|Postmetaphysical Thinking II|
2017, 272 S, Gb, (Wiley)
'There is no alternative to postmetaphysical thinking': this statement, made by Jürgen Habermas in 1988, is still valid today. Postmetaphysical thinking is in the first place the historical answer to the crisis of metaphysics after Hegel, when the central figures of metaphysical thought began to totter under the pressure of social developments and of developments within science. As a result, philosophy's epistemological privilege was shaken to its core, its basic concepts were de-transcendentalized, and the primacy of theory over practice was opened to question. For good reasons, philosophy 'lost its extraordinary status', and as a result it also courted new problems. In Postmetaphysical Thinking II, the sequel to the 1988 volume that bears the same name, Habermas addresses some of these problems. The first section of the book deals with the shift in perspective from metaphysical worldviews to the lifeworld, that is, the unarticulated meanings and assumptions that accompany everyday thought and action in the mode of 'background knowledge'. Habermas analyses the lifeworld as a 'space of reasons' ? even where language is not (yet) involved, for example, in gestural communication and rituals. In the second section, the uneasy relationship between religion and postmetaphysical thinking takes centre stage. Habermas picks up where he left off in 1988, when he made the far-sighted observation that 'philosophy, even in its postmetaphysical form, will be able neither to replace nor to repress religion', and explores philosophy's newfound interest in religion, among other topics. The final section comprises essays on the role of religion in the political context of a post-secular, liberal society. This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy, religion and the social sciences and humanities generally.