Did Habermas Cede Nature To The Positivists Essay

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In Did Habermas Cede Nature to the Positivists?, Gordon Mitchell creates a philosophical discussion concerning the validity of Jürgen Habermas’s “colonization of the lifeworld” thesis. Habermas’s thesis sought to elucidate the implications of society’s propensity for “converting social issues into technical problems” that require resolutions based off a “scientific mode of decision-making” (Mitchell, 1). This mechanical mode of thinking stems from the idea that science is objective in nature, in which there is always a right way and a wrong way. However, Habermas argues that “joint communicative action by deliberating citizens would yield more appropriate and legitimate judgments” in the field of social sciences (Mitchell, 1). Although many scholars agree with Habermas’s ideology, for the most part, they critique his argument for the implication that the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, geology) can only be known through experience and traditional scientific methods, rather than metaphysical. Mitchell explores this implication, in which he focuses primarily on the effectiveness of intersubjective dialogue as a means for objectivity in not…show more content…
For example, Mitchell dedicates an entire paragraph to Habermas’s suggestion that “the university is a key launching point for political dialogue in the public sphere” (Mitchell, 15). He continues to lay out the ways in which it has the possibility of benefiting the society as a whole. Yet, Mitchell criticizes universities for “eroding the conditions necessary for communities to claim validly that their data deserve the marker of scientific objectivity” by focusing on maximizing corporate profits and the potential for grants (Mitchell, 16). Thus, can universities be entrusted with politically effective discourse if they can not even be trusted in their means of natural
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