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Postmodernism, Postmodernity, PostModern Philosophy
The instability of your question leaves me with several contradictorily layered responses whose interconnectivity cannot express the logocentric coherency you seek. I can only say that reality is more uneven and its (mis)representations more untrustworthy than we have time here to explore.
Schematic Differences between Modernism and Postmodernism
Modernism romanticism/symbolism design hierarchy matery, logos art object, finished word creation, totalization synthesis presence centering semantics paradigm metaphor selection depth interpretation genital, phallic paranoia origin, cause God the Father determinacy transcendence
Postmodernism paraphysics/Dadaism chance anarchy exhaustion, silence process, performance deconstruction antithesis absence dispersal rhetoric syntagm metonymy combination surface against interpretation polymorphous schizophrenia difference-difference The Holy Ghost indeterminacy immanence
(SOURCE: Hassan "The Culture of Postmodernism" Theory, Culture, and Society, V 2 1985, 123-4.) PostModern Philosophy is practically the game of negating all the philosophies which originated before it (classical, romantic, modern). This movement began through Nietzche, Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger, who implanted the ideas of the separation between the “I” and that which exists. All becomes perception and everything is a mis-reading. In postmodernism, hyperreality is the result of the technological
mediation of experience, where what passes for reality is a network of images and signs without an external referent, such that what is represented is representation itself. (Standform Encyclepedia).
What is Man? Self-Philosophy
modern trend of idealism (the view that boils down to maintaining that whatever the mind knows of what it knows, the mind itself constructs)
“Nietzsche and Heidegger both understood the relationship between their thought about Being and the enduring questions of political life, and each of them, inaction if not in thought, was committed to definite political aspirations. (Murr, Derrida and Post-Modern, p. 2)
Following Nietzsche, Foucault argued that knowledge is produced through the operations of power, and changes fundamentally in different historical periods.
Baudrillard (1975) argues that Marxism, first, does not adequately illuminate premodern societies that were organized around religion, mythology, and tribal organization and not production. He also argues that Marxism does not provide a sufficiently radical critique of capitalist societies and alternative critical discourses and perspectives. At this stage, Baudrillard turns to anthropological perspectives on premodern societies for hints of more emancipatory alternatives. Yet it is important to note that this critique of Marxism was taken from the Left, arguing that Marxism did not provide a radical enough critique of, or alternative to, contemporary capitalist and communist societies organized around production. Baudrillard concluded that French communist failure to support the May 68 movements was rooted in part in a conservatism that had roots in Marxism itself. Hence, Baudrillard and others of his generation began searching for alternative critical positions. Lyotard takes up the question of justice in Just Gaming (see Lyotard 1985) and The Differend: Phrases in Dispute (see Lyotard 1988), where he combines the model of language games with Kant's division of the faculties (understanding, imagination, reason) and types of judgment (theoretical, practical, aesthetic) in order to explore the problem of justice set out in The Postmodern Condition. Without the formal unity of the subject, the faculties are set free to operate on their own. Where Kant insists that reason must assign domains and limits to the other faculties, its dependence upon the unity of the subject for the identity of concepts as laws or rules de-legitimizes its juridical authority in the postmodern age. Instead, because we are faced with an irreducible plurality of judgments and “phrase regimes,” the faculty of judgment itself is brought to the fore. Kant's third Critique therefore provides the conceptual materials for Lyotard's analysis, especially the analytic of aesthetic judgment (see Kant 1987).
Philosophy of Art
"in a world in which stylistic innovation is no longer possible, all that is left is to imitate dead styles, to speak through the masks and with the voices of the styles in the imaginary museum" (Jameson). Art works are likewise caught up in the problem of representation and mediation--of what, for whom, from what ideological point of view? (Georgetown)
Realism, whose only definition is that it intends to avoid the question of reality implicated in that of art, always stands somewhere between academicism and kitsch. When power assumes the name of a party, realism and its neoclassical complement triumph over the experimental avant-garde by slandering-and banning it — that is, provided the "correct" images, the "correct" narratives, the "correct" forms which the party requests, selects, and propagates can find a public to desire them as the appropriate remedy for the anxiety and depression that public experiences. The demand for reality — that is, for unity, simplicity, communicability, etc. — did not have the same intensity nor the same continuity in German society between the two world wars and in Russian society after the Revolution: this provides a basis for a
distinction between Nazi and Stalinist realism. (Lyotard)
He is most often connected to the idea of deconstructionism, which main goal is to reduce an object’s meaning to the least common denominator. However, this poses extreme linguistic issues especially regarding context and bias (of the deconstructionist). “Specifically, texts require a double mode of reading, which is to say that one must read texts with two intentions. First, one must endeavour to understandthe text as it has come to us in the history of Western thought, while at the same time,endeavouring to discern the negation of this understanding which is integral to the text,and thereby requires us to allow the text to deconstruct itself.” In his works, he attacks the general narrative (“Grand Narrative”) by stating that there is no true consensus on anything, especially literature. He says that there is no “encompassing literature” (www.as,ua.edu). “According to Derridian deconstruction, the fundamental category of humanthought isdifferance, which is understood as the origin of difference originating withinlanguage and the indeterminacy of meaning. It is not metaphysical because it is nota concept or entity, but rather exists within language between any word or concept and its opposite comprising a distinction.” (Muir) Derrida advocated for complexity and plurality in his works. According to Derrida, “recentphilosophy, especially within the universities, has focussed so intently on questions ofepistemology or methodology that it has forgotten the troublingquestionsof its ownmotives and value, particularly before a citizenry and governing class which areincreasingly sceptical, if not derisive, about any philosophy. The future of philosophydepends to some extent less on how we approach questions of truth than on how weapproach questions of value.”
Another literary critic of modernism and previous philosophies, is the Parisian Lyotard. On Lyotard's account, the computer age has transformed knowledge into information, that is, coded messages within a system of transmission and communication. Analysis of this knowledge calls for a pragmatics of communication insofar as the phrasing of messages, their transmission and reception, must follow rules in order to be accepted by those who judge them. However, as Lyotard points out, the position of judge or legislator is also a position within a language game, and this raises the question of legitimation. As he insists, “there is a strict interlinkage between the kind of language called science and the kind called ethics and politics” (Lyotard 1984, 8)
This philosophical milieu provided materials for the critique of subjectivity and the corresponding “archaeological” and “genealogical” methods of writing history that inform Foucault's projects of historical
critique. In short, Foucault argued that what was presented as an objective, incontrovertible scientific discovery (that madness is mental illness) was in fact the product of eminently questionable social and ethical commitments.
he sees representation as at the heart of the question of knowledge How, on the Classical view, do we know that an idea is a representation of an object—and an adequate representation? Not, Foucault argues, by comparing the idea with the object as it is apart from its representation. This is impossible, since it would require knowing the object without a representation (when, for Classical thought, to know is to represent).
Jean Baudrillard Baudrillard was a social theorist and critic who is best known for his analyses of the modes of mediation and of technological communication. That is, the terrorists in Baudrillard's reading used airplanes, computer networks, and the media associated with Western societies to produce a spectacle of terror. The attacks evoked a global specter of terror that the very system of globalization and Western capitalism and culture were under assault by “the spirit of terrorism” and potential terrorist attacks anytime and anywhere.
In the final analysis, Baudrillard is perhaps more useful as a provocateur who challenges and puts in question the tradition of classical philosophy and social theory than as someone who provides concepts and methods that can be applied in philosophical, social or cultural analysis. He claims that the object of classical social theory — modernity — has been surpassed by a new postmodernity and that therefore alternative theoretical strategies, modes of writing, and forms of theory are necessary. While his work on simulation and the postmodern break from the mid1970s into the 1980s provides a paradigmatic postmodern theory and analysis of postmodernity that has been highly influential, and that despite its exaggerations continues to be of use in interpreting present social trends, his later work is arguably of more literary interest. Baudrillard thus ultimately goes beyond social theory altogether into a new sphere and mode of writing that provides occasional insights into contemporary social phenomena and provocative critiques of contemporary and classical philosophy and social theory, but does not really provide an adequate theory of the present age.
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