Reading the theory of communicative action as a modern emancipation paradigm

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Uludağ Üniversitesi, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Thesis Language: Turkish


Supervisor: IŞIK EREN


This study discusses the possibility of Habermas' theory of communicative action as an emancipation paradigm for modern society. In this theory, society is conceived as a two level construction which consists of the synthesis of life-world and system. Life-world defines the sphere in which understanding-oriented interactions occur among individuals. Thus, this sphere is the realm of communicative action that depends on communicative rationality. As the realm of purposive-rational action, however,the system arises from the structural components of economy and state. According to Habermas, the main problem of modern societies stems from colonization of life-world through the system, penetrating into it. The crisis of modernity is, in this context, a historical-factual situation which can be overcome. Consequently Habermas' theory addresses the problem of emancipation as requiringthat institutional structures that enables securing the life-world against the system to be developed. The Modernity project is, unlike postmodern theories which claim that modernity came to its end, is uncomplete and could be reconstructed on the basis of its own sources.