Habermas’ Critical Social Theory and the Evolution of Money
MetadataShow full item record
Money plays a terrifyingly dominant role in our lives. In one way or another, it is interrelated with almost every aspect of modern society and because of this prevalence, it is difficult to imagine a world without it. This system works as a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a unit of account. Money functions as a store of value in that we can put it in our bank account and expect that it will be worth relatively the same amount tomorrow. It functions as a medium of exchange through how we can exchange it for goods and services. Finally, it functions as a unit of account through the way we can say things like “that pack of gum is worth $2.” We can assign a value to any good or service by using a currency as the unit with which we assign value. This system and the way in which we use it has evolved over time as our economy and system of governance has developed. The sociologist and philosopher Jurgen Habermas, through his critical social theory, provides powerful concepts that can be used to analyze the development of this system. Habermas seeks to understand how our systems are created and how they affect the way in which these systems can help or hinder communication. Through his epistemic dualism exploring the interplay between systems and lifeworld, Habermas creates a critical social theory which reconciles Hegelian idealism and Marxist materialism.