Habermas's Critique Of The Enlightenment

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From this, we will discuss the claim that Habermas’s makes against Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique of the Enlightenment; he states that their argument falls into a performative contradiction. In this statement, Habermas is claiming that the argument put forward by Adorno and Horkheimer is a totalized critique of reason and it becomes a performative contradiction by renouncing the foundations by which criticism uses as its main tool. By this definition of a contradiction, it is held that there is a conflict between the presuppositions of an argument and the conclusions that follow from it. He renders the claim that is made by Adorno and Horkheimer as nonsensical as it is contradicting its main argument. Therefore, it is failing in its fundamental…show more content…
Reason, for example which is the tool that is primarily used as a tool of criticism, while being critiqued itself no doubtingly brings about a contradiction. Therefore, in the deconstruction of reason which Adorno and Habermas undertake in the critique of the Enlightenment, the performative contradiction in their argument is unescapable and necessary. It is a necessary consequence of the nature of reason itself and the way in which we must critique it. To establish that reason is a sufficient tool for criticism we must employ this form of self-critique before we can firmly establish its properties to enable normative truths. On questioning reason and its rationality, the difficulty lies in using itself as a tool to critique its own fundamental values. However, in this regard we may refer back to Habermas’s claim that the subject must use self-reflection to understand itself, within this line of argument one may argue that reason also must do this in order to understand how it can critique and enable truths. Habermas in his argument does not give rise to the possibility that this alternative view might be valid, he remains loyal to his standard requirement of language and reason. Therefore, in this regard Habermas’s argument is…show more content…
Their argument is inconsistent and incoherent, therefore it is not a standard that we can go by. It is problematic to gain normative truths on either of these arguments because a contradiction is present. Or he may claim that eliminativism is not dealing with the same type of performative contradiction because it uses reason to assert itself rather than beliefs in this case. Adorno and Horkheimer’s argument falls short according to Habermas because it is revaluing reason which he claims is imperative in judging the validity of an

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