Discourse Ethics (discourse + ethics)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Conflict and Intolerance in a Web Community: Effects of a System Integrating Dialogues and Monologues

Mitsuharu M. Watanabe
The Spiritual Navigator website offers a bulletin board system (BBS) for dialogues, weblogs for individual monologues, and a psychological test so the user can determine his/her own mental state. The results of covariance structure analyses, where questions in the psychological test are the independent variable and the number of postings to the BBS/weblog is the dependent variable, suggest that motivations for BBS interaction and for blogging are quite different. The less tolerant a user is of different views, the more often that user posts to the BBS. Some users who initially post actively to the BBS stop posting there (e.g., in response to criticism) but continue to post to their own weblogs (including their responses to criticism). Given this situation, it is suggested that a system such as the Spiritual Navigator that combines online dialogue and monologue, and that is designed to balance conflicts with stability, could bring about the observance of face-saving ritual (in Goffman's term) or Habermas-like discourse ethics in the public sphere on the Internet. [source]

1.,Globalization and Violence: The Challenge to Ethics

Edward Demenchonok
Despite its many benefits, globalization has proven to harbor a good deal of violence. This is not only a matter of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction inaugurated by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, but includes many forms of indirect or "structural violence" resulting from the routine of economic and political institutions on the global scale. In this essay, the multifaceted phenomena of violence are approached from the standpoint of ethics. The prevailing political thinking associated with "realism" fails to address the problems of militarism and of hegemonic unilateralism. In contrast, many philosophers are critically rethinking the problem of global violence from different ethical perspectives. Despite sharing similar concerns, philosophers nevertheless differ over the role of philosophical reflection and the potentials of reason. These differences appear in two contrasting approaches associated with postmodern philosophy and discourse ethics. In the analysis of discourse ethics, attention is paid to Karl-Otto Apel's attempt of philosophically grounding a macroethics of planetary co-responsibility. At the heart of the essay is the analysis of the problem of violence, including terrorism, by Jürgen Habermas, who explains the phenomenon of violence in terms of the theory of communicative action as the breakdown of communication. Jacques Derrida's deconstruction of the notion of "terrorism" also is analyzed. According to the principle of discourse ethics, all conflicts between human beings ought to be settled in a way free of violence, through discourses and negotiations. These philosophers conclude that the reliance on force does not solve social and global problems, including those that are the source of violence. The only viable alternative is the "dialogical" multilateral relations of peaceful coexistence and cooperation among the nations for solving social and global problems. They emphasize the necessity of strengthening the international rule of law and institutions, such as a reformed United Nations. [source]

10.,The Universal Concept of Human Rights as a Regulative Principle: Freedom Versus Paternalism

Article first published online: 18 FEB 200, Edward Demenchonok
This essay examines the current debates regarding the politics of human rights. The universal concept of human rights is considered as a regulative principle for the possible critique of any state, including a democratic one. Moreover, the philosophical justification of the universal regulative principle for evaluating these states is vital for progressive political change and for the politics of human rights. At the heart of the analysis is Kant's concept of human rights as freedom. It is opposed to a more utilitarian interpretation of rights and political paternalism. Kant's philosophy helps us to better understand the meaning of the definition of human rights as inherent, sacred, and inalienable, as formulated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Kant makes these meanings explicit, and he elaborates on the moral-philosophical explanations of humanitarian rights. His philosophy of law was developed in a process of a systematic criticism of political paternalism (which is the flip side of dependence). Kant developed his definition of individual freedom in opposition to authoritarian paternalism, utilitarian arbitrariness, and the "despotism of paternalistic benevolence." The categorical imperative is threefold: the imperatives of morality, right, and peace. Thus it could be interpreted as "the categorical imperative of peace." The analysis shows the ongoing relevance of Kant's ideas and their recent development by the theorists of "discourse ethics" and of "cosmopolitan democracy." It affirms that the solution to the problems of securing peace and protecting human rights can only be achieved by peaceful means, based on the international rule of law. [source]

Becoming Deliberative Citizens: The Moral Learning Process of the Citizen Juror

Shane Doheny
This article presents an analysis of qualitative interviews carried out with citizen jurors at least three years after they participated in a jury. Theoretical work on deliberation tends to emphasise the transformative effect of deliberation. Much empirical work has focused on this transformation conceived as the re-prioritisation of preferences, and examines whether and how jurors change their personal and political commitments as a result of their participation on a jury. Another approach to transformation is more discursive, and hypothesises that the concepts and perspectives that jurors use to evaluate norms may also be transformed. This article presents qualitative data that illuminate this latter hypothesis. Specifically, the article analyses the stories ex-jurors told of their participation in citizen juries, in order to chart changes in the concepts and perspectives that jurors use to evaluate norms. By analysing these stories we identify four juror roles , envoy, regulator, advocate and deliberator , and we elaborate these using Habermas' learning theory. Overall our argument is that the citizen juror is given the opportunity to undertake a learning process, and through this process they are furnished with new concepts and perspectives with which to evaluate norms. Moreover, Habermas theorises that this learning process cumulates with the formation of a deliberative citizen who thinks using the characteristics described in discourse ethics. Here we identify discourses that support this claim. [source]

Critical Theory and its Practices: Habermas, Kosovo and International Relations

POLITICS, Issue 3 2008
Naomi Head
Developing the ,applied turn' in critical theory and Habermasian discourse ethics, this article explores whether a communicative ethics approach enables us to examine the justifications for and legitimacy of actions taken by states during NATO's intervention in Kosovo. By focusing on the deliberations which took place in the UN Security Council over Kosovo from March 1998 to June 1999 and the negotiations at Rambouillet in 1999, it will be shown that there are patterns of exclusion, coercion and illegitimacy which not only challenge the claims to legitimacy of the intervention and of the interveners, but indicate the critical power of a communicative framework. [source]

Critical Dialogues: Habermasian Social Theory and International Relations1

POLITICS, Issue 3 2005
Alexander Anievas
The works of Jürgen Habermas have been a theoretical inspiration for many students of international relations (IR). To date, however, the majority of critical IR approaches drawing from the Habermasian perspective have done so on purely philosophical grounds. This article will thus explore the utility of the social-theoretical aspects of Habermas's work for critical inquiries into world politics. To this end, it will examine four main elements of his work: the theory of communicative action; public sphere; lifeworld/system architecture; and discourse ethics. It will be argued that adopting the Habermasian conceptual apparatus provides a social-theoretical route to explaining the contradictory and often paradoxical nature of international relations in the epoch of ,globalisation'. While various constructivist approaches to IR have recently offered more socially-oriented applications of Habermas's theoretical framework, the majority of these studies have done so from predominately non-critical standpoints. This article will thus seek to explore the utility of Habermas's work in offering a critical social theory of world politics. [source]

Scarcity, Discourses of Implementation, and Habermasian Law and Democracy

RATIO JURIS, Issue 2 2000
Kenneth Avio
This paper contains a critique of Habermas' discourse theory of law and democracy from an economic perspective. An example drawn from Klaus Günther's work on discourses of application suggests the failure of discourse ethics to adequately account for the problem of scarcity. This blindpoint is reflected in Habermas' legal theory through the latter's inadequate recognition of the internal connection between markets and law. Discourses of implementation are introduced as a discourse-relevant procedure to account for the problem of scarcity. Consensus, as defined by Habermas, cannot be the agreement mode applicable to discourses of implementation. [source]