The main subject of this website is what I have named the conceptual frame of reference of Habermas’ theory of society. It focuses on those parts of Habermas’ publications in which he has developed a new conceptual framework for the interaction of philosophy and empirical social sciences. I have reconstructed these publications in terms of the foundational structure of his theory of society. The website makes accessible for a broader audience my published and unpublished texts on this subject and intends to contribute to the international discussion. Its overall aim is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between the different social sciences The majority of the texts that I am presenting here, date from more than two or three decennia ago. Nevertheless I do believe that they are still relevant today. To my understanding, this means in the first place that they are not outdated by the actual state of Habermas’ work. Although it is certainly true, that recently published texts of Habermas demand certain emendations of my reconstruction, due to Nachmetaphysisches Denken II (2012), in particular the three chapters of Part I Die Lebenswelt as Raum der Gründe. These texts are still actual for another reason. One cannot say that foundational research is on the frontpage of today’s research in the social sciences. On the contrary. Scolars in these fields are rather sceptical about the sense and the possibility of foundational research. This is certainly the case among the practitioners of the science of economics. However, the financial and economic crises we are confronted with, manifest an urgent need to reconsider the mainstream concept formation in the different branches of economics. Their conceptual infrastructure is too narrow and too onesided, preventing satisfactory analyses of interactions and structures in the real economy. It is my strong conviction that Habermas’ writings offer important contributions for a critique and for a renewal of the conceptual frame of economics, understood as a social science. Close cooperation with Pieter Ruys (Tilburg University) and Jac Vromen (Erasmus University Rotterdam) made it possible, against the scepsis of most of my colleagues in the philosophy section of the Department of Economics at Tilburg, to engage in articulating, with the help of a mathematical model, the foundational concepts of Habermas’ philosophy and to make clear their relevance for socio-scientific research in all its forms.
Dr. Frans J.M. van Doorne
(this picture is taken by Mandy Sattler, Albufeira October 2010)
P.M. This website is as yet under construction. Occasionally there will be additions, corrections and other changes. It is my intention to translate as soon as feasible the non-English texts into English.