a1 Concordia University
Joseph Heath's Communicative Action and Rational Choice may be read as a critical commentary upon Habermas's critical social theory, but it may also be read as merely using the latter as “scaffolding” (p. 10) for the presentation of Heath's own version of critical theory. In what follows, I will focus on the second option and thus largely ignore the exegetical question to what extent Heath provides a fair reading of Habermas. This does not mean, however, that I will not make comparative judgements. On the contrary, my overall claim will be that Heath's new critical theory is more functionalist, and. partly as a result, less critical than Habermas's. Since lack of space does not permit me to argue this in accordance with the standards of detail that Heath's own book generally observes, my procedure may be justified by the attempt to provoke a clarificatory response from Heath.
* This symposium discusses Joseph Heath's Comunicative Action and Rational Choice, Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001, xii + 363 pp.). Page numbers, unless otherwise attributed, are from this book.