Gianni Vattimo on Culture, Communication, and the Move from Modernity to Postmodernity

Gianni Vattimo, the Italian philosopher and politician, has argued that the end of colonialism and imperialism and the rise of the society of mass communication have contributed to the emergence of the postmodern. Modernity‘s unilinear conception of history is no longer possible in the face of multiple cultures and subcultures coming to the microphone across countries in the West. This article considers this view in the light of the problematizing comments made by the philosopher Slavoj Žižek on the nature of culture – that it is something people do not take seriously and therefore people do not regard science as a culture. If science is apart from culture, then modernity can continue as the grand narrative of the increasing rationalisation of humankind as shown by the emancipating effects of science expressed through technology. Resources from Vattimo‘s broader philosophical programme are drawn upon to argue that not taking culture seriously is a postmodern condition and that science is cultural.
Keywords Vattimo  Žižek  plurality  hermeneutics  postmodernity
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