Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

The Least Ideal Speech Situation

I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time on this blog and others arguing that Habermas does not visualise the ideal speech situation as something that could be realised in practice. I have to admit, though, that I had never paused to wonder whether you might be able to realise the opposite – until, that is, I saw John Holbo’s analysis of Lost over at The Valve:

…in order to preserve the mystery and strangeness of the situation, also (even especially) the individual head-spaces of the various characters, with their private flashbacks, there can never be a moment when the characters sensibly pool their information and attempt to reason to some consensus about the likely range of explanations for what is going on. (It’s like anti-Habermas Island. The least ideal speech situation.)

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