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Discourse Ethics And The Problem Of Nature

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Chapter Summary

It is interesting to see how the two main theorists of discourse ethics have reacted to this provocative thesis, which asserts the non-assimilative character of any serious ecological stance into its position. Apel's aim is to show that discourse ethics can be integrated with a conservationist imperative as it is dramatically presented in the principle of responsibility, but without the same costs. Hebermas shows that there exists neither a reciprocal indifference, nor an essential opposition between discourse ethics and the ecological problem. In the context of first generation Critical Theory's tendency towards naturalism, Habermas took care not to oppose the idealist view head-on. This idealist view could even be called 'pre-Hegelian'. An ecological ethics with the idea of a kind of solidarity with the animal at its core might be the way forward. Such an ecological ethics begins with discourse ethics but also goes beyond it.

Keywords: critical theory; discourse ethics; ecological problem



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