Ethik im Kontext der Sozialisierung: Zu G.H. Meads ethischem Konzept (German Edition)


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On the Discussion Concerning Stage 6," in T. See the paper "Individual Will-Formation," cited in n. Nor is it to say that it is any less central to practical reasoning in everyday life, which is normally concerned much more with questions of expediency and prudence than with issues of justice. Furthermore, the same action situation may be considered from more than one of these perspectives. See "Kohlberg and Neo-Aristotelianism," cited in n. But the conservative bias they have always had in Germany since the time of Hegel is by no means accidental. In this respect, his approach is similar to that of T.

Scanlon in "Contractualism and Utilitarianism," in A. See his remarks on this in "Justice and Solidarity," cited in n. Of course, Rawls's original position is intended to be a "device of [indirect] representation" and not a direct depiction of the moral reasoning of agents who have themselves adopted the moral point of view.

It is precisely the latter that Habermas is after, hence his reservations regarding Rawls's approach. From this standpoint, Habermas's farflung writings can be viewed as a sustained reflection on the historical, psychological, social, and cultural preconditions of institutionalizing moral-political discourse. These misrepresentations often involve confusing universal claims with transcendental claims, forgetting that the latter aspire to necessity as well as universality. A glance at the natural sciences serves as a reminder that universal claims need not be based on a priori reasoning or pretend to infallibility.

The shoe is actually on the other foot: There is no obvious reason why this shouldn't be treated as an empiricaltheoretical question that will have to be answered, as such questions usually are, with reference to the fate of various research programs in the human sciences. This is, at any rate, Habermas's approach. The rudiments of that theory are sketched in this volume. For a fuller discussion, see J. Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action, vols. That is, Habermas wants to argue that we can and do learn to deal more adequately with moral problems, and that these learning processes can be described in genetic-structural terms.

See especially John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness: Postmodernist critiques of moral universalism too often simply ignore the fact that it is precisely notions of fairness, impartiality, respect for the integrity and dignity of the individual, and the like that undergird respectful tolerance of difference by placing limits on egocentrism.

Typically, such notions are simply taken for granted in antiuniversalist invocations of otherness and differencewhich are, it evidently goes without saying, to be respected, not obliterated. Anwendungsdiskurse in Moral und Recht Frankfurt, Thus Habermas is critical of Rawls's derivation of two substantive principles of justice from the original position. This has been true of Hegel ever since Popper unmasked him in the forties as an enemy of the open society. It has also been intermittently true of Marx. The last to denounce Marx as a false prophet were. Today even Kant is affected by this decline.

Though among a philosophical audience there may still be a majority of scholars whose image of Kant has stayed the same, in the world outside his reputation is being eclipsed, and not for the first time, by Nietzsche. Historically, Kantian philosophy marks the birth of a new mode of justification. Kant felt that the physics of his time and the growth of knowledge brought by it were important developments to which the philosopher had to respond. For Kant, the new science represented not some philosophically indifferent fact of life but proof of man's capacity to know.

Specifically, the challenge Newtonian physics posed for philosophy was to explain how empirical knowledge is at all possible, an explanation that could not itself be empirical but had to be transcendental. What Kant calls "transcendental" is an inquiry into the a priori conditions of what makes experience possible. The specific upshot of Kant's transcendental inquiry is that those conditions are identical with the conditions of possible objects of experience.

Transcendental analysis is a nonempirical reconstruction of the a priori achievements of the cognizing subject, achievements for which there is no alternative: No experience shall be thought possible under different conditions. Transcendental justification has nothing to do with deduction from first principles. Rather, the hallmark of the transcendental justification is the notion that we can prove the nonsubstitutability of certain mental operations that we always already intuitively perform in accordance with rules.

As a master thinker, Kant fell into disfavor because he used transcendental justification to found the new discipline of epistemology. In so doing, he redefined the task, or vocation if you like, of philosophy in a more demanding way. There are two principal reasons why the Kantian view of philosophy's vocation has a dubious ring today. The first reason has directly to do with the foundationalism of epistemology. In championing the idea of a cognition before cognition, Kantian philosophy sets up a domain between itself and the sciences, arrogating authority to itself.

It wants to clarify the foundations of the sciences once and for all, defining the limits of what can and cannot be experienced. This is tantamount to an act of showing the sciences their proper place. I think philosophy cannot and should not try to play the role of usher. The second reason lies in the fact that transcendental philosophy refuses to be confined to epistemology. Above and beyond analyzing the bases of cognition, the critique of pure reason is also supposed to enable us to criticize the abuses of this cognitive faculty, which is limited to phenomena. Kant replaces the substantive concept of reason found in traditional metaphysics with a concept of reason the moments of which have undergone differentiation to the point where their unity is merely formal.

He sets up practical reason, judgment, and theoretical cognition in isolation from each other, giving each a foundation unto itself, with the result that philosophy is cast in the role of the highest arbiter for all matters, including culture as a whole. Without the Kantian assumption that the philosopher can decide questiones juris concerning the rest of culture, this self-image collapses.

To drop the notion of the philosopher as knowing something about knowing which nobody else knows so well would be to drop the notion that his voice always has an overriding claim on the attention of the other participants in the conversation. It would also be to drop the notion that there is something called "philosophical method" or "philosophical technique" or ''the philosophical point of view" which enables the professional philosopher, ex officio, to have interesting views about, say, the respectability of psychoanalysis, the legitimacy of certain dubious laws, the resolution of moral dilemmas, the soundness of schools of historiography or literary criticism, and the like.

While I find myself in agreement with much of what Rorty says, I have trouble accepting his conclusion, which is that if philosophy forswears these two roles, it must also surrender the function of being the "guardian of rationality. Rorty not only argues for the demise of philosophy; he also unflinchingly accepts the end of the belief that ideas like truth or the unconditional with their transcending power are a necessary condition of humane forms of collective life.

Implied by Kant's conception of formal, differentiated reason is a theory of modernity. What I am asking myself is this: Is it true that this or a similar concept of modernity becomes untenable when you dismiss the claims of a foundationalist theory of knowledge? What follows is an attempt to narrate a story that might help put Rorty's criticism of philosophy in perspective. Granted, by going this route I cannot settle the controversy. What I can do is throw light on some of its presuppositions. At the outset section 1 below I will look at Hegel's critique of Kantian foundationalism and the substitution of a dialectical mode of justification for Kant's transcendental one.

Next section 2 I will retrace some of the lines of criticism and self-criticism that have emerged in the Kantian and Hegelian traditions.

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In section 3 I will dwell on a more radical form of criticism originating in pragmatist and hermeneuticist quarters, a form of attack that repudiates Kant and Hegel simultaneously. Section 4 deals with thinkers, respectable ones no less, who respond to this situation by annulling philosophy's long-standing claim to reason. In conclusion section 5 I will argue that philosophy, while well advised to withdraw from the problematic roles of usher Platzanweiser and judge, can and ought to retain its claim to reason, provided it is content to play the more modest roles of stand-in Platzhalter and interpreter.

Hegeland I can only hint at this hereagrees with those who chargen that in the end Kant failed to justify or ground the pure concepts of the understanding, for he merely culled them from the table of forms of judgment, unaware of their historical specificity. Thus he failed, in Hegel's eyes, to prove that the a priori conditions of what makes experience possible are truly necessary.

What Kant regarded as a unique Copernican turn to transcendental reflection becomes in Hegel a general mechanism for turning consciousness back upon itself.

This mechanism has been switched on and off time and time again in the development of spirit. As the subject becomes conscious of itself, it destroys one form of consciousness after another. This process epitomizes the subjective experience that what initially appears to the subject as a being in itself can become content only in the forms imparted to it by the subject.

The transcendental philosopher's experience is thus, according to Hegel, reenacted naively whenever an initself becomes a for-the-subject. What Hegel calls "dialectical" is the reconstruction of this recurrent experience and of its assimilation by the subject, which gives rise to ever more complex structures.

Hegel goes beyond the particular manifestation of consciousness that Kant analyzed, attaining in the end knowledge that has become autonomous, that is, absolute knowledge. This highest vantage point enables Hegel, the phenomenologist, to witness the genesis of structures of consciousness that Kant had assumed to be timeless. Hegel, it should be noted, exposes himself to a criticism similar to the one he levels against Kant.

Reconstructing successive forms of consciousness is one thing. Proving the necessity of their succession is quite another. Hegel is not unaware of this gap, and he tries to close it by logical means, thereby laying the basis for a philosophical absolutism that claims an even grander role for philosophy than did Kant. In Hegel's Logic philosophy's role is to effect an encyclopedic conceptual synthesis of the diffuse chunks of content thrown up by the sciences.

In addition, Hegel picks up Kant's latent theory of modernity, making it explicit and developing it into a critique of the diremptive, self-contradictory features of modernity. It is this peculiar twist that gave philosophy a new worldhistorical relevance in relation to culture as a whole. And this is the stuff of which the suspect image of Hegel as a master thinker is made.

I shall comment briefly on two lines of self-criticism that I think complement each other in an interesting way.

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From the very outset it drops the objective Kant had in mind when he deduced the pure concepts of the understanding from the unity of self-consciousness. The analytic reception of Kant is confined to comprehending those concepts and rules that underlie experience insofar as it can be couched in elementary propositions. The analysis focuses on general, indispensable, conceptual preconditions that make experience possible. Unable to prove the objective validity of its basic concepts and presuppositions, this analysis nevertheless makes a universalistic claim.

Redeeming it involves changing Kant's transcendental strategy of justification into a testing procedure. If the hypothetically reconstructed conceptual system underlying experience as such is valid, not a single intelligible alternative to it can possibly exist. This means any alternative proposal will be scrutinized with a view to proving its derivative character, that is, with a view to showing that the alleged alternative inevitably utilizes portions of the very hypothesis it seeks to supplant.

A strategy of argumentation like this tries to prove that the concepts and presuppositions it singles out as fundamental cannot be dispensed with. Turned modest, the transcendental philosopher of the analytic variety takes on the role of the skeptic who keeps trying to find counterexamples that might invalidate his theories. The constructivist position tried to compensate for the justificatory shortfall that has now opened up from the perspective of transcendental philosophy in the following way. It should be clear that this approach lays, rather than uncovers, the foundations of cognition.

On the face of it, the critical-rationalist position breaks completely with transcendentalism. In this connection I would argue that criticism is itself a procedure whose employment is never presuppositionless. That is why I think that critical rationalism, by clinging to the idea of irrefutable rules of criticism, allows a weak version of the Kantian justificatory mode to sneak into its inner precincts through the back door. Freyer's practicism, wherein the classical relation of theory and practice is stood on its head and the "interested" perspective of creating a society of the future informs the theoretical reconstruction of social development; and finally by the negativism of Adorno, who finds in comprehensive logic of development only the proof that it is impossible to break the spell of an instrumental reason gone mad.

I cannot examine these positions here. All I shall do is to point out certain interesting parallels between the Hegelian and Kantian strands of self-criticism. With regard to constructivism and practicism a similar convergence occurs: Critical rationalism and negativism, for their part, share something too, which is that they reject transcendental and dialectical means of cognition while at the same time using them in a paradoxical way. One may also view these two attempts at radical negation as showing that these two modes of justification cannot be abolished except on penalty of self-contradiction.

My comparison between parallel self-critical strategies to restrict the justificatory claims of transcendental and dialectical philosophies gives rise to the following question: Do these self-limiting tendencies merely reinforce each other, encouraging the skeptic to reject justification all the more roundly? Or does the retrenchment on either side to a position of diminished justificatory objectives and strategies represent a precondition for viewing them not as opposites but as supplementing each other?

I think the second possibility deserves serious consideration. The genetic structuralism of Jean Piaget provides an instructive model along these lines, instructive for all philosophers, I think, but particularly those who want to remain philosophers. Piaget conceives "reflective abstraction" as that learning mechanism which explains the transition between cognitive stages in ontogenetic development.

The end point of this development is a decentered understanding of the world. Reflective abstraction is similar to transcendental reflection in that it brings out the formal elements hidden in the cognitive content, identifies them as the schemata that underlie the knowing subject's action, differentiates them, and reconstructs them at the next highest stage of reflection.

Seen from a different perspective, the same learning mechanism has a function similar to Hegel's power of negation, which dialectically supersedes self-contradictory forms of consciousness. It is this final intention that sets off Popper and Lakatos from a Feyerabend and Horkheimer and Adono from a Foucault.

The Reckoning: A Novel

They still say something about the indispensable conditions of claims to the validity of those beliefs we hold to be justified, claims that transcend all restrictions of time and place. Now any attack on the master thinkers questions this residual claim to reason and thus in essence makes a plea for the abolition of philosophy. I can explain this radical turn by taking briefly about a wholly different criticism, one that has been raised against both Kant and Hegel.

Its proponents can be found in pragmatism and hermeneutic philosophy. Their doubts concerning the justificatory and self-justificatory potential of philosophy operate at a more profound level than do the self-criticisms within the Kantian and Hegelian traditions. They step resolutely outside the parameters set by the philosophy of consciousness and its cognitive paradigm, which stresses the perception and representation of objects.

Pragmatism and hermeneutics oust the traditional notion of the solitary subject that confronts objects and becomes reflective only by turning itself into an object. In its place they put an idea of cognition that is mediated by language and linked to action. Moreover, they emphasize the web of eveyday life and communication surrounding "our" cognitive achievements.

Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action

The latter are intrinsically intersubjective and cooperative. It is unimportant just how this web is conceptualized, whether as "form of life," "lifeworld," "practice," "linguistically mediated interaction,'' a "language game," "convention," "cultural background," "tradition," "effective history," or what have you.

The important thing is that these commonsensical ideas, though they may function quite differently, attain a status that used to be reserved for the basic concepts of epistemology. Pragmatism and hermeneutics, then, accord a higher position to acting and speaking than to knowing.

But there is more to it than that. They have no justificatory function any more save one: Peirce doubted that radical doubt is possible. His intentions were the same as those of Dilthey, who doubted that neutrality in interpretive understanding is possible. For Peirce problems always arise in a specific situation. They come to us, as it were. We do not go to them, for we do not fully control the totality of our practical existence.

In a similar vein Dilthey argues that we cannot grasp a symbolic expression unless we have an intuitive preunderstanding of its context, for we do not have unlimited freedom to convert the unproblematic background knowledge of our own culture into explicit knowledge. Every instance of problem solving and every interpretaion depend on a web of myriad presuppositions. Since this web is holistic and particularistic at the same time, it can never be grasped by an abstract, general analysis.

It is from this standpoint that the myth of the giventhat is, the distinctions between sensibility and understanding, intuition and concept, form and contentcan be debunked, along with the distinctions between analytic and synthetic judgments, between a priori and a posteriori. These Kantian dualisms are all being dissolved, a fact that is vaguely reminiscent of Hegel's metacritique. Of course, a full-fledged return to Hegel is made impossible by the contextualism and historicism to which the pragmatist and hermeneutic approaches subscribe.

There is no denying that pragmatism and hermeneutics represent a gain. Instead of focusing introspectively on consciousness, these two points of view look outside at objectifications of action and language. Gone is the fixation on the cognitive function of consciousness. Gone too is the emphasis on the representational function of language and the visual metaphor of the "mirror of nature.

Or do they mark the beginning of a new paradigm that, while discarding the mentalistic language game of the philosophy of consciousness, retains the justificatory modes of that philosophy in the modest, self-critical form in which I have presented them? I cannot answer this question directly for want of compelling and simple arguments. Once again, the answer I will give is a narrative one.

The corresponding, though fundamentally different, present-day attitude toward philosophy is the dismissive goodbye and good riddance. These farewells take many forms, three of which are currently in vogue. For simplicity's sake I will call them the therapeutic, the heroic, and the salvaging farewell. Wittgenstein championed the notion of a therapeutic philosophy, therapeutic in the specific sense of self-healing, for philosophy was sick to the core. Wittgenstein's diagnosis was that philosophy had disarrayed language games that function perfectly well in everyday life.

The weakness of this particular farewell to philosophy is that it leaves the world as it is. For the standards by which philosophy is being criticized are taken straight from the selfsufficient, routinized forms of life in which philosophy happens to survive for now. And what about possible successors? Field research in cultural anthropology seems to be the strongest candidate to succeed philosophy after its demise.

Surely the history of philosophy will henceforth be interpreted as the unintelligible doings of some outlandish tribe that today is fortunately extinct. Perhaps Rorty will one day be celebrated as the path-breaking Thucydides of this new approach, which incidentally could only get under way after Wittgenstein's medicine had proved effective.

Their goodbye is heroic. From their perspective too, false habits of living and thinking are concentrated in elevated forms of philosophical reflection. But instead of accusing philosophy of homely category mistakes or simple disruptions of everyday life, their deconstruction of metaphysics and objectivating thought has a more incisive, epochal quality. This more dramatic farewell to philosophy does not promise a cure. The devalued and discredited philosophical tradition, rather than being replaced by something even more valueless than itself, is supposed to give way to a different medium that makes possible a return to the immemorialto Bataille's sovereignty or Heidegger's Being.

Least conspicuous, finally, is the salvaging type of farewell to philosophy. Contemporary neo-Aristotelians best exemplify this type insofar as they do exegeses that are informed by hermeneutics. Some of their work is unquestionably significant. But all too often it departs from pure interpretation in an effort to salvage some old truth or other. At any rate, this farewell to philosophy has a disingenuous ring: While the salvager keeps invoking the need to preserve philosophy, he wants to have nothing to do with its systematic claims. He does not try to make the ancients relevant to the discussion of some subject matter.

Nor does he present the classics as a cultural treasure prepared by philosophy and history. What he does is to appropriate by assimilation texts that were once thought to embody knowledge, treating them instead as sources of illumination and edification. Let us return for a moment to the critique of Kant, the master thinker, and in particular to his foundationalism in epistemology. Clearly, present-day philosophies of the sort just described wisely sidestep the Kantian trap.

The last thing they think they can do is show the natural sciences to their proper place. Contemporary poststructuralist, latepragmatist, and neohistoricist tendencies share a narrow objectivistic conception of science. These tendencies prefer to sever all links with general, criticizable claims to validity. They would rather make do without notions like consensus, incontrovertible results, and justified beliefs. Paradoxically enough, whereas they make these unnecessary sacrifices, they somehow keep believing in the authority and superiority of philosophical insights: In terms of their views on science, the philosophers of the definitive farewell agree with the existentialist proposal Jaspers, Sartre, Kolakowski for a division of labor that puts science on one side and philosophical faith, life, existential freedom, myth, cultivation, or what have you, on the other.

All these juxtapositions are identical in structure. Where they differ is in their assessment of what Max Weber termed the cultural relevance of science, which may range from negative to neutral to positive. As is well known, Continental philosophy has a penchant for dramatizing the dangers of objectivism and instrumental reason, whereas AngloAmerican philosophy takes a more relaxed view of them.

With his distinction between normal and abnormal discourse, Richard Rorty has come up with an interesting variation on the above theme. In times of widely acknowledged theoretical progress, normality takes hold of the established sciences. This means methods become available that make problem solving and dispute settling possible. What Rorty calls commensurable discourses are those discourses that operate with reliable criteria of consensus building. In contrast, discourses are incommensurable or abnormal when basic orientations are contested. Generally, abnormal conversations tend to pass over into normal ones, their ultimate purpose being to annul themselves and to bring about universal agreement.

Occasionally, however, abnormal discourses stop short of taking this self-transcending step and are content with "interesting and fruitful disagreement. It is at this point that abnormal discourses take on the quality that Rorty calls "edifying. Such philosophical edification enjoys the benefits of all three types of farewell: It combines the inconspicuously subversive force of leisure with an elitist notion of creative linguistic imagination and with the wisdom of the ages. The desire for edification, however, works to the detriment of the desire for truth: I find his argument unconvincing all the same.

For even a philosophy that has been taught its limits by pragmatism and hermeneuticism will not be able to find a resting place in edifying conservation outside the sciences without immediately being drawn back into argumentation, that is, justificatory discourse. The existentialist or, if you like, exclusive division of labor between philosophy and science is untenable.

This is borne out by the particular version of discourse theory Rorty proposes. Ultimately, there is only one criterion by which beliefs can be judged valid, and that is that they are based on agreement reached by argumentation. This means that everything whose validity is at all disputable rests on shaky foundations. It matters little if the ground underfoot shakes a bit less for those who debate problems of physics than for those who debate problems of morals and aesthetics.

The difference is a matter of degree only, as the postempiricist philosophy of science has shown. Normalization of discourse is not a sufficiently trenchant criterion for distinguishing science from edifying philosophical conversation. Marxism and psychoanalysis are cases in point. They cannot, on this view, help being pseudosciences because they straddle normal and abnormal discourse, refusing to fall on either side of the dividing line. What I know about the history of the social sciences and psychology leads me to believe that hybrid discourses such as Marxism and psychoanalysis are by no means atypical.

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To the contrary, they may well stand for a type of approach that marks the beginning of new research traditions. What holds for Freud applies to all seminal theories in these disciplines, for instance, those of Durkheim, Mead, Max Weber, Piaget, and Chomsky. Each inserted a genuinely philosophical idea like a detonator into a particular context of research. Symptom formation through repression, the creation of solidarity through the sacred, the identity-forming function of role taking, modernization as rationalization of society, decentration as an outgrowth of reflective abstraction from action, language acquisition as an activity of hypothesis testingthese key phrases stand for so many paradigms in which a philosophical idea is present in embryo while at the same time empirical, yet universal, questions are being posed.

It is no coincidence that theoretical approaches of this kind are the favorite target of empiricist counterattacks. Such cyclical movements in the history of science, incidentally, do not point to a convergence of these disciplines in one unified science. It makes better sense to view them as stages on the road to the philosophization of the sciences of man Philosophischwerden der Humanwissenschaften than as stages in the triumphal march toward objectivist approaches, such as neurophysiology, that quaint favorite child of the analytic philosophers.

What I have said lies mainly in the realm of speculative conjecture. But unless I am completely mistaken, it makes sense to suggest that philosophy, instead of just dropping the usher role and being left with nothing, ought to exchange it for the part of stand-in Platzhalter. Whose seat would philosophy be keeping; what would it be standing in for? Empirical theories with strong universalistic claims.

As I have indicated, there have surfaced and will continue to surface in nonphilosophical disciplines fertile minds who will give such theories a try. The chance for their emergence is greatest in the reconstructive sciences. Marked down in price, the venerable transcendental and dialectical modes of justification may still come in handy. All they can fairly be expected to furnish, however, is reconstructive hypotheses for use in empirical settings.

Telling examples of a successful cooperative integration of philosophy and science can be seen in the development of a theory of rationality. Fallibilistic in orientation, they reject the dubious faith in philosophy's ability to do things singlehandedly, hoping instead that the success that has for so long eluded it might come from an auspicious matching of different theoretical fragments. From the vantage point of my own research interests, I see such a cooperation taking shape between philosophy of science and history of science, between speech act theory and empirical approaches to pragmatics of language, between a theory of informal argumentation and empirical approaches to natural argumentation, between cognitivist ethics and a psychology of moral development, between philosophical theories of action and the ontogenetic study of action competences.

Crompton, Rosemary [ - ]. Crozier, Michel [ ]. Dahrendorf, Ralf [ - ]. Davis, Kingsley [ - ]. Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt [ - ]. Ferguson, Adam [ - ]. Foucault, Michel [ - ]. Fromm, Erich [ - ]. Garfinkel, Harold [ - ]. Geertz, Clifford [ - ]. Geiger, Theodor Julius [ - ]. Goffman, Erving [ - ]. Gramsci, Antonio [ - ]. Halbwachs, Maurice [ - ]. Hall, Stuart [ - ]. Homans, George Caspar [ - ]. Horkheimer, Max [ - ]. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss []. Lefebvre, Henri [ - ]. Luhmann, Niklas [ - ].

Malinowski, Bronislaw [ - ]. Mannheim, Karl [ - ]. Marcuse, Herbert [ - ]. Martineau, Harriet [ - ]. Marx, Karl [ - ] Marxism Socialism. Mauss, Marcel [ - ]. McLuhan, Marschall [ - ]. Mead, George Herbert [ - ]. The interpreter, in turn, who not only shares but wants to understand this implicit knowledge of the competent speaker, must transform this know- how into a second-level know-that. This is the task of reconstruc- tive understanding, that is, of meaning explication in the sense of rational reconstruction of generative structures underlying the production of symbolic formations.

Since the rule consciousness to be reconstructed is a categorial knowledge, the reconstruction first leads us to the operation of conceptual explication. Carnap put forward four requirements, which the explication of a concept must fulfill in order to be adequate. But the theory can then also provide answers to borderline cases; or we explicate separately what a clear borderline case is. Thus it is not a question here of a descriptive language or a metalan- guage relative to the language of the explicandum the explicans does not describe the explicandum.

Reconstructive proposals are di- rected to domains of pretheoretical knoivledge, that is, not to any implicit opinion, but to a proven intuitive foreknowledge. The rule consciousness of competent speakers functions as a court of evaluation, for instance, with regard to the grammaticality of sen- tences. Whereas the understanding of content is directed to any utterance whatever, reconstructive understanding refers only to symbolic objects characterized as well formed by competent sub- jects themselves. Thus, for example, syntactic theory, proposi- tional logic, the theory of science, and ethics start with syntacti- cally well-formed sentences, correctly fashioned propositions, well-corroborated theories, and morally unobjectionable resolu- tions of norm conflicts, in order to reconstruct the rules according to which these formations can be produced.

To the extent that universal-validity claims the grammaticality of sentences, the consistency of propositions, the truth of hypotheses, the rightness of norms of action underlie intuitive evaluations, as in our ex- amples, reconstructions relate to pretheoretical knowledge of a general sort, to universal capabilities , and not only to particular competences of individual groups e.

When the pretheoretical knowledge to be reconstructed expresses a universal capability, a general cognitive, linguistic, or interactive competence or subcompetence , then what begins as an explication of meaning aims at the reconstruction of species competences. In scope and status, these reconstructions can be compared with general theories. Roughly speaking, it is the task of grammat- ical theory to reconstruct the rule consciousness common to all competent speakers in such a way that the proposals for recon- struction represent the system of rules that permits potential speakers to acquire the competence, in at least one language L , to produce and to understand sentences that count as grammat- ical in L, as well as to distinguish sentences well-formed in L from ungrammatical sentences.

Reconstructive versus Empiricist Linguistics I hope I have characterized the reconstructive procedure of sci- ences that transform a practically mastered pretheoretical knowl- edge know-how of competent subjects into an objective and explicit knowledge know-that to an extent sufficient to make clear in what sense I am using the expression formal analysis. Before mentioning some methodological difficulties with recon- structive linguistics, I would like to contrast, in broad strokes, two versions of the science of language, one empirical-analytic and the other reconstructive.

Wunderlich speaks of empirical- descriptive and empirical-explicative science of language. To the extent that the experiential basis is supposed to be secured through observation alone, the data of linguistics con- sist of measured variables of linguistic behavior. By contrast, to the extent that reconstructive understanding is permitted, the data are provided by the rule consciousness of competent speakers, maeutically ascertained i.

Thus the data are distinguished, if you will, by their ontological level: Finally, observa- tional data are selected only from the analytic viewpoints of the linguist, whereas, in the other case, competent speakers themselves evaluate and preselect possible data from the point of view of their grammatical well-formedness. Theory and Object Domain. As long as natural languages count as the object of linguistic description and not as the form of representation of a reconstructible pretheoretical knowledge, lin- guistic theory relates to its object domain as an empirical theory that explains linguistic descriptions of linguistic reality with the aid of nomological hypotheses.

If, on the contrary, linguistic theory is supposed to serve to reconstruct pretheoretical knowl- edge, theory relates to its object domain as an explication of meaning to its explicandum. Whereas in the empiricist version the relation of theory to the language to be explained is basically 1 6 Communication and Evolution of Society indistinguishable from that between theory and reality in other nomological sciences, in the explicative version the linguistic character of the object necessitates a relation that can hold only between different linguistic expressions: Nei- ther in the descriptive nor in the explicative case of theory forma- tion can the relation of linguistic theory to its object domain be conceived as that of metalanguage to object language.

There is yet another pecu- liarity arising from these differently oriented conceptualizations. An empirical-analytic theory in the narrow sense can and as a rule will refute the everyday knowledge of an object domain that we possess prior to science and replace it with a correct theoretical knowledge regarded provisionally as true.

A proposal for recon- struction, by contrast, can represent pretheoretical knowledge more or less explicitly and adequately, but it can never falsify it. At most, data can be criticized as being unsuitable, that is, either erroneously gathered or wrongly selected for a specific theoretical purpose. To a certain extent, reconstructions make an essentialist claim. Of course, one can say that theoretical descriptions correspond if true to certain structures of reality in the same sense as reconstructions bear a likeness if correct to the deep structures explicated.

On the other hand, the asserted correspondence be- tween a descriptive theory and an object allows of many epis- temological interpretations other than the realistic e. Rational reconstructions, on the contrary, can reproduce the pretheoretical knowledge that they explicate only in an essentialist sense; if they are true, they have to correspond precisely to the rules that are operatively effective in the object domain — that is, to the rules that actually determine the production of surface structures.

To be sure, serious methodological difficulties have arisen in connection with the Chomskian program for a general science of language as the rational reconstruction of linguistic competence. I would like to consider, from a method- ological perspective, two of the problem complexes that have de- veloped. One concerns the status and reliability of the intuitive knowledge of competent speakers; the other, the aforementioned relation between linguistic and mental grammar. The empirical question is whether a complete theory of linguistic intu- itions is identical with a complete theory of human linguistic compe- tence.

Chomsky has no doubt as to this identity. The theory of one kind of linguistic behavior, namely metalinguistic judgment on such things as grammaticality and paraphrase, would then as a whole be built into theories on other forms of linguistic behavior such as speaking and understanding.

If we wish to think in terms of pri- mary and derived forms of verbal behavior, the speaking and the understanding of language fall precisely into the category of primary forms, while metalinguistic judgments will be considered highly de- rived, artificial forms of linguistic behavior, which moreover are acquired late in development.

The empirical problem in the psychology of language is in turn divided in two, the investigation of 1 8 Communication and Evolution of Society psychological factors in primary language usage, and the psychological investigation of linguistic intuitions. Reconstruction relates to a pretheoretical knowledge of competent speakers that is expressed in the production of sen- tences in a natural language, on the one hand, and in the ap- praisal of the grammaticality of linguistic expressions, on the other.

The object of reconstruction is the process of production of sentences held by competent speakers to belong to the set of grammatical sentences. The metalinguistic utterances in which competent speakers evaluate the sentences put before them are not the object of reconstruction but part of the data gathering. Because of the reflexive character of natural languages, speaking about what has been spoken, direct or indirect mention of speech components, belongs to the normal linguistic process of reaching understanding.

The expression metalinguistic judg- ments in a natural language about sentences of the same language suggests a difference of level that does not exist. It is one of the interesting features of natural languages that they can be used as their own language of explication. I shall come back to this point below. Only if one presupposes an empirical-analytic in the narrow sense approach to the reality of a natural language and the utterances in it, can one view speaking and understanding language, on the one hand, and judgments in and about a language, on the other, as tw r o different object domains.

If one chooses a reconstructive approach, then one thereby chooses a conceptualization of the object domain according to which the linguistic know-how of a competent speaker is at the root of the sentences he produces with the help of and only with the help of this know-how. While this research paradigm may prove to be unfruitful, this cannot be shown at the level of a critique that already presup- I 9 What Is Universal Pragmatics? On the contrary, the implicit knowledge has to be brought to consciousness through the choice of suitable examples and counterexamples, through contrast and similarity relations, through translation, paraphrase, and so on — that is, through a well-thought-out maeutic method of interrogation.

Ascertaining the so-called intuitions of a speaker is already the beginning of their explication. For this reason, the procedure practiced by Chomsky and many others seems to me to be meaningful and adequate. One starts with clear cases, in which the reactions of the subjects converge, in order to develop struc- tural descriptions on this basis and then, in the light of the hy- potheses gained, to present less clear cases in such a way that the process of interrogation can lead to an adequate clarification of these cases as well.

I do not see anything wrong in this cir- cular procedure; every research process moves in such a circle between theory formation and precise specification of the object domain. It is one that has been treated as an empirical question in the psycholin- guistics of the past decade, and as such has inspired a great amount of research: I cannot go into the individual research projects and the different interpretations here.

Apparently in psycholinguistics there is a growing tendency to disavow the original correlation hypothesis; the mental grammar that underlies the psychologically identifiable production of language and the corresponding processes of un- derstanding cannot, in the opinion of Bever, Watt, and others, be explained in the framework of a competence theory, that is, of a reconstructively oriented linguistics.

I am not very certain how to judge this controversy; but I would like to suggest two points of view that have not, so far as I can see, been taken sufficiently into account in the discussion. How strong do the essentialist assertions of a reconstructive linguistics regarding the psychic reality of reconstructed systems of rules have to be?

This could be adequately discussed only if there were clarity about the way in which competence theories can be tested and falsified. I have the impression that psycholinguistic investi- gations proceed empirical-analytically and neglect a limine the distinction between competence and performance.

Universal Pragmatics versus Transcendental Hermeneutics Having presented the idea of a reconstructive science and briefly elucidated it through a consideration of reconstructive linguistics and two of its methodological difficulties , I would like to pose one further question: Kant terms transcendental an investigation that identifies and analyzes the a priori conditions of possibility of experience.

The underlying idea is clear: The method by which these a priori concepts of objects in general can be shown to be valid conditions of possible ex- perience is less clear. There is already disagreement concerning the meaning of the thesis: Every coherent experience is organized in a categorial network; to the extent that we discover the same im- plicit conceptual structure in any coherent experience whatsoever, we may call this basic conceptual system of possible experience transcendental. This conception renounces the claim that Kant wanted to vindicate with his transcendental deduction; it gives up all claim to a proof of the objective validity of our concepts of objects of possible experience in general.

From now on, transcendental investigation must rely on the competence of knowing subjects who judge which experiences may be called coherent experiences in order to analyze this material for general and necessary categorial presuppositions. Every reconstruction of a basic conceptual system of possible experience has to be re- garded as a hypothetical proposal that can be tested against new experiences. As long as the assertion of its necessity and uni- 22 Communication and Evolution of Society versality has not been refuted, we term transcendental the con- ceptual structure recurring in all coherent experiences.

In this weaker version, the claim that that structure can be demonstrated a priori is dropped. From this modification follow consequences that are scarcely compatible with the original program.

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We can no longer exclude the possibility that our concepts of objects of possible experience can be successfully applied only under contingent boundary con- ditions that, let us say, have heretofore been regularly fulfilled by natural constants. The tran- scendentally oriented pragmatism inaugurated by C. Peirce attempts to show that there is such a structural connection between experience and instrumental action ; 51 the hermeneutics stemming from Dilthey attempts — over against this a priori of experience — to do justice to an additional a priori of understanding or com- municative action.

In my opinion, the reservation regarding a strong apriorism in no way demands limiting oneself to a logical-semantic analysis of the conditions of possible experiences. If we surrender the concept of the transcendental subject — the subject that accomplishes the synthesis and that, together with its knowledge-enabling struc- tures, is removed from all experience — this does not mean that we have to renounce universal-pragmatic analysis of the applica- tion of our concepts of objects of possible experience, that is, investigation of the constitution of experience.

Of course, the relation between the objectivity of possible ex- perience and the truth of propositions looks different than it does under Kantian premises. In place of a priori demonstration, we have transcendental investigation of the conditions for argumen- tatively redeeming validity claims that are at least implicitly re- lated to discursive vindication. If we want to subject processes of reaching understanding speech to a reconstructive analysis oriented to general and unavoidable presuppositions in the same way as has been done for cognitive processes , 55 then the model of transcendental philosophy undeniably suggests itself, all the more so as the theory of language and action has not despite Humboldt found its Kant.

Naturally, recourse to this model is understandable only if one has in view one of the weaker versions of transcendental philosophy mentioned above. In this sense, Apel speaks of "transcendental hermeneutics" or "tran- scendental pragmatics" in order to characterize his approach pro- grammatically. I would like to mention two reasons for hesitating to adopt this usage. Something like a transcendental investigation of processes of understanding seems plausible to me as long as we view these under the aspect of processes of experience. It is in this sense that I speak of communicative experience; in understanding the utterance of another speaker as a participant in a communication process, the hearer like the observer who perceives a segment of reality has an experience.

From this comparative perspective, concrete utterances would correspond to empirical objects, and utterances in general to objects in general in the sense of objects of possible experience. Just as we analyze our a priori concepts of objects in general — that is, the conceptual structure of any coherent perception — we could analyze our a priori concepts of utterances in general — that is, the basic concepts of situations of possible understanding, the conceptual structure that enables us 24 Communication and Evolution of Society to employ sentences in correct utterances.

Concepts such as mean- ing and intentionality , the ability to speak and act agency , in- terpersonal relation, and the like, would belong to this conceptual framework. The general structures of speech must first be investigated from the perspective of understanding and not from that of experience. As soon as we admit this, however, the parallels with transcendental philosophy however conceived recede into the background. The idea underlying transcendental philosophy is — to oversimplify — that we constitute experiences in objectivating reality from invariant points of view; this objec- tivation shows itself in the objects in general that are necessarily presupposed in every coherent experience; these objects in turn can be analyzed as a system of basic concepts.

However, I do not find any correspondent to this idea under which the analysis of general presuppositions of communication might be carried out. Experi- ences are, if we follow the basic Kantian idea, constituted; ut- terances are at most generated. A transcendental investigation transposed to processes of understanding would thus have to be oriented around another model — not the epistemological model of the constitution of experience but perhaps the model of deep and surface structure.

Moreover, adopting the expression transcendental could conceal the break with apriorism that has been made in the mean- time. Kant had to separate empirical from transcendental analysis sharply.

If we now understand transcendental investigation in the sense of a reconstruction of general and unavoidable pre- suppositions of experiences that can lay claim to objectivity, then there certainly remains a difference between reconstructive and empirical-analytic analysis. But the distinction between drawing on a priori knowledge and drawing on a posteriori knowledge becomes blurred. On the one hand, the rule consciousness of com- petent speakers is for them an a priori knowledge; on the other 25 What Is Universal Pragmatics? The implicit knowledge of com- petent speakers is so different from the explicit form of linguistic description that the individual linguist cannot rely on reflection on his own speech intuitions.

The procedures employed in con- structing and testing hypotheses, in appraising competing re- constructive proposals, in gathering and selecting data, are in many ways like the procedures used in the nomological sciences. Methodological differences that can be traced back to differences in the structure of data observable events versus understandable signs and to differences between the structures of laws and rules, do not suffice to banish linguistics, for example, from the sphere of empirical science. The expression tran- scendental, with which we associate a contrast to empirical sci- ence, is thus unsuited to characterizing, without misunderstanding, a line of research such as universal pragmatics.

Behind the termi- nological question, there stands the systematic question concern- ing the as-yet insufficiently clarified status of nonnomological empirical sciences of the reconstructive type. I shall have to leave this question aside here. In any case, the attempt to play down the interesting methodological differences that arise here, and to interpret them away in the sense of the unified science program, seems to have little prospect of success. Three Aspects of Universal Pragmatics The basic universal-pragmatic intention of speech-act theory is expressed in the fact that it thematizes the elementary units of speech utterances in an attitude similar to that in which lin- guistics does the units of language sentences.

The goal of re- constructive language analysis is an explicit description of the rules that a competent speaker must master in order to form grammatical sentences and to utter them in an acceptable way.

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Crompton, Rosemary [ - ]. By comparison to the retrospective explanation of past developments, the projec- tive analysis of contemporary society has an immediately practical reference. Wittgenstein's diagnosis was that philosophy had disarrayed language games that function perfectly well in everyday life. We are familiar with this fact in regard to the explanation of natural phenomena — theories can be more or less general. Thus, linguistic expressions can be explicated through paraphrase in the same language or through translation into expressions of another 12 Communication and Evolution of Society language; in both cases, competent speakers draw on intuitively known meaning relations that obtain within the lexicon of one language or between those of two languages. This leads to the following constella- tions: Let us return for a moment to the critique of Kant, the master thinker, and in particular to his foundationalism in epistemology.

The theory of speech acts shares this task with linguistics. Whereas the latter starts from the assumption that every adult speaker possesses an implicit, reconstructible knowledge, in which is expressed his linguistic rule competence to produce sentences , speech-act theory postulates a corresponding communicative rule competence, namely the competence to employ sentences in speech acts. It is further assumed that communicative competence has just as universal a core as linguistic competence.

A general theory of speech actions would thus describe exactly that fundamental system of rules that adult subjects master to the extent that they can fulfill the conditions for a happy employment of sentences in utterances, no matter to which particular language the sen- tences may belong and in which accidental contexts the utterances may be embedded.

The proposal to investigate language use in competence-theo- retic terms calls for a revision of the concepts of competence and performance. Chomsky understands these concepts in such a way that it makes sense to require that phonetic, syntactic, and seman- tic properties of sentences be investigated linguistically within the framework of a reconstruction of linguistic competence and that pragmatic properties of utterances be left to a theory of linguistic performance.

I have, to begin with, based the demarcation of linguistics from universal pragmatics on the current distinction between sentences 27 What Is Universal Pragmatics? The production of sentences according to the rules of grammar is something other than the use of sentences in accordance with pragmatic rules that shape the infrastructure of speech situations in general. But this raises the following questions, i Could not the universal structures of speech — what is common to all utterances independently of their particular contexts — be adequately determined through universal sentential structures?

In this case, with his linguistically reconstructible lin- guistic competence, the speaker would also be equipped for mas- tering situations of possible understanding, for the general task of uttering sentences; and the postulate of a general communica- tive competence different from the linguistic could not be justified.

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Beyond this there is the question, 2 whether the semantic properties of sentences or words , in the sense of the use theory of meaning, can in any case be explicated only with reference to situations of possible typical employment. Then the distinction between sentences and utterances would be irrelevant, at least to semantic theory as long, at any rate, as sufficiently typical con- texts of utterance were taken into consideration.

As soon as the distinction between the linguistic analysis of sentences and the pragmatic analysis of utterances becomes hazy, the object domain of universal pragmatics is in danger of fading away. But this is not to deny the difference between the production of a grammatical sentence and the use of that sentence in a situation of possible understanding, or the difference between the universal presuppositions that a competent speaker has to fulfill in each case.

In order to utter a sentence, the speaker must fulfill general presuppositions of communication. Even if he fulfills these pre- suppositions in conformity to the structures that are already given with the sentence employed, he may very well form the sentence itself without also fulfilling the presuppositions specific to the telos of communication. This can be made clear with regard to the relations to reality in which every sentence is first embedded through the act of utterance.

In being uttered, a sentence is placed 28 Communication and Evolution of Society in relation to i the external reality of what is supposed to be an existing state of affairs, 2 the internal reality of what a speaker would like to express before a public as his intentions, and, finally, 3 the normative reality of what is intersub jec- tively recognized as a legitimate interpersonal relationship. It is thereby placed under validity claims that it need not and cannot fulfill as a nonsituated sentence, as a purely grammatical forma- tion. The grammaticality of a sentence means from a pragmatic perspective that the sentence, when uttered by a speaker, is comprehensible to all hearers who have mastered GL.

Comprehensibility is the only one of these universal claims that can be fulfilled immanently to language. The validity of a propo- sitional content depends, by contrast, on whether the proposition stated represents a fact or whether the existential presupposi- tions of a mentioned propositional content hold ; the validity of an intention expressed depends on whether it corresponds to what is actually intended by the speaker; and the validity of the ut- terance performed depends on whether this action conforms to a recognized normative background. Whereas a grammatical sen- tence fulfills the claim to comprehensibility, a successful utterance must satisfy three additional validity claims: Naturally we can identify characteristics of the surface struc- tures of sentences that have a special significance for the three general pragmatic functions of the utterance: Thus the general structures of speech are also reflected at the level of 29 What Is Universal Pragmatics?

But insofar as we consider a sentence as a grammatical formation, that is, as independent of speech situa- tions in which it can be uttered, these general pragmatic functions are not yet "occupied. He has to have mas- tered the corresponding system of grammatical rules; this we call his linguistic ability, and it can be analyzed linguistically.

It is otherwise with his ability to communicate; this is susceptible only to pragmatic analysis. To choose the propositional sentence in such a way that either the truth conditions of the proposition stated or the existential presupposi- tions of the propositional content mentioned are supposedly fulfilled so that the hearer can share the knowledge of the speaker ; 2. To express his intentions in such a way that the linguistic expres- sion represents what is intended so that the hearer can trust the speaker ; 3. To perform the speech act in such a way that it conforms to recognized norms or to accepted self-images so that the hearer can be in accord with the speaker in shared value orientations.

To the extent that these decisions do not depend on particular epistemic presuppositions and changing contexts but cause sen- tences in general to be engaged in the universal pragmatic func- tions of representation, expression, and legitimate interpersonal relation, what is expressed in them is precisely the communicative competence for which I am proposing a universal-pragmatic in- vestigation. The part of universal pragmatics that is furthest developed is that related to the representational function of utterances, for ex- ample, to the use of elementary propositional sentences.

This classic domain of formal semantics has been pursued from Frege to Dummet. The theory of predication does not investigate sentences in general as does linguistics but 30 Communication and Evolution of Society sentences in their function of representing facts. The analysis is directed above all to the logic of using predicates and those ex- pressions that enable us to refer to objects. Naturally this part of universal pragmatics is not the most important for a theory of communication. The analysis of intentionality, the discussion of avowals, and the debate on private speech, insofar as they clear the way to a universal pragmatics of the expressive function of utterances, are only beginnings.

There is a broad spec- trum of different approaches to semantic theory. Linguistically oriented theories of meaning 63 try to grasp systematically the semantic content of linguistic expressions. In the framework of transformational grammar, explanations of the surface structures of sentences either start with semantic deep structures or rely on semantic projections into syntactic structures. This approach leads to an elementaristically constructed combinatory system of general semantic markers.

Lexical semantics proceeds in a similar man- ner; it clarifies the meaning structures of a given lexicon by way of a formal analysis of meaning relations. The weakness of these linguistic approaches lies in the fact that they bring in the prag- matic dimension of the use of sentences only in an ad hoc way. The use theory of meaning developed from the work of Wittgen- stein has shown, however, that the meaning of linguistic expres- sions can be identified only with reference to situations of possible employment.

Reference semantics , 65 whether framed as a theory of extensional or of intensional de- notation, determines the meaning of an expression by the class 3i What Is Universal Pragmatics? Under these premises one can explicate the meaning of expressions that appear in propositional sentences. I do not see, however, why semantic theory should monopolistically single out the represen- tational function of language and ignore the specific meanings that language develops in its expressive and interpersonal func- tions.

These preliminary reflections are intended merely to support the conjecture that semantic theory cannot be successfully de- veloped as a unified theory. But if it is heterogeneously composed, no objection to the methodological separation of the analysis of sentence structures from that of utterance structures can be in- ferred from the difficulties of demarcating semantics from prag- matics difficulties that are equally present in demarcating seman- tics from syntax. The analysis of general structures of speech can indeed begin with general sentence structures. However, it is directed to formal properties of sentences only from the perspec- tive of the possibility of using sentences as elements of speech, that is, for representational, expressive, and interpersonal func- tions.

Universal pragmatics too can be understood as semantic analysis. But it is distinguished from other theories of meaning in that the meanings of linguistic expressions are relevant only insofar as they contribute to speech acts that satisfy the validity claims of truth, truthfulness, and normative rightness. On the other hand, universal pragmatics is distinguished from empirical pragmatics, e. I would like now to sum up the different levels of analysis and corresponding object domains of semiotics. If we start with concrete speech ac- tions embedded in specific contexts and then disregard all aspects that these utterances owe to their pragmatic functions, we are left with linguistic expressions.

Whereas the elementary unit of speech is the speech act, the elementary unit of language is the sentence. The de- marcation is obtained by attending to conditions of validity — a gram- matically well-formed sentence satisfies the claim to comprehensibility; 32 Communication and Evolution of Society a communicatively successful speech action requires, beyond the com- prehensibility of the linguistic expression, that the participants in communication be prepared to reach an understanding, that they raise claims to truth, truthfulness, and rightness and reciprocally impute their satisfaction.

Sentences are the object of linguistic analysis b, c , speech acts of pragmatic analysis d, e. Individual Languages versus Language in General. The task of linguistics consists firstly in developing a grammar for each individual language so that a structural description can be correlated with any sentence of the language. On the other hand, general grammatical theory is occupied with reconstructing the rule system that underlies the ability of a subject to generate well-formed sentences in any lan- guage whatever. Grammatical theory claims to reconstruct the universal linguistic ability of adult speakers.

Aspects of Linguistic Analysis. Every linguistic utterance can be examined from at least three analytic viewpoints. Phonetics investigates linguistic expressions as inscriptions in an underlying medium i. Syntactic theory investigates linguistic expres- sions with regard to the formal connections of the smallest meaningful units. Semantic theory investigates the meaning content of linguistic expressions. Evidently only phonetic and syntactic theory are self- sufficient linguistic theories, whereas semantic theory cannot be com- pletely carried through in the attitude of the linguist, that is, in disre- gard of pragmatic aspects.

Particular versus Universal Aspects of Speech Acts. The task of empirical pragmatics consists, to begin with, in describing speech acts typical of a certain milieu, which can in turn be analyzed from socio- logical, ethnological, and psychological points of view. General prag- matic theory, on the other hand, is occupied with reconstructing the rule system that underlies the ability of a subject to utter sentences in any relevant situation.

Universal pragmatics thereby raises the claim to reconstruct the ability of adult speakers to embed sentences in relations to reality in such a way that they can take on the general pragmatic functions of representation, expression, and establishing legitimate interpersonal relations. This communicative competence is indicated by those accomplishments that hermeneutics stylizes to an art, namely paraphrasing utterances by means of context-similar utterances of the 33 What Is Universal Pragmatics? The fulfillment of those gen- eral functions is measured against the validity conditions for truth, truth- fulness, and rightness.

Thus every speech action can be considered from the corresponding analytic viewpoints. Formal semantics exam- ines the structure of elementary propositions and the acts of reference and predication. A still scarcely developed theory of intentionality ex- amines intentional expressions insofar as they function in first-person sentences. Finally, the theory of speech acts examines illocutionary force from the viewpoint of the establishment of legitimate interper- sonal relations.