Modernism vs https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/engl_258/Lecture Notes/modernism_...

Drake 258

Modernism vs. Postmodernism

The term ʺPostmodernʺ begins to make sense if you understand what ʺModernismʺ refers to. In this case, ʺModernismʺ usually refers to Neo-Classical, Enlightenment assumptions concerning the role , or , or scientific reasoning, in guiding our understanding of the human condition and, in extreme cases of Postmodern theory, nature itself. Postmodernism basically challenges those basic assumptions.

Modernism (or Enlightenment Postmodernism ) Reason and provide accurate, Reason and science are in the objective, reliable foundation of Nieschean or Marxist sense: simply “ created by man. Reason transcends and exists There is no universal, objective means of independently of our existential, judging any given concept as “true”; ALL historical, cultural contexts; it is universal judgments of exist within a cultural and “true”. context (cultural ). Reason and human The application of pure Reason independence/freedom are inherently (predicated Cartesian Radical Skepticism) linked; just laws conform to the dictates disproves the universal nature of a priori of Reason. We hold these to be self human freedom. Independence/Freedom evident… are Western Ideologies (just like reason and science) used to colonize foreign (ie Belgian Congo, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan) or subjugate women. Because it is universal, Reason can help Nope. Science is no more universal than is us overcome all conflicts. any ’s definition of “truth”. Science is the of all true Nope. knowledge. is transparent; a one to one Language is fluid and arbitrary and/or relationship between signifier (word) and rooted in Power/Knowledge relations. signified (thing or concept). is fluid and arbitrary. Meaning is “messy”. Reason lead to universal truths all “…no eternal truths, no universal human cultures will embrace. , no universal , overriding of human ” (Faigley, 8).

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In sum: Truth exists independent of In sum: Truth may exist independent of human consciousness and can be known human consciousness but there is no thru the application of Reason. objective means of nailing it down.

All Enlightenment conclusions lead from All Postmodern conclusions lead from this assumption. this assumption. Connotations: The application of Reason Connotations: There is no objective leads to a progressive movement toward means upon which to predicate civilization, , freedom, and right/just governance. scientific advancement. Postmodern theory is descriptive of the The Enlightenment is prescriptive : a human condition; it describes an impasse means of building a beer . in philosophy and social relations. Modernist Feminism: Women are : The categories oppressed by patriarchy and can use male/female, masculine/feminine are Reason to achieve both independence and themselves culturally constructed and/or regain their “authentic selves”. . Gender roles are culturally relative in all cultures and contexts. of stable, coherent “self”, The “self” is a and largely a independent of culture and society. composite of one’s social and cultural contexts. The ʺselfʺ is an Ideology.

Source: Borrowed heavily from Jane Flax , via Lester Faigleyʹs Fragments Of Rationality

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