Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations

Author: Steven Best, Douglas Kellner
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by ThomPete   2018-11-10
Philosophical inquiry leads you wherever it leads you. We started looking for truth but the more we dug in we realized that that's not a very useful way to think about it and you can see how each successful and popular philosopher at least in the west basically keeps peeling off layers of their predecessor showing that what had previously been thought of as an objective foundation wasn't that objective when it came down to it.

Postmodernism was the philosophy that peeled of kind of the last layer which is the language itself and showed that the very tool we were using to express objective truths itself was in fact highly subjective and ridden with assumptions.

I can assure you the point is not to miss the point. Philosophy is for the most part not useful for everyday discussions as it tends to deal with things that often sound absurd (is it ok to kill babies if they cry) but it's important to understand that philosophy is informing other areas such as scientific methodology and to inform how to think about scientific discoveries. Falsification is a product of philosophical pondering. So is Kuhns Paradigm Shift.

With regards to books.

I would say that "Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations" is a pretty good place to start.

Although he isn't considered a postmodernist per se as such I would also say that Kuhns "The structure of scientific revolution" gets you an interesting view into postmodernism without gunning for it. And it's about science which in itself is always interesting.

You should probably also read some Derrida or maybe start by watching the documentary about him he is pretty hard to read unless you are motivated. But you could start with "Speech and Phenomena" or of course Focult (but try and ignore the many political nuances)

And keep in mind postmodernism doesn't lead you to a conclusion it just shows you the limit of language. It's from that limit we must build structures while knowing they can always be broken down again.

Personally, it's helped me analyze the world differently and see past assumptions which allowed me to come up with better solutions for my clients. But it can also just be something that opens up your eyes for a different way to think about the world.