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Date of Award

9-1989

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

Supervisor

Marshall Goldstein

Language

English

Comments

The purpose of this thesis is two fold. First of all it demonstrates clearly and precisely exactly what Jurgen Habermas understands by a legitimation crisis and secondly it demonstrates how fundamentally this conception rests upon background assumptions which are not always made explicit. To this end the thesis delves into Habermas' understanding of advanced capitalism, his understanding of the concept of rational-legal legitimacy and finally it shows how the conclusions he reaches are fundamentally based upon his reconstruction of historical materialism and the notion of a colonization of the life-world that he ultimately derives from this reconstruction. In the end it will be demonstrated that a thorough understanding of the concept of legitimation crisis cannot be achieved without reference to Habermas' reconstruction project and in this regard he remains firmly in the Marxist tradition.

McMaster University Library

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