The critical theory of science

Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 4 (1):108-132 (1973)
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The meta-scientific investigation of the various kinds of influence which determine both the establishment of the cultural institution of science and criteria governing its internal operations, including criteria of the concepts of cognition has been termed by Professor Jürgen Habermas as the critical theory of science. The five-fold thesis of his theory treats of what he considers to be the extrascientific interests which determine and accompany our traditional concepts of knowledge as characterized by science. The development of the theses is preceded by his analysis of the faults of "positivist methodology" in which, he argues, distinctions such as that between facts and values are based upon fundamental confusions concerning inerradicable and pervasive practical concerns in terms of which the concepts of cognition are ultimately founded. He identifies the three all-embracing knowledge-guiding interests or concerns as the cognitive interest which determines logical and empirical categories, the practical interest which determines the character of human understanding within the cultural sciences, and the emancipatory interest which determines our concept for freedom and autonomy. The arguments for the critical theory are here analyzed and criticized in terms of their logical shortcomings, while the claims made in favor of the critical theory are found to be based upon inerradicable and pervaisive confusions concerning logical consistency in argumentation. The final section summarizes, moralizes, and speculates upon the criticalness of the critical theory



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References found in this work

Knowledge and Interest.JÜrgen Habermas - 1966 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 9:285.
Knowledge and interest∗1.Jürgen Habermas - 1966 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 9 (1-4):285-300.

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