In 1985 Jürgen Habermas launched a review of recent publications in the journal Merkur of several German philosophers, all of whom he accused of trying to advocate a return to metaphysics. One of them was Dieter Henrich. 1 Given that Habermas had long been convinced that the so-called 'linguistic turn' had made traditional metaphysics obsolete, his move was perhaps not surprising. Any allegiance to metaphysical thinking must have struck him as a revival of a backward conservative attitude characteristic of certain intellectual changes that could be observed in the early 1980s in Germany (the so-called Tendenzwende). In Habermas's view a return to metaphysical thinking meant a turning away from the postmetaphysical sensitivity brought about around the beginning of the 20th century by a major shift in the philosophical climate resulting from a paradigm change from the philosophy of subjectivity to the philosophy of language. Henrich responded to Habermas's challenge in the same journal in 1986 2 and published an enlarged version of this essay the following year in his collection of essays titled Konzept. 3 In 1987 Habermas again commented on Henrich in a further though this time much more conciliatory essay prepared for the Festschrift in honor of Henrich's 60th birthday. 4 Henrich later contributed a lengthy essay to the 1989 Festschrift for Habermas in the first part of which he again challenged some of Habermas's key assumptions about paradigm changes in philosophy that allegedly had led to the postmetaphysical era we now inhabit. 5