This anthology brings together for the first time, in revised or new
translation, ten essays that present the main concerns of Jürgen
Habermas's program in formal pragmatics. Its aim is to convey a sense
of the overall purpose of Habermas's linguistic investigations while
introducing the reader to their specific details.
Habermas's program in formal pragmatics fulfills two main functions.
First, it serves as the theoretical underpinning for his theory of
communicative action, a crucial element in his theory of society.
Second, it contributes to ongoing philosophical discussion of problems
concerning meaning, truth, rationality, and action.
By the "pragmatic" dimensions of language, Habermas means those
pertaining specifically to the employment of sentences in
utterances. He makes clear that "formal" is to be understood in a
tolerant sense to refer to the rational reconstruction of general
intuitions or competences. Formal pragmatics, then, aims at a
systematic reconstruction of the intuitive linguistic knowledge of
competent subjects as it is used in everyday communicative practices.