This article asks what it means to claim that secular reason is “postmetaphysical” and differentiates among understandings of that notion in Jürgen Habermas’s work. The article considers what secular reason would have to achieve to make good on the claim that it still can provide us with such a comprehensive understanding or worldview. From a theoretical standpoint, we should explore how reality has to be understood for us to understand self and world; from a practical standpoint, we need to ask which attitudes we would actually have to adopt toward reality to find in it the kind of orientation that Habermas believes his version of secular reason holds in store. The article concludes by showing that Habermas’s thesis that secular reason can survive only in the form of a tradition that reaches back to either Immanuel Kant or David Hume is problematic because it neglects a third alternative, namely, a revised Aristotelianism.
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Research Article| August 01 2022
Secular Reason? A Minor Query about a Major Work
New German Critique (2022) 49 (2 (146)): 1–14.
Axel Honneth, Alex Englander; Secular Reason? A Minor Query about a Major Work. New German Critique 1 August 2022; 49 (2 (146)): 1–14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-9734777
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