This Academic Life
I have not turned into a closet Habermasian. I do not think that the natural or inevitable tendency of argument is towards consensus, let alone rational consensus. But I do think that argument as a language-game has rules, and those rules can be specified and can provide grounds for judging whether some metagame surrounding argument is "fair" or "unfair." The rules have as much transcendental validity as the rules of baseball, which is to say, none whatsoever. But they are pragmatically useful in generating that kind of connexion that comes from (s)wordplay.

Argument language-games are still about winning and losing. All competition is. I am not entirely sure what social life would look like if it were conducted in a non-competitive manner, but I do know that I for one would miss the ebb and flow of agonistic argument.

Maybe I am so adamant about this because I am not a Habermasian. Since I do not trust that the rules of argumentative (s)wordplay are somehow transcendentally presupposed in the act of speaking, I feel like I should be somewhat aggressive in advancing and defending them. Someone has to, right?

[Posted with ecto]

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"Academia als Beruf," or, an occasional record of the various aspects of my life as an academic. Written by "21stCWeber," an arrogant handle I know…but I must confess that I do want to be Weber when and if I grow up :-)



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