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Habermas and the Korean Debate...
 Price US$32
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Author name
 Publication Date 1998.11.10
 Language English
 Format paperback
 Pages 512 pages
 ISBN 89-7096-323-5
 Status Stocks Have in stock
This collection represents a dialogue between Habermas and Korean scholars to assess the significance and problems of critical theory as applied to South Korea where rapid historical transformations have continued during the past several decades. Habermas' discursive approach to law, civil society and democracy appears to be highly suggestive, yet it could also be said that the inequalities and conflicts deeply anchored in class structures and domination in Korea as well as in the cleavages between South and North Korea raise some doubts over whether one can take up an universal standpoint of discourse in a manner as Habermas suggests. In this situation, upon the invitation by Seoul National University, Habermas came to Korea in 1996 and delivered seven lectures in various places and joined an intensive workshop to stir up many interesting debates. This volume is composed of five parts, each with distinctive topics. The first part deals with the theoretical adequacy and applicability of critique as a central component of the idea of critical theory, while second part draws attention to the conditions and
strategies of national unification of South and North Korea. The third part sensitizes us to the shift of focus of critical theory to a discursive paradigm and its consequences upon the issues of modernity, social integration, democratic transformation. As in earlier parts, here too, many Korean intellectuals joined the debate by drawing attention to the role of intellectuals and the public sphere as well as the link between Habermas and Foucault. The fourth part attempts to situate critical theory within the non-European context of social change. The last part explores the ways in which critical theory can be fruitfully used in order to investigate concrete problems salient in Asian cultures and societies. In this book, Habermas offers some new thoughts and guidelines followed by arguments aimed at critically assessing the significance and the problems of his critical theory. As a whole, this book is intended to be a dialogue to jointly explore whether the idea of critical theory can be extended further into the non-Western context of development.
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