Complexity and Postmodernism explores the notion of complexity in the light of contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science. The book integrates insights from complexity and computational theory with the philosophical position of thinkers including Derrida and Lyotard. Paul Cilliers takes a critical stance towards the use of the analytical method as a tool to cope with complexity, and he rejects Searle's superficial contribution to the debate.
Postmodernism -- Classical pragmatism : waiting at the end of the road -- Pragmatism, postmodernism, and global citizenship -- Classical pragmatism, postmodernism, and neopragmatism -- Technology -- Classical pragmatism and communicative action : Jürgen Habermas -- From critical theory to pragmatism : Andrew Feenberg -- A neo-Heideggerian critique of technology : Albert Borgmann -- Doing and making in a democracy : John Dewey -- The environment -- Nature as culture : John Dewey and Aldo Leopold -- Green (...) pragmatism : reals without realism, ideals without idealism -- Classical pragmatism -- What was Dewey's magic number? -- Cultivating a common faith : Dewey's religion -- Beyond the epistemology industry : Dewey's theory of inquiry -- The homo faber debate in Dewey and Max Scheler -- Productive pragmatism : habits as artifacts in Peirce and Dewey. (shrink)
Postmodernism has significantly affected the theory and practice of history. It has induced fears about the future of historical study, but has also offered liberation from certain modernist constraints. This original and thought-provoking study looks at the context of postmodernist thought in general cultural terms as well as in relation to history. Postmodernism in History traces philosophical precursors of postmodernism and identifies the roots of current concerns. Beverley Southgate describes the core constituents of postmodernism and provides (...) a lucid and profound analysis of the current state of the debate. His main concern is to counter `pomophobia' and to assert a positive future for historical study in a postmodern world. Postmodernism in History is a valuable guide to some of the most complex questions in historical theory for students and teachers alike. (shrink)
Pragmatism, Postmodernism and the Future of Philosophy is a vigorous and dynamic confrontation with the task and temperament of philosophy today. In this energetic and far-reaching new book, Stuhr draws persuasively on the resources of the pragmatist tradition of James and Dewey, and critically engages the work of Continental philosophers like Adorno, Foucault, and Deleuze, to explore fundamental questions of how we might think and live differently in the future. Along the way, the book addresses important issues in public (...) policy, university administration, spirituality, and the notion of community and its meaning in a global world of difference. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of philosophy, and the ways in which philosophical thinking can help us live better, more fulfilling lives. (shrink)
Differences That Matter challenges existing ways of theorising the relationship between feminism and postmodernism which ask 'is or should feminism be modern or postmodern?' Sara Ahmed suggests that postmodernism has been allowed to dictate feminist debates and calls instead for feminist theorists to speak (back) to postmodernism, rather than simply speak on (their relationship to) it. Such a 'speaking back' involves a refusal to position postmodernism as a generalisable condition of the world and requires closer readings (...) of what postmodernism is actually 'doing' in a variety of disciplinary contexts. Sara Ahmed hence examines constructions of postmodernism in relation to rights, ethics, subjectivity, authorship, meta-fiction and film. (shrink)
This new Encyclopedia of Postmodernism is structured with biographical entries on all the key contributors to the postmodernism debate, including Mikhail Bakhtin, Pierre Bourdieum, Jacques Derrida, Jurgen Habermas and Wittgenstein. Providing an all-encompassing and welcome addition to the field, the Encyclopedia contains entries on foundational concepts of postmodernism which have revolutionized thinking in every intellectual discipline. This new Encyclopedia is the first to provide comprehensive A-Z coverage of the key individuals and concepts of postmodernism. The 300+ (...) entries include: * African American studies * Roland Barthes * binary opposition * Buddhism * comparative literature * cyberculture * death of God * Gilles Deleuze * desire * digital culture * end of history * globalization * grand narrative * improvisation * jouissance * logocentrism * metalanguage * sadism * theatre arts * trope * visuality * Cornell West * and much more. Fully cross-referenced and indexed, with suggestionsfor further reading. (shrink)
In this original and eye-opening study, Stefan Morawski sheds light on the notoriously inconclusive--and all too often confused--debate about the cultural significance of postmodernism and postmodernity. He shows how large the volume of historical and artistic knowledge needs to be to seriously grapple with the issues. Morawski unravels the complex strands which link our perception of postmodernism and postmodernity with aesthetic and human values whose roots lie deep in history. He discusses daily life in a consumer society, science (...) and religion, visual arts, literature, film, television and the most arcane works of contemporary music and offers an impassioned interrogation of the ways in which we understand, evaluate and use contemporary culture. (shrink)
Understanding Experience: Psychotherapy and Postmodernism is a collection of innovative interdisciplinary essays that explore the way we experience and interact with each other and the world around us. The authors address the postmodern debate in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis through clinical and theoretical discussion and offer a view of the person that is unique and relevant today. The clinical work of Binswanger, Boss, Fromm, Fromm-Reichmann, Laing, and Lacan is considered alongside the theories of Buber, Heidegger, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre and others. (...) Combining clinical data from psychotherapy and psychoanalysis with insights from European philosophy, this book seeks to fill a major gap in the debate over postmodernism and bridges the paradigmatic divide between the behavioural sciences and the human sciences. It will be of great interest to clinicians and students of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis who wish to come to terms with postmodernism, as well as those interested in theinteraction of psychoanalysis, philosophy and social theory. experience. (shrink)
Drawing on postmodernist analyses, Leaky Bodies and Boundaries presents a feminist investigation into the marginalization of women within western discourse that denies both female moral agency and bodylines. With reference to contemporary and historical issues in biomedicine, the book argues that the boundaries of both the subject and the body are no longer secure. The aim is both to valorize women and to suggest that "leakiness" may be the very ground for a postmodern feminist ethic. The contribution made by Margrit (...) Shildrick is to go beyond modernist feminisms to radically displace the mechanisms by which women are devalued. The anxiety that postmodernism cannot yield an ethics, nor advance feminist concerns is addressed. (shrink)
Postmodernism too often seems to be an evasive body of ideas rather than a clear cut concept, mainly characterized by all-embracing assertions. Yet it can be referred to as an intellectual project with specific roots and a historical development. The Postmodernism Reader traces the origins, evolvement and the politics of postmodernism through the key writings of postmodernist thinkers. This collection of foundational essays restores the poignancy that has been lost - or even emphatically rejected - in the (...) debate about postmodernism by focussing on central formative texts and the predominant thinkers we have come to associate with postmodernist theory. Michael Drolet's authoritative introductory essay and his careful selection of texts provide a solid basis for the study of postmodernism by uncovering the philosophical origins of present theories and focussing on their major aspects, thus clearing a path through the maze of knowledge that we call postmodernism. Arranged in three parts, theessays cover the origins of the term postmodernism, its evolution and its political ramifications. Included are writings by Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Bauman, Jameson, Berman and Irigaray. (shrink)
Postmodernism, globalism & the New Age -- Who are the traditionalists? -- What is the New Age? -- New Age authorities : a divided house -- The shadows of God -- The war against love -- Ufos & traditional metaphysics : a postmodern demonology -- Vigilance at the eleventh hour : a refutation of The only tradition -- Comparative eschatology -- Facing apocalypse.
Postmodernism has evoked great controversy and it continues to do so today, as it disseminates into general discourse. Some see its principles, such as its fundamental resistance to metanarratives, as frighteningly disruptive, while a growing number are reaping the benefits of its innovative perspective. In Political Theory and Postmodernism, Stephen K. White outlines a path through the postmodern problematic by distinguishing two distinct ways of thinking about the meaning of responsibility, one prevalent in modern and the other in (...) postmodern perspectives. Using this as a guide, White explores the work of Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, and Habermas, as well as 'difference' feminists, with the goal of showing how postmodernism can inform contemporary ethical-political reflection. In his concluding chapter, White examines how this revisioned postmodern perspective might bear on our thinking about justice. (shrink)
"An eloquent work. Somer Brodribb not only gives us a feminist critique of postmodernism with its masculinist predeterminants in existentialism, its Freudian footholdings and its Sadean values, but in the very form and texture of the critique, she literally creates new discourse in feminist theory. Brodribb has transcended not only postmodernism but its requirement that we speak in its voice even when criticizing it. She creates a language that is at once poetic and powerfully analytical. Her insistent and (...) compelling radical critique refuses essentialism-from both masculinist thinkers and their women followers. She demystifies postmodernism to reveal that it and its antecedents represent yet another mundane version of patriarchal politics. Ultimately Brodribb returns us to feminist theory with the message that we must refuse to be derivative and continue to originate theory and politics from the condition of women under male domination." -Kathleen Barry, author of Female Sexual Slavery An iconoclastic work brilliantly undertaken . . . Nothing Mat(T)ers magnificently shows that postmodernism is the cultural capital of late patriarchy. It is the art of self- display, the conceit of masculine self and the science of reproductive and genetic engineering in an ecstatic Nietzschean cycle of statis." -Andre Michel Nothing Mat(T)ers encapsulates in its title the valuelessness of the current academic fad of postmodernism. Somer Brodribb has written a brave and witty book demolishing the gods and goddesses of postmodernism by deconstructing their method and de-centering their subjects and, in the process, has deconstructed deconstructionism and decentered decentering! This is a long-awaited and much-needed book from a tough- minded, embodied, and unflinching scholar." -Janice Raymond. (shrink)
Why is postmodernist discourse so biased against the Enlightenment? Indeed, postmodern theory challenges the validity of the rational basis of modern historical scholarship and the Enlightenment itself. Rather than avoiding this conflict, the contributors to this vibrant collection return to the philosophical roots of the Enlightenment, and do not hesitate to look at them through a postmodernist lens, engaging issues like anti-Semitism, Utopianism, colonial legal codes, and ideas of authorship. Dismissing the notion that the two camps are ideologically opposed and (...) thus incompatible, these essays demonstrate an exciting new scholarship that confidently mixes the empiricism of Enlightenment thought with a strong postmodernist skepticism, painting a subtler and richer historical canvas. (shrink)
Postmodernism and Education responds to the interest in postmodernism as a way of understanding social, cultural and economic trends. Robin Usher and Richard Edwards explore the impact which postmodernism has had upon the theory and practice of education, using a broad analysis of postmodernism and an in-depth introduction to key writers in the field, including Lacan, Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard. In examining the impact which this thinking has had upon contemporary theory and practice of education, Usher (...) and Edwards concentrate particularly upon how postmodernist ideas challenge existing concepts, structures and hierarchies. (shrink)
Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective offers answers to the questions, what is postmodernism? and what exactly are the characteristics of the modernism that postmodernism supercedes? This comprehensive reader chronicles the western engagement with the nature of knowledge during the past four centuries while providing the historical context for the postmodernist thought of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty and Hayden White, and the challenges their ideas have posed to our conventional ways of thinking, writing and knowing. (...) From the science of things to the science of human beings to the grand social theorizing associated with Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx and Max Weber, Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective presents readings from the succession of thinkers whose writings helped define modern sensibilities by analyzing the human capacity for generating knowledge. The volume follows the knowledge-generating project of the modern age as it blossoms in the Enlightenment and bears fruit in the nineteenth century. The writings included reveal the linkages between science, the history of science, hermeneutics, anthropology, sociology, linguistics and philosophy from Francis Bacon's call for experimental engagement with nature in the seventeenth century to Jurgen Habermas' recent analysis of the civil society spawned by the Enlightenment. (shrink)
It has become an intellectual commonplace to claim that we have entered the era of 'postmodernity'. Three themes are embraced in this claim the poststructurist critique by Foucault, Derrida and others of the philosophical heritage of the Enlightenment the supposed impasse of High Modern art and its replacement by new artistic forms and the alleged emergence of 'post-industrial' societies whose structures are beyond the ken of Marx and other theorists of industrial capitalism. Against Postmodernism takes issue with all these (...) themes. It challenges the idealist irrationalism of post-structuralism. It questions the existence of any radical break separating allegedly Postmodern from Modern art. And it denies that recent socio-economic developments represent any fundamental shift from classical patterns of capital accumulation. Drawing on philosophy and history, Against Postmodernism takes issue also with some of the most forthright critics of postmodernism -- Jurgen Habermas and Fredric Jameson, for example. But it is most distinctive in that it offers a historical reading of the theories of such currently fashionable thinkers as Baudrillard and Lyotard. Postmodernism, Alex Callinios argues, reflects the disappointed revolutionary generation of '68, and the incorporation of many of its members into the porfessional and managerial 'new middle class'. It is best read as a symptom of political frustration and social mobility rather than as a significant intellectual or cultural phenomenon in its own right. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism offers a comprehensive introduction to postmodernism. The Companion examines the different aspects of postmodernist thought and culture that have had a significant impact on contemporary cultural production and thinking. Topics discussed by experts in the field include postmodernism's relation to modernity, and its significance and relevance to literature, film, law, philosophy, architecture, religion and modern cultural studies. The volume also includes a useful guide to further reading and a chronology. This is an (...) essential aid for students and teachers from a range of disciplines interested in postmodernism in all its incarnations. Accessible and comprehensive, this Companion addresses the many issues surrounding this elusive, enigmatic and often controversial topic. (shrink)
Life After Postmodernism is a pioneering text on the question of value in the postmodern scene. After a long hiatus in which discussions of value have been eclipsed by death of the subject in post-structuralist theory, this collection of essays suggest that we are on the threshold of a new value debate in contemporary politics, aesthetics, and society.
Postmodernism is a term that has been used extensively to describe general trends and specific works in many different cultural contexts, including literature, cinema, architecture and the visual arts. This introduction clarifies the term and explores its relevance for music through discussion of specific musical examples from the 1950s to the present day, providing an engagement between theory and practice. Overall, this book equips students with a thorough understanding of this complex but important topic in music studies. It: • (...) outlines and addresses the problems of defining what we mean by postmodernism • explores when postmodernism begins • engages with a broad range of literature and reference sources, inviting wider reading and thinking • uses specific musical examples to present ways of interpreting music that can be defined as postmodernist. (shrink)
In What's Wrong with Postmodernism Norris critiques the "postmodern-pragmatist malaise" of Baudrillard, Fish, Rorty, and Lyotard. In contrast he finds a continuing critical impulse--an "enlightened or emancipatory interest"--in thinkers like Derrida, de Man, Bhaskar, and Habermas. Offering a provocative reassessment of Derrida's influence on modern thinking, Norris attempts to sever the tie between deconstruction and American literary critics who, he argues, favor endless, playful, polysemic interpretation at the expense of systematic argument. As he explores leftist attempts to arrive at (...) an accommodation with postmodernism, Norris addresses the politics of deconstruction, the issue of men in feminism, Habermas' quarrel with Derrida, narrative theory as a hermeneutic paradigm, musical aesthetics in relation to literary theory, and various aspects of postmodern debate. A chapter on Stanley Fish brings several of these topics together and offers a generalized statement on the function of current criticism. (shrink)
Introduction -- Is the truth stranger than fiction? -- The emergence and analysis of the postmodern -- Baudrillard and his works on social theory -- An assessment of postmodernism and Baudrillard -- Conclusion.
If you are like most people, you’re not sure what Postmodernism is. And if this were like most books on the subject, it probably wouldn’t tell you. Besides what a few grumpy critics claim, Postmodernism is not a bunch of meaningless intellectual mind games. On the contrary, it is a reaction to the most profound spiritual and philosophical crises of our time–the failure of the Enlightenment. Jim Powell takes the position that Postmodernism is a series of “maps” (...) that help people find their way through a changing world. Postmodernism For Beginners features the thoughts of Foucault on power and knowledge, Jameson on mapping the postmodern, Baudrillard on the media, Harvey on time-space compression, Derrida on deconstruction and Deleuze and Guattari on rhizomes. The book also discusses postmodern artifacts such as Madonna, cyberpunk sci-fi, Buddhist ecology and teledildonics. (shrink)
This book argues that we have moved into a new cultural period, automodernity, which represents a social, psychological, and technological reaction to postmodernity. In fact, by showing how individual autonomy is now being generated through technological and cultural automation, Samuels posits that we must rethink modernity and postmodernity. Part of this rethinking entails stressing how the progressive political aspects of postmodernism need to be separated from the aesthetic consumption of differences in automoderntiy. Choosing culturally relevant studies of The Matrix, (...) Grand Theft Auto, Eminem and Jurassic Park, he interprets these medias through the lens of eminent theorists like Slavoj Zizek, Frederic Jameson, and Henry Jenkins. Ultimately, he argues that what defines postmodernity is the stress on social construction, secular humanism, and progressive social movements that challenge the universality and neutrality of modern reason. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction 9 -- Postmodernism and the End of 'Humanism'? 19 -- Postmodern Ambiguities: -- Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire 34 -- In Postmodern Disorder: -- The Confused and Confusing World of The Hand that Signed the Paper 40 -- Ethics, the Literary Imagination, and the 'Other': The Hand that Ought, or was Imagined, to have Signed the Paper 47 -- Jew and Anti-Jew in Australian Fiction 58 -- Helen Garner's The First Stone: Ethical (...) Confusions and Contretemps 72 -- Antisemitism and Literature: Robert Manne's The Culture of Forgetting and Anthony Julius' T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form 83 -- Abraham Biderman, Daniel Goldhagen,and Telling It as It Was 96 -- Literary Studies as Ethics or Anarchy? 110 -- An Imbrication of Heteroglossic Discourses? Or Plain Speaking? 118 -- The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring, tra-la: Postcolonialism and Other Messiahs 127 -- Postcolonialism and the Exotic 135 -- Perpetually Moralists: Truth, Ethics and The Empire Writes Back 146 -- Towards a New Ethics 159 -- Conclusion 167 -- Index -- 176. (shrink)
What does "postmodernism" mean? Why is it so important? Now in its second edition, The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism combines a series of in-depth background chapters with a body of A-Z entries to create an authoritative, yet readable guide to the complex world of postmodernism. Following full-length articles on postmodernism and philosophy, politics, feminism, religion, post-colonialis, lifestyles television, and other postmodern essentials, readers will find a wide range of alphabetically-organized entries on the people, terms and theories (...) connected with postmodernism, including: Peter Ackroyd; Jean Baudrillard; Chaos Theory; Death of the Author; Desire; Fractals; Michel Foucault; Frankfurt School; Generation X; Minimalism; Poststructuralism; Retro; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak ; and Trans-avant-garde; Students interested in any aspect of postmodernist thought will find this an indispensable resource. (shrink)
Willie Thompson offers a clear, jargon-free introduction to postmodernist theory and its significant impact on the study of history. This is a hotly-debated topic, and much of the literature is both polemical and inaccessible to the novice. Thompson, however, presents key ideas in a straightforward way, making these debates relevant to students' own work.
Are there no new ideas to be invented? Are today's ideas really just borrowed from previous times? Postmodernism says this is so, and it's one of the hottest philosophies of today. The book provides an indispensable guide to this often-demanding terrain for readers encountering theories of postmodernism for the first time and places the subject in a broad context. It introduces a wide range of ideas, thinkers, and views yet maintains the readers' focus by linking theory with concrete (...) examples from both "high" and "popular" culture. After completing Teach Yourself Postmodernism , readers will never look at their world the same way again. (shrink)
This book reveals the rational basis for historians' descriptions, interpretations and explanations of past events. C. Behan McCullagh defends the practice of history as more reliable than has recently been acknowledged. Historians, he argues, make their accounts of the past as fair as they can and avoid misleading their readers. He explains and discusses postmodern criticisms of history, providing students and teachers of history with a renewed validation of their practice. McCullagh takes the history debate to a new stage with (...) bold replies to the major questions historians face today. (shrink)
Situating the Self is a decisive intervention into debates concerning modernity, postmodernity, ehtics, and the self. It will be of interest to all concerned with critical theory or contemporary ethics.
This book formulates a new approach to philosophy which, instead of simply rejecting postmodern thought, tries to assimilate some of its main features. Paul Crowther identifies conceptual links between value, knowledge, personal identity and civilization, understood as a process of cumulative advance.
Womens Liberation and the Sublime is a passionate report on the state of feminist thinking and practice after the linguistic turn. A critical assessment of masculinist notions of the sublime in modern and postmodern accounts grounds the author's positive and constructive recuperation of sublime experience in a feminist voice.
In recent times considerable controversy has raged around the question of postmodern culture and its products. Paul Crowther attempts to overcome some of the antagonistic viewpoints involved by expounding and developing key themes from the work of Kant and Merleau-Ponty in the context of contemporary culture. His work analyzes topics such as the relation between art and politics, the problems of poststructuralist and feminist approaches to art, the re-emergence and relevance of theories of the sublime, and the continuing possibilities of (...) artistic creativity. The central theme of the book is that there are constants in human experience around which art and philosophy turn. At the same time, however, due account must be given of the ways such constants are historically mediated. By articulating various aspects of this relation, Crowther shows that the postmodern sensibility can be more than that of an alienated consumerism. Understood in the proper theoretical context, it is grounded on experience and artifacts which humanize. (shrink)
This ground-breaking volume brings together the essays of top theorists including Arjo Klamer, Deirdre McCloskey, Julie Nelson, Shuan Hargreaves-Heap and Philip Mirowski on a diverse range of topics such as gender, post-colonial theory, rationality, and modernism.
By illuminating the striking affinity between the most innovative aspects of postmodern thought and religious mystical discourse, Shadow of Spirit challenges the long established assumption that western thought is committed to nihilism. This collection of essays by internationally recognized scholars explores the implications of the fascination with the "sacred," "divine" or "infinite" which characterizes much contemporary thought. It shows how these concerns have surfaced in the work of Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Irigaray and others. Examining the connection between this postmodern (...) "turn" and the current search for a new discourse of ethics and politics, it also stresses the contribution made by feminist thought to this unexpected intellectual direction. (shrink)
In this cutting edge volume. Dennis Patterson has put together a collection of essays on the topic of law and justice in postmodern society. While trying to avoid a singular point of view for this compilation, Patterson has carefully chosen articles which highlight common themes, problems, and questions.
There is a confusion over and inchoate understanding of how the past is made understandable through postmodernist historical orientation. The purpose of the article is to outline the characteristic features of the postmodernist movement in social sciences, to explain its confrontation with history, to document its critique of the conventional practice of history, and to discuss its implications for history education. The postmodernist challenge to the foundations of the discipline of history is elucidated with an emphasis on its epistemological underpinnings. (...) Implications of postmodernism for the teaching and learning of history are discussed. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
That postmodernism is a general cultural mood and a style in art, architecture, and literature is uncontroversial. But does postmodernism present a coherent intellectual doctrine or theory of politics, art, or life? In the discussion which follows, I will concentrate on two aspects of the intellectual pretensions of postmodernism. First, I examine the postmodernist claim that to justify the idea that the postmodern world is characterized by a general indeterminacy of meaning. Next I will look at (...) aspects of the postmodernist contention that the present age has witnessed the decline of individuality. (shrink)
This article investigates the place of postmodernism in sociology today by making a distinction between its epistemological and empirical forms. During the 1980s and early 1990s, sociologists exposited, appropriated, and normalized an epistemological postmodernism that thematizes the tentative, reflective, and possibly shifting nature of knowledge. More recently, however, sociologists have recognized the potential of a postmodern theory that turns its attention to empirical concerns. Empirical postmodernists challenge classical modern concepts to develop research programs based on new concepts like (...) time-space reorganization, risk society, consumer capitalism, and postmodern ethics. But they do so with an appreciation for the uncertainty of the social world, ourselves, our concepts, and our commitment to our concepts that results from the encounter with postmodern epistemology. Ultimately, this article suggests that understanding postmodernism as a combination of these two moments can lead to a sociology whose epistemological modesty and empirical sensitivity encourage a deeper and broader approach to the contemporary social world. (shrink)
Many of the philosophical doctrines purveyed by postmodernists have been roundly refuted, yet people continue to be taken in by the dishonest devices used in proselytizing for postmodernism. I exhibit, name, and analyse five favourite rhetorical manoeuvres: Troll's Truisms, Motte and Bailey Doctrines, Equivocating Fulcra, the Postmodernist Fox Trot, and Rankly Relativising Fields. Anyone familiar with postmodernist writing will recognise their pervasive hold on the dialectic of postmodernism and come to judge that dialectic as it ought to be (...) judged. (shrink)
In Specters of Marx, Derrida proposes a return to the spirit of Marxism as a way of dealing with the 'repoliticization' of contemporary realities. I suggest that Derrida's rediscovery of Marx allows one to map out what I call the end(s) of postmodernism, that is to say, the point(s) where the cultural free-play characteristic of the postmodern mood is confronted with renewed questions of politics, ideology and technology. Through a micro-reading of Derrida's text, two possible end(s) of postmodernism (...) are identified. One is a 'retro-(post)modernist' discourse which turns liberal and provides the vision of a 'New International' as an end result. The other is a '(post)-postmodern' approach which finds a way of tackling politics and ideology by rediscovering a mode of situationist engagement. By investigating the 'specters' of postmodernism through Derrida's recent work, this paper contributes to the debate over what type of theoretical formations may emerge after postmodernism. Key Words: culture deconstruction Derrida détournement ideology Marx the New International postmodernism situationism. (shrink)
Nietzsche is commonly invoked as a prophet of the postmodern. Both sympathizers and critics of the postmodern share this invocation. Thus Habermas, in his widely debated The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, in which he takes a decidedly critical view of postmodernism, tells us..
Richard Rorty’s philosophy has two basic commitments: one to postmodernism and the other to liberalism. However, these commitments generate tension. As a postmodernist, he sharply criticizes the Enlightenment; as a liberal, he forcefully defends it. His postmodernist liberalism actually explains liberalism using irrationalism.
Postmodernism is not so much a theory as an attitude. It is an attitude of suspicion – suspicion about claims of truth and about appeals to rational argument. Its corrupting effects must be answered by finding a better alternative, which must include a defence of the objecvity of both reason and ethics. Natural law thinking is necessary for the latter.
Interreligious dialogue does not take place in a vacuum, nor is it a matter of casual conversation. Dialogue is a contested phenomenon, advocated and embraced on one hand, eschewed and discarded on the other. By way of an exploration of the fact of plurality, the notions of modernism and postmodernism, and a brief discussion of select pertinent issues (unity, truth, and the very idea of theology), the paradigmatic context of pluralism will be critically discussed. Contemporary engagement in interreligious dialogue (...) and interfaith relations requires to be underpinned by a carefully thought-out conceptualising of the context in which it can authentically occur. This paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of the context of and for interreligious dialogue. (shrink)
Philosophers of science have paid little attention, positive or negative, to Lyotard's book The postmodern condition, even though it has been popular in other fields. We set out some of the reasons for this neglect. Lyotard thought that sciences could be justified by non-scientific narratives (a position he later abandoned). We show why this is unacceptable, and why many of Lyotard's characterisations of science are either implausible or are narrowly positivist. One of Lyotard's themes is that the nature of knowledge (...) has changed and thereby so has society itself. However much of what Lyotard says muddles epistemological matters about the definition of 'knowledge' with sociological claims about how information circulates in modern society. We distinguish two kinds of legitimation of science: epistemic and socio-political. In proclaiming 'incredulity towards metanarratives' Lyotard has nothing to say about how epistemic and methodological principles are to be justified (legitimated). He also gives a bad argument as to why there can be no epistemic legitimation, which is based on an act/content confusion, and a confusion between making an agreement and the content of what is agreed to. As for socio-political legitimation, Lyotard's discussion remains at the abstract level of science as a whole rather than at the level of the particular applications of sciences. Moreover his positive points can be accepted without taking on board any of his postmodernist account of science. Finally we argue that Lyotard's account of paralogy, which is meant to provide a 'postmodern' style of justification, is a failure. (shrink)
To the extent they have adopted a cafeteria-style approach to Nietzsche's trademark conceptions, kneading and molding his words into chimerical constructs, postmodernist philosophers inevitably remind us of Zarathustra's description of 'scholars': 'They work like mills and like stamps: throw down your seed-corn to them and they will know how to grind it small and reduce it to white dust' ( TSZ , II, 16). If so, how much significance might we attribute to any postmodernist's 'findings' of any textual nuances in (...) Nietzsche's relativism and stylistic multiplicity - nuances which at one moment appear intimately to apply and at the next to be hopelessly impertinent to whatever point that postmodernist is straining to make? The answer ought to be clear: By maintaining that there exist no intrinsically privileged vantage platforms vis-à-vis any text whatever, postmodernists in effect subvert their own analyses, and thus leave every work they consider unaffected. In that sense, we should be on target to advance that postmodernists are, au fond , engaged in writing for the sake of writing; indeed, what delivers them from sheer irrelevance is nothing but their clamorous advocacy of universal egalitarianism. This, however, necessarily reaffirms the nature and hankerings of the 'race' of the last man, and thus perverts the teleological direction of Nietzsche's aesthetics. Those who regard postmodernism as a regressive movement must therefore attempt to set the record straight by arguing that Nietzsche's relativism is, in fact, only a means to the eventual (phenomenal) realization of his Übermensch idea. (shrink)
I characterize Merold Westphal’s synthesis of Christian faith and postmodern philosophy as an “epistemological” or “methodological,” postmodernism, one that sees postmodern thought as describing certain limits upon human understanding while leaving open the question of how things are in the nature of things, that is, how things are understood by God. Postmodernism (unless it waxes dogmatic) is not denying God, but only that we are God. In a characteristically postmodern way, Westphal has found it useful to limit knowledge (...) in order to make room for faith, in the tradition of Kant, where these limits are historical and linguistic rather than ahistorical and apriori. In the second half of this paper, I advance the notion that postmodernism cuts deeper than epistemology and makes questionable certain features of the self and God. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Since its inception in the eighteenth century, the discipline of the history of science has served a motley collection of extrinsic disciplinary interests, philosophical ideas, and cultural movements. This paper examines the historiographical implications of modernism and postmodernism and shows how they influenced positivist, postpositivist, and sociological interpretations of the Chemical Revolution. It also shows how these interpretations served the disciplinary interests of science, philosophy, and sociology, respectively, and it points toward a model of the history of science (...) as history. (shrink)
The suitability of a new philosophical paradigm for geography needs to be assessed in the context of the questions it was designed to address and on the basis of clearly articulated criteria. Postmodernism, the latest contender for the attention of geographers, is here assessed in relation to Collingwoodian idealism. As an intellectual movement postmodernism arose in the unique circumstances of academic life in post Second World War France. In this rigidly structured academic environment a new generation of French (...) scholars, well schooled in the philosophies of Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger and the ideas of Marx and Freud, discovered the radical nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and drew upon his ethical and philosophical writings to address contemporary issues of power, knowledge, truth and modernity. All the central anti-humanist ideas of what was to become postmodernism are to be found in Nietzsche: a distrust of science and knowledge truth claims, the notion of multiple interpretations and the subordination of knowledge to power. This situated knowledge, set in the traditions of Continental thought, is not easily incorporated into the empiricist philosophies that have hitherto defined the mainstream of Anglo-American science and humanist scholarship including geography. Geographers need to retain a commitment to the foundational value of science, recognize human agency in the form of the conscious, thinking individual, and continue to affirm the empirical nature of human geographical research. (shrink)
In this article I explore background questions with reference to two recent strands in anti-foundationalist theory: Richard Rorty's neo-pragmatism, and Keith Jenkins's postmodernist treatment of historiography. Both approaches seek fresh perspectives on our relationship to history which reject the aspiration towards a perspective positioned at any kind of Archimedean point, beyond the clutches of time and chance. Both might be called 'historicist' in the sense that rather than seeking to play down or to escape the flux of contingency, they seek (...) to embrace it. And both, it seems, seek a kind of 'zero point', as Adorno once called it: a plea to 'forget' the stain of past thinking and experience in order to begin on a new footing.4 They offer forms of therapy; a relief from anxieties to which only bad philosophical habits have made us subject. (shrink)
Accepting Lyotard’s “incredulity toward metanarratives” as its definition of postmodernism, and Derrida’s “openness to the other” as deconstruction’s contribution to it this essay distinguishes three species of postmodernism: minimal (we have no believable metanarratives), mainline (they are unavailable in principle), and polemical (“good riddance!”). It then argues that the religious impulse challenges all three of these contentions. Contra polemical postmodernism, metanarratives/worldviews are needed. Contra mainline postmodernism, reliable ones are possible. And contra minimal postmodernism, they already (...) exist - in the world’s great, enduring religious traditions. (shrink)
This paper reflects on the implications of postmodern political discourse for East-Asian politics. It argues that the postmodernist deconstruction of modern epistemology and politics provides an opportunity for the reappraisal and rehabilitation of Confucianism in East Asia. First, the paper begins with an account of Cartesian epistemology which undergirds the liberal conceptions of selfhood and politics. Second, it provides a brief history of the Neo-Confucian synthesis and the resulting epistemology based on an intersubjective and ethical understanding of being human. Third, (...) it gives an account of how East Asian thinkers have until recently tried to overcome Confucianism as a way of achieving modernity. Fourth, it attempts to show how the Heideggerian deconstruction of Cartesian epistemology reveals the intersubjective and ethical nature of Dasein which allows for a reevaluation of Confucianism. In essence, this paper describes earlier attempts by East Asians to go beyond modernity and the way they have led to detrimental consequences. It concludes that the current debate should proceed with a more careful and balanced consideration of both modernity and Confucianism. (shrink)