Gunnar Skirbekk: What is transcendental-pragmatics and why is it important?

What is transcendental-pragmatics? Why is transcendental-pragmatics important? In this paper, I focus on four main points: (1) I delineate what I see as the strength and relevance of transcendental-pragmatics within the intellectual setting in the post-war period. (2) I indicate how the discussions within transcendental-pragmatics have revealed inherent challenges, (3) at the same time as the intellectual and institutional surroundings have changed unfavorably during the last decades. (4) Finally, I indicate how these inherent challenges and new constellations could and should be met, to the effect that transcendental-pragmatics could reveal its philosophical importance and practical relevance under changed conditions. In so doing, I defend a gradualist and meliorist version of transcendental-pragmatics. In short, I «situate» transcendental-pragmatics, in a meta-philosophical essay, and at the same time, I argue in favor of a revised version.

Keywords: civilization crisis, skepticism, mission, presupposition analysis, speech-act inherent validity-claims, linguistic-pragmatic turn, conceptual adequacy, meliorism, gradualism