1st Edition

Towards a Transformation of Philosophy

By Karl Otto Apel Copyright 1980

    First Published in 1980 (English Translation) Towards a Transformation of Philosophy presents selected essays from Karl -Otto Apel’s two- volume German collection that was published in 1973 under the title Transformation der Philosophie. Karl -Otto Apel’s studies in philosophy and the social sciences can be said to have bridged the gap that had hitherto existed between the Anglo-Saxon traditions of analytical philosophy of language and pragmatism, and the philosophical traditions of the European continent of phenomenology, existentialism, and hermeneutics. Apel points to language as the crucial dimension in the constitution of historical meaning and therefore as the historical condition for the possibility of truth. In this context he discusses the hermeneutic dimension of Wittgenstein’s philosophy and that of his followers, together with the development of pragmatism and with recent trends in Chomsky’s linguistics.

    In arguing for the complementarity of technical and practical interests in acquiring knowledge for a critical theory of society Apel examines the preconditions for an emancipatory critique of ideology and the communication community as the predeterminate of both the social sciences and moral discourse. In all the essays, Apel sets out to counter the positivistic and scientistic restrictions placed upon a satisfactory understanding of the preconditions for the possibility and validity of human knowledge. This is a must read for scholars and researchers of philosophy.

    Acknowledgements Preface to the English edition 1. Wittgenstein and the problem of hermeneutic understanding 2. Scientistics, and hermeneutics and the critique of ideology: outline of a theory of science from a cognitive - anthropological standpoint 3. From Kant to Peirce: the semiotical transformation of transcendental logic 4. Scientism or transcendental hermeneutics? on the question of the subject of the interpretation of signs in the semiotics of pragmatism 5. The communication community as the transcendental presupposition for the social sciences 6. Noam Chomsky's theory of language and contemporary philosophy: a case study in the philosophy of science 7. The a priori of the communication community and the foundations of ethics: the problem of a rational foundation of ethics in the scientific age Bibliography Index of names


    Karl-Otto Apel, Translated by Glyn Adey and David Frisby