Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 9, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2002

J. M. Fritzman
Pages 47-59

"Why I Hardly Read Althusser"
Reading Habermas Hardly Reading Althusser

This article discusses Habermas' rejections of the orthodoxy of the philosophy of history, ethical socialism, and scientism. It urges that his attempt to derive rationality and morality from consensus fails, and so he does lapse into ethical socialism. However, ethical socialism only appears to be something to avoid because of his belief that consensus could generate rationality and morality. Once the impossibility of that is recognized, ethical socialism can be rehabilitated. Hence, Althusser's version of ethical socialism escapes Habermas' censure.