Between Naturalism and Religion / Edition 1

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Two countervailing trends mark the intellectual tenor of our age - the spread of naturalistic worldviews and the revival of religious orthodoxies. Advances in biogenetics, brain research, and robotics are preparing the ground for the entry of an objective scientific self-understanding of persons into everyday life. This trend is associated for philosophy with the challenge of scientific naturalism. At the same time, we are witnessing an unexpected revitalization of religious traditions and the politicization of religious communities across the world. For philosophy, this revival of religious energies poses the challenge of a fundamentalist critique of the principles underlying the modern West's interpretation of itself in post-metaphysical terms.

The tension between naturalism and religion is the central theme of this major new book by Jurgen Habermas. On the one hand, he defends a naturalistic understanding of cultural evolution that seeks to do justice to the normative character of the human mind. At the same time, he calls for an appropriate interpretation of the secularizing effects of a process of social and cultural rationalization increasingly denounced by the champions of religious orthodoxies as a historical development peculiar to the West. His reflections on the enduring importance of religion and the limits of secularism under conditions of post-metaphysical reason set the scene for an extended treatment of the political importance of religious tolerance and for a further major contribution to debates on cosmopolitanism and a constitution for international society.

About the Author:
Jurgen Habermas is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at JohannWolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745638256
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/10/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

J├╝rgen Habermas is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
The Intersubjective Constitution of Norm-governed Thought     9
Public Space and Political Public Sphere - The Biographical Roots of Two Motifs in my Thought     11
Communicative Action and the Detranscendentalized "Use of Reason"     24
On the Architectonics of Discursive Differentiation: A Brief Response to a Major Controversy     77
Religious Pluralism and Civic Solidarity     99
Prepolitical Foundations of the Constitutional State?     101
Religion in the Public Sphere: Cognitive Presuppositions for the "Public Use of Reason" by Religious and Secular Citizens     114
Naturalism and Religion     149
Freedom and Determinism     151
"I Myself am Part of Nature" - Adorno on the Intrication of Reason in Nature: Reflections on the Relation between Freedom and Unavailability     181
The Boundary between Faith and Knowledge: On the Reception and Contemporary Importance of Kant's Philosophy of Religion     209
Tolerance     249
Religious Tolerance as Pacemaker for Cultural Rights     251
Equal Treatment of Cultures and the Limits of Postmodern Liberalism     271
A Political Constitution for the Pluralist World Society?     312
Index     353
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