Cotton Ignores Power Structures in Discourse

Thomas B. Cotton's introduction of the Habermasian discourse-theoretic idea into a political dialogue of this nature presupposes the existential (and, for that matter, the essential) dialogues of a pre-political discursive space ("Habermas Had Descended," Dec. 5). Power and the forces that constitute power in the post-modern welfare state must have their say in any critique that attempts to synthesize the sociological with the epistemological; certainly, the post-modern ontology would seem to suggest as much. By taking up the discourse on race, Cotton also makes the mistake of intertwining alternative discourses in ways which portray them as out-of- phase and fundamentally misaligned. But are they truly so, or is there a hidden subtext to this arrangement? --Leo J. Kallop, GSAS