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Definition This is a late 20thcentury style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism, which
represents a departure from modernism. It is characterized by the selfconscious use of earlier styles and
conventions, a mixing of different artistic styles and media, and a general distrust of theories.
The postmodern climate started to permeate the West.
Confidence in human progress and autonomy was shattered on the rocks of Auschwitz and the Soviet
gulags. The systems or "grand stories" ("metanarratives") of Nazism, Marxism, scientism, or rationalism
ended up oppressing "the other"--that is, those marginalized by these systems such as Jews, capitalists,
etc. So with postmodernism, God was excluded as a foundation for making sense of reality and human
experience we cannot speak of any universal truth, reason, or morality.
We just have fragmented perspectives this assumes everyone is dumb.
Premodernism (up to Modernism (16501950s) Postmodernism (1960s present)
God/the supernatural realm Morality, human dignity, truth, All metanarratives (systems or grand
furnishes the basis for and reason rest on stories) are suspectwhether religious or
morality, human dignity, foundations other than God not. No universal foundation for truth,
truth, and reason. (reason, science, race, etc.). morality, human dignity exists.
French Revolution Fall of the Berlin Wall
What theorists say
French postmodernist JeanFrançois Lyotard famously claimed modernism's end symbolized by
Auschwitz, asking, "Where, after the metanarratives, can legitimacy reside?" He also said "Simplifying to
the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives." That is, postmodernism is deeply
skeptical about (or suspicious of) big explanatory systems or stories.
Antidualistic: Post moderns assert that Western philosophy created dualisms (true/false, right/wrong) and
thus excluded certain perspectives from consideration. Criticising that westerner's only see black and white.
Postmodernism values and promotes pluralism and diversity (rather than black vs. white, West vs. East,
male vs. female). It claims to seek the interests of "the other" those marginalized and oppressed by
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Questioning texts: Post moderns also maintain that texts--historical, literary, or otherwise--have no
inherent authority or objectivity in revealing the author's intent, nor can they tell us "what really happened."
Rather, these texts reflect the peculiarities of the writer's particular bias, culture, and era. E.g.…read more
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For Baudrillard, it was
consumption, rather than production, which was the main drive in capitalist society.
Baudrillard came to this conclusion by criticising Marx's concept of "usevalue". Baudrillard thought that
both Marx's and Adam Smith's economic thought accepted the idea of genuine needs relating to genuine
uses too easily and too simply--despite the fact that Marx did not use the term 'genuine' in relation to
needs or usevalues.…read more
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Fukiyama saw the break down of communism in Eastern Europe as an absolute moment this
is the final form of human government.
Daniel Bell parties are no longer ideological > The end of ideology. He also opposes the
centralisation of politics 'No one voted in the market economy and the industrial'. Bell also
stressed the problems of a post industrrials economy, modern society's techincal experts are in
control. He also opposed technology as governments were dependant on this therefore used this
to control.…read more