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Theory of Justice and Morality

Theory of Justice and Morality

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This paper is an attempt to understand the various competing ideological positions outlined by Jurgen Habermas' Inclusion of the Other.
This paper is an attempt to understand the various competing ideological positions outlined by Jurgen Habermas' Inclusion of the Other.

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Published by: returncc on Mar 04, 2009
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Theory of Justice and Morality
May 15, 2002
“Self-preservation has, like all other impulses, a bad conscience”
1
- Horkheimer/Adorno.
Preface
This paper is my attempt to absorb and reconstruct the diverse perspectives and points of view relating to competing theories of justice as outlined by Jurgen Habermas in
The Inclusion of the Other.
The primary aim of this paper is to describe the Habermasianargument in a coherent manner, so that I might better understand and distinguish betweenthe various ideological positions outlined in
The Inclusion of the Other.
The secondary purpose of this paper is to develop my own perspective and theoretical framework towarda theory of justice in order to satisfies my hermeneutical search for self-understanding.My first obstacle in understanding Habermas was to distinguish his original thesisfrom the content of other philosophers. In this material Habermas uses the details of  philosophy like Rawl’s theory of justice and Kant’s moral philosophy as point of departure for insights relating to his theory of communicative action. At times, however,it is difficult for me to distinguish between his material and that of others.
Introduction
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Horkheimer/Adorno.
 Dialectic of Enlightenment 
. NY (1944). P.92
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Habermas compares various conceptions of “justice” from historical, analytical,and social perspectives revealing arguments and disagreements about the content of “morality” and the validity of public actions. He argues in favour of adopting a theory of communicative action and discourse ethics within a proceduralist view of legitimate stateaction. 
The Inclusion of the Other,
begins as a search for legitimacy and quickly turns to aconversation about speech acts and truth conditional utterances. Habermas begins histheory of justice with an exploration of the philosophy of morality, and ends with the co-originality of the rule of law and popular sovereignty. He argues for a theory of justicecongruent with principles implicit in cooperative communication networks.Paying particular attention to insights generated from communicative maxims and principles derived from observation of cooperative language rules, Habermas claims touse these presuppositions of communicative action and practical discourse as standards tomeasure the democratic nature of the modern legal system. Overall, he argues for anadministrative system justified to the extent that rules of procedure are in congruencewith communicative principles.
Political Principles
Habermas proposes that constitutional states derive authority and legitimacy fromthe application of two political principles, namely popular sovereignty and the rule of 2
 
law. The principles of popular sovereignty are embodied in communication and participation rights, while the rule of law is expressed in rights of private and publicautonomy.
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 He envisions a popular sovereignty protected by procedural rules as the best wayto justify political authority and the application of the rule of law. The administrative programs are necessary to create conditions for civil and voluntary associations, and civiland voluntary associations are necessary to create conditions for legitimate publicadministration. In this way, the rule of law and popular sovereignty are seen as co-original and interdependent, they providing support for each other.The need for a theory of justice arises when people find themselves confrontedwith administrative structures that would govern their public or private behaviour. In themodern era, whether in the form of commonplace regulation like a traffic ticket, or thecries of large numbers of people unable to free themselves from poverty, democraticgovernments must provide public reasons for administrative actions. According toHabermas, the use of administrative coercion and/or intervention, or lack thereof, make a basic political consensus among citizens absolutely necessary.
The Role of the Legal System
Our modern legal system relies on principles of justice to function. These principles find expression in the form of positive law. In democratic forums, political
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Habermas, J.
The Inclusion of the Other 
. Frankfurt (1996). pp.258-259.
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