Back to Habermas Studies page Habermas and the EU
gary e. davis
  May 25, 2014  

Although my interest precedes 2013 (“Habermas and difficulties of governing the EU,” May, 2012) and he has published for many years on the issue, I was especially interested after Habermas’s Athens lecture, April 2013, “A Plea for a constitutionalization of International Law,” which is also about (1) prospects for transnational democracy, (2) technocracy and the EU, and (3) a conception of solidarity related to the latter. These postings relate to that:

trans-regional democratic innovation | September 3, 2013

The German question| September 4, 2013

My intention to dwell with his April Athens lecture went unactualized because my interest got out of hand: I wanted to incorporate other recent lectures and interviews, related to that, but also related to his views on the German elections (Merkel’s failings, in his view). His general stance on political union called for retracing some other views of his, which became connected to my views, which resulted in my need to clarify to myself my sense of a range of themes. Meanwhile, he kept talking (good for him).

Differentiating issues of Germany, the EU, interest in transnationalism, critique of technocracy, and need for stronger international law made response to specific issues across multiple mixed presentations by him daunting. And what about others’s views of EU integration? After all, the EU itself believes it already has a unified and unifying Plan.

His recent lecture to the German Social Democratic Party elite is extremely important. (The Irish Times had a good summation of it.) I’ve studied the lecture in detail, and I find numerous strange features about it, which I wanted to address eventually.

Meanwhile, his Athens lecture became the focus of an issue of Philosophy and Social Criticism, where one commentator had enough trouble with Habermas’s sense of solidarity that I ventured a short discussion of my sense of the issue, which is merely preliminary:

On solidarity: culturally-based, not politically | September 4, 2013

More to come. I have many relevant postings from elsewhere that I’ve transposed to the “our evolving” blog, which I’ve discussed in detail.

I’ll close here, for the near term (later revisions, prospecting, etc. to be noted via my home page—and maybe Google+ or Facebook; and I could begin using Twitter!). I see no problem integrating Habermas’s concerns into my Project, which is committed to preserving and advanceing his values and conceptual fundamentals.

The public intellectual is expressing progressive pragmatics of a philosophical career. So, of course, all leads to questions of philosophy, which is—I’ve proffered and will further—the heart of the university, its ultimate mindfulness.

At the Facebook/Habermas page, I noted a theme which causes me to ask: How may we best understand dynamics of reflective equilibration in collaborative innovation, which precedes norm formation? Can his work help us balance the constraints of normative structure with desire for collaborative innovation that has high promise for fruitfulness?

We want societies that thrive, lives that flourish, high prospecting and discovery. We want to be thinking together about high values, aspirations, projects, and prospects for our futures. Solidarity originates from that, as a special kind of kindredness (issue specific) that is not “solid”; rather, a kind of belonging in a bond.

How important “philosophy” can be for the interdisciplinary university, for a conceptually-holistic approach to intellectual life, and for the importance of conceptual issues for one’s life!

That’s an avowal of potential, in which one may easily hear the question.

Be fair. © 2014, g. e. davis.