The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity is a tour de force that has the immediacy and accessibility of the lecture form and the excitement of an encounter across, national cultural boundaries. Habermas takes up the challenge posed by the radical critique of reason in contemporary French poststructuralism.
Tracing the odyssey of the philosophical discourse of modernity, Habermas's strategy is to return to those historical ＂crossroads＂ at which Hegel and the Young Hegelians, Nietzsche and Heidegger made the fateful decisions that led to this outcome. His aim is to identify and clearly mark out a road indicated but not taken: the determinate negation of subject-centered reason through the concept of communicative rationality.
As The Theory of Communicative Action served to place this concept within the history of social theory, these lectures locate it within the history of philosophy. Habermas examines the odyssey of the philosophical discourse of modernity from Hegel through the present and tests his own ideas about the appropriate form of a postmodern discourse through dialogs with a broad range of past and present critics and theorists. The lectures on Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Cornelius Castoriadis are of particular note since they are the first fruits of the recent cross-fertilization between French and German thought.
哈伯瑪斯 (Jürgen Habermas)，1929年出生於德國杜塞道夫。當代最重要的哲學家、社會理論家之一。歷任海德堡大學教授、法蘭克福大學教授、法蘭克福大學社會研究所所長以及德國馬普協會生活世界研究所所長。同時也是西方馬克思主義法蘭克福學派第二代的中堅人物。