Ultimate self-responsibility, practical reasoning, and practical action: Habermas, Husserl, and ethnomethodology on discourse and action

Human Studies 3 (1):255 - 278 (1980)
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A particular notion of reason has pervaded studies of practical action throughout the whole tradition of western philosophy up to Wittgenstein and Heidegger. This notion has been centrally located in contexts other than the specific study of practical action itself.This essay examines the relation of reason and practical action by reviewing Habermas' and Husserl's theories of the relation between discourse and action (I), and then proposing Garfinkel's ethnomethodological studies of practical action as an alternative to Husserl's and Habermas' preoccupation with the primacy of theoretical discourse (II). In a final section I shall interpret Garfinkel's studies, following his own suggestions as studies in practical ethics, and make reference to similar themes in philosophical ethics (Ill).



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