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The Scandal of ReasonA Critical Theory of Political Judgment$
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Albena Azmanova

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153805

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153805.001.0001

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Philosophical Liberalism and Critical Theory in Dispute

Philosophical Liberalism and Critical Theory in Dispute

(p.92) Chapter 4 Philosophical Liberalism and Critical Theory in Dispute
The Scandal of Reason

Albena Azmanova

Columbia University Press

This chapter first discusses the communicative turn that Rawls and Habermas have undertaken, respectively, in Philosophical Liberalism and Critical Theory, prompted by efforts to resolve the judgment paradox. This paradox appears in different forms in Critical Theory and in Philosophical Liberalism. For Critical Theory it concerns the risk that the justification of norms from an “internal point of view” might engage that very ideological bias that critique of power is called on to unmask. Hence, Critical Theory faces the risk that the norms it advances as binding might still be an expression of hegemonic forms of consciousness and thus, inadvertently, might grant legitimacy to circumstances of oppression. For Philosophical Liberalism the judgment paradox appeared differently. It is the paradox of achieving normative consensus in conditions of radical social and cultural pluralism. Thus, the communicative turn within Philosophical Liberalism is triggered by the perceived danger of instability, endemic to complex democracies. The remainder of chapter addresses the exchange between Rawls and Habermas and outlines an alternative way of effecting the communicative turn.

Keywords:   political judgment, judgement paradox, John Rawls, Jü Habermas, social criticism, Philosophical Liberalism, Critical Theory, communicative turn

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