The European Legacy 19 (6):679-697 (2014)

The modernism-versus-postmodernism divide has to a large extent emerged from major disagreements among philosophers of both sides whose engagement with one another’s work had otherwise been rather minimal and non-thorough. Jean-François Lyotard and Jürgen Habermas’s debate has been a case in point. Despite the fact that Lyotard’s attack on Habermas’s philosophy was limited to a couple of ideas, Lyotardian followers have inflated the attack to a hasty and blanket dismissal of Habermas’s theory. As I argue in this article, this blocks the possibility of a more fruitful exchange and of a less polemical and more balanced response on the part of Habermasians. The article aims precisely to fill this gap by reconstructing some important points of a critical dialogical response to Lyotard’s philosophy along Habermasian lines yet beyond established polemics. These points concern assumptions on language that remain neglected especially in discussions of Habermas and Lyotard that give priority to the issue of legitimation. Hopefully, this reconstruction reinforces neither an impression that a dialogue between Lyotardians and Habermasians is reducible to a differend nor that the charge of a foundationalist “ideal speech situation” is as damning as critics of Habermas assume.
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DOI 10.1080/10848770.2014.949969
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Habermas and Lyotard on Postmodernity.Richard Rorty - 1985 - In Richard J. Bernstein (ed.), Habermas and Modernity. MIT Press. pp. 161--175.
The Idea of Emancipation From a Cosmopolitan Point of View.Marianna Papastephanou - 2000 - Continental Philosophy Review 33 (4):395-416.

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