Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Postmodern Snapshot

Postmodernists appear to claim that their own assertions about the modern era, about how language and consciousness work and so on are true and rational. They write literary texts and protest when people misinterpret the author’s intent in their own writings, they purport to give us the real essence of what language is and how language works, and claim superiority for postmodernism compared to other views.

Everything is relative to ways of talking about things, except what the postmodernist has to say about ways of talking about things.

Postmodern analysis of knowledge is as much a single grand universal metanarrative account as any that it criticizes.

Is the truth of postmodernism objectively out there?

Postmodernists at least mimic assuming that their own assertions are true and rational.

And postmodernists have no alternatives to truth, rationality and so on that could possibly make sense of or clarify their own claims or attempted refutations of modernism and other perspectives.

And if postmodernism is not offering itself as true, rational and capable of being understood by careful interpretation of postmodernist writings, it’s not self-refuting. But there’s still no reason to accept it, since it would not be claiming to be true, rational or understandable, something that anyone ought to believe. A postmodernist could not recommend their views to others and there would be no point in communicating those views, like they constantly do.

So is postmodernism itself merely rhetoric motivated by power or merely, as Nietzsche termed it, the lust to scold other people in some moral-like way?

While passion or commitment to a specific view may induce some people to exaggerate, is that any more likely than the same things motivating people to be all the more meticulous and accurate so as not to compromise the credibility of the message they’re trying to communicate? And what about those accusations of bias themselves?

And if postmodern notions of practical rationality are radically relative to the community, if there's no basis for criticising history, then there's no basis on which you can advocate any specific purpose for dialogue or practical rationality itself, including the believing, advocating or even communicating the theories of subjectivism or relativism or reductionism or anti-realism.

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