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Talk:Postmodernism

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Quote mining[edit]

Hey, everyone. I’m new here. I’ve been reading over the PoMo page, and so far, it’s mostly reasonable, but I want to draw your attention to a bit of straight up dishonest quote mining. The article quotes Foucault as saying “When the proletariat takes power, it may be quite possible that the proletariat will exert towards the classes over which it has just triumphed, a violent, dictatorial and even bloody power. I can’t see what objection one could make to this,” which he did, in fact, say during his debate with Noam Chomsky. This quote is used to illustrate that Foucault was an authoritarian. I don’t blame the editor for this, I blame the source. The source watched the debate between Foucault and Chomsky, and came to the conclusion that Foucault was defending a Marxist style dictatorship of the proletariat. An observant viewer would note that, in fact, Chomsky was arguing for that, and Foucault objected to it on several grounds, including that it could be very bloody if such a thing happened. The source got the argument completely backwards. The Foucault quote above was a retort to Chomsky’s statement, “for example, if I could convince myself that attainment of power by the proletariat would lead to a terrorist police state, in which freedom and dignity and decent human relations would be destroyed, then I wouldn’t want the proletariat to take power. In fact the only reason for wanting any such thing, I believe, is because one thinks, rightly or wrongly, that some fundamental human values will be achieved by that transfer of power.” The paragraph below the quote doesn’t follow in light of this. Having said that, I’m really enjoying the article. Ælfric (talk) 21:43, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


Sokal Hoax Clarification[edit]

It's probably worth pointing out that the original Sokal hoax happened back when Social Text didn't practise peer review. I've also seen it mentioned that they didn't look for a physicist to double-check the paper - though to be fair I still doubt that they would have bothered with it nowadays.

Also as far as our section on Sokal Squared goes we could do with mentioning a bit on the political/economic context of grievance studies. Many of these journals are run by tiny departments and adjunct academics who are often over-worked/underpaid. This combined with the cut-throat numbers focused culture present at a lot of universities has seen a serious dip in the quality of work and the time editors have to do their job, especially when the job may now involve double-checking that the authors in question haven't completely fabricated their data. And if the work that Dr Ben Goldacre has done on 'Bad Science' has shown us anything it's that double checking raw data is hard enough to do even in established 'hard-science' fields like pharmacology.

I just think we can give a bit more context to these topics than 'hurr durr postmoderns are pseuds'. There is an interesting and important story to tell here about the vulnerability of the peer review system and the pressures being put on academics to 'publish now, think later'. — Unsigned, by: Tikitime / talk / contribs

Let's talk about pedophilia[edit]

Seems to be a minor edit war about the topic. I don't have a strong opinion, but the material seems to be reliably sourced. Then again I don't share the horror of the label some do, especially when attached to what seems to me to be a defensible if controversial position. Nobody does nuance anymore, it seems. My default position is to shrink the territory occupied by criminal law, and arguing for a lower age of consent is not the same as 'defending pedophilia', since human sexualities are bred in the bone, people become sexually mature at puberty, a biological fact; but 'pedophilia' is indeed a social construction. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 17:06, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

They defended ABOLISHING the age of consent. This isn't to argue about where to draw the line but remove it altogether. Also, as the material I provided in the article, they DID defend pedophiles guilty of statutory rape. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 17:08, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think it should stay, and I don't think it's particularly defensible, but you're welcome to add nuance if you think it's justifiable. The reason I think that is:

  1. Yes, (some) minors can be guilty of crimes and held responsible for them.
  2. That fact does not put them on equal footing with adults: they have fewer rights (unable to vote), less responsibility (controlled by parents or guardians), and are more likely to change behavior as the age (developing brains).
  3. The people making this claim were older men who were in positions of power (fame, academia), making an unequal power dynammic.
  4. A few years after their position came out, there was a widespread social reckoning in Europe and North America with minors in porn and prostitution.

Bongolian (talk) 17:20, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

I generally just don't accept the 'power' theology, and find the concept quite nebulous. Even if I did, 'postmodern philosopher' strikes me as peak fecklessness. As to the specific incidents in question, a bit of context would be helpful. I am less susceptible tomoral outrage than others, and appeals to moral outrage seldom work on me. 15:36, 16 June 2020 (UTC) — Unsigned, by: Smerdis of Tlön / talk / contribs
So are you equating age-of-consent laws with moral panic? Bongolian (talk) 18:00, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Well, yeah, it is exactly that. I read the original letter (I am fairly at home in reading French) and all I could see was an attempt at extending the spirit of the sexual revolution to another crime which the writers saw as victimless or purely technical, involving an arbitrary line. Whether that's taking matters too far is debatable, but it isn't an indefensible position. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 22:42, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
I feel comfortable stating I support age of consent laws and I suspect most editors here do as well--Hastur! (talk) 22:51, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I think opposition to age of consent laws is likely to be a fringe view among editors here. You're welcome to take it to the broader community if you think otherwise. Bongolian (talk) 02:23, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Some of us would like to think so. For the sake of argument, one could ask, should there be such a social norm as the age of majority? A seven year old may have advanced political insight, but does that mean they should be qualified for suffrage? What about license to drive an automobile? or consume an alcoholic beverage? Should I have have been able to vote at the age of seven, while dead drunk and blind from syphilis, after beating the cops to the polling station? Ariel31459 (talk) 03:07, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
I look at it from a different perspective. Assume that protecting post-pubertal teens from their own sexualities is a good idea. How does involving the police, prosecutors, and prisons help? What good is it doing? Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 14:05, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Most age-of-consent laws have "Romeo and Juliet" exemptions where if the two parties having consensual sex are relatively close in age, it is not considered a legal offense. The point of the laws is to deter adults from sexually exploiting minors, who are generally more vulnerable emotionally and have less access to resources (e.g., money). Bongolian (talk) 16:49, 17 June 2020 (UTC)