109 (1):67-93.
Systemrationalität?Andreas Dorschel & Matthias Kettner - 1996 - In Karl-Otto Apel & Matthias Kettner (eds.), Die eine Vernunft und die vielen Rationalitäten. Suhrkamp. pp. 349-372.
The Study of J? Rgen Habermas's Communication Theory.Xin Xie - 2002 - Philosophy and Culture 29 (3):272-291.
Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite.Thomas Kelly - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465-474.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-08-22

Total views
18 ( #607,806 of 2,504,871 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #417,030 of 2,504,871 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes