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New Left Review I/151, May-June 1985

Jürgen Habermas

A Philosophico—Political Profile


Could you tell us something of the sequence of the principal intellectual influences on your work? You are often represented as an heir of the Frankfurt School who gave its legacy a ‘linguistic turn’, with a move from a philosophy of consciousness to one of language. Is this an accurate image—or did your interest in, at least, the American pragmatism of Dewey and Peirce actually predate your encounter with the work of Adorno and Horkheimer? In what period did you start to reflect on the ideas of Wittgenstein or Austin? Similarly, in the social sciences, was your concern with Weber or Parsons subsequent to an earlier, primarily Marxist, orientation—or did these coexist from the outset? What were the seasons of your engagement with the phenomenological tradition of Schütz, or the genetic psychology of Piaget and Kohlberg?

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Jurgen Habermas, ‘A Philosophico-Political Profile’, NLR I/151: £3

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