Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays / Edition 1

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Overview

Two countervailing trends mark the intellectual tenor of our age the spread of naturalistic worldviews and religious orthodoxies. Advances in biogenetics, brain research, and robotics are clearing the way for the penetration of an objective scientific self-understanding of persons into everyday life. For philosophy, this trend is associated 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. From a philosophical perspective, this revival of religious energies poses the challenge of a fundamentalist critique of the principles underlying the modern Wests postmetaphysical understanding of itself.
The tension between naturalism and religion is the central theme of this major new book by Jrgen Habermas. On the one hand he argues for an appropriate naturalistic understanding of cultural evolution that does justice to the normative character of the human mind. On the other hand, 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. These reflections on the enduring importance of religion and the limits of secularism under conditions of postmetaphysical reason set the scene for an extended treatment the political significance of religious tolerance and for a fresh contribution to current debates on cosmopolitanism and a constitution for international society.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"A remarkable set of essays. The reader is again awed by the scope of Habermas' project, the wealth of his command over European and Anglo-American scholarship, and the systematic integrity of his conclusions."
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

"[T]here is a rich material for reflection in these essays for those interested in a variety of topics, ranging from philosophy of mind, questions of determinism and free will, the history of modern philosophy, and problems of truth and meaning to the nature of democracy and the possibilities of a new world order. Habermas manages to integrate his discussion of these diverse problems in a way which is regrettably not common in English-speaking philosophy, and for this reason above all this is a book which is well worth reading."
Philosophy

"The volume will be of interest to all students of social, moral and political philosophy as well as philosophy of religion and philosophy of science."
Marx and Philosophy

"A major study by a prominent German philosopher reflecting on the tension between the spread of naturalistic worldviews and the revival of religious orthodoxies and their political influence ... the arguments elucidated are significant for our time."
Scientific and Medical Network

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745638249
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/10/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (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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