Postmodernism has convinced people that there is no way to determine what is true. However, this is false and has led to the progressive erosion of civility in society, in part because what we assume determines what questions we ask and what we see as data. Postmodernism is inherently self-contradicting and detrimental to social cohesion and civil behaviour.
Habermas’ critical theory, coupled with the theory of action Gerry Ewert presents here, establishes a practical way to determine what is and is not true—providing one is actually interested in what is true, independent of what one wishes to be true.
A Practical Philosopher’s Approach to Critical Theory walks through some of the conceptual fundamentals undergirding assumptions people make about reality as an introduction to the major issue of the question, “What is truth?” Habermas’ critical theory is used as a framework through which to determine which method of determining truth is appropriate in different situations.
While others have addressed what people need to think about in their personal lives, A Practical Philosopher’s Approach to Critical Theory addresses what people need to attend to in their public lives. The challenge of democracy is that the very systems put in place to provide public goods have inherent tendencies to serve their own interests and not the public interest. Ewert’s goal is to aid readers in gaining a perspective and a way of engaging with the world that enables them to be freed from ideological distortion and to become fully aware, emancipated persons.