Sunday, September 15, 2013


Here's a very biased post against postmodernism. I do analytic philosophy, but I have plenty of friends who do Continental philosophy, of which postmodernism is a subset. According to them, postmodernism has been dead in philosophy since the late 1980s. It lives on in other academic fields which don't realize this. One of those is, of course, theology, although in that case there are somewhat exonerating circumstances: theology has to be, in some sense, pastoral, and so responsive to the needs of the laymen within the Church. And while postmodernism stopped being advocated in philosophy in the 1980s (according to my friends, although philosophers like Lyotard kept writing on it), it kept trickling down into the culture, and so theologians started addressing it in the early 1990s. But this means that theologians are expending a great deal of effort developing postmodern theologies when the whole project is dead in the water.

Now Continental philosophy, the larger project, is still going strong, and there are without question outstanding Continental philosophers. In fact, as I've written before, Continental philosophy has undergone a "religious turn" or "theological turn"; many of the top Continental philosophers are Christians (like Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, William Desmond, etc.). And while some of the criticisms directed against postmodernism apply to Continental philosophy as a whole (it seems to leave too much room for rampant speculation), not all of them do. And there are certainly advocates within analytic philosophy of perspectivism or subjectivism (think Quine) which would be subject to the same objections to postmodernism as well.

And that's a good enough reason to remind you of the Postmodern Generator. Every time you refresh the page, a postmodern essay is randomly generated.

1 comment:

R. Sherman said...


Popped over from your comment at Ace's place. I'm now going to poke around your blog for awhile.