• Agent Smith
    9.5k
    Did a cursory reading of the Wikipedia article on postmodernism. Speaking for myself, I'd say that postmodernism goes a bit too far by rejecting objectivity. What I'd have done would be to emphasize the importance of perspective, personal interpretation, points of view, but without denying/rejecting objectivity.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Name me some of these contextualists writing long before DerridaJoshs
    I already have (by discipline)
    ↪Joshs Philologists, anthropologists, jurists, historians and poets ...180 Proof
    Also, again, see link to list of various discursive decenterings .
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    How has Angelo Cannata not responded to your OP? It makes sense to me that you may not like what he has to say, but his response is consistent with my understanding of how post-modern morals works. Post-modernism rejects the idea of restrictions imposed by tradition or social coercion. It is not ends-based, it's process-based. It's means, not ends that matter. I'm guessing that's mostly how you live your life - you follow your conscience.Clarky

    I disagree, a stable category of self and conscience is not a pivotal source of value in postmodern thinking as far as I know. For me the idea of a personal conscience as a source of your moral foundation sits more with existentialism's notions of authenticity, and you're right, I don't find this entirely convincing as a source of morality. Joshs explains conscience better than I can here:

    Personal conscience is not a trope you’ll generally find among postmodern philosophers. For writers like Foucault and Deleuze , the ‘subject’ or ‘personal’ is just a veneer placed over forces that originate as unconscious as well as social.Joshs

    Knowing my `self' as a mere strategy or role in social
    language interchange, I can know longer locate a `correct' value to embrace, or a righteous cause to throw my vehemence behind. The only ethics that is left for me to support is the play between contingent senses of coherence and incoherence as I am launched from one local linguistic-cultural hegemony to another. To the extent that I know what such a thing as guilt or
    anger is beyond the bounds of local practices, these affectivities would have resonance as my experience of relative belonging or marginalization in relation to conventionalities that I engage with in discourse. I am always guilty, blameful in the extent to which I am a stranger in respect to one convention or another, including those that I recall belonging to in the past. I am always guilty in existing as a dislodgement from my history. Even in my ensconsement within a community of language, my moment to moment interchange pulls and twists me away from myself, making me guilty with respect to myself (my `remembered' self) and my interlocutor.
    Joshs

    Now this is fascinating and more what I was wondering about. I will need to mull over it a while. For me this is a lot to unpack and it could be considered ontologically unsafe territory, if that make sense. Thanks.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    ontologically dangerous territory, — Tom Storm

    Godspeed!
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Just changed it to 'unsafe' as in it feels unsafe to reassess the source of values and identity in this way.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    Just changed it to 'unsafe' as in if feels unsafe to reassess the source of values and identity in this way. — Tom Storm

    Confusion has its merits, oui monsieur? Let sleeping dogs lie.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Hrrmm... well, one thing, I don't think it's necessarily the job of philosophers to address particular concerns.Moliere

    I am interested in philosophy as a way to understand and enhance our choices and actions.

    So from that stance I'd say the usual suspects would disappoint -- they won't give you advice on the United States' abortion laws.Moliere

    I'm not American - I raised this one, not because of Roe vs Wade but because it seems like a useful and complex issue to reveal potential approaches. I'm not looking for answers, just clues for how one might connect theory to practice.

    But a stepping stone on postmodernism, at least -- if you are just wanting references -- would be Lyotard.Moliere

    Indeed and I have read The Postmodern Condition which is probably responsible for most of my initial preconceptions, for good or ill.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    Thích Quảng Đức (Vietnamese: [tʰǐk̟ kʷâːŋ ɗɨ̌k] (listen); 1897 – 11 June 1963; born Lâm Văn Túc) was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. — Wikipedia

    :fire: :groan: :cry: :scream:
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    The irony in some of this discussion is that one of the upshots of Derrida's critique is that things cannot be reduced to context, and no fine-graining of 'context' would ever serve to explain or justify any phenomenon. This sets him irreducibly apart from any empirical discourse like anthropology, history, law, and so on. And this, insofar as he is committed to resisting the reduction to a skeptical empiricism that would not be able to hold fast to truth in the philosophical sense - or any notion of responsibility, for that matter. Différance disrupts all closure, including "context".
  • Angelo Cannata
    338
    Does "pedophilia" cause more needless harm than less? Does "genocide" cause more needless harm than less? Each Yes "definitely condemns" ... and No raises more questions. In any case, on what grounds can it be non-fallaciously assumed that 'needless harm' is not a disvalue.180 Proof
    You cannot establish objectively that paedophilia or genocide cause more needless harm than less. You can establish it from specific perspectives only. There are not perspectives valid for everybody, everywhere, everytime. The same applies for the concept of “needless harm”: there is not an objective ground to tell if it’s a value or a disvalue.
  • Angelo Cannata
    338

    I mean history as a set of elements that make our human condition. For this reason I specified that I mean all levels of history. I don’t mean it as a fixed system of understanding. It is just a starting point that seems efficient in connecting meaningfully most other points. By “history” I also include the present.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Objective does not mean "valid for everyone". :roll: Again, and without merely repeating yourself (because that doesn't make it so):
    In any case, explain on what grounds can it be non-fallaciously assumed that 'needless harm' is not a disvalue.180 Proof
  • Angelo Cannata
    338
    Objective does not mean "valid for everyone".180 Proof
    When I say
    valid for everybodyAngelo Cannata
    I don’t mean “valid in the opinion of everybody”: obviously, everybody can have different opinions. By saying “valid for everybody” I mean that we can find evidence of its objectivity against any objections. For example, if we think that the existence of a stone is objective, it means that we think we are able to give evidence of it against anybody thinking differently. In this sense the existence of that stone is valid for everybody, despite their opinion.

    non-fallaciously180 Proof
    Non-fallacy doesn’t exist, because it is everytime evaluated by human people.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Non-fallacy doesn’t existAngelo Cannata
    :ok: Good luck with that.
  • Moliere
    4.2k
    That’s a political analysis of the postmodern. There is a general consensus within continental philosophy concerning what postmodern philosophy stands for. That is , what thinkers like Heidegger, Lyotard, Nietzsche , Foucault, Deleuze and Derrida have in common that distinguishes them from modernist philosophers like Marx.Joshs

    "General consensus"? In philosophy? C'mon...

    I think there are histories of philosophy which employ "modernism", and try to make a mark between it and where they are at. Like any philosophical movement there's a sense of unity between diverse thinkers -- and I'd say there was something of a particular zeitgeist in France and they were drawing from similar sources and attempting to do what philosophers do. So my motivation here is one of clarity and specificity more than one of denial -- but I'd say there are a few beliefs that will not remain after gaining clarity, such as Derrida is a relativist, or Lyotard created a post-modern philosophy. Neither of those two things are true, at least as I understand these words.
  • Moliere
    4.2k
    Indeed and I have read The Postmodern Condition which is probably responsible for most of my initial preconceptions, for good or ill.Tom Storm

    What? I mean, that's the one I'm thinking of. And if you've read it then those aren't pre-conceptions. Those are full on thoughts about a book! And that's what is important to me. The text is smarter than us, so it's worthwhile to keep some kind of text on hand or in mind when talking.

    But I'd much rather talk about Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition over the vaguely understood "postmodern"
  • Moliere
    4.2k
    The irony in some of this discussion is that one of the upshots of Derrida's critique is that things cannot be reduced to context, and no fine-graining of 'context' would ever serve to explain or justify any phenomenon. This sets him irreducibly apart from any empirical discourse like anthropology, history, law, and so on. And this, insofar as he is committed to resisting the reduction to a skeptical empiricism that would not be able to hold fast to truth in the philosophical sense - or any notion of responsibility, for that matter. Différance disrupts all closure, including "context".Streetlight

    I agree! I think one of the things that drives me bananas is just how Derrida honestly reads like he's not just ethical, but rather it's one of his main impulses in writing -- but he writes about truth and meaning instead. Just reading on the relationship between Derrida and Levinas should convince anyone of that.

    Sort of like the Tractatus, actually...
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    Derrida honestly reads like he's not just ethical, but rather it's one of his main impulses in writing -- but he writes about truth and meaning instead.Moliere

    Agreed. Among the goals of deconstruction is the effort the keep "open" the very possibility of any ethics whatsoever, without which no ethics could take place. Derrida everywhere aims to foster ethical openings that would otherwise be shut down or covered over by systems in which the movement of différance is supressed. It takes a particularly poor reader of Derrida to charge him with any kind of reletativism or nihilism to which his project is entirely opposed.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Among the goals of deconstruction is the effort the keep "open" the very possibility of any ethics whatsoever, without which no ethics could take place.Streetlight
    Wtf :lol:
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    Is there something like, in particular that exceeds your comprehension?
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    I wouldn't know what precisely because it exceeds my comprehension. I'm sure however, a great many things do. :sweat:
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Like any philosophical movement there's a sense of unity between diverse thinkers -- and I'd say there was something of a particular zeitgeist in France and they were drawing from similar sources and attempting to do what philosophers do.Moliere

    Of course, amongst the important post-moderns are also Nietzsche, Heidegger and Rorty. It's not just the French. :gasp:
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    You tag Nietzsche "p0m0" too?
  • Moliere
    4.2k
    I’ve been reading a lot of Deleuze lately. Why do you say he was not a very good man?Joshs

    Hah! Thank you for asking this. I tracked it down, and found out that I thought this because I mixed him up with Guattari, and Guattari's family life always struck me as sort of the worst ever, enough so that appeals from his character, at least, weren't enough for me to sign on with his philosophy. It had to stand on its own.

    EDIT: http://www.critical-theory.com/13-deleuze-guattari-part-ii/ was where the belief came from originally though.
  • Moliere
    4.2k
    OK, this is cool, actually. I thought there needed to be at least a *little* more conceptual work done, and if we include Nietzsche, then in the broadest sense I'd say Kant is the first post-modern philosopher. Or, since this is the historical rather than the cultural category, I think he's a good candidate for understanding the transition from philosophical modernism beginning with Descartes to, if indeed we even are post-modern, whatever philosophy is now.

    But it's important to note that this is just history of philosophy, I think. Right? So these aren't movements of thought, unless we are Hegelians, they are stories about thinkers which we tell to. . . well, many reasons. :D But they aren't a philosophy, is all I mean. So, in that sense, I'd say that post-modern philosophy couldn't tell us anything about ethics in a specific sense that you seem to want. There is no morality in the history.

    So, if postmodernism is to have some kind of "say" on our moral choices, it must be something besides this historical category -- at least if you agree with the above statements.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    You tag Nietzsche "p0m0" too?180 Proof

    Mainly because I keep seeing him classified this way (I also see the existentialist reading). But it seems to me that Nietzsche is so important to Rorty and Derrida and is therefore perhaps Proto-p0-m0. :gasp: Pretty sure @joshstags him as such.

    Did you ever read Susan Haack's takedown of Rorty? There's the essay Pining Away in the Midst of Plenty. The Irony of Rorty’s Either/Or Philosophy. It's pretty funny.
  • baker
    5.6k
    How might postmodernism be helpful in determining how we should/could live?Tom Storm

    Do postmodernists care? As long as they have tenure, they don't.
    /dissing pomo
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    For your reading pleasure - as well as @Tom Storm's: 11 page PDF.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Do postmodernists care? As long as they have tenure, they don't.baker

    Ha! Yes, I think there are a lot of people who hold to this view.

    So, if postmodernism is to have some kind of "say" on our moral choices, it must be something besides this historical category -- at least if you agree with the above statements.Moliere

    Maybe I need to clarify. When I asked the question about postmodernism and ethics I was asking about the postmodern disposition, not looking for specific answers. How would one go about approaching a particular ethical problem through the various potential lenses of postmodern. And I am pleased to hear of a range of approaches. My understanding is that @Joshs as a postmodern academic (if that's the term) often examines arguments presented on this forum form such a perspective.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Thank you. I will give it a go. I may not be able to understand this essay - it's more academic than I can generally handle.
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