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Like the elementary units of language sentences , the elementary units of speech utterances can be analyzed in the methodological attitude of a reconstructive science. Approaches to a general theory of communication have been developed from the semiotics of Charles Morris.

Homo Sociologicus

If the speaking process is thus conceptualized, the fundamental question of universal pragmatics concerning the general conditions of possible understanding can- not be suitably posed. For example, the intersubjectivity of mean- ings that are identical for at least two speakers does not even become a problem i if the identity of meanings is reduced to extensionally equivalent classes of behavioral properties, as is 7 What Is Universal Pragmatics?

In addition to empiricist approaches that issue, in one way or another, from the semiotics of Morris, there are interesting ap- proaches to the formal analysis of general structures of speech and action. The following analyses can be understood as contribu- tions along the way to a universal pragmatics. Bar Hillel pointed out quite early the necessity for a pragmatic extension of logical semantics. Rescher 10 and corresponding at- tempts at a formalization of such speech acts as commands and questions Apostel ; 11 approaches to a logic of nondeductive argumentation Toulmin, Botha belong here as well.

The difficulties in semantic theory Katz, Lyons point in the same direction. The same holds for analytic action theory Danto, Hampshire, Schwayder 19 and for the discussion that has arisen in connection with the logic of the explanation of intentional action Winch, Taylor, von Wright.

Rollen und Rollenkonflikte

These approaches developed from logic, linguistics, and the analytic philosophy of language have the common goal of clarify- ing processes of language use from the viewpoint of formal analysis. If one evaluates them with regard to the contribution 8 Communication and Evolution of Society they make to a universal pragmatics, their weaknesses also be- come apparent. In many cases, I see a danger that the analysis of conditions of possible understanding is cut short, either a. Because these approaches do not generalize radically enough and do not push through the level of accidental contexts to general and unavoidable presuppositions — as is the case, for instance, with most of the linguistic investigations of semantic and pragmatic presupposi- tions; or b.

Because they restrict themselves to the instruments developed in logic and grammar, even when these are inadequate for capturing pragmatic relations — as, for example, in syntactic explanations of the performative character of speech acts; 24 or c. Because they mislead one into a formalization of basic concepts that have not been satisfactorily analyzed — as can, in my view, be shown in the case of the logics of norms that trace norms of action back to commands; or finally, d.

Because they start from the model of the isolated, purposive- rational actor and thereby fail — as do, for example, Grice and Lewis 25 — to reconstruct in an appropriate way the specific moment of mutual- ity in the understanding of identical meanings or in the acknowledg- ment of intersubjective validity claims.

It is my impression that the theory of speech acts is largely free of these and similar weaknesses. A Remark on the Procedure of Rational Reconstruction I have been employing the expression formal analysis in opposi- tion to empirical-analytic procedures in the narrower sense without providing a detailed explanation. This is at least mis- leading. I am not using formal analysis in a sense that refers, say, to the standard predicate logic or to any specific logic. The tolerant sense in which I understand formal analysis can best be characterized through the methodological attitude we adopt in the rational reconstruction of concepts, criteria, rules, and sche- mata.

Thus we speak of the explication of meanings and con- cepts, of the analysis of presuppositions and rules. Of course, reconstructive procedures are also important for empirical-analytic research, for example, for explicating frameworks of basic con- 9 What Is Universal Pragmatics? Nonetheless, reconstructive procedures are not characteristic of sciences that develop nomological hypotheses about domains of ob- servable events; rather, these procedures are characteristic of sci- ences that systematically reconstruct the intuitive knowledge of competent subjects.

Observation is directed to perceptible things and events or states ; understanding is directed to the meaning of utterances. In contrast, the inter- preter who understands meaning is experiencing fundamentally as a participant in communication, on the basis of a symboli- cally established intersubjective relationship with other individ- uals, even if he is actually alone with a book, a document, or a work of art.

I shall not here analyze the complex relationship between observation and understanding any further; but I would like to direct attention to one aspect — the difference in level be- tween perceptible reality and the understandable meaning of a symbolic formation. Sensory experience is related to sectors of reality immediately, communicative experience only mediately, as illustrated in the diagram below.

Level 3 1 -Interpretation This diagram represents three different relationships. Epistemic relations between experiential acts and their objects. In this sense, the act of understanding relates to the symbolic expression here of the observation sentence , as does the act of observation to the events observed. Relations of representing an aspect of reality in a propositional sentence. In this sense, the interpretation represents the semantic con- tent here of the observation sentence , as the observation sentence in turn represents certain events. Relations of expressing intentional acts.

In this sense, the under- standing here of the observation sentence is expressed in the propo- sitional content of the interpretation, just as the observation is ex- pressed in the propositional content of the observation sentence. Apart from the fact that all three types of relation point to fundamental problems, there is an additional difficulty in specify- ing the precise differences between the epistemic relations of the observer and the interpreter to their respective objects and between the representational relation of the observation sentence to reality, on the one hand, and that of the interpretation sentence to sym- bolically prestructured reality, on the other.

This specification would require a comparison between observation and interpreta- tion, between description and explication. For the time being, the diagram merely illustrates the two levels of reality to which sen- sory and communicative experience relate. The difference in level between perceptible and symbolically prestructured reality is re- flected in the gap between direct access through observation of reality and communicatively mediated access through understand- ing an utterance referring to events.

The two pairs of concepts — perceptible reality versus sym- bolically prestructured reality and observation versus understand- ing — can be correlated with the concepts of description versus explication.

German Reunification - Impacts on the Situation of Female Employees

By using a sentence that reports an observation, I can describe the observed aspect of reality. By using a sentence that renders an interpretation of the meaning of a symbolic formation, I can explicate the meaning of such an utterance. Naturally only when the meaning of the symbolic formation is unclear does the explication need to be set off as an independent analytic step.

In regard to sentences with which we describe events, there can be questions at different levels. If, by contrast, the description itself is incomprehensible, we demand an explication that makes clear what the observer meant by his utterance 'and how the symbolic expression in need of elucidation comes about. In the first case, a satisfactory answer will have the form of an explanation we undertake with the aid of a causal hypothesis. In the second case, we speak of explication of mean- ing. Of course, explications of meaning need not be limited to descriptive sentences; any meaningfully structured formation can be subjected to the operation of meaning explication.

Descriptions and explications have different ranges; they can begin on the surface and push through to underlying structures. We are familiar with this fact in regard to the explanation of natural phenomena — theories can be more or less general. The same is true of meaning explications. Of course, the range of explication does not depend on the level of generality of theoret- ical knowledge about structures of an external reality accessible to observation but on knowledge of the deep structures of a reality accessible to understanding, the reality of symbolic formations produced according to rules.

The explanation of natural phe- nomena pushes in a different direction from the explication of the meaning of expressions.

Synonyms and antonyms of Rollenerwartung in the German dictionary of synonyms

I want to distinguish two levels of explication of meaning. If the meaning of a written sentence, action, gesture, work of art, tool, theory, commodity, transmitted document, and so on, is unclear, the explication of meaning is directed first to the semantic content of the symbolic formation. Often too we must go beyond what was meant and intended by the author and take into consideration a context of which he was not conscious.

Thus, linguistic expressions can be explicated through paraphrase in the same language or through translation into expressions of another 12 Communication and Evolution of Society language; in both cases, competent speakers draw on intuitively known meaning relations that obtain within the lexicon of one language or between those of two languages. If he cannot attain his end in this way, the interpreter may find it necessary to alter his attitude.

He then exchanges the attitude of understanding content — in which he looks, as it were, through symbolic formations to the world about which something is ut- tered — for an attitude in which he directs himself to the gener- ative structures of the expressions themselves. The interpreter then attempts to explicate the meaning of a symbolic formation in terms of the rules according to which the author must have brought it forth.

In normal paraphrase and translation, the in- terpreter draws on semantic meaning relations for instance, be- tween the different words of a language in an ad hoc manner, in that he simply applies a knowledge shared with competent speakers of that language. In this sense, the role of interpreter can under suitable conditions be attributed to the author him- self. The attitude changes, however, as soon as the interpreter tries not only to apply this intuitive knowledge but to reconstruct it. He then turns away from the surface structure of the symbolic formation; he no longer looks through it intentione recta to the world.

He attempts instead to peer through the surface, as it were, and into the symbolic formation to discover the rules according to which the latter was produced in our example, the rules ac- cording to which the lexicon of a language is constructed. The object of understanding is no longer the content of a symbolic expression or what specific authors meant by it in specific situa- tions but the intuitive rule consciousness that a competent speaker has of his own language.

Borrowing from Ryle , 28 we can distinguish between know-how — the ability of a competent speaker who understands how to produce or perform something — and know-that — the explicit knowledge of how it is that he understands this. In our case, what the author means by an utterance and what an interpreter under- stands of its content, are a first-level know-that. To the extent that his utterance is correctly formed and thus comprehensible, the author produced it in accordance with certain rules or on the basis of certain structures.

He understands the system of rules of his 13 What Is Universal Pragmatics? This implicit rule consciousness is a know-how. The interpreter, in turn, who not only shares but wants to understand this implicit knowledge of the competent speaker, must transform this know- how into a second-level know-that. This is the task of reconstruc- tive understanding, that is, of meaning explication in the sense of rational reconstruction of generative structures underlying the production of symbolic formations.

Since the rule consciousness to be reconstructed is a categorial knowledge, the reconstruction first leads us to the operation of conceptual explication. Carnap put forward four requirements, which the explication of a concept must fulfill in order to be adequate. But the theory can then also provide answers to borderline cases; or we explicate separately what a clear borderline case is.

Thus it is not a question here of a descriptive language or a metalan- guage relative to the language of the explicandum the explicans does not describe the explicandum.


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Reconstructive proposals are di- rected to domains of pretheoretical knoivledge, that is, not to any implicit opinion, but to a proven intuitive foreknowledge. The rule consciousness of competent speakers functions as a court of evaluation, for instance, with regard to the grammaticality of sen- tences. Whereas the understanding of content is directed to any utterance whatever, reconstructive understanding refers only to symbolic objects characterized as well formed by competent sub- jects themselves.

Thus, for example, syntactic theory, proposi- tional logic, the theory of science, and ethics start with syntacti- cally well-formed sentences, correctly fashioned propositions, well-corroborated theories, and morally unobjectionable resolu- tions of norm conflicts, in order to reconstruct the rules according to which these formations can be produced. To the extent that universal-validity claims the grammaticality of sentences, the consistency of propositions, the truth of hypotheses, the rightness of norms of action underlie intuitive evaluations, as in our ex- amples, reconstructions relate to pretheoretical knowledge of a general sort, to universal capabilities , and not only to particular competences of individual groups e.

When the pretheoretical knowledge to be reconstructed expresses a universal capability, a general cognitive, linguistic, or interactive competence or subcompetence , then what begins as an explication of meaning aims at the reconstruction of species competences. In scope and status, these reconstructions can be compared with general theories. Roughly speaking, it is the task of grammat- ical theory to reconstruct the rule consciousness common to all competent speakers in such a way that the proposals for recon- struction represent the system of rules that permits potential speakers to acquire the competence, in at least one language L , to produce and to understand sentences that count as grammat- ical in L, as well as to distinguish sentences well-formed in L from ungrammatical sentences.

Reconstructive versus Empiricist Linguistics I hope I have characterized the reconstructive procedure of sci- ences that transform a practically mastered pretheoretical knowl- edge know-how of competent subjects into an objective and explicit knowledge know-that to an extent sufficient to make clear in what sense I am using the expression formal analysis. Before mentioning some methodological difficulties with recon- structive linguistics, I would like to contrast, in broad strokes, two versions of the science of language, one empirical-analytic and the other reconstructive.

Wunderlich speaks of empirical- descriptive and empirical-explicative science of language. To the extent that the experiential basis is supposed to be secured through observation alone, the data of linguistics con- sist of measured variables of linguistic behavior. By contrast, to the extent that reconstructive understanding is permitted, the data are provided by the rule consciousness of competent speakers, maeutically ascertained i.

Thus the data are distinguished, if you will, by their ontological level: actual lin- guistic behavior is part of perceptible reality, and rule-conscious- ness points to the production of symbolic formations in which something is uttered about reality. Finally, observa- tional data are selected only from the analytic viewpoints of the linguist, whereas, in the other case, competent speakers themselves evaluate and preselect possible data from the point of view of their grammatical well-formedness. Theory and Object Domain.

As long as natural languages count as the object of linguistic description and not as the form of representation of a reconstructible pretheoretical knowledge, lin- guistic theory relates to its object domain as an empirical theory that explains linguistic descriptions of linguistic reality with the aid of nomological hypotheses. If, on the contrary, linguistic theory is supposed to serve to reconstruct pretheoretical knowl- edge, theory relates to its object domain as an explication of meaning to its explicandum.

Ewald Mengel (Author of "trauma, Memory, and Narrative in the Contemporary South African Novel")

Whereas in the empiricist version the relation of theory to the language to be explained is basically 1 6 Communication and Evolution of Society indistinguishable from that between theory and reality in other nomological sciences, in the explicative version the linguistic character of the object necessitates a relation that can hold only between different linguistic expressions: the relation between explication and explicandum, where the language of explication that is, the construct language of linguistic science, which is a standardized version of ordinary language belongs in principle to the same level as the natural language to be explicated.

Nei- ther in the descriptive nor in the explicative case of theory forma- tion can the relation of linguistic theory to its object domain be conceived as that of metalanguage to object language. There is yet another pecu- liarity arising from these differently oriented conceptualizations.

An empirical-analytic theory in the narrow sense can and as a rule will refute the everyday knowledge of an object domain that we possess prior to science and replace it with a correct theoretical knowledge regarded provisionally as true. A proposal for recon- struction, by contrast, can represent pretheoretical knowledge more or less explicitly and adequately, but it can never falsify it.

At most, data can be criticized as being unsuitable, that is, either erroneously gathered or wrongly selected for a specific theoretical purpose. To a certain extent, reconstructions make an essentialist claim. Of course, one can say that theoretical descriptions correspond if true to certain structures of reality in the same sense as reconstructions bear a likeness if correct to the deep structures explicated.

On the other hand, the asserted correspondence be- tween a descriptive theory and an object allows of many epis- temological interpretations other than the realistic e. Rational reconstructions, on the contrary, can reproduce the pretheoretical knowledge that they explicate only in an essentialist sense; if they are true, they have to correspond precisely to the rules that are operatively effective in the object domain — that is, to the rules that actually determine the production of surface structures. Methodological Difficulties. To be sure, serious methodological difficulties have arisen in connection with the Chomskian program for a general science of language as the rational reconstruction of linguistic competence.

I would like to consider, from a method- ological perspective, two of the problem complexes that have de- veloped. One concerns the status and reliability of the intuitive knowledge of competent speakers; the other, the aforementioned relation between linguistic and mental grammar. The empirical question is whether a complete theory of linguistic intu- itions is identical with a complete theory of human linguistic compe- tence. Chomsky has no doubt as to this identity. The theory of one kind of linguistic behavior, namely metalinguistic judgment on such things as grammaticality and paraphrase, would then as a whole be built into theories on other forms of linguistic behavior such as speaking and understanding.

Translation of «Rollenerwartung» into 25 languages

If we wish to think in terms of pri- mary and derived forms of verbal behavior, the speaking and the understanding of language fall precisely into the category of primary forms, while metalinguistic judgments will be considered highly de- rived, artificial forms of linguistic behavior, which moreover are acquired late in development. The empirical problem in the psychology of language is in turn divided in two, the investigation of 1 8 Communication and Evolution of Society psychological factors in primary language usage, and the psychological investigation of linguistic intuitions.

Reconstruction relates to a pretheoretical knowledge of competent speakers that is expressed in the production of sen- tences in a natural language, on the one hand, and in the ap- praisal of the grammaticality of linguistic expressions, on the other. The object of reconstruction is the process of production of sentences held by competent speakers to belong to the set of grammatical sentences.

The metalinguistic utterances in which competent speakers evaluate the sentences put before them are not the object of reconstruction but part of the data gathering.


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  • Because of the reflexive character of natural languages, speaking about what has been spoken, direct or indirect mention of speech components, belongs to the normal linguistic process of reaching understanding. The expression metalinguistic judg- ments in a natural language about sentences of the same language suggests a difference of level that does not exist.

    It is one of the interesting features of natural languages that they can be used as their own language of explication. I shall come back to this point below. Only if one presupposes an empirical-analytic in the narrow sense approach to the reality of a natural language and the utterances in it, can one view speaking and understanding language, on the one hand, and judgments in and about a language, on the other, as tw r o different object domains.


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    • If one chooses a reconstructive approach, then one thereby chooses a conceptualization of the object domain according to which the linguistic know-how of a competent speaker is at the root of the sentences he produces with the help of and only with the help of this know-how. While this research paradigm may prove to be unfruitful, this cannot be shown at the level of a critique that already presup- I 9 What Is Universal Pragmatics? On the contrary, the implicit knowledge has to be brought to consciousness through the choice of suitable examples and counterexamples, through contrast and similarity relations, through translation, paraphrase, and so on — that is, through a well-thought-out maeutic method of interrogation.

      Ascertaining the so-called intuitions of a speaker is already the beginning of their explication. For this reason, the procedure practiced by Chomsky and many others seems to me to be meaningful and adequate. One starts with clear cases, in which the reactions of the subjects converge, in order to develop struc- tural descriptions on this basis and then, in the light of the hy- potheses gained, to present less clear cases in such a way that the process of interrogation can lead to an adequate clarification of these cases as well. I do not see anything wrong in this cir- cular procedure; every research process moves in such a circle between theory formation and precise specification of the object domain.

      I cannot go into the individual research projects and the different interpretations here. Apparently in psycholinguistics there is a growing tendency to disavow the original correlation hypothesis; the mental grammar that underlies the psychologically identifiable production of language and the corresponding processes of un- derstanding cannot, in the opinion of Bever, Watt, and others, be explained in the framework of a competence theory, that is, of a reconstructively oriented linguistics.

      Ein Versuch zur Geschichte, Bedeutung und Kritik der Kategorie der sozialen Rolle

      I am not very certain how to judge this controversy; but I would like to suggest two points of view that have not, so far as I can see, been taken sufficiently into account in the discussion. How strong do the essentialist assertions of a reconstructive linguistics regarding the psychic reality of reconstructed systems of rules have to be? This could be adequately discussed only if there were clarity about the way in which competence theories can be tested and falsified.

      I have the impression that psycholinguistic investi- gations proceed empirical-analytically and neglect a limine the distinction between competence and performance. Universal Pragmatics versus Transcendental Hermeneutics Having presented the idea of a reconstructive science and briefly elucidated it through a consideration of reconstructive linguistics and two of its methodological difficulties , I would like to pose one further question: what is the relation of universal-pragmatic reconstruction of general and unavoidable presuppositions of pos- sible processes of understanding to the type of investigation that has, since Kant, been called transcendental analysis?

      Kant terms transcendental an investigation that identifies and analyzes the a priori conditions of possibility of experience. The underlying idea is clear: in addition to the empirical knowledge that relates to objects of experience, there is, supposedly, a transcendental knowledge of concepts of objects in general that precedes ex- perience.

      The method by which these a priori concepts of objects in general can be shown to be valid conditions of possible ex- perience is less clear. There is already disagreement concerning the meaning of the thesis: "the a priori conditions of a possible experience in general are at the same time conditions of the pos- sibility of objects of experience. Every coherent experience is organized in a categorial network; to the extent that we discover the same im- plicit conceptual structure in any coherent experience whatsoever, we may call this basic conceptual system of possible experience transcendental.

      This conception renounces the claim that Kant wanted to vindicate with his transcendental deduction; it gives up all claim to a proof of the objective validity of our concepts of objects of possible experience in general. From now on, transcendental investigation must rely on the competence of knowing subjects who judge which experiences may be called coherent experiences in order to analyze this material for general and necessary categorial presuppositions. Every reconstruction of a basic conceptual system of possible experience has to be re- garded as a hypothetical proposal that can be tested against new experiences.

      As long as the assertion of its necessity and uni- 22 Communication and Evolution of Society versality has not been refuted, we term transcendental the con- ceptual structure recurring in all coherent experiences. In this weaker version, the claim that that structure can be demonstrated a priori is dropped. From this modification follow consequences that are scarcely compatible with the original program. We can no longer exclude the possibility that our concepts of objects of possible experience can be successfully applied only under contingent boundary con- ditions that, let us say, have heretofore been regularly fulfilled by natural constants.

      The tran- scendentally oriented pragmatism inaugurated by C. Peirce attempts to show that there is such a structural connection between experience and instrumental action ; 51 the hermeneutics stemming from Dilthey attempts — over against this a priori of experience — to do justice to an additional a priori of understanding or com- municative action. In my opinion, the reservation regarding a strong apriorism in no way demands limiting oneself to a logical-semantic analysis of the conditions of possible experiences. If we surrender the concept of the transcendental subject — the subject that accomplishes the synthesis and that, together with its knowledge-enabling struc- tures, is removed from all experience — this does not mean that we have to renounce universal-pragmatic analysis of the applica- tion of our concepts of objects of possible experience, that is, investigation of the constitution of experience.

      Of course, the relation between the objectivity of possible ex- perience and the truth of propositions looks different than it does under Kantian premises. In place of a priori demonstration, we have transcendental investigation of the conditions for argumen- tatively redeeming validity claims that are at least implicitly re- lated to discursive vindication.

      If we want to subject processes of reaching understanding speech to a reconstructive analysis oriented to general and unavoidable presuppositions in the same way as has been done for cognitive processes , 55 then the model of transcendental philosophy undeniably suggests itself, all the more so as the theory of language and action has not despite Humboldt found its Kant.

      Naturally, recourse to this model is understandable only if one has in view one of the weaker versions of transcendental philosophy mentioned above. In this sense, Apel speaks of "transcendental hermeneutics" or "tran- scendental pragmatics" in order to characterize his approach pro- grammatically. I would like to mention two reasons for hesitating to adopt this usage. Something like a transcendental investigation of processes of understanding seems plausible to me as long as we view these under the aspect of processes of experience. It is in this sense that I speak of communicative experience; in understanding the utterance of another speaker as a participant in a communication process, the hearer like the observer who perceives a segment of reality has an experience.

      From this comparative perspective, concrete utterances would correspond to empirical objects, and utterances in general to objects in general in the sense of objects of possible experience. Just as we analyze our a priori concepts of objects in general — that is, the conceptual structure of any coherent perception — we could analyze our a priori concepts of utterances in general — that is, the basic concepts of situations of possible understanding, the conceptual structure that enables us 24 Communication and Evolution of Society to employ sentences in correct utterances.

      Concepts such as mean- ing and intentionality , the ability to speak and act agency , in- terpersonal relation, and the like, would belong to this conceptual framework. The general structures of speech must first be investigated from the perspective of understanding and not from that of experience. As soon as we admit this, however, the parallels with transcendental philosophy however conceived recede into the background. The idea underlying transcendental philosophy is — to oversimplify — that we constitute experiences in objectivating reality from invariant points of view; this objec- tivation shows itself in the objects in general that are necessarily presupposed in every coherent experience; these objects in turn can be analyzed as a system of basic concepts.

      However, I do not find any correspondent to this idea under which the analysis of general presuppositions of communication might be carried out. Experi- ences are, if we follow the basic Kantian idea, constituted; ut- terances are at most generated. A transcendental investigation transposed to processes of understanding would thus have to be oriented around another model — not the epistemological model of the constitution of experience but perhaps the model of deep and surface structure.

      Moreover, adopting the expression transcendental could conceal the break with apriorism that has been made in the mean- time. Kant had to separate empirical from transcendental analysis sharply. If we now understand transcendental investigation in the sense of a reconstruction of general and unavoidable pre- suppositions of experiences that can lay claim to objectivity, then there certainly remains a difference between reconstructive and empirical-analytic analysis.

      But the distinction between drawing on a priori knowledge and drawing on a posteriori knowledge becomes blurred. On the one hand, the rule consciousness of com- petent speakers is for them an a priori knowledge; on the other 25 What Is Universal Pragmatics? The implicit knowledge of com- petent speakers is so different from the explicit form of linguistic description that the individual linguist cannot rely on reflection on his own speech intuitions. The procedures employed in con- structing and testing hypotheses, in appraising competing re- constructive proposals, in gathering and selecting data, are in many ways like the procedures used in the nomological sciences.

      Methodological differences that can be traced back to differences in the structure of data observable events versus understandable signs and to differences between the structures of laws and rules, do not suffice to banish linguistics, for example, from the sphere of empirical science. The expression tran- scendental, with which we associate a contrast to empirical sci- ence, is thus unsuited to characterizing, without misunderstanding, a line of research such as universal pragmatics. Behind the termi- nological question, there stands the systematic question concern- ing the as-yet insufficiently clarified status of nonnomological empirical sciences of the reconstructive type.

      I shall have to leave this question aside here. In any case, the attempt to play down the interesting methodological differences that arise here, and to interpret them away in the sense of the unified science program, seems to have little prospect of success. Three Aspects of Universal Pragmatics The basic universal-pragmatic intention of speech-act theory is expressed in the fact that it thematizes the elementary units of speech utterances in an attitude similar to that in which lin- guistics does the units of language sentences.

      The goal of re- constructive language analysis is an explicit description of the rules that a competent speaker must master in order to form grammatical sentences and to utter them in an acceptable way. The theory of speech acts shares this task with linguistics. Whereas the latter starts from the assumption that every adult speaker possesses an implicit, reconstructible knowledge, in which is expressed his linguistic rule competence to produce sentences , speech-act theory postulates a corresponding communicative rule competence, namely the competence to employ sentences in speech acts.

      Abstract: This paper discusses the contribution made by psychodrama role theory to sociology. It is well known that role theory was founded and disseminated in sociology, and specifically in social psychology; our goal therefore is to indicate the ways in which psychodrama can act as a bridge between sociology and psychology. Moreno, as the founder of psychodrama, strongly believed that psychodrama was more inclusive than sociology, particularly since it has practical and therapeutic aspects of role playing, and role reversal especially.

      Our idea is to emphasize and demonstrate how role reversal, role development, role analysis and the theatrical background of psychodrama are practical elements that result in therapeutic effects. A review of the development of unemployment rates relative to gender reveals clear tendencies to the disadvantage of women: Whereas the unemployment rates of men and women in the West have reached an equal level over time, East Germany displays a considerable gender-specific difference.

      As Figure 1 shows, the rate of unemployed women is much higher than that of unemployed men. In addition, the unemployed women include a far higher percentage of former employees. Given this high rate of unemployed women, we had to ask how the situation of the still employed women in the companies in the new German Lander looks like.

      In the old German Lander, the situation of female employees was characterized, above all, by poor representation in management positions, concentration in specific professions and sectors of industry, modest career development opportunities and poor workplace conditions. Therefore it is probable that not only the percentage of working women in the new German Lander is adjusting to the West German situation, but that the situation of the female employees within companies is changing as well.

      We have analyzed the impact of these changes on the standing of female employees in working life with the hope of being able to influence their situation at the company level. Thus, the main purpose of the study is an analysis of the situation and the working conditions of female employees in the new German Lander. This analysis was not to be fixed in a specific point of time. The presentation of changing circumstances over the course of time is indispensable for demonstrating the process of change.