Part 5 The paradigm shift in Mead and Durkheim: from purposive activity to communicative action; the foundations of social science in the theory of communication; the authority of the sacred and the normative background of communicative action; the rational structure of the linguistification of the sacred. Part 6 Intermediate reflections: system and lifeworld; the concept of the lifeworld and the hermeneutic idealism of interpretive sociology; the uncoupling of system and lifeworld. Part 7 Talcott Parsons: problems in constructing a theory of society; from a normativistic theory of action to a systems theory of society; the develpment of systems theory; the theory of modernity. Part 8 Concluding reflections - from Parsons via Weber to Marx: a backward glance - Weber's theory of modernity; Marx and the thesis of internal colonization; the tasks of a critical theory of society.
Jurgen Habermas is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere. In 2014, Prospect readers chose Habermas as one of their favourites among the "world's leading thinkers". Thomas McCarthy is the author of The Theory of Communicative Action: Lifeworld and Systems, a Critique of Functionalist Reason, Volume 2, published by Wiley.