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)
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.
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.
In this chapter I show that it is possible to interpret an important group of postmodern texts as presenting intellectual and practical challenges with a specific focus that is worth the serious attention of everyone interested in politics. My interpretation shows that a certain strand of postmodern thought is not only consonant with a liberal democratic political morality, but also modifies and extends it in an eminently desirable direction. Such an interpretation has become possible because a significant consensus has emerged (...) from the writings of prominent commentators and participants in the debates about postmodernism. I reconstruct this emerging consensus by referring specifically to the contribution of these postmodern texts to politics, thus leaving aside its possible contribution to the arts and sciences. I start by giving an exposition of a new understanding of modernity that has been brought about by the debates on modernity / postmodernism. Then I characterize the postmodern political condition by describing those changes in contemporary modern societies that stimulate and facilitate the development and growth of postmodernism. The next section provides an interpretation of the political philosophy contained in the work of prominent postmodern thinkers such as Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and Jencks. In this overview I show that an emphasis on the importance of heterogeneity and otherness unifies the diverse contributions of these postmodernists to political philosophy. I conclude the article by drawing some implications for politics in places like South Africa, from the insights I judge postmodernism provides to political philosophy in general. (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)
I write as a Jew who has come to see the Jewish and Christian religious movements as complementary, at least as each may be ideally envisioned. This complementarity does not entail the ‘supersession’ of Judaism or the negation of Judaism. It does not in any way imply that Jews should abandon Judaism. On the contrary, rightly seen it can lead to a greater affirmation of Judaism and of the teachings at Judaism's heart. In this article (...) I discuss the nature of this complementarity and argue that its recognition can help further and deepen the spiritual missions of both traditions. (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)
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, widely recognized as one of the most important yet difficult philosophers of the 20th century. In this much-needed introduction, Davis unpacks the concepts at the centre of Levinas's thought - alterity, the Other, the Face, infinity - concepts which have previously presented readers with major problems of interpretation. Davis traces the development of Levinas's thought over six decades, describing the context in which he worked, (...) and the impact of his writings. He argues that Levinas's work remains tied to the ontological tradition with which he wants to break, and demonstrates how his later writing tries to overcome this dependency by its increasingly disruptive, sometimes opaque, textual practice. He discusses Levinas's theological writings and his relationship to Judaism, as well as the reception of his work by contemporary thinkers, arguing that the influence of his work has led to a growing interest in ethical issues among poststructuralist and postmodernist thinkers in recent years. Comprehensive and clearly written, this book will be essential reading for students and researchers in continental philosophy, French studies, literary theory and theology. (shrink)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical (...) philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis is the only book to combine cultural theory and environmental philosophy. In it, Arran Gare analyses the conjunction between the environmental crisis, the globalisation of capitalism and the disintegration of the culture of modernity. It explains the paradox of growing concern for the environment and the paltry achievements of environmental movements. Through a critique of the philosophies underlying approaches to the environmental crisis, Arran Gare puts forward his own, controversial theory of a new postmodern (...) world view. This would be the foundation for the environmental movement to succeed. Arran Gare's work will be a vital reading for advanced students of environmental studies, as well as for environmental philosophers and cultural theorists. (shrink)
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)
Pushing past the constraints of postmodernism which cast "reason" and"religion" in opposition, God, the Gift, and Postmodernism, seizes the opportunity to question the authority of "the modern" and open the limits of possible experience, including the call to religious experience, as a new millennium approaches. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, engages with Jean-Luc Marion and other religious philosophers to entertain questions about intention, givenness, and possibility which reveal the extent to which deconstruction is structured like religion. New (...) interpretations of Kant, Heidegger, Husserl, and Derrida emerge from essays and discussions with distinguished philosophers and theologians from the United States and Europe. The result is that God, the Gift, and Postmodernism elaborates a radical phenomenology that stretches the limits of its possibility and explores areas where philosophy and religion have become increasingly and surprisingly convergent. Contributors include: John D. Caputo, John Dominic Crossan, Jacques Derrida, Robert Dodaro, Richard Kearney, Jean-Luc Marion, Frangoise Meltzer, Michael J. Scanlon, Mark C. Taylor, David Tracy, Merold Westphal and Edith Wyschogrod. (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)
"In this exciting and important work, Wyschogrod attempts to read contemporary ethical theory against the vast unwieldy tapestry that is postmodernism.... [A] provocative and timely study."—Michael Gareffa, _Theological Studies_ "A 'must' for readers interested in the borderlands between philosophy, hagiography, and ethics."—Mark I. Wallace, _Religious Studies Review_.
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)
This book was written with a view to sorting our some of the muddles and misreadings - especially misreadings of Kant - that have charaterized recent postmodernist and post-structuralist thought. For these issues have a relevance, as Norris argues, far beyond the academic enclaves of philosophy, literary theory, and cultural criticism. Thus he makes large claims for the importance of getting Kant right on the relation between epistemology, ethics and aesthetics; for pursuing the Kantian question 'What is Enlightenment?' as raised (...) in Foucault's late essays; or again, for recalling William Empson's spirited attempt to reassert the values of reason and truth against the orthodox 'lit crit' wisdom of his time. These are specialized concerns. But for better or worse it has been largely in the context of 'theory'- that capacious though ill-defined genre- that such issues have received their most scrutiny over the past two decades. As its title suggests, The Truth About Postmodernism disputes a good deal of what currently passes for advance theoretical wisdom. Above all it mounts a challenge to those fashionable doctrines - variants of the 'end-of-ideology' theme - that assimilate truth to some existing range of language-games, discourses, or in-place consensus beliefs. Norris's book will be welcomed for its clarity of style, its depth of philosophical engagement, and its refusal to endorse the more facile varieties of present-day textualist thought. It will also serve as a timely reminder that the 'politics of theory' cannot be practised in safe isolation from the politics of activist social concern. (shrink)
Explanations of former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s public and private views on the aetiology of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country remain partial at best without the recognition that the latter presuppose and imply a postmodernist/postcolonialist philosophy of science that erases the line separating the political from the scientific. Evidence from Mbeki’s public speeches, interviews, and private and anonymous writings suggests that it was postmodernist/postcolonialist theory that inspired him to doubt the “Western” scientific consensus on HIV/AIDS and to implement (...) a public health policy that dragged its feet on full roll-out of antiretroviral therapy, causing thousands of avoidable deaths. A weak reductio ad absurdum allows us to conclude from this premise that postmodernist/postcolonial critique of “Western” science ought to be shunned. A comparative argument from consequences further suggests that in a situation where a misguided health policy has lead to a humanitarian catastrophe, and where postmodernist/postcolonialist critique of science can and has been used to justify this policy, an alternative theory ought to be preferred on which such justification would not be possible. The paper closes with a call for a non-relativist alternative to postmodernist/postcolonialist philosophy of science, and evaluates the potential of recent developments in ‘Studies of Expertise” to yield such. (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)
Therapeutic touch, a healing technique based upon the laying‐on of hands, has found wide acceptance in the nursing profession despite its lack of scientific plausibility. Its acceptance is indicative of a broad antiscientific trend in nursing. Adherents of this movement use the jargon of postmodern philosophy to justify their enthusiasm for a variety of mystically based techniques, citing such postmodern critics of science as Derrida and Michel Foucault as well as philosophical forerunners Heidegger and Husserl. Between 1997 and 1999, 94 (...) articles in nursing journals referred to postmodernism, according to a database search. This paper criticizes the postmodern movement for abandoning the biological underpinnings of nursing and for misreading philosophy in the service of an antiscientific world‐view. It is also suggested that nursing can retain its tradition of ‘caring’ without abandoning the scientific method. (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.
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)
This book is intended not only for scholars and students in humanities, history (esp. the history of ideas), Jewish studies, philosophy (esp. the history of philosophy), and Christian theology, but also for those concerned with the roots of anti-Semitism and with the need for toleration and intercultural pluralism. Modernity and the Final Aim of History: * Combines the development of German philosophy from the Enlightenment to Idealism, and from Idealism to the revolutionary turning-point of the mid-nineteenth century with the Jewish (...) question; * Shows the close entwining of anti-Jewish prejudices with awareness of the importance of Judaism in the formation of modern thought; * Points out the hopes, obstacles, compromises, and disappointments of Jewish emancipation right up to the appearance of racial anti-Semitism; * Traces the changes in the debate over Judaism from the theological perspective to the philosophical and from the philosophical to that of the economic and naturalistic; * Underlines the dangers to toleration that arise from seeing human history as directed towards a single aim; *Can be used in university courses and seminars, as well as in research groups. (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)
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)
This article approaches Judaism through Rabbi Bradley S. Artson’s book, God of Becoming and Relationships: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology. It explores his understanding of how Jewish theology should and does cohere with central features of both process theology and Robert S. Hartman’s formal axiology. These include the axiological/process concept of God, the intrinsic value and valuation of God and unique human beings, and Jewish extrinsic and systemic values, value combinations, and value rankings.
Hermann Cohen's Religion of Reason, Out of the Sources of Judaism is widely taken to be the greatest work in Jewish philosophy and religious thought since Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed. It is at once a Jewish book and a philosophical one: Jewish because it takes its material from the literary tradition that extends from the bible to the rabbis to the great medieval philosophers; philosophical because it studies that material in order to construct a worldview that is rational (...) in the broadest sense of the term. This edition reprints a 1972 introduction by Leo Strauss and includes an essay on the work by Steven Schwarzchild. A new introduction by Kenneth R. Seeskin situates Cohen's masterwork in the history of modern philosophical and religious thought. (shrink)
Despite the flood of philosophical texts on postmodernism, relatively few attempts have been made to gauge the importance of postmodern ideas for the philosophy of science. However, Lyotard's enormously influential text The postmodern condition (1979) focussed on science and knowledge. He put the term metanarrative (grand narrative) into circulation. Lyotard defines the term modern to refer to the way in which science tries to legitimate its own status by means of philosophical discourse which appeal to some kind of grand (...) narrative (Lyotard 1984:xxiii). Science needs to legitimate itself as being true knowledge by making use of another kind of knowledge, which Lyotard calls narrative knowledge (Lyotard 1984:29,30). Without this legitimation science would presuppose its own validity and proceed on prejudice (Lyotard 1984:29). He examines two such grand narratives that previously legitimated science in the modern world, but now have lost their credibility. One is science as the liberator of humanity and the other science as a good influence on the character of its participants. He describes his now famous definition of the concept postmodern, namely an incredulity toward metanarratives, as being extremely simplified (Lyotard 1984:xxiv). Lyotard (1984:18-27) also strongly focuses attention on the important role of narratives in human life in that narratives provide a certain kind of knowledge that cannot be had in any other way. He regards narrative and scientific knowledge as two distinct species of discourse (Lyotard 1984:26-27), which both fulfill legitimate functions and no one's existence is more or less necessary than the other's. Lyotard himself sees the function of legitimation as the primary role for narrative knowledge, and discusses it mostly in that context (1984:27-37). In this article I want to look at philosophers who give different appraisals of the merits of postmodern ideas - with Lyotardian ones featuring prominently - for philosophy of science and our understanding of science. I will examine the attempts by Nancey Murphy (1990), Pauline-Marie Rosenau (1992), Zuzana Parusnikova (1992) and Joseph Rouse (1990, 1991a, 1991b) to develop (or reject) a postmodern philosophy of science. In a final section I will determine the worth of their views for our understanding of science and philosophy of science. (shrink)
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)
: The founders of American pragmatism proposed what they regarded as a radical alternative to the philosophical methods and doctrines of their predecessors and contemporaries. Although their central ideas have been understood and applied in some quarters, there remain other areas within which they have been neither appreciated nor appropriated. One of the more pressing of these areas locates a set of problems of knowledge and valuation related to global citizenship. This essay attempts to demonstrate that classical American pragmatism, because (...) its methods are modeled on successes in the technosciences, offers a set of tools for fostering global citizenship that are more effective than the tools of some of its alternatives. First, pragmatism claims to discover a strain of human commonality that trumps the radical postmodernist emphasis on difference and discontinuity. Second, when pragmatism's theory of truth is coupled with its moderate version of cultural relativism, the more skeptical postmodernist version known as “cognitive” relativism is undercut. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief (...) treatment of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (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)
Although postmodernist thought has become prominent in some educational circles, its influence on science education has until recently been rather minor. This paper examines the proposal of Michalinos Zembylas, published earlier in this journal, that Lyotardian postmodernism should be applied to science educational reform in order to achieve the much sought after positive transformation. As a preliminary to this examination several critical points are raised about Lyotard's philosophy of education and philosophy of science which serve to challenge and undermine (...) Zembylas’ project. Subsequently, the three main theses of Lyotard that Zembylas considers beneficial and wishes to transpose onto science classrooms and pedagogy are scrutinized and found to be more of a hindrance than a help to curriculum reformers. (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)
The wide range of views and practices represent some aggressively postmodern approaches and some profound skepticism about postmodernism. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
Across four decades of writing, Levinas repeatedly referred to the Holocaust as ‘the Passion of Israel at Auschwitz’. This deliberately Christological interpretation of the Holocaust raises questions about the respective roles of Judaism and Christianity in Levinas’ thought and seems at odds with his well-known view that suffering is ‘useless’. Basing my interpretation on the journals Levinas wrote as a prisoner of war and a radio talk he delivered in September 1945, I argue that his philosophical project is best (...) understood as an ontological rendering of Judaism that accounts for the opening or transcendence of sense and intelligibility. Judaism provides Levinas with a salient critique of liberal and idealist philosophies of the subject and an alternative to fundamental ontology. I show how Levinas’ account of the ‘Passion of Israel’ can be read within the exegetical history of Jewish accounts of divine suffering and thereby effects a reversal of the Christian typological gaze. I conclude by suggesting that Levinas’ recourse to Judaism as a philosophical category does not assume a dogmatic origin to philosophy but ‘formally indicates’, in the Heideggerian sense, the phenomenological origins of normativity. In this respect, the ‘Passion of Israel’ involves not only a reversal of the Christian typological gaze but also a deconstruction of Judaism. (shrink)
Argument, in any full sense of the word, needs resources and assumptions that postmodernism does not provide. Postmodernism is not a phenomenon that emerged ‘after modernism,’ as it were, to replace it; postmodernism is just an ultimate expression of the nihilistic tendencies of modernism, tendencies which were present from its beginning and have continued to the present. A radical critique of modernism undercuts postmodernism as well and clears the way for a revival of realist foundations for (...) argument and rhetoric. (shrink)
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 paper counters Blake's (1996) claim that educational neo-Marxism 'died' in the 1970s through demonstrating that there has been a substantial output of neo-Marxist educational writings since 1980. Blake also promotes postmodernism as a resource for rejuvenating educational theory. The paper demonstrates that postmodernism is inadequate as a basis for rethinking educational theory and for forging a radical educational politics.
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.