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

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

  1. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    And you need to shake this perception of yours that a subject-centred epistemology is uniquely post-modern. What about Nietzsche, Husserl or Merleau-Ponty?

    You could say the same thing about any field. Is modern thought on the late Roman Empire just a re-hash of Gibbons, because it addresses the same topic?
     
  2. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Spoken like someone who doesn't know what he's talking about once again.
     
  3. Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand Deity

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    Nietzsche believed epistemology to be subordinate to knowledge of the will and its struggle, while phenomenology made no claims regarding knowledge beyond the subjective experience. So they both dealt with their subjects as one would expect from a consistent subject-based philosophy and did not stray from them to make claims about the alleged falsehood of objective rational thought. As further example, Nietszche still believed rational and scientific knowledge to exist - he simply claimed it was merely a form of the will to power manifested as will-to-knowledge.

    The problem that is quite specific to po-mo is its willingness to assume it has overthrown the ideas that went before it when it has not actually done so and when it is never able to provide any decent arguments as to how it believes itself to have done so. Indeed, to understand much of po-mo it is necessary that you first accept on faith the idea that the "old ideas" have been overthrown, after which one can proceed by means of non-logical arguments to prove with absolute certainty that proof and certainty no longer exist. Eventually, you end up with Lacan, desperately clinging to the semblance of certainty and authority that mathematics represents, wrapping his sham concepts up in mathematical-analytical pseudo-equations, even as his creed pretends to spurn such analytical certainties and methods. All very bizarre...


    Theories are constantly being challenged and replaced by better theories. It is a slow process, but philosophy is undoubtedly a subject that progresses and improves itself over time.
     
  4. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Why not? How else are they going to get their source material? Now Gibbons may not be the only source, but while you can look at it differently through every human perspective, there were only a few individuals who had the sense to keep looking. Every time a person takes the initiative to add to the source, they are just adding their perspective building on what was done previously. Sometimes their perspective changes the way others see it, and sometimes, it doesn't. That is how knowledge moves forward. Nothing is set in stone, and knowledge is shaped by those willing to shape it.

    Now one can dwell on the facts and will probably get laughed at. Most people just argue over the perspectives of others.
     
  5. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Gibbon - no S - was a collator and did little but analysis himself; his analysis has been superseded in virtually every facet by now.

    The discovery of new written source material and the extensive use of archaeological inquiry to craft narratives or supersede earlier ones would seem to indicate that, no, historians aren't always arguing over the same damn sources, just the same damn events.
     
  6. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    This is a problem with literally everything after Adi Shankara.
     
  7. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    And, again, you're back at knowledge-as-mathematics. In most fields, its completely unnecessary- if not simply impossible- to definitively "overturn" a pre-existing body of thought in its entirety, you just have to provide a more satisfying account. Nobody ever disproved the Orthodox Marxist historiography, for example, they just moved away from it because alternative historiographies emerged that provided a more satisfying account of historical development. Some schools of post-modernism allow their reach to exceed their grasp and waste time butting their heads against incontrovertible facts or drowning in their own non-analysis, I do not disagree, but their sin lies in their being idiots, not in failing to respect their elders, dagnabbit, which seems to be what your criticism amounts to.
     

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