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The article analyzes the theoretical foundations of the modern project of rational ethics, in which the ethics of discourse is interpreted as a critical theory of society and a critic of modern morality. I. Kant was one of the first to offer the possibility of generalizing the norms of morality and perception of ethics as a transcendental critique of morality. Neo-Kantianism develops ethics as the most important part of the philosophical system and fixes its scope by the idealistic theory of morality (H. Cohen, P. Natorp). In Russian philosophy, modern ethics is perceived as a normative theory that has to do with issues of self-determination, moral regulation, and freedom of choice. The origins of discourse ethics in the philosophy of the 20th century go back to the “pragmatic turn” and to vigorous discussions about hermeneutics of language and its a priori status in German philosophy, and in analytical philosophy regarding the understanding of metaetics. The modern program of ethics of discourse receives meaningful justification as the logic of moral argumentation in the social philosophy of J. Habermas and in the transcendental pragmatics K.-O. Apel. The ethics of discourse is born from the real need to justify moral requirements and norms. Ethics as a critique of moral argument is associated with the pre-reflexive horizon of the life world, why it is a deontological, formalistic and universal ethics. Two significant projects of discourse ethics, presented in the article as an analysis, should be defined as “weak and strong” variants of philosophical transcendental idealism in modern science.

About the authors

L. I. Tetyuev

N.G. Chernyshevsky State University of Saratov

Author for correspondence.
Astrachanskaja St., 83, Saratov, Russia, 410000


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