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Post-Modernist Philosophy

CosmicAlfonzo
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1/20/2011 8:08:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Opinions

Mine...

*facepalm*

Wasn't that enlightening?

Now yours.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
PoeJoe
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1/20/2011 11:29:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but postmodernism is more of a literature/art movement than it is an academic philosophy. I say this, because the whole point of postmodernism is that nothing makes sense, there is no meaning in anything, and there is no point in trying to find meaning... which is interesting and provocative and really great stuff to write about (e.g., disillusionment), but, I mean, philosophically, it doesn't really get you anywhere, does it? The whole point in philosophy is to find some truth... not like art where artists instead try and portray how things feel to them.

As a side note, I find postmodern literature fascinating, especially its aesthetics and conceits... irony, contradictions, absurdity, intertextuality, meta-referencing... makes for some great fun.
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TheSkeptic
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1/21/2011 12:15:29 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Nah, there is a tradition in philosophy which can be sensibly labeled as post-modern - Foucault, Heidegger, Baudrillard, etc.
CosmicAlfonzo
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1/21/2011 5:26:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
When I think of Post-Modern Philosophy, I think of the New Age movement.

It pretty much sums it up to me.

Though I could just be grossly misinformed.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Curious22
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1/22/2011 9:29:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's a legitimate philosophical movement. It doesn't make you feel good like the ancient greeks did, but helps people form insight into todays culture.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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1/22/2011 9:31:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/22/2011 9:29:28 PM, Curious22 wrote:
It doesn't make you feel good like the ancient greeks did, but helps people sound sophisticated while being devoid of any real content.

i agree!
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
CosmicAlfonzo
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1/23/2011 10:51:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
lulolololololo
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Noumena
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2/5/2013 9:23:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Post modernism isn't New Agey really, though it can give off that impression at first glance (I had the same thought). The post modern philosophical program is really just about deconstructing the classical philosophical approach i.e., one that focuses on truth claims, a correct understanding of reality (subjects observing objects), universalizing tendencies, etc.

In this general sense, we could call Kant, Kuhn/Popper, Marx (and later Marxists) and Nietzsche all post-modernists. Some famous ones (who were a bit more explicitly post modern) were Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/5/2013 11:29:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 9:23:44 AM, Noumena wrote:
Post modernism isn't New Agey really, though it can give off that impression at first glance (I had the same thought). The post modern philosophical program is really just about deconstructing the classical philosophical approach i.e., one that focuses on truth claims, a correct understanding of reality (subjects observing objects), universalizing tendencies, etc.

That is what some postmodernists believe, but not all, and not even most tbh. It is an incredulity towards meta-narratives, rejecting complete views of the world in things like sentence philosophies.

In this general sense, we could call Kant, Kuhn/Popper, Marx (and later Marxists) and Nietzsche all post-modernists. Some famous ones (who were a bit more explicitly post modern) were Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault.

As such, Kant is not postmodern, Marx certainly is not, as in they both are anti-postmodern. By contrast, Kuhn, popper, and Nietzsche are apathetic.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Noumena
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2/5/2013 11:39:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 11:29:57 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/5/2013 9:23:44 AM, Noumena wrote:
Post modernism isn't New Agey really, though it can give off that impression at first glance (I had the same thought). The post modern philosophical program is really just about deconstructing the classical philosophical approach i.e., one that focuses on truth claims, a correct understanding of reality (subjects observing objects), universalizing tendencies, etc.

That is what some postmodernists believe, but not all, and not even most tbh. It is an incredulity towards meta-narratives, rejecting complete views of the world in things like sentence philosophies.

I know, Lyotard and all. Still, what you're describing is the conclusion, not the methodology which is what I was sort of getting at.

In this general sense, we could call Kant, Kuhn/Popper, Marx (and later Marxists) and Nietzsche all post-modernists. Some famous ones (who were a bit more explicitly post modern) were Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault.

As such, Kant is not postmodern, Marx certainly is not, as in they both are anti-postmodern.

By postmodern I mean disbelieving (in fact arguing against) the classical approaches of philosophy (e.g. foundationalism). Kant certainly took that approach with the phenomenal/noumenal distinction. With Marx, I might be more correct to ascribe it to a lot of more contemporary Marxist (and "left wing") philosophers like Zizek. But even Marx criticized a lot of the science of his day as presupposing "bourgeois" values or existing in order to further class interests. Can't one ascribe this sort of thinking to the methodology of post modernism?

By contrast, Kuhn, popper, and Nietzsche are apathetic.

Define apathetic. I know Nietzsche has a relativistic phase, claiming everything was perspective and he generally disavowed universalized, truth claims. On Kuhn and Popper, I'm referring to the fact that their respective philosophies of science lent themselves to post modern conclusions. On Popper, we can never know the truth, we can only know what isn't. And Kuhn's entire approach was relativistic (i.e., analyzing scientific periods in terms of paradigms).
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/5/2013 1:17:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 11:39:12 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/5/2013 11:29:57 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
That is what some postmodernists believe, but not all, and not even most tbh. It is an incredulity towards meta-narratives, rejecting complete views of the world in things like sentence philosophies.

I know, Lyotard and all. Still, what you're describing is the conclusion, not the methodology which is what I was sort of getting at.

That'd be like trying to find the ethics of positivism, or the grade of a tuna sandwich: there isn't one. A methodology is a metanarrative, like Hegelian dialectics. Even when posting this, I need to have a caveat of most postmodernists, because the fact that any definition will be wrong is a necessary truth. Postmodernism is a group that we can add things to, rather than a specific definition. It's more like "blue" than "cat": we can point to it when we see it, but if we start to make a definition, we'll add and take people from the group where inappropriate.

If we said those who deconstuct the classical philosophical approach, then almost everyone from Socrates and Sophists to Hegel, Marx and Feuerbach and Hume, Kant, and the Enlightenment thinkers through to all modern philosophers regarding analytical or continental philosophy. That'd be too broad, and add people that no-one would sanely call postmodern.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
KeytarHero
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2/5/2013 1:32:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/22/2011 9:29:28 PM, Curious22 wrote:
It's a legitimate philosophical movement. It doesn't make you feel good like the ancient greeks did, but helps people form insight into todays culture.

It's not a legitimate philosophical movement, and I don't know of any academic philosophers who take it seriously. Especially the belief that morals are relative. There's a whole field of Ethics in philosophy devoted to trying to figure out how best to live our lives as moral agents.
Kinesis
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2/5/2013 1:42:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 1:32:28 PM, KeytarHero wrote:
At 1/22/2011 9:29:28 PM, Curious22 wrote:
It's a legitimate philosophical movement. It doesn't make you feel good like the ancient greeks did, but helps people form insight into todays culture.

It's not a legitimate philosophical movement, and I don't know of any academic philosophers who take it seriously. Especially the belief that morals are relative. There's a whole field of Ethics in philosophy devoted to trying to figure out how best to live our lives as moral agents.

The belief that morality makes truth claims and is relative might not be taken seriously, but the claim that morality boils down to mere preferences in the vein of aesthetic judgement certainly is.
daerice
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2/5/2013 1:48:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
When I was in the philosophy program at UW Seattle, I learned that philosophy programs in general are divided into two schools of thought: Analytic and Continental.
The Analytic side wants philosophy to remain more like a science. They rely on the classics, Greeks, Modernists and Positivist like Popper, Ayers, Nussbaum, and Kuhn, to feed their fire.
The Continental side it more interested in writing, words, and language, and it is here that one will find a more post-modern slant. The continental side boasts thinkers like Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Wittgenstein, etc....
UW Seattle is Analytic, at least it was between 2003-2005. I remember once in a class with the department chair some boy raised his hand and asked "Are we going to read any Derrida?"
The professor's face turned hard and he answered, "If you want to read THAT, you can go down to the Literature department, because, let me assure you young man, Derrida is NOT philosophy."
So I got this totally Analytic education at UW Seattle, but then I did my graduate work in Performance Art in UNR, and that Art program is SUPER post-modern and continental....so there I had to read Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Derrida, Duchamp and Cage etc.
After three years of reading post modern "literature" or whatever you want to call it, I admit that I have a fair grasp of the term, but it still exists in more of a cloud-like state in my consciousness.

And to address some other comments on this thread....post-modernism does seem to be more useful in art theory than general social theory (but that's just my personal experience).
Kinesis
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2/5/2013 2:08:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 1:48:43 PM, daerice wrote:
When I was in the philosophy program at UW Seattle, I learned that philosophy programs in general are divided into two schools of thought: Analytic and Continental.
The Analytic side wants philosophy to remain more like a science. They rely on the classics, Greeks, Modernists and Positivist like Popper, Ayers, Nussbaum, and Kuhn, to feed their fire.
The Continental side it more interested in writing, words, and language, and it is here that one will find a more post-modern slant. The continental side boasts thinkers like Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Wittgenstein, etc....
UW Seattle is Analytic, at least it was between 2003-2005. I remember once in a class with the department chair some boy raised his hand and asked "Are we going to read any Derrida?"
The professor's face turned hard and he answered, "If you want to read THAT, you can go down to the Literature department, because, let me assure you young man, Derrida is NOT philosophy."
So I got this totally Analytic education at UW Seattle, but then I did my graduate work in Performance Art in UNR, and that Art program is SUPER post-modern and continental....so there I had to read Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Derrida, Duchamp and Cage etc.
After three years of reading post modern "literature" or whatever you want to call it, I admit that I have a fair grasp of the term, but it still exists in more of a cloud-like state in my consciousness.

And to address some other comments on this thread....post-modernism does seem to be more useful in art theory than general social theory (but that's just my personal experience).

Wittgenstein? Wittgenstein practically invented analytic philosophy (which is pretty funny considering he set out to destroy philosophy). I wouldn't group him in with the postmodernists.
Franz_Reynard
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2/5/2013 2:31:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I rather enjoy post-modernist philosophical explorations. They are often more relevant to contemporary society than preceding philosophies.

"This is not a pipe."

Indeed.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/5/2013 2:36:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 1:32:28 PM, KeytarHero wrote:
At 1/22/2011 9:29:28 PM, Curious22 wrote:
It's a legitimate philosophical movement. It doesn't make you feel good like the ancient greeks did, but helps people form insight into todays culture.

It's not a legitimate philosophical movement, and I don't know of any academic philosophers who take it seriously.

Any philosopher that doesn't take it seriously, as well in other fields especially history, is regarded as an idiot. It's like not taking empiricism seriously: it's idiotically narrow-minded. Not narrow-minded because-you-disagree narrowminded, but narrow-minded ignoring-the-most-important-philosophical-developement-of-the-twentieth-century-as-irrelevant narrowminded.

No theory has had such a large influential reach as postmodernism.

Almost all the major philosophers (inc. theologians) have had to contend with postmodernism when making their theories because the argumentation is so strong and overreaching.

In short, ignoring postmodernism is just foolish.

Especially the belief that morals are relative. There's a whole field of Ethics in philosophy devoted to trying to figure out how best to live our lives as moral agents.

And ethical relativism has became its most popular compared to the rest of historical time, except perhaps when the Sophists dominated, due to the postmodern movement. Ironically, its best contenders are the existentialists, who usually take some form of postmodern thought anyway to come to either a universal prescriptive theory or moral structures based on human action, rather than extra-human systems.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
daerice
Posts: 23
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2/5/2013 2:39:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:08:19 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Wittgenstein? Wittgenstein practically invented analytic philosophy (which is pretty funny considering he set out to destroy philosophy). I wouldn't group him in with the postmodernists.

Sure, you could be right, he just wasn't a big part of the curriculum at UW Seattle.
I'm only aware of his "beetle in the box" thought experiment.....which does seem rather analytic in its premise.
daerice
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2/5/2013 2:42:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
And ethical relativism has became its most popular compared to the rest of historical time, except perhaps when the Sophists dominated, due to the postmodern movement. Ironically, its best contenders are the existentialists, who usually take some form of postmodern thought anyway to come to either a universal prescriptive theory or moral structures based on human action, rather than extra-human systems.

When I took Philosophy of Human Rights from Talbott:http://www.phil.washington.edu...
He convinced us that ethical relativism is false and that it is a basically a misguided idea conceived of by anthropologists in the 1940s and 1950s.
Franz_Reynard
Posts: 1,227
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2/5/2013 2:45:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 1:48:43 PM, daerice wrote:
When I was in the philosophy program at UW Seattle, I learned that philosophy programs in general are divided into two schools of thought: Analytic and Continental.
The Analytic side wants philosophy to remain more like a science. They rely on the classics, Greeks, Modernists and Positivist like Popper, Ayers, Nussbaum, and Kuhn, to feed their fire.
The Continental side it more interested in writing, words, and language, and it is here that one will find a more post-modern slant. The continental side boasts thinkers like Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Wittgenstein, etc....
UW Seattle is Analytic, at least it was between 2003-2005. I remember once in a class with the department chair some boy raised his hand and asked "Are we going to read any Derrida?"
The professor's face turned hard and he answered, "If you want to read THAT, you can go down to the Literature department, because, let me assure you young man, Derrida is NOT philosophy."
So I got this totally Analytic education at UW Seattle, but then I did my graduate work in Performance Art in UNR, and that Art program is SUPER post-modern and continental....so there I had to read Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Derrida, Duchamp and Cage etc.
After three years of reading post modern "literature" or whatever you want to call it, I admit that I have a fair grasp of the term, but it still exists in more of a cloud-like state in my consciousness.

And to address some other comments on this thread....post-modernism does seem to be more useful in art theory than general social theory (but that's just my personal experience).

Really?? I completely disagree.

I likewise notice that it's art history majors that usually study post-modernism, but I disagree that it should be excluded from philosophy altogether, or that it is irrelevant to general social theory.

If you really think about it, the arts are actually either an exploration, reflection, or conversation about the society from which it derives. Post modernism takes it a step further, bridging the relevance between art and society, as well as gleaning from art the many statements that artists make about their society.

It is undeniable that the arts are a major impetus of society in general. From propaganda and advertisement to the formation of artistic appeal as a necessary part of engineering and architecture to the artistic expression of the individual as a part of how that person presents him or herself to the rest of society, art moves through society like blood.

Post modernism explores these expressions in an attempt to develop a greater understanding of the implications of those facts in general, as well as their specific manifestations.

I'd say, to a great degree, that makes Post Modernism even more relevant than many other forms of philosophy.
Franz_Reynard
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2/5/2013 2:45:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:36:34 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 2/5/2013 1:32:28 PM, KeytarHero wrote:
At 1/22/2011 9:29:28 PM, Curious22 wrote:
It's a legitimate philosophical movement. It doesn't make you feel good like the ancient greeks did, but helps people form insight into todays culture.

It's not a legitimate philosophical movement, and I don't know of any academic philosophers who take it seriously.

Any philosopher that doesn't take it seriously, as well in other fields especially history, is regarded as an idiot. It's like not taking empiricism seriously: it's idiotically narrow-minded. Not narrow-minded because-you-disagree narrowminded, but narrow-minded ignoring-the-most-important-philosophical-developement-of-the-twentieth-century-as-irrelevant narrowminded.

No theory has had such a large influential reach as postmodernism.

Almost all the major philosophers (inc. theologians) have had to contend with postmodernism when making their theories because the argumentation is so strong and overreaching.

In short, ignoring postmodernism is just foolish.

Especially the belief that morals are relative. There's a whole field of Ethics in philosophy devoted to trying to figure out how best to live our lives as moral agents.

And ethical relativism has became its most popular compared to the rest of historical time, except perhaps when the Sophists dominated, due to the postmodern movement. Ironically, its best contenders are the existentialists, who usually take some form of postmodern thought anyway to come to either a universal prescriptive theory or moral structures based on human action, rather than extra-human systems.

Truth, truth, truth.
Noumena
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2/5/2013 2:49:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:42:32 PM, daerice wrote:
And ethical relativism has became its most popular compared to the rest of historical time, except perhaps when the Sophists dominated, due to the postmodern movement. Ironically, its best contenders are the existentialists, who usually take some form of postmodern thought anyway to come to either a universal prescriptive theory or moral structures based on human action, rather than extra-human systems.

When I took Philosophy of Human Rights from Talbott:http://www.phil.washington.edu...
He convinced us that ethical relativism is false and that it is a basically a misguided idea conceived of by anthropologists in the 1940s and 1950s.

In a sense I agree with that. Any discussion of relativism invariably devolves into anthropological accounts of the variance of our moral systems. Realists try to counter with common "baseline" beliefs but doing so is to give in to a false methodology. Descriptive =/= normative is basically a fail-safe response to that point.

Not to say that refutes relativism, it's just a good counter to that specific, and all too common, argument.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Noumena
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2/5/2013 2:50:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 1:17:45 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:

That'd be like trying to find the ethics of positivism, or the grade of a tuna sandwich: there isn't one. A methodology is a metanarrative, like Hegelian dialectics. Even when posting this, I need to have a caveat of most postmodernists, because the fact that any definition will be wrong is a necessary truth. Postmodernism is a group that we can add things to, rather than a specific definition. It's more like "blue" than "cat": we can point to it when we see it, but if we start to make a definition, we'll add and take people from the group where inappropriate.

If we said those who deconstuct the classical philosophical approach, then almost everyone from Socrates and Sophists to Hegel, Marx and Feuerbach and Hume, Kant, and the Enlightenment thinkers through to all modern philosophers regarding analytical or continental philosophy. That'd be too broad, and add people that no-one would sanely call postmodern.

Perhaps I was being too broad. How would you define post modernism and identify post modern philosophers?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
daerice
Posts: 23
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2/5/2013 2:53:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:45:08 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
Really?? I completely disagree.

I likewise notice that it's art history majors that usually study post-modernism, but I disagree that it should be excluded from philosophy altogether, or that it is irrelevant to general social theory.

My graduate degree is in the conceptual arts, so that's the extent of my knowledge. I wouldn't say it's USELESS to other fields, it just seemed appropriate to mine. I would never exclude it from philosophical study. I don't even agree with the divide in the field....but I'm not making normative statements, just sharing my own experience.
Franz_Reynard
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2/5/2013 2:55:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:53:01 PM, daerice wrote:
At 2/5/2013 2:45:08 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
Really?? I completely disagree.

I likewise notice that it's art history majors that usually study post-modernism, but I disagree that it should be excluded from philosophy altogether, or that it is irrelevant to general social theory.

My graduate degree is in the conceptual arts, so that's the extent of my knowledge. I wouldn't say it's USELESS to other fields, it just seemed appropriate to mine. I would never exclude it from philosophical study. I don't even agree with the divide in the field....but I'm not making normative statements, just sharing my own experience.

Oh, I'm not accusing you of anything, just making conversation.

You just seem rather artistically inclined, so it was surprising that you may have considered art separate of social theory.

I guess I read into your post all wrong.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/5/2013 2:58:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:42:32 PM, daerice wrote:
And ethical relativism has became its most popular compared to the rest of historical time, except perhaps when the Sophists dominated, due to the postmodern movement. Ironically, its best contenders are the existentialists, who usually take some form of postmodern thought anyway to come to either a universal prescriptive theory or moral structures based on human action, rather than extra-human systems.

When I took Philosophy of Human Rights from Talbott:http://www.phil.washington.edu...
He convinced us that ethical relativism is false and that it is a basically a misguided idea conceived of by anthropologists in the 1940s and 1950s.

To be fair, I was a bit brash with what I said: natural law theorists/natural ethicists e.g. Finnis and Grisez pose a good argument as contending to postmodern relativism. However, I've seen no argument exposing a massive flaw in postmodern thinking. Personally, I feel that the Human Rights debate has taken a road down the wrong root, and would be better off rethinking its position. Human Rights arguments, I personally know of many due to work with UN, are usually based on some idealistic, optimistic view that Western values are right, and postmodernism simply beats the living arse out of it.

However, I have not heard of any arguments from Talbott (though I have heard of the name). Any rough arguments by him would be appreciated to look at. Thanks.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
daerice
Posts: 23
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2/5/2013 3:01:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:55:38 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
I guess I read into your post all wrong.

Well, I am multi-tasking at work....so I maybe causing confusion. No offense taken.
We are discussing a broad and complex school of thought -and there are so many angles to take. I'm just throwing confetti...making conversation.
Stephen_Hawkins
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2/5/2013 3:13:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:50:21 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/5/2013 1:17:45 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:

That'd be like trying to find the ethics of positivism, or the grade of a tuna sandwich: there isn't one. A methodology is a metanarrative, like Hegelian dialectics. Even when posting this, I need to have a caveat of most postmodernists, because the fact that any definition will be wrong is a necessary truth. Postmodernism is a group that we can add things to, rather than a specific definition. It's more like "blue" than "cat": we can point to it when we see it, but if we start to make a definition, we'll add and take people from the group where inappropriate.

If we said those who deconstuct the classical philosophical approach, then almost everyone from Socrates and Sophists to Hegel, Marx and Feuerbach and Hume, Kant, and the Enlightenment thinkers through to all modern philosophers regarding analytical or continental philosophy. That'd be too broad, and add people that no-one would sanely call postmodern.

Perhaps I was being too broad. How would you define post modernism and identify post modern philosophers?

Badly.

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Postmodernism can only really be defined by the people inside it having similar ideas. Similar to the idea of "games", there's similar properties of the people, but using that as defining features is going to cause problems. I'd say an incredulity towards metanarratives is a universal theme among postmodernists, as well as an emphasis on relationships between objects and subjects rather than their absolute value, but even then I'd say that tentatively.

In short, I wouldn't try to define postmodernism in the same way I'd define "cat". I'd define it similar to how I'd define "yellow", or G.E.Moore defines good and bad in Common Sense. Basically something you just kinda "get" after reading enough postmodernists.

If someone comes up with a good defining characteristic, I'll accept it. However, I've seen many and seen just as many problems, personally. I imagine in future we'll just call postmodernists those who came about in the 1950s to early 21st century movement (simply because I can see it evolving into something else).
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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2/5/2013 3:15:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/5/2013 2:58:01 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Personally, I feel that the Human Rights debate has taken a road down the wrong root, and would be better off rethinking its position. Human Rights arguments, I personally know of many due to work with UN, are usually based on some idealistic, optimistic view that Western values are right, and postmodernism simply beats the living arse out of it.

However, I have not heard of any arguments from Talbott (though I have heard of the name). Any rough arguments by him would be appreciated to look at. Thanks.

Quickly...and terribly simplified. The original arguments for ethical relativism came from anthropologist who were horrified by what the Spaniards had done in Mesoamerica...they wanted to find a way to say "The Spaniards were wrong to impose their paradigm on the native Americans" - so the best way seemed to be embracing an ethical relativism and granting all cultures equal right to express themselves as they choose. But this is flawed from the basis because you can't say the Spaniards were wrong to perpetrate horror against the natives if you grant them equality with regard to their moral system. You would have to say, "The Spaniards were just being themselves and they have the right to be that, as much as they natives do - even if it means committing genocide, infanticide, wide spread rape etc." So the argument for ethical relativism doesn't get us anywhere. We are left in the same position - without a justification for condemning atrocity.
Now...some would say there is no such thing as "atrocity" or acts which are always wrong, in any culture, or in any situation, but after much thought, I disagree.
I do think there are some things which are wrong all the time ex.: the torture of children for fun and profit.
If I am a moral relativist I have no position in which I can stand and say, "that's wrong" - and I consider myself a moral being, so the position is not tenable for me.
I do think something are just always wrong....and I reserve the right to make moral judgements.

Hope that helps! (this is Talbott's view in a nutshell)