THE TRIANGLE OF PUBLICNESS, COMMUNICATION AND DEMOCRACY IN HABERMAS S THOUGHT
KeywordsH General Social Sciences 1-99
Jürgen Habermas, Public Sphere, Communication, Deliberative Politics, Theories of Democracy
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AbstractThis thesis develops the Triangle Model, to offer a general framework through which the work of Jürgen Habermas could be better understood and assessed. Accordingly, it is argued that, it is possible to derive a triangle in Habermas s thought, formed by the concerns of publicness, communication, and democracy. Each corner of the triangle corresponds to a major concern and focus of Habermas s project chronologically. The Triangle Model provides an overview of continuities and discontinuities in Habermas s work. The main discontinuity found is between the first and the second corners of the triangle, namely between publicness and communication. It is argued that this rapture stems from an interpretive turn, composed of three points: the influence of Hegelian philosophy of human interaction, the concomitant criticism of Kantian foundationalism, and the incorporation of Arendt s communicative concept of power. This study also emphasises that there are points indicating continuity, or unity in Habermas s thought. First, an intersubjective theory of truth is employed in all three concerns or corners of the triangle. Second, in all these concerns, Habermas searches for an answer to the same question: how to produce legitimate norms . The principle of publicity and the authority of the better argument voiced in the first corner of the triangle -publicness-, the discourse ethics of the second corner, and the deliberative politics of the third corner are formulated and adapted by Habermas in order to find the ways of producing legitimate norms. In this context, it is argued that the deliberative politics is based on publicness and communication
or publicness and communication are indispensable for deliberative politics.