2007 Von einer Welt, Film-Text


The concept of communicative rationality is in need of a more precise explication. We can begin with the claim that the concept of communicative rationality has to be analyzed in connection with achieving understanding in language. The concept of reaching understanding suggests a rationally motivated agreement among participants that is measured against criticizable validity claims. The validity claims (propositional truth, normative rightness, and subjective truthfulness) characterize different categories of a knowledge embodied in symbolic expressions. These expressions can be more closely analyzed in two ways- with respect to how they can be defended and with respect to how actors relate through them to something in a world.

The world counts as the totality of what is the case; and what is the case can be stated in the form of true propositions. Starting from this general concept of the world, we can specify the concepts of the first, second and third worlds by the way in which states of affairs exist. The entities belonging to each of these three worlds have a specific mode of being: physical objects and events, mental states and episodes, and semantic contents of symbolic formations. Symbolic formations are, it is true, generated by the productive human mind; but though they are themselves products, they confront subjective mind with the objectivity of a problematic, uncomprehended complex of meaning that can be opened up only through intellectual labor. The products of the human mind immediately turn against it as problems. These problems are clearly autonomous. They are in no sense made by us; rather, they are discovered by us; and in this sense they exist, undiscovered, before their discovery. Moreover, at least some of these unsolved problems may be insoluble. In our attempts to solve these or other problems we may invent new theories. Yet the moment we have produced these theories, they create new, unintended and unexpected problems, autonomous problems, problems to be discovered.