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Title:  The Boundaries of Agreement Author:  Manfred Frank Series:  Contemporary European Cultural Studies Imprint:  The Davies Group, Publishers soft cover 114 pp. USD 16.00 ISBN 978-1888570755 September 2005 In this monograph, Manfred Frank comments on a fictional debate — one about dissension and consensus. Though it did not actually occur between Jean François Lyotard and Jürgen Habermas, it is presented here in the form of an imaginary conversation. This is about something fundamental: sensing the line of demarcation that separates the understanding-oriented exchange of arguments on the one hand from insistence on dispute and, on the other, an incoherent pluralism of remarks. Is the consensus theory too harmonistic? Can the search for harmony show traits of discursive power? Or, can the thesis be supported, that conflict may not be resolved in the absence of universally accepted rules of arbitration, without contradiction; that is, without raising any validity claims? The responses to these questions demonstrate whether we — as Lyotard believes — have grown irrevocably out of the interpretation reserves of the “Occident” (in its last stamping as “the Modern”), or whether the Modern — as Habermas assumes — has the ability to learn self-criticism. Author Manfred Frank is a professor of philosophy at the University of Tübingen, Germany and for a time was a professor of literature at the University of Geneva. He is the author of some sixteen books in hermeneutics, linguistics, and literary theory, as well as being an expert on Schelling and Schleiermacher. He was the first to establish a real dialogue between French post-structuralism and German hermeneutics and critical theory, and is widely regarded as the most significant philosopher in Germany in the generation following Jürgen Habermas.
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