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A Critical Reading Of Habermas’ Defense Of Modernity


  • Ilkim Ozdikmenli Celikoglu

    () (Dokuz Eyul University)


Jürgen Habermas has engaged in a critical defense of reason and Enlightenment against the rising postmodernism in the 1980s. Reading the modern philosophy as a discourse constituted by the attempts to transcend the subjective character of Enlightenment thought, Habermas claimed that the attempts by Nietzsche and his followers ended up with the denial of reason and thus strengthened reactionary movements, yet remained within the boundaries of subjective philosophy. According to him, the way to avoid the tyranny caused by subjective philosophy is not to deny reason but to reconstruct it on the basis of intersubjective communication. In this article, those resources and assumptions of Habermas which have several in common with that of anti-modernist thinkers he discussed with are dwelt on, and some criticisms brought to his attempt through the theory of communicative action to explain and resolve the problems of modernity are examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Ilkim Ozdikmenli Celikoglu, 2011. "A Critical Reading Of Habermas’ Defense Of Modernity," Anadolu University Journal of Social Sciences, Anadolu University, vol. 11(3), pages 239-258, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:and:journl:v:11:y:2011:i:3:p:239-258

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    Jürgen Habermas; Modernity; Postmodernism; Theory of Communicative Action;

    JEL classification:

    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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