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The Hermeneutic Foundations of a Cosmopolitan Public Sphere

  • Hans-Herbert Kögler
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter reconstructs the basic agent-based capabilities required for a democratically defined public sphere under conditions of globalization. Making capabilities central is intended to correct a certain overemphasis regarding institutional macro-structures in the discourse on globalization and cosmopolitanism. In the first part, a notion of hermeneutic agency is introduced that avoids a social reduction of agency to power structures, while thoroughly situating agency in a symbolically mediated social context. The symbolic mediation of agency is, in the second part, taken as a ground of potentiality for reflexive capabilities that, once actualized and enacted, allow for a normatively satisfying process of public deliberation. The aim of the analysis is to relate a normative model of value orientation to the linguistically grounded empirical resources of social agents. The core argument lays out as basic capabilities (a) to be able to normatively orient oneself at contextually defined yet universally open post-conventional commitments, (b) to be able to engage in an interpretive and dialogical perspective-taking vis-à-vis differently situated agents and backgrounds and (c) to be able to critically distance oneself from one’s taken-for-granted assumptions and background structures via a power-alert social reflexivity.

Keywords

Globalization Public sphere Hermeneutics Agency Reflexivity 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Herbert Kögler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North FloridaJacksonvilleUSA

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