Habermas e a metamorfose da razão na história

  • António Portela Gouveia (Student)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The objective of the work is to study the thought of Habermas, from his first works through to his more recents ones, paying more attention to the more important works, in order to stress the underlying notions of the “theory of communicative action”, around the concepts of “theory” and “praxis”, of “communicative reason” and of “world of life”. Due to this we had to answer to Kant, Hegel, Marx, even to post-modern thinkers such as Lyotard, Derrida and Rorty, passing by Husserl and Apel, the precursors of the theory of language and social sciences such as Weber and also by his predecessors of the School of Frankfurt, among others. The current work is divided between five chapters, referring to the first works where Harbermas proposed the elaboration of the foundations of a critical social theory as the aim of self-realisation of the mankind. We begin with the relationship between “theory” and “praxis”, from the authors of “modern Natural Law” (Chapter 1), until its transformation in “positive law” as the only legitimate and politically coercive law (Chapter 2). Habermas defends the idea that there exists an intrinsic link between the theory of law and the “principle of democracy”, establishing that the principle of discourse is based on the medium of the law. We then progress towards the direction of different types of knowing that are constructed by a specific human interest until the “emancipatory interest” which is characteristic of the “critical sciences” (Chapter 3). After this, the emergence of the “public sphere” in the 18th century was analysed, especially with Rousseau and Kant, the notion of “system” in late capitalism, as well as the confrontation of post-modern philosophers with Habermas, who claim to represent the modern theory of rationality (Chapter 4). The recasting of discursive ethics of Kant and the “linguistic turn”, consummated in Theory of communicative action (1981), were treated then (Chapter 5). The “turn” culminated on the “universal pragmatic” and it is here that the change of rationality paradigm assumes all of its meaning, shifting from the paradigm of “philosophy of consciousness” to the intersubjective paradigm of “communicative action”.
Date of Award18 Apr 2016
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCarlos Morujão (Supervisor)


  • Ideology
  • Interest
  • Public sphere
  • World of live
  • Ideal situation of speech
  • Truth
  • Universal pragmatic
  • Emancipation


  • Doutoramento em Filosofia

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