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By Marie Fleming

During this accomplished research of Jurgen Habermas's philosophy and social conception, Marie Fleming takes powerful factor with Habermas over his realizing of rationality and the lifeworld, emancipation, heritage, and gender. the purpose of Fleming's critique of Habermas isn't really to dispute universalism, yet to construct at the key universalist ideas of inclusiveness and equality. Her purpose is to teach that Habermas's thought of modernity is so dependent that it can't in achieving its universalist goals. Contending that his thought isn't really universalist adequate, she claims that universalism should be reconceived as a thorough, serious, and historic undertaking.

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Extra resources for Emancipation and Illusion: Rationality and Gender in Habermas's Theory of Modernity

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Tilis situation may raise further questions, as Martin Jay suggests, about the location of the "responsible speaker," 19 but it does not get Foucault out of the difficulty. Habermas's discussion of Foucault is impressive and confident, and his criticism, though sympathetically expressed, is unsparing. " While he sees genealogical historiography as a possibly useful "tactic and a tool for waging a battle against a normatively unassailable formation of power," he insists, referring to an argument made by Nancy Fraser, that some kind of normative notions are necessary if Foucault is, in Fraser's words, to "begin to tell us what is wrong with the modem power/knowledge regime and why we ought to oppose it.

He may be right to interpret Horkheimer and Adorno as saying that we cannot have normative reference points, and I do not deny that some postmodernists make this mistake as well. However, the mistake is not intrinsic to "postmodernism"-many of those identified as postmodem can, and frequently do, acknowledge the normativity of intersubjective relations. Moreover, the mistake Habermas attributes to Horkheimer and Adorno is even less likely to be made by many feminists, who are keenly aware of the need to develop critiques of established social and political conditions and generally sensitive to the debilitating consequences of some forms of postmodernism.

So, the question is what is the nature of this deconstructionist claim and what implications does it have for the theory of communicative action? As I see it, deconstruction distinguishes itself by the claim-which is criticizable and, therefore in the Habermasian sense, inside rational argumentation-that the nonidentical or differance or play is inevitably built into norms of intelligibility or rationality structures. Derrida not only makes this claim, but pursues its implications into the deepest recesses of philosophical thinking: "What has always interested me the most, what has always seemed to me the most rigorous ...

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