Explaining Postmodernism, by Bionic Mosquito

There may be more evil philosophies than postmodernism, but it certainly is in the top five. From the Bionic Mosquito at lewrockwell.com:

In listening to Jordan Peterson over the last few months, he has often commented on the destructive philosophy of post-modernism, a philosophy that – in his view – is the force behind the cultural destruction underway in the west.

Prior to hearing this from him, my knowledge on the matter went to the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School and, before this, Antonio Gramsci.  Peterson is aware of these influences, but for him the Post-Modernists are today’s driving force.

What is meant by postmodernism?

Postmodernism is difficult to define, because to define it would violate the postmodernist’s premise that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist.

Are nationalism, politics, religion, and war the result of a primitive human mentality? Is truth an illusion? How can Christianity claim primacy or dictate morals? The list of concerns goes on and on….

It seems both an infinite number of realities and no realities – all at the same time.  No wonder it is difficult to define.

I have been thinking about this post from the first time I heard the subject mentioned by Peterson.  Even setting aside the normal life that often gets in the way of writing, this has been a subject that I have had to let stew in the old noodle for a while.  I offer the following as an initial foray into a subject that I do not yet understand very well.

I have found a few helpful resources on the topic and will reference two of these in this post.  With this, let’s begin.

Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault, by Stephen R. C. Hicks, a book review by David Gordon

A more thorough definition and explanation of this philosophy:

…Hicks tells us exactly what he means by postmodernism: “Metaphysically, postmodernism is anti-realist, holding that it is impossible to speak meaningfully about an independently existing reality. Postmodernism substitutes instead a social-linguistic, constructionist account of reality. Epistemologically, having rejected the notion of an independently existing reality, postmodernism denies that reason or any other method is a means of acquiring direct knowledge of that reality. . . . Postmodern accounts of human nature are consistently collectivist, holding that individuals’ identities are constructed largely by the social-linguistic groups they are a part of . . . postmodern themes in ethics and politics are characterized by an identification with and sympathy for the groups perceived to be oppressed in the conflicts, and a willingness to enter the fray on their behalf” (emphasis in original).

To continue reading: Explaining Postmodernism

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