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Transcendental contractualism of Otfried Höffe (comparative analysis)

Transcendental contractualism of Otfried Höffe (comparative analysis)Transcendental contractualism of Otfried Höffe (comparative analysis)
Дмитрий Усов, доцент, кандидат философских наук, доцент

Черкасский институт пожарной безопасности имени Героев Чернобыля, Украина

Участник первенства: Национальное первенство по научной аналитике - "Украина";

Открытое Европейско-Азиатское первенство по научной аналитике;

Political philosophy of a well-known not only in Europe, German philosopher O. Höffe has a number of principally important ideas, concepts and principles. The most significant of them are distinguished and got further development in the works of his already well-known successors: (S. Gosepath, Ch. Horn, A. Pinzani, N. Scarano) and famous contemporaries (J. Habermas, W. Kersting, M. Kettner, R. Forst). In the introduction to a set works dedicated to the creative improvements of Professor O. Höffe, notices that “O. Höffe was one of the first who not only interprets the ideas of Rawls, but also efficiently developed them in their works” [1, 9].

Therefore, it says here not only about the comparison of J. Rowls and O. Höffe’s, thinking about justice, freedom and democracy but also about functional meaning of such a comparison. We will try to fulfil it defining the object of research of this article, concentrating the attention on transcendental contractualism of O. Höffe and deepening the understanding of his philosophical investigation, which was begun in Ukraine by publications, of S. Maksymov V. Nechyporenko, L. Sytnichenko, and M. Tur. The German thinker himself stresses the need to comprehend a social agreement as the basic concept and methodological principle at the beginning of his classic work “Political justice”. We will notice that even here he wants not only to come out, but also goes beyond the communicative philosophy of Karl-Otto Apel and Jurgen Habermas and the theory of justice by John Rawls, clearly underlining the outlines of his further philosophical thoughts. As it is known, exactly from speeches and publications of Rawls began the revival of political philosophy and an innate methodological principle of the traditional theory of social agreement. In the introduction to the English edition of “Theory of Justice” J. Rowls outlines the basic goal of his efforts as attempts to “generalize and raise into the level of abstraction the traditional theory of the social agreement, which represent Locke, Rousseau and Kant. I hope that in this exact way this theory can be developed in such a way that it no longer be defenceless in front of the most evident allegations which often seemed fatal to it. Moreover, this theory suggests, as it seems, a systematic inspection of alternative justice” [2, 19]. Due to his version of contractualism (which comes out of the fact that each individual must be respected and moral principles must be justified and based on the requirement of fair and impartial agreement) contemporary philosophical and political discourse gains new quality. It becomes conscious because based on the principles of freedom and equality idea of social agreement is the realization of the basic democratic values, democratic methods of regulating the relations between citizens and the authority. In fact through the curtains of traditions of social agreement tradition you can distinguish the life-affirming vision of justice, which defined the debate around it until today.

To discourses of social agreement of Hobbes and Locke, and Rousseau and, through the chain of their intrinsic, principally important methodological changes, refer almost all well-known in the field of modern political philosophy authors, stressing that the gap in the natural state means a new social principle of activity’s regulation - he shows how in the people’s behaviour the place of instincts can be replaced the justice. A person, together with his initial rights, agrees with the community only in case of existing of such rules, which express general interests. In today’s circumstances it’s worth paying attention to the actualization of the exact understanding of social agreement of Hobbes which is close to J. Rowls: it is first of all the agreement of individuals concerning the stable state structure, which can be achieved when appear in front of the horrors of “natural state” (“war of all against all”), when the world is dominated by the constant danger of violent death of lonely and vulnerable people. The rescue, the way out from this state of affairs may be a clever decision or the general rule, which prohibits actions, which are dangerous for a human life and is based on the biblical statement: treat people as you want to be treated. So thanks to Hobbes the important for the conditions of the implementation of justice intuition of modern world, was created, - the mutual rejection of freedom must occur in certain mutually recognized borders.

Updated by O. Höffe discourse of justice is also based, as he considered himself, on the ideas of “The Theory of Justice” of J. Rowls. Although O. Höffe himself uses the latest methods of argument, however this very discourse has “deep historical mode; it can be referred to such great philosophers of law and state as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant and gets to this, classic figure of arguments, the figure of social agreement” [3, 5]. On the significance, actuality for contemporary social and political philosophy and philosophy of work’s law, ideas and arguments of O. Höffe and the necessity of further research and development emphasize such Ukrainian philosophers as V. Nechyporenko and S. Maksymov. V. Nechyporenko himself thinks about the attachment of organic theory of social agreement of O. Höffe to the problem of justice, freedom, social state. In one of his recent publications, he stated that in fact, “the agreement provides the exchange, but the exchange of rights and freedoms, and social agreement also provides the understanding of all the legal and social order as such, which implies the equality of rights and freedom of citizens in all spheres of social life and of obligation of social, including the law norms for each member of the state as a member of society” [4, 376].

In the field of view of S. Maximov, there is the O. Höffe’s interpretation of justice as the highest principle of common human life. Emphasizing meaningful, formal and procedural theories of justice, S. Maksymov emphasizes that “informative theories of justice related to the type of agreement theories and rely on the views of Kant. Among the of modern agreement theories the most important are theories of J. Rowls and O. Höffe. These theories focus the attention mainly on the question “what?” that is what is justice and what are its criteria” [5, 282]. In other words “in the informative theories justice is regarded as a moral criterion, which applies to the state as a means of domination. Within the problem of justice the issue of the conditions and principles of legitimacy of the state is settled. The condition of legitimacy serves the agreement as a model of mutually voluntary obligation. But it is not about the historic agreement, but about the metaphor of “social agreement”” [5, 283].

J. Rowls comes from the fact, that the idea of social agreement makes it possible to find the true answers to one of the major issues of modern political philosophy: what compulsion, what restriction of freedom can be considered fair, and where we must search for a fair, legitimate reason those chains, which are burdened all over a man? But a real, almost unnoticed and certainly relevant for today, social and philosophical background of the problem was, in our opinion, an attempt to answer the question: how can the society exist when each individual submits only to his own will. Within the idea of social agreement the problem of morality is updated as a problem of following the voice of nature within us. However, the desire of contemporary contractualism if not interpret it simplistically, to address to the problem of people’s rights, honour and dignity, deserve further attention and development.

Exactly justice, Rawls considers has a special place in the system of social values and, for this reason of normative concepts existing social being, defined or acceptable for the existence, or one, which requires partial or complete change. In other words, “justice is first virtue of social institutions, just as truth for philosophical systems. Whatever complex and economical was this or that theory, but if it turns out to be false, it must be rejected, or revise, remake; on the similarly way the laws and institutions must be reformed or abolished when they appeared to be unfair unjust” [2, 26-27]. Rawls also claims that the importance of reasonable, fair principles of social life is the implementation of universal will, which acquires moral qualities through reliance on discourse and cognitively determined interest.

He draws his theory of justice as a modern version of the theory of social agreement, when the latter develops and generalizes, no matter form of government or society. A suggested by Rawls (on the basis of a modernized social theory) the interpretation of the principles of social justice is not limited by bearing on the theory of instrumental rationality, paying attention on the urgent need of coordination the opposite, often conflicting intentions and interests. According to the Rawls’ understanding of justice as fairness, “the principle of justice for the basic structure of society is the subject of the original agreement. These are the principles that free and mental people, interested in nurturing their own interests, taking in such an initial position of equality as defining the fundamental circumstances of their being a part of the society. These principles are to regulate all further agreements” [2, 36-37].

Referring to the thinking of Rawls on the problems justice and freedom, we see as its fundamental principle of “reflective balance” is completed by a hypothetical contractualism. As for the first, Rawls constantly emphasizes that justice as fairness is to be based on inherent instinct of the feeling of fairness. And theoretical constructions should be corrected by judgments about justice as long as the conflict between them disappears. It is worth hoping that the main ideas and principles of justice can be defined as, “that they could be combined into the concept of political justice that would meet most established beliefs” and “political conception of justice, to be acceptable, must be sequenced with our well-thought-out beliefs on any level of generalization with the help of using the corresponding reflection (or due to using what I call “reflexive balance” [6, 783]. The background for social agreement, which requires the rational discourse of justice, must also be awareness of the citizens and the absence of violence.

How can be determined fair conditions of social interaction? In what way does the method of reflective balance operate, it should be based on method of a hypothetical agreement. Rawls repeatedly claimed that he moved along the way of the traditional theory of social agreement, but wants to give it a modern look. The hypothetical agreement of Rawls is mental experiment, typical for anyone who identifies some initial intuitions, which provides mutual understanding of the members of agreement. Among the main initial intuitions of Rawls is the interpretation of society “as a system of fair social cooperation between individuals, who are free and equal people” [6, 784]. Once individuals get involved into the fair social interaction, “two moral abilities, connected with the elements of the idea of social cooperation, mentioned above are attributed by us to them, namely the ability to acknowledge the  justice and the ability to have some notion of good” [6, 787]. Emphasizing the need for separation of the objective and subjective circumstances of an agreement, Rawls not only argues that it goes about the individuals who are neither selfish nor altruistic, but again returns to the idea of initial position”, which clarifies the nature of contractualism of Rawls. Addressing to this idea is aggravated by a number of important consequences. It, according to Rawls, is needed in order to develop the concept of justice and “determine the most suitable principles for the implementation of freedom and parity, if the society is considered as a system of cooperation of free and equal people. Since justice as fairness is reformulated of the theory of social contract, so the “fair condition of social cooperation should be viewed as a consequence of an agreement between those, who enter into cooperation - that is, between free and equal citizens as individuals born in a certain society, where they live” [6, 788].

The situation of rational choice under conditions of the initial position also gives the opportunity to understand the essence of Rawls’ answers to the question: “Why should one be moral?” eternal dilemma of solidarity and justice, which is updated later in a more specific problem: the integrity of modern society can not exist only on the basis of sympathy and trust, and also requires such virtues as justice, responsibility, and solidarity.

To be free and fair helps people according to the Rawls theory of “obstacle of ignorance”, that is, was, along with his interpretation of the individual, the subject of criticism not only opponents but also the supporters and followers of Rawls. As it is known that individuals of Rawls derive the principles of justice on the bases of ignorance, because of lack of information harms their impartiality. So the social agreement of “basic structure of society” according to too Rawls is achieved through spontaneous discursive discussion of the principles of justice under the “obstacle of ignorance” of everything that could disrupt certain conditions of honesty.

If Rawls, as we realized, proposes to consider the fair principles of a democratic society just as some hypothetical situation of choice by free and rational individuals, so what way did O. Höffe choose? He’s like the current head of the Frankfurt School A. Honneth considers as to be necessary the attention to the development of normative rules, which preserves the theoretical legitimacy of the social system. So in what way, in the opinion of this leading representative of German philosophical thought, it can not be just simplified, but developed and supplemented the Kantian’t normativity of J. Rowls and J. Habermas? It goes primarily about the new concept of social justice and freedom as a constructive counterbalance of normative individualism and abstract contractualism. Since, according to O. Höffe, moral standards, the idea of freedom and justice can’t be justified not only on the basis of a hypothetical discourse and hypothetical agreement.

Before emphasizing the distinguished by O. Höffe fundamental concepts of political anthropology inserted into the work “Political justice”, but especially in the article “Political Anthropology in a special field of the law’s attention” we’ll turn to his book “Mind and the Law”. Exactly here the German philosopher offers a philosophical discourse of the idea of social agreement, which is the basis of all social agreements, it also includes the role of “basic legitimacy”, it is both pan-European and common to all mankind idea. According to the words of O. Höffe, “It is typical for Europe both the diversity, where the idea of agreement spread, and quite skeptical attitude to this idea, personified by the names of Hume and Burke, through Hegel and Schlegel to Durkheim. Exactly this diversity and scepticism testify to what is most typical for Europe: disagreement. However, the basic idea of the law, state and politics should not be contradictory. What form has the idea of the social agreement on the other side? The answer is, not only in its origin but in its meaning, the social agreement is a European idea. And the following thesis: the social agreement is the philosophical foundation of any political order; and his in spite of European origin, intercultural, and therefore universal meaning” [7, 205]. The next step O. Höffe’s thoughts is the understanding of the problem of legitimacy of public power, which becomes as it is because of  frankly expressed or silent  agreement of its members. Thus, within the contractual theory of power and its legitimacy, the recognition of authority as acceptable and fair based on the consent of each and everyone. However, the social agreement (as already noted by Hobbes and Rousseau) doesn’t only legitimize the power but also limits it. But on the difficult question of the nature of the agreement, which can claim on unanimous support, can answer the philosophy of “transcendental interest” and “transcendental exchange”.

And so, with O. Höffe’s, we must take the next step - in the field of political anthropology, which is closely linked to the understanding of the nature and semantics of the notion of “justice”. The three components of the notion of justice are worth paying particularly attention: “If you understand justice as the highest principle of human life and the basis of human social nature, it has the nature of moral obligation; it is too close to the responsibilities, which are voluntarily recognized and are beyond simple compulsion; its measure is in distributive benefits: the fair is beneficial for everyone” [8, 15]. If his theory of justice is the working-out of the idea of justice as the exchange of targeting the principle of equivalence of acquisition and loss, so how is the exchange itself interpreted, especially in the meaning that a person is not only positive but also negative social being, who is capable of being a threat and danger? And how to limit the struggle for power when (if to distinguish the problem of justice through the light of the struggle of interests) in the sense only three variants are possible: “to achieve common interests, competing between contrary interests and struggle for power without any rules, not being structured and autonomously. But a person never agrees to life (at least for a long time) without any order, without any right” [8, 46]. Therefore, the exchange is not interpreted in a narrow economic sense, but as humane, democratic form of cooperation. Reconstructing (following Hobbes, whose works O. Höffe’s knows perfectly, demonstrating it by one of his recent works, [9]) the natural state, as being free from domination and any social limits, the coexistence of people, he considers this state as the situation of permanent conflict. And they can only be overcomed due to mutual refusal of violence. Such negative exchange becomes beneficial distributive and therefore fair. He becomes also the condition of the possibilities of free activities and actions. To make the suggested answer about the fair exchange really philosophical and give the answer to the question: why citizens should enjoy such exchange? And what is better “to be both a victim of violence and the violator or - neither one nor the other?” [10, 282]. O. Höffe clarifies the distinction between ordinary and higher human interests. A clear example of the latter is the immunity of the body and life, which is the condition for the possibility of life itself. “The conditions of possibility in of transcendental called, so the above interests can be described as transcendental. However, as a condition for action, but not knowledge, they are not of transcendental-theoretical, but of transcendental-practical character” [10, 283]. But we speak about transcendental contractualism. We should also, after Höffe, take the next step to it and legitimize the public’s right to a fair coercion, to just limit freedom. For this the transcendental interests, which essentially inherent the sociality, should perform one more condition. Among the above mentioned interests exactly “the protection of life and freedom of thought belongs to the type of interests that can be realized only through reciprocal action on their basis. And as a model of mutual “give” and “take” is the exchange then that mutuality, which concerns the transcendental interests and is inherent to them, can be called transcendental exchange” [10, 284].

In conclusions it should be emphasized that the thoughts of O. Höffe and J. Rowls, especially their desire to offer their vision of freedom and mechanisms of fair overcoming of social conflict, transform into the subject of not only theoretical thoughts about the future of our state, new relationships between the citizens and the government, stability, freedom and justice. A significant feature of social contract is legitimatize - restrictive meaning and organic connection with the idea of human rights. Provided a pluralistic diversity of interests, the mutual consensus can be achieved due to persuasive arguments, and due to bigotry, collective manipulations and populism. So it is necessary to talk not just about common interests and the interests which are really common, that is, the interests of a higher level, which philosophers call  the transcendental interests, and which are fulfilled through cooperation and agreement of all its participants, and is in its essence of human rights. So continuing expressed above thesis about the meaning of the idea of social agreement for the principle of the priority of law, we note again: the peculiarity of this idea is the actualization of those human rights, which related to it as capable to act and talk as social and cultural being. It should also draw attention to an important feature of ascending principles and the concept of social agreement and its characteristic interpretation of the relationships of ethics and politics as the attempt to combination of the two main principles for the development of fair political system: the individual’s virtues and public institutions, as a condition for equitable protection of private interests. In this sense the theory of  social contract is not only established the understanding of a modern democratic state, but also strive to justify the individual awareness the limitation of their own selfishness and freedom in behalf of the collective will of the other citizens. And the proposed by Höffe fairness of exchange enables to answer the question that arises before the people as a direct, practical dilemma: to give some part of their freedom to state, jurisdictional institutions or to be independent of them, if it is impossible in a situation of danger to use them? And people do, because they are forced to do it, the next step is that they mutually refuse from a part of their liberty as a person of rights to user their right to freedom in their private life.

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Ваша оценка: Нет Средняя: 8.3 (4 голоса)
Комментарии: 5

Кручинин Сергей

Уважаемый г. Дмитрий Усов! Статья достойная. У меня вопрос. Как соотносится "общественный договор" и право выбора в рамках оного? С Ув.

Масалимов Рияз Ниязович

Дорогой коллега Дмитрий Усов! Ваша статья на английском языке для меня в оперативном чтении не полностью понятна (чтобы досконально разобраться, времени нет). Но насколько я понял, статья, весьма высокого научного уровня, посвящена трансцендентальному контрактуализму О. Хёффе, сравнительному анализу концепции Хёффе и Роулза справедливости и свободы. Мне взгляды Отфрида Хёффе знакомы, его интерпретация Канта и Гегеля мною используется в своей собственной работе. Здесь, конечно, не место разбираться, насколько О. Хёффе прав, достаточно сказать, что в западной политической философии трансцендательность "общественного договора" всё меньше занимает внимание философов, а больше к "пост-модернистским", "нео-конструктивистским" интерпретациям тянутся молодые мыслители. Вообще говоря, Ваше исследование достойно очень высокой оценки. Желаю Вам успехов в Вашей научной работе, в творчестве. дальше радовать нас со своими новыми публикациями.

Дедюлина Марина Анатольевна

Thank you! This work shows that the author not only analyzes the work of O. Höffe, but also carries out a comparative analysis with similar works of J. Rowls. Especially productive conclusions of the author, in the current social and political conditions.

Назарова Елена Павловна

Thanks for the report in English. Да, необходимо достижение оптимальности интересов личности, общества и государства. И важно, чтобы права, свобода личности, и ценности общества не вступали в противоречие со стремлением государства укреплять самого себя. Для решения этой задачи необходимо становление гражданского общества, подводящего к общему знаменателю жизненно важные интересы людей. Интересен анализ исследований зарубежных ученых, т.к. не секрет, что многое в Конституциях стран на постсоветском пространстве повторяет мировой опыт. И безусловно прав Вильгельм фон Гумбольдт, провозгласивший культурологическую формулу: не копировать друг друга, а жить в соответствии друг с другом.

Шенцева Елена Анатольевна

Очень продуманный, основательный текст. Хотелось бы отметить и безусловную актуальность темы статьи. В целом, как представляется, на основе осмысления идей Rowls и Höffe, автор детально рассматривает многие аспекты громадной проблемы современности, которую можно сформулировать в виде вопроса: «как может общество существовать, когда каждый индивидуум подчиняется лишь своей воле»? Вызывает уважение позиция автора, упорно привлекающего исследовательский и гражданский интерес к переосмыслению сути понятия классической философской мысли «общественный договор». Не менее значимой представляется интенция на область политической антропологии, которая, по словам автора тесно связана с пониманием природы и семантики понятия "справедливость". Желаю автору и далее продвигаться в изучении столь значимой проблематики. Значимой как с позиций социальной философии, так и с позиций зарождения и развития гражданского общества. С уважением, Елена.
Комментарии: 5

Кручинин Сергей

Уважаемый г. Дмитрий Усов! Статья достойная. У меня вопрос. Как соотносится "общественный договор" и право выбора в рамках оного? С Ув.

Масалимов Рияз Ниязович

Дорогой коллега Дмитрий Усов! Ваша статья на английском языке для меня в оперативном чтении не полностью понятна (чтобы досконально разобраться, времени нет). Но насколько я понял, статья, весьма высокого научного уровня, посвящена трансцендентальному контрактуализму О. Хёффе, сравнительному анализу концепции Хёффе и Роулза справедливости и свободы. Мне взгляды Отфрида Хёффе знакомы, его интерпретация Канта и Гегеля мною используется в своей собственной работе. Здесь, конечно, не место разбираться, насколько О. Хёффе прав, достаточно сказать, что в западной политической философии трансцендательность "общественного договора" всё меньше занимает внимание философов, а больше к "пост-модернистским", "нео-конструктивистским" интерпретациям тянутся молодые мыслители. Вообще говоря, Ваше исследование достойно очень высокой оценки. Желаю Вам успехов в Вашей научной работе, в творчестве. дальше радовать нас со своими новыми публикациями.

Дедюлина Марина Анатольевна

Thank you! This work shows that the author not only analyzes the work of O. Höffe, but also carries out a comparative analysis with similar works of J. Rowls. Especially productive conclusions of the author, in the current social and political conditions.

Назарова Елена Павловна

Thanks for the report in English. Да, необходимо достижение оптимальности интересов личности, общества и государства. И важно, чтобы права, свобода личности, и ценности общества не вступали в противоречие со стремлением государства укреплять самого себя. Для решения этой задачи необходимо становление гражданского общества, подводящего к общему знаменателю жизненно важные интересы людей. Интересен анализ исследований зарубежных ученых, т.к. не секрет, что многое в Конституциях стран на постсоветском пространстве повторяет мировой опыт. И безусловно прав Вильгельм фон Гумбольдт, провозгласивший культурологическую формулу: не копировать друг друга, а жить в соответствии друг с другом.

Шенцева Елена Анатольевна

Очень продуманный, основательный текст. Хотелось бы отметить и безусловную актуальность темы статьи. В целом, как представляется, на основе осмысления идей Rowls и Höffe, автор детально рассматривает многие аспекты громадной проблемы современности, которую можно сформулировать в виде вопроса: «как может общество существовать, когда каждый индивидуум подчиняется лишь своей воле»? Вызывает уважение позиция автора, упорно привлекающего исследовательский и гражданский интерес к переосмыслению сути понятия классической философской мысли «общественный договор». Не менее значимой представляется интенция на область политической антропологии, которая, по словам автора тесно связана с пониманием природы и семантики понятия "справедливость". Желаю автору и далее продвигаться в изучении столь значимой проблематики. Значимой как с позиций социальной философии, так и с позиций зарождения и развития гражданского общества. С уважением, Елена.
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