Hans Albert

Between Social Science, Religion, And Politics - Essays in Critical Rationalism

Amsterdam-Atlanta (Rodopi) 1999

Hans Albert is the leading critical rationalist in the German-speaking world and the main critic of the hermeneutic tradition. He is well-known for applying the idea of critical reason to various kinds of human practice, including economics, politics, and law. But he has also improved on Popper's methodology by introducing the idea of rational heuristics. This collection of essays presents the core of his work on epistemology, philosophy of social sciences, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of law. Most of Albert's works have not yet been available in English. It is enormously useful to have these articles collected in a single volume.

Cover text of Edition Rodopi


Cited from the PREFACE:

 "The essays collected in this volume have been published between 1964 and 1996 in various places. They are connected by coming from a philosophical view, which is influenced above all by Karl Popper's Critical Rationalism.

This is the second book of mine presenting my views to readers in the English speaking countries. The first book of this kind has been my Treatise on Critical Reason, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey 1985, translated by Mary Varner Rorty from my Traktat aber kritische Vernulift, Verlag Mohr (Siebeck), Tübingen 1968 (fifth enlarged edition 1991). In my preface to the American edition of this book I have stated that this book arose out of a particular problem situation which has been portrayed only onesidedly in America and that the further discussions to which it led are virtually unknown there. This seems to be true to this day.

The reader who does not understand German might be totally misguided, for instance, by the report about my views by XXXXX, in his book Modern German Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1981, where he has managed to distort some of my views to the point where they are incompatible with my often stated arguments. And people who read XXXXXX's long essay: The Problem of Philosophical Foundations in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatics of Language, in: Kelineth Baynes/James Bohmann/Thomas Mebarthy (eds.), After Philosophy ‑ End or Transformation? Cambridge, Mass./London 1988, in which XXXXXX criticizes my views, will find that he only refers to my above mentioned book, in spite of the fact that I have countered his criticism in my book: Transzendentale Träumereien, Hamburg 1975, in chapter IV, Münchhausen oder der Zauber der Reflexion, of my book: Die Wissenschaft und die Fehlbarkeit der Vernunft, Verlag Mohr (Siebeck), Tübingen 1982, and in other places, and have shown that his own conception is completely untenable. And he will find that XXXXXX in one of his books is supporting XXXXXX's criticism without any argument and with no reference to my criticism.

The essays of this book are related to problems which are discussed above all in Germany. But most of my criticisms of the views of Heidegger, XXXXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXXX and other German philosophers are only available in German, partly in books of mine which are mentioned in the footnotes of these essays. I would have preferred to make the reader acquainted with more than these fragments of my views. But the publishers of the Anglosaxon countries seem to prefer to translate the works of German thinkers which in their opinion are more representative of the German tradition. Only one of my American friends Walter Kaufmann who died more than fifteen years ago has been successful in convincing an American publisher to publish a book of mine in his country. And now I have to thank my friend Kurt Salamun for taking this book into his series on Critical Rationalism. Heidelberg, January 1999.  Hans Albert"

(The blackening XXXXXX is only here to keep lawers away. H.J.Niemann, Jan 2005)