1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Explain it like I'm five: Modernism vs. Postmodernism

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mr. Dictator, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    Ideas are true based on how recently they were created? This is another laughable pretension common to po-mo - what you might call a "chronology theory of truth".

    The chronology theory of truth is about as valid as astrology for determining which ideas are correct.
     
  2. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    32,588
    Location:
    Moscow
    What an odd opinion for a Whig like yourself to hold.
     
  3. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    16,845
    Location:
    Tir ná Lia
    Nothing I said necessarily has anything to do with truth. It's merely a dig at your seeming unawareness of where your so-called intellectual position is historically situated.

    But at any rate, I'd say that older ideas that pretend like there are no newer ones are quite obviously missing something.
     
  4. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    Why thank you sir, I'm honoured by your title.

    Yes, but you know that I'm only going to reply that the same thing applies to new ideas that think there are no older ones. Now where's Traitorfish to throw Hegel into the ring?
     
  5. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    Misused the word "intellect"? :confused:

    (The fun bit, here, is that you don't realise how much you're proving Park's point for him: that by arguing for tradition as the source of enlightenment- all this "carrying the torch" stuff- you're basically outing yourself as a neo-scholastic and anti-modernist.)
     
  6. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    So the truth or validity of arguments does not need to be assessed any longer. What we do is ignore the knowledge and concentrate on packaging people into labels, then arguing about labels. That kind of lazy pseudo-intellectual approach spares the effort of acquiring real knowledge, which might explain why people who are po-mo lovers don't understand that Euclid's geometry is still good, Aristotle's term logic is still good, and so on. It is simply too much effort to acquire the knowledge necessary to realise that knowledge is valid irrespective of chronology.
     
  7. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    I don't think that anyone's debating that. (Or, at least, not in so many words. "Knowledge" is more complicated than just ticking off mathematical truths, but that's another topic.) I'm just saying that it works both ways, and all this "carrying the torch" business is as a vacuous as the instant preference for novelty.
     
  8. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    11,118
    Location:
    北京皇城
    Actually, even Aristotle's term logic has its valid opponents among proponents of fuzzy theory and logic.
     
  9. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    A set of arguments that have been proven and never refuted should not be abandoned but should be maintained. The body of existing knowledge can be added to but not eliminated simply by saying "it's all subjective" or "that's old-fashioned" or similar.


    That's cool if they demonstrate their arguments properly, but this kind of thing:

    Is utter garbage and anyone who pretends otherwise is either mental or disingenuous. [thanks Luiz for the Lacan quote]
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    Well, that's kind of my point: if knowledge is only that which can be definitely proven, then most of what we keep in our heads isn't knowledge, it's experience, guesswork and intuition. I can't prove what caused the English Civil War, for example, I just have access to a number of accounts which offer varying degrees of consistency. Even more of a problem becomes something like, for example, France, which exists only insofar as a bunch of people pretend that it does. How could we possibly prove that France exists, when its existence consists in an historically specific game of make-believe? Does that mean that France doesn't exist? I see no easy resolution within this epistemological framework.

    Of course, perhaps that's all we can ask for: perhaps "knowledge" outside of certain hard scientific fields is mere pretence. But that seems like exactly the sort of thing you wanted to avoid.
     
  11. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    Why do we need post-modernism for that? Is that their big invention - to recreate the pre-Socratic insights and skeptical positions?

    But never mind - the more I hear and read about post-modernism the more I think it is just a complete intellectual fraud. It breaks no new ground whatsoever and seems to be a cult of ignorance.
     
  12. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    Who said that was anything to do with post-modernism? I'm just trying to figure out the implications of a "knowledge" constructed only in terms of proof and refutation.
     
  13. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    It doesn't follow that because some knowledge has been proven absolutely [or as near to], that therefore all knowledge has to be or can be proven absolutely. There are degrees of certainty.

    So to clarify my point - the body of knowledge that is proven is the specific body that cannot simply be overthrown by saying "ah, it's all subjective" or "it's all old-fashioned".
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ok. What does that have to do with Objectivism being genealogically located sometime before the Renaissance? Pretty sure that Descartes wasn't a post-modernist.
     
  15. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    You tell me mate

     
  16. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    So you didn't get the Descartes hint, huh?
     
  17. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    Nope, I tried several angles there but I couldn't decide what you were getting at.
     
  18. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,661
    Location:
    Scotland
    You're very keen on the idea that there is a big pile of stuff that we capital-K Know; things that we can affirm with certainty. Descartes, through his application of methodological scepticism, brought into question whether or not we can claim to be certain that we do in fact Know what we think we Know. Descartes was not a post-modernist; in fact, he wasn't even a modernist. So your railing against anyone who isn't on board with a scholastic receipt of Knowledge as representing a post-modern degeneracy is basically nonsense.
     
  19. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,348
    Location:
    UK
    You should try to shake off this perception of yours where you seem to equate Objectivism to scholasticism. Descartes' skepticism was based on a question about the nature of the whole of reality itself rather than specific forms of knowledge within it. The uniquely pretentious nature of post-modernism is that from what I've seen it seems to believe that knowledge can follow from subjectivity. You would think that in overturning knowledge and certainty, po-mo might question the resulting ignorance or explore the uncertainty that follows. Instead, po-mo follows up with absolutes and pretentions to certain knowledge, immediately after claiming such things are no more.
     
  20. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    9,445
    It is just like grade school. They keep going over and over the same topics. Why? there is nothing new to teach. Philosophy keeps re-"hashing" itself over and over again, because there is nothing new to contemplate. Each rendition gets it's own label to make them feel important.
     

Share This Page