Religion Past and Present

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Discourse Ethics
(699 words)

[German Version]

is the name given by Karl-Otto Apel (born 1922) and Jürgen Habermas (born 1929) to their common program of using discourse theory to renew the ethics of I. Kant. Discourse ethics seeks to base universal norms of correct action solely on the formal basis of rational generalizability. Unlike Kant, however, it does not posit an intelligible realm of ends, and it transforms the starting point, replacing the methodological solipsism of a philosophy of consciousness with the achievement of agreement within an argumentative …

Cite this page
Moxter, Michael, “Discourse Ethics”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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