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Dear Habermas
About Us

Weekly Journal
of Postmodern and Critical Thought, Devoted to Cross-Disciplinary Academic Discourse
on Social, Philosophical, Political Issues of Justice and Morality

Current Issue: Volume 26, No.12, Week of May 21, 2006
Previous Issue: Volume 26, No.11, Week of April 23, 2006

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"The Road Not Taken"
By Robert Frost

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University of Wisconsin, Parkside
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Created: January 2, 1998
Latest update: May23, 2006
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Welcome to our weekly journal, Dear Habermas, named after one of the great 20th Century thinkers, Jurgen Habermas, who has spent a lifetime theorizing the hope that one day we can all live together without violence, without exploitation, without imperialism, in a democracy legitimized by a system of law. The "DEAR" is our disclaimer to any knowledge of how Habermas himself would answer the questions our students and fellow thinkers tend to ask: "What would Habermas say about . . . " This is not a site on explicating and criticizing the philosophy of Habermas to further new theoretical positions. This is a site for those who, like ourselves and our students, seek a broad understanding of the major conceptual orientations of many disciplines to develop a manageable framework of theory, methods, and praxis that will guide us as we read the texts of daily events and governance issues in our lives.

We try in good faith to provide access to textual and visual material across disciplines that will clarify many perspectives of every issue, for critical thought is our goal, not the profession of any given position. Virtual publication permits us to leap temporal and spatial barriers, and our commitment to answerability facilitates participation for those who have a solid liberal arts background in writing and thinking AND for those who have not yet had that privilege. Our interpretation is that good faith demands that we share our collective editing skills, theoretical references, interpretive skills with those who are trying to present a validity claim.

We cannot claim expertise in all of the many disciplines to which we allude in our discussions. You will need to delve further into the resource links and texts we and others proffer for such expertise. We invite others with greater expertise to enter the dialog and expand our collective knowledge. We are opposed to "knowingness," the certitude that the bit of liberal arts and/or science knowledge to which we have been exposed provides "a right answer" to any of the issues that really matter in our lives today.

This is an academic forum, for dialog with our students at two State Universities, and with the community at large. The priniciple on which the site is founded is that we humans are curious, creative, competent creatures who choose to recognize and honor our interdependence with one another and with the infrastructure in which we are situated. We incessantly search for new and exciting discoveries to live a good life that harms no others, either presently or inadvertently in the future, and that concedes room for creativity, sensitivity and social justice. We believe that liberal arts learning furthers those interests and that a forum such as this enables that learning to take its rightful place in academic and scholarly dialog and with honor, amongst academy texts and out there, in the community to which we belong, and which we serve.

We believe that both the individual and the communal collective are free to follow creative paths and are answerable for their actions to Others who are affected by their decisions. And we believe that today the communal collective extends beyond our nation-states to the entire globe. We also believe that the discipline of sociology has strong roots in philosophy and aesthetics, and that those roots offer an opportunity to fruitfully merge the separate micro and macro perspectives that have permitted the arrogance of "knowingness" and objectivity to overshadow the humility appropriate to the ambiguity of knowledge, as reflected by the limits to human knowing.

All are welcome to our site, for inclusion is one of the paths to participation and legitimacy for all.


Topics and Issues on the Site:

Topics Index with links to online lectures, review essays, comments, and discussion questions.

Sample Range of Topics: Social justice, economic justice, law, religion, war, torture, incarceration and restorative justice, theory, methods, statistics, qualtiatative analysis, visual sociology, visual criminology, feminist theory, health.

From a sociological perspective of: critical theory, postmodern theory, constitutive theory, feminist theory, philosophy, and answerability for the Other


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