A critique of Baudrillard's hyperreality: Towards a sociology of postmodernism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (6):47-66 (1998)
Through the critical examination of Baudrillard's concept of hyperreality, this article seeks to make a wider contribution to contempor ary debates about postmodernism. It draws on a post-Cartesian, Heideg gerian philosophy to demonstrate the weakness of the concept of hyperreality and reveal its foundation in a Cartesian epistemology. The article goes on to claim that this same Heideggerian tradition suggests a way in which the concept of hyperreality and nihilistic postmodern sociologies more generally might be dialectically superseded. Instead of these theories being seen as saying anything insightful about recent social transformations, the epistemological void in which they position themselves should be inter preted as the intellectual expression of the wider cultural and postmodern trend of transgression. Key Words: Baudrillard • Cartesianism • Heidegger • hyperreality • postmodernism.
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DOI 10.1177/019145379802400603
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