Immanent and Context Transcending Habermas
Dhananjay Rai
DEPROVINCIALIZING HABERMAS: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES by Tom Bailey Routledge, New Delhi, 2015, 248 pp., 795
May 2015, volume 39, No 5

Jürgen Habermas has been a sine qua non social theorist of contemporary times. Habermasian political theory is one of the critical/crucial defences of moder¬nity in the era of absolute subjectivism and sheer positivism. Habermas defies time and space. His ‘universal’ is eternal and location free. His ‘self-emancipation of people from domination’ (Held, 1995: 250) project re-places class-struggle for ‘communicative ac¬tion’ while retaining ‘allusive’ vitality of Marxism to exhibit dichotomy between lifeworlds and systemworlds wherein the former is being eclipsed by the latter under the Capitalist mode of production. The new vista of ‘emancipation’ is also updated by him concerning the ‘Frankfurt School’ wherein ‘enlightenment’ is the pejorative epithet (Horkheimer & Adorno, 2002). For Habermas, ‘the defects of the enlightenment can only be made good by further enlight¬enment’ (McCarthy, 1990: xvii).

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