LET’S SOLIDIFY EVEN MORE THE FOUNDATION OF SOCIAL PARTICIPATION? FILLING OUT A THEORETICAL GAP ON COMMUNICATIVE RATIONALITY
Relação Governo-Sociedade: Transparência, Accountability e Participação
1 - ANDRÉ LUIZ MENDES ATHAYDE UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE MINAS GERAIS (UFMG) - Instituto de Ciências Agrárias - ICA - Campus Regional Montes Claros - MG
2 - Pablo Peron de Paula UNIVERSIDADE DE BRASÍLIA (UNB) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Administração
3 - Adalmir de Oliveira Gomes UNIVERSIDADE DE BRASÍLIA (UNB) - PPGA
From the encounter between the instrumental and substantive rationalities, the German philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas emerges with the proposition of communicative rationality, the focus of this theoretical essay. His proposal of communicative rationality (or communicative action) contrasts with instrumental rationality, suggesting a more democratic and less alienating relationship, however, Habermas does not consider that every individual’s opinion should be taken isolatedly, as substantive rationality suggests.
Does Habermas propose an interparadigmatic theory or a paradigmatic leap? This essay sought to intensively reflect about one of the criticisms received by Habermas’ communication action theory. This specific criticism points out that the supporters of Habermas theory of communicative action, despite a common basilar understanding (enlightenment and emancipation of man), end up assuming many different theoretical lines derived from this theory, not reaching a consensus. So, we aimed at reaching consensus on this matter, solidifying even more the theory upon which social participation dwells.
Firstly, it is necessary to deeper distinguish the Weberian instrumental rationality from the Habermasian communicative rationality. While the former develops a mediation between theory and practice from technical and formal postulates, the latter promotes this same mediation through dialogue between the social agents of the process (Tenório, 1990). Aguiar, Heller and Melo (2012) affirm that, in the processes of discussion and of dialogical search for consensus, individuals have the chance to express their opinions, recognize misunderstandings, and clear out their needs.
Some authors have been adept at the understanding that communicative rationality is the proposal of a radical adjustment by its own concept, while others have emphasized the incremental character of this theory. We have also brought thoughts from authors who have revealed, directly and indirectly, that communicative rationality is, simultaneously, a proposition of a paradigmatic leap with interparadigmatic characteristics. This was noticeable even when the author of the theory (Habermas) was focused, which ended up reinforcing our conclusion.
By raising and intersecting the ideas of various authors about Habermas’s communicative action theory, we have come to the conclusion, based on strong literature evidence, that the answer is ‘yes’ to both hypotheses confronted as the guiding question of the present essay. The fact that we consider the theory of communicative action as possessing an interparadigmatic character does not mean that this theory consists of a mere summary of several other theoretical lines, but a theory that surpasses many others with which it dialogues. We dared to raise a good argument.
Aguiar, M. M. de Heller, L., & Melo, E. M. de (2012). Ação comunicativa na gestão de um serviço privatizado de água e esgotos: uma avaliação em Cachoeiro de Itapemirim (ES). Revista de Administração Pública. 46(6), 1505-1527.
Tenório, F. G. (2000). Flexibilização organizacional, mito ou realidade? Rio de Janeiro: Editora FGV.