Friday, October 16, 2009

Because People Keep Asking Me: What Postmodernism is.

Postmodernism- a word that people my age aren't familiar with, and should be. Postmodernism is a worldview.

First of all- what is a worldview anyway? A worldview consists of ten different areas and how we answer the questions they raise:

THEOLOGY: Is there a God, and what is God like?
PHILOSOPHY: What is real, and what can we know?
BIOLOGY: What is the origin of life?
PSYCHOLOGY: What is human nature?
ETHICS: What is the foundation for morals?
SOCIOLOGY: What is the optimum social structure?
LAW: What is the basis for law?
ECONOMICS: What produces a sound economy?
POLITICS: What is the best form of government?
HISTORY: How should we interpret human events?

Here is the Postmodern way of answering these questions, according to Nietzsche, Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty (all famous Postmodernists):

Theology: Atheism/ Pluralism

Philosophy: Anti- realism/ Anti- foundationalism

Biology: Chance Evolution

Psychology: Socially constructed self

Ethics: Culturally constructed values, relativism

Sociology: Multiculturalism - all societies have equally valid stories

Law: Critical Legal Studies

Economics: Socialism, Interventionism

Politics: Political Correctness - words are tools for power/ World Government

History: Revisionism

**and finally the ideal cultural structure: Dadaism in art, Deconstructionism (language is socially constructed) for Literature, and Nihilism for movies & music

So, essentially, Postmodernism says that there is no truth, there is no right or wrong; to reject all other philosophies and is characterized by nihilism and radical subjectivity. Everything is personal- nothing is true, there is no such thing as a lie because there is no truth.

***Nihilism: Latin: "nihil" meaning " nothing" -theory which ascribes the universe as meaningless and without purpose

****Dadaism: the style and techniques of a group of artists, writers, etc., of the early 20th century who exploited accidental and incongruous effects in their work and who programmatically challenged established canons of art, thought, morality, etc.

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