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At a Center for Inquiry meeting, someone referred to postmodernism as the enemy of atheism, apparently because it demolishes the idea that morality can exist outside of religion, which is something Christians ALWAYS pin on us-αmεσ (soldier) 20:36, 21 January 2008 (EST)

Interestingly, I was studying the rise of the Modernist movement, in terms of the art world. Interesting stuff, and more attractive to me than postmodernism. --Kels 21:04, 21 January 2008 (EST)

Science Wars[edit]

I'm going to add content about this conflict to give the article some context, and also differentiate literary and artistic postmodernism (which were - I think - insightful and valuable) from scientific postmodernism (which was terrible and not science).--ADtalkModerator 08:21, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Literary and artistic pomo are also horribly susceptible to bullshit, but the scientific variety is a good example of not even wrong - David Gerard (talk) 09:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Other hoaxes?[edit]

Are there other hoaxes along these lines? I'm thinking of Ern Malley or Piotr Zak, where people deliberately made a nonsensical work and passed it off under a fake name to demonstrate a lack of critical acuity on the part of the editors they were sent to. This sort of thing is harder to fake in art (in both cases, people came along later and pointed out the "hoaxers" may have lied about the works' provenance, but they'd created works that people actually liked, and that is after all the point), but is an obvious precursor. Had anyone actually done this before with science-related matters? - David Gerard (talk) 09:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Past Postmodernism[edit]

Is probably the random plot generator [1]. (talk) 14:57, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Though that's based on a Markov chain that will produce recognisable nonsense. ADK...I'll legislate your bread knife! 16:13, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

But 'actual modernist text' (and much 'literary theory') #does# appear to be of a similar nature. (talk) 15:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

I added a post in this Talk about modernism vs. postmodernism. There is no difference in most places XD I think people tend to use postmodernism to refer to extremes that do not involve worshiping rationalism or technology, and that is about it. --Tesseract 20:51, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


Why you have to call something bullshit in your articles??? hm maybe its not the "rational-wiki" i expected -.- greets--Ratio-Duff (talk) 00:46, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Takes another shot. Did you read this? Тytalk 01:58, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Political artists[edit]

... or artistic politicians might be described as first-past-the-post-modernist. (Which literary trope is this btw?). (talk) 15:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

It's called a "joke." And a good one I might add. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 07:40, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Simply trying to understand this is making my head go crazy.[edit]

I took a media class last year that referenced postmodernism, and the textbook I had was largely critical. Could you simply define it as examining/questioning cultural norms (which is not a bad thing), but to the extreme that you question the existence of objective reality and scientific fact itself?

And seeing explanations of it on Urban Dictionary is even weirder. You get random bits of political jabs from all over the political spectrum, from "latte-drinking artists" to right-wingers and Hitler. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:47, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Not all pomo thinkers go so far as to bring into question the existence of reality or scientific fact. Most of them don't. What they do do is talk about how "reality" and "scientific fact" need to be understood in terms of the racialized/gendered/class-based/etc power strutures in which they are produced, and the way that human "realities" and "facts" encode those structures on a number of levels. Western rationality--the dominant mode of thinking behind scientific fact--is but one way that humans have come up with to understand how the universe works. That rationality has a history, and power has a lot to do with that history. The pomos want to talk about how that power works, what its effects are, and who gains and who loses what as it gets exercised. Is that at all helpful? B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 03:55, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Postscript. You added the word "objective" to qualify "reality" as I wrote my post. I think one tenet of pomo thinking is that "objective" realities aren't really all that objective, and that the subjectivity of the people experiencing "reality" is more important/more interesting. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 03:58, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
So how does it have to do with things like this? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:23, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Postmodernism examines and questions the rules by which we do cultural things, and how those rules influence the results.--ADtalkModerator 04:09, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Then it often butts it's head in places where it shouldn't be? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:17, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I suppose. A lot of fuss is made about that and directed at pomo specifically, but really all modern cultural and literary criticism has been steadily expanding its scope since the sixties, chafing against the idea that a set of tools was useless outside of a small field. In some respects that expansion is nonsense, as is demonstrated with attempts to apply a postmodern uncertainty to the scientific method. But in other respects it's brilliant, like Edward Said's expansion of post-colonial criticism to encompass modern political and historical developments.
One nasty bit is that a lot of pomo and modern criticism comes out of the French schools, which pride themselves on (a) poor documentation and (b) sweeping statements clad in new jargon. This is not a necessary component, and recent critics are stepping past it, but it's just the way things happened: the path of least resistance for this line of inquiry was an area known for being avant-guarde and in a form difficult to criticize because of its deliberate density.--ADtalkModerator 04:26, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
/ec RE: "Butting its head in places it shouldn't be": Just the opposite. Like I said, lot of postmodernist thinking has to do with how power is created and exercised. While scientists frame themselves and their work as dispassioned and objective, rationality and science are closely tied to the creation and exercise of power. The pomos are interested in how that power is constituted and exercised and reproduced because of its effects on people and societies. How exactly did you read your response into what AD and/or I wrote, anyways? B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 04:27, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
This really shouldn't as hard as it sounds. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:29, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Neither should physics, but it is. That's why they don't give away advanced degrees in crackerjack boxes. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 04:32, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I'd rather trust a physics intellectual than one in specializing in postmodernism, IMO. What can we actually take from it? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:36, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I get the feeling you're not reading what I'm posting, 'cause I've said pretty much the same thing three times now. What we get out of it is understanding how power is constituted, how it works, how it reproduces itself. For women, racialized people, queer people, colonized/postcolonial people--the people that the pomos are writing about/for/to in many case--this is seen as a crucial step towards contesting that power. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 04:49, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Why is it a snarl word then? I'm a newbie on this, sorry for putting up with me so far. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:57, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay, this is a dramatically simplified and somewhat misleading example. But it might illustrate what's going on.
Imagine you have a race. The 300-meter hurdle (is that a thing? it's probably a thing). People line up at the starting line and run the distance, leaping the hurdles as they go. The first one to finish wins, the second one gets a silver medal, etc.
That's sort of traditional criticism: which one is better? Which technique gets you to the end? How fast can you go and how high can you jump? If we're talking about books or art, which is where pomo is most at home, then it's about painting styles or dramatic tension and other such good stuff. Perfectly awesome and amazing, and not at all bad.
But the postmodernist in this allegory says, "Wait a minute. The guy in the middle is crowded by the people on either side of him, that changes the race. And the starting pistol is different than just shouting, 'Go," so that changes things in some races and makes the outcome different. And why does everyone run just this one way, when some people can keep their arms at their sides and still do well?"
So he's looking at how the structure of the race - the way it's run - affects the rest of it, and asking questions about that. Some questions have good answers, some have no answers, and some are just sort of, "Well, that's just the way it is." But it's a good thing, a valuable thing, to be asking those questions and looking at the rules.
Of course, some pomo guys take it too far. They want to know why the runners aren't swimming, or why the hurdles are all made in Wales, or whatever. They can get ridiculous, just like any branch of critics. And some racers and other critics of the race aren't open to any sorts of questioning about the rules. They think that ALL pomo folks are accusing them of Welsh-hurdles.
And that's kind of how it is, sort of, almost, allegorically. Some guys asking questions about the way the race is set up, other guys being assholes with it, and some folks who group them all together.--ADtalkModerator 05:08, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's possible to fully understand post-modernism without understanding the history of 19th-mid-20th century Europe and America. Pomo was a reaction to the extremes of logical positivism, scientism, technocracy, and bureaucracy that developed during the Industrial Revolution and World Wars. It's much easier to explain in terms of its influence on specific fields: Architecture, anthropology, literature, philosophy, etc. It is also heavily laden with bullshit, which unfortunately often gets the enterprise written off as a whole. Said and Foucault are really the only ones I find worthwhile out of what I've read these days. I'm also a fan of Nikolas Rose, though he's more of a fusion of actual science and pomo (avoiding much of the crankery that went under the name "science studies," most likely because he had actual scientific training). Ultimately, it's sort of an "If you have to ask, you'll never know" question (per Louis Armstrong). Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:00, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Hm. I hesitate to be elitist enough to claim privilege by dint of learning in judging postmodernism's utility - to claim to be one of those who "knows" and so doesn't have to ask about pomo - but I will offer that there's a fairly sharp drop-off in people willing to scoff at entire branches of theory between undergrad and grad, and again from MA into PhD.--ADtalkModerator 01:03, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

One illustration[edit]

While I think AD's post above about the hurdles is great, I thought it might be worth adding this one in regarding post-modernism and objective reality. Can't remember where I got it from, possibly PZ Myers, Dawkins or someone like that. Basically, a post-modern feminist was at a dinner table with a scientist (these things are always at dinner parties, I've never discussed this sort of thing at a dinner party, get far too wasted far too quickly) and mentions that we need to examine science in the context of how it was developed. Specifically, what would the world be like it Isaac Newton was a woman, surely all his laws would have been different. "Oh really." replies the scientist, which come to think of it I'm sure is Dawkins, "so you're saying that if Isaac Newton had been a woman, force wouldn't have been equal to mass multiplied by acceleration?". To me, that is post-modernism's relationship with reality. ADK...I'll pander your lawnmower! 12:27, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

That's a misuse of postmodern skepticism by that postmodern feminist and a terrible illustration of postmodernism to someone unfamiliar with it.--ADtalkModerator 20:26, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Undoubtedly it's a complete misuse, but when such a thing is remarkably easy you have to wonder where the mainstream of it actually lies. ADK...I'll push your driptray! 23:38, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
That's nonsense. It's not at all intuitive or easy to apply postmodernist critiques (at least the approaches with which I'm familiar) to empirical sciences. It's a wild misuse, just like any literary criticism being applied to empirical science would be a wild misuse (except in certain very narrow ways).
Cultural criticism of all kinds of prone to mission creep - that's why you see idiots using a few bits of science jargon like "quantum" and "superstrings" to try to justify an unsupported conclusion on a poem or philosophy. There's no real empirical or scientific method approach for these fields, which inherently opens up a lot more leeway in what critics feel they can comment on or use in their critiques. But postmodernism itself is not particularly prone to that - you can perhaps make the claim that postmodernists themselves are more likely to postulate unreasonably, but that's again a function not of the nature of the theory, but of the circumstances under which the opaque original formulations arose. Plus, I don't think that's actually true or backed by evidence. When I look at the field with which I'm familiar, English literary criticism, I see people in all branches of theory going crazy at times.--ADtalkModerator 00:53, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I have to disagree on that -- it might be true for literary theory, but it gets much worse when you start dealing with fields that actually require collection and interpretation of empirical data like history or anthropology. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:28, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
That's because it seems to me that the utility of postmodernism diminishes directly in proportion to the empirical aspects of any work. Literature, art, etc. can find a great deal of useful tools in that toolbox, but historians should find it useful only in a limited capacity - something like an examination of how the privileged binary of east and west influenced historical accounts, to pick an uninformed example. And by the time you get to biology, postmodernist critiques would seem only relevant to very narrow examinations of the nature of scientific writing, and even then I'd have my doubts.
But again, I'd argue that this is a feature of all contemporary cultural criticism - postmodernism is by far the most dominant of recent articulated strains, which is why it is overrepresented.--ADtalkModerator 22:50, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Why is it a snarl word then?[edit]

As a few people have said; some of it is unnecessarily dense, some of it pushes ideas beyond where they would comfortably go, and some of it is straight-up bullshit. But there's another reason; postmodernist thought is very closely tied to human identities, and identity politics tend to get nasty. Nobody likes to have it pointed out that their race/gender/sexual orientation/place in the colonial/postcolonial pecking order puts them in a position of privilege, and people in positions of privilege tend to react strongly when the subalterns start to get noisy. That said, to AD's list of Foucault and Said, I would add Dipesh Chakrabarty, Partha Chatterjee, Achille Mbembe, Gyan Prakash, and Frederic Jameson. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 13:17, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

People don't like being told that they're in a "position of privilege" mostly because when people say that sort of thing it's being used as a bullshit excuse to dismiss someone's opinions out of hand - and usually the accuser is also very privileged, if not more so. ADK...I'll run your cable! 13:44, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I think I have to disagree; to make that argument comes pretty close to saying that race/gender/sexual orientation etc. etc. don't matter. There are reasons why marginalization works the way it does, and the pomos have crafted important critiques about how identity and power work together. And yes, these people are professional intellectuals/academics, which makes them people of privilege. That said, go talk to a female black academic or a queer academic from India and ask them about their experiences within an intellectual/academic establishment that is still in many ways overwhelmingly white, straight and male, and their position of "privilege" gets a little more complicated. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with being in a position of (relative) privilege and using that position as a way to craft critiques that benefit others. There's actually a pretty long history of that sort of thing in activist intellectual circles. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 13:53, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I would never say that those things don't matter. I would just hazard that they might be overused in some cases. ADK...I'll confuddle your ax murderer! 14:00, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
And they might. And sometimes they are. But I tend to feel like too much attention gets focused on the times they do go too far, or to try to read stuff in an over-simplistic and over-literal way, than is really warranted. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 14:07, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Which is why I brought up the historical aspect -- it's much easier to "get" pomo when you see it as a reaction to the hyper-rationalization (in the sociological sense) of the 19th-20th centuries. Pomo is responsible for quite a lot of garbage, but what's forgotten is that the widespread application of so-called "science" by the elite in overly simplistic and unethical ways produced a whole lot of its own bull plop. Read up on the histories of "scientific" racism, eugenics, Social Darwinism, Taylorism and other such management "science" and industrialist woo, early uses of psychometrics, so-called "psychiatric" practices, etc. Then we'll talk about postmodernism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:56, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

But what does it accomplish that traditional scholarship can't?[edit]

At the end of the day, I honestly don't care what postmodernism was a reaction to or where it came from. In my academic work, I'm not interested in such questions of academic pedigree, it's the results that make or break an argument. And at least as it pertains to my field, the results have been dubious at best. It's hundreds of pages of opaque prose pontificating about the author's theory, and then presenting a meagre result that could have been reached by traditional scholarship. Maybe in theory, postmodernism can produce brilliant new insights, but the fact that so much garbage comes out of it can't just be ignored.

Moreover, the question about identity politics was raised above but never really answered. ADK's statement about using identity to dismiss inconvenient counter-arguments is right-on. It's not just an instance of pomos "sometimes taking it too far." It's in the DNA of that particular line of inquiry: someone only argues this because they're this kind of person. Everything is contingent on identity and structures of power, therefore my inability to document what I claim is just because such documentation was long suppressed by those in power who privileged the alternate interpretation. Junggai (talk) 21:27, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

What's your field? That is an important element of information for any response.--ADtalkModerator 21:35, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Musicology, specifically criticism and interpretation. It's right in the humanities area where postmodernists are supposed to be most at home. Perhaps we have different goals. Traditional musicologists try and get closer to how the music might have been understood in its own times, and how a reconstruction of the historical context can enrich how we hear it today; pomos seem only interested in telling us how it's all culturally constructed anyway (a point no traditional musicologist will deny), and that therefore any reading is valid. Junggai (talk) 21:42, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I can only speak for myself and my research. Postmodernist scholarship has made me realize that the archive is something that is constructed as the result of particular constellations of power/knowledge, and if I want to engage with the voices of people who are marginalized within those configurations (typically because of identity politics), I need to interrogate the archive and archival sources in different ways, or look for historical sources that challenge the standard idea of what the archive is. And that's been a huge element of my own personal intellectual development. Plus, any bit of theory or scholarship that forces me out of my comfort zone and makes me think critically about whatever's at stake can only help my development. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 21:44, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
BbMaj7, is this a correct translation of what you just wrote?: "The sources which have come down to us do not tell the whole story. Therefore, I should read them critically in light of what might be missing." Isn't your version just traditional source study with knobs on? Junggai (talk) 21:54, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
You're forgetting the part about WHY they don't tell the whole story, and what that has to do with WHO has gotten to tell the story, and, perhaps more to the point, the political and social worlds that are created by the stories that were told, and the relationship between the production of knowledge and the creation and reproduction of relationships of power. At the end of the day, some postmodern scholarship ha been a useful tool for me, one of many intellectual/conceptual tools I might draw on. Nobody is asking anybody to accept anything uncritically, and if you are confident enough in your intellectual development to discount an entire approach to scholarship without giving it a few years of hard work, that's okay, too. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 22:01, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Oh fucking muisc-fucking-ology... I once sat through and helped write an essay on music and gender. It was painful. ADK...I'll oscillate your igneous protrusion! 23:43, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Why are you so invested in this question when it seems pretty apparent that you have no respect for the field of study? It's what the guy does for a living and has a fucking passion for, I would imagine. Shit, it's not like you see anybody saying "oh, fucking evo-fucking-lutionary biology" on that talk page....B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 23:50, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Bflat, this is coming from a person that wrote: "With most humanities you just need to be able to read English and understand what author X said about subject Y, regurgitate it with some sort of "argument" in your one essay per term and that's about it." Don't take ADK too seriously on this topic, the guy has no clue what real work in humanities looks like. --ʤɱ pirate 15:24, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
This is a claim I've heard before, Junggai. And it's possible that postmodernists in musicology haven't produced much of note. Certainly it wouldn't be the only case of a bunch of theorists launching out a lot of jargon with a trendy theoretical push to disguise insights that are really of mediocre, unpublishable quality. I think the more arcane manifestations of a lot of recent theory are subject to that, like the articulations of trauma theory. But I would warn that it's also a common reply to any new theory: to skip to the conclusion and scoff that the method was unnecessary. When the early work was done on the phenomenon of "bad quartos" in the beginning of the twentieth century, for example, some rebuttals focused on how Alfred Pollard's use of bibliographic techniques was too number-focused and his conclusions followed from "traditional" criticism (also note that bibliographic criticism would go crazy a few decades later, swamping into "science").
So while I can't comment on what you're mentioning specifically, just a word of warning of about the same quality as B-flat's bemusement at your willingness to dismiss a whole branch of theory.--ADtalkModerator 01:00, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I take it that references to the Courtier's Reply would not be relevant?--BobSpring is sprung! 15:46, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
No, that's very relevant. A lot of snide theorists sniff that critics just don't understand the issues. It's extremely aggravating and a way to avoid reasonable criticism.
I am emphatically not saying that the problem is that Junggai doesn't understand it. I am saying that I don't know enough about musicology to comment on whether postmodernism has significantly contributed to the field, but that I'd advise caution before coming to such a conclusion.--ADtalkModerator 00:16, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Most importantly, Ken is following this discussion.[edit]

[Best article on a postmodern scholar yet]. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 13:19, 28 October 2011 (UTC)


Does someone want to review an Answers Research Journal article on postmodernism? I'm ignorant. steriletalk 16:03, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Ok.--ADtalkModerator 00:17, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

A handy book for those looking to get a handle on pomo[edit]

David Harvey's The Condition of Postmodernity. Smart because it starts with modernity, and tries to analyze postmodernism in terms of what it is meant to be a reaction to/move away from/comment on. And Harvey is a really smart guy and a great writer who presents stuff in a really accessible way. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 21:58, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Maybe I am just ignorant...[edit]

...but most of the time and in most cases, modernism and postmodernism are basically the same to me. I prefer to look at the individual movements in art and philosophy instead. I added the boldface below.

From Wikipedia:

"Differences between modernism and postmodernism

By the early 1980s the postmodern movement in art and architecture began to establish its position through various conceptual and intermedia formats. Postmodernism in music and literature began to take hold earlier. In music postmodernism is described in one reference work, as a "term introduced in the 1970s".[41] while in British literature, The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature sees modernism "ceding its predominance to postmodernism" as early as 1939.[42] However dates are highly debatable, especially as according to Andreas Huyssen: "one critic's postmodernism is another critic's modernism".[43] This includes those who are critical of the division between the two and see them as two aspects of the same movement, and believe that late modernism continues.[44]

Modernism is an encompassing label for a wide variety of cultural movements. Postmodernism is essentially a centralized movement that named itself, based on socio-political theory, although the term is now used in a wider sense to refer to activities from the 20th Century onwards which exhibit awareness of and reinterpret the modern.[45][46][47]

Postmodern theory asserts that the attempt to canonise modernism "after the fact" is doomed to undisambiguable contradictions.[48]

In a narrower sense, what was modernist was not necessarily also postmodern. Those elements of modernism which accentuated the benefits of rationality and socio-technological progress were only modernist.[49]"

The word postmodern can also mean whatever you want it to mean. Using words to mean whatever you want them to mean is very postmodern.

--Tesseract 20:47, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

It is indeed sort of blurry. The difference is, approximately, "modernism" assumes progress is (a) possible (b) happening (c) in need of defending; "postmodernism" is looking at the results of modernism with more or less acerb. Compare modernist science fiction, as started by John Campbell, and the New Wave SF of the late '60s - David Gerard (talk) 21:25, 5 February 2012 (UTC)


Thinking about a re-organization of the page, since it's grown and acquired that wiki-jumble effect as folks insert paragraphs, caveats, and comments. I propose a fairly simple sort of organization:

  1. Definition, with a sub-section for history and utility.
  2. Criticism, with sub-sections for general criticism, courtier's reply, and religious.
  3. Relationship to science, with sub-section for pseudoscience

Sound good?--ADtalkModerator 01:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:47, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Disagree. The article on postmodernism should be more of an incoherent mess to better reflect its subject matter  :-) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I kid, I kid. You're right, it's a tad scattered currently. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
No, you're right, we need to reject the meta-narrative of this hermeneutic reanalysis of our hegemonic encroachment onto the marginalized voices of the totalistic deconstruction of Hegelian dialectic and binary oppositions into a reformed practice of pluralistic and relativist notions of the emotive sense inherent in the signified rather than the signifier and the vulgar and common fuck-shit assholes! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:07, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I moved stuff around a bit to reach a mid-point; greater changes will require some serious rewriting, which I will get to eventually.--ADtalkModerator 02:52, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Yuh. We also need to note that postmodernism as it's usually thought of is a creature of its times. The sudden advent of cheap paperback everything in the '60s (Fred Vermorel has written extensively on this), the Freudian stuff from Freudian psychoanalysis still being acceptably mainstream in the '40s and '50s ... the substance of postmodernism is dated.
BTW, saying "you need to understand the modernism they are kicking against" is not something they say as a courtier's reply, it's something that's simply the case - the gibberish only makes sense in context. The usual failure mode of postmodernists is expecting readers to understand it without context - David Gerard (talk) 08:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Of course. That part of that section lays that out as a hedge to the courtier's reply. The section takes the form of initial assertion, then hedging, then fuller statement of the criticism and demonstration, and then a final contextual explanation. Maybe it's too confusing now, actually.--ADtalkModerator 08:58, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


Whilst I am sure this article is all very enlightening to all you well read and educated scholars, I feel sure that my understanding of post modernism is hampered somewhat by not really having a clue as to what modernism is. AMassiveGay (talk) 05:19, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Funspace request[edit]

'The joys of premodernism' (urban cavemen, stoneground bread wearing your teeth away, and 'theories sometimes making sense' etc) (talk) 15:48, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Sokal and Bricmont analysis[edit]

However much many of us may find Aneris tedious, s/he is not wrong in the analysis of Sokal and Bricmont and a rational concurrence with their arguments. This wiki doesn't reference every line of analysis. (This wiki fails to reference at least half of its fact claims!)---Mona- (talk) 16:11, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

The fact that this article fails to reference many of its claims is not an argument for adding more unreferenced claims. And I strongly disagree that we should allow any "analysis" from a Slymepiter with a burning hatred of Postmodernism and anything that they imagine to be postmodernism. Typhoon (talk) 16:14, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
One's opinion of Aneris is irrelevant to the edit, which stands or falls on it's own merits. So, your reason is wholly inadequate. We do not delete recent unsourced edits for being unsourced without allowing time to source; add a cn if you think it is necessary. Or, do some tailored editing. But no wholesale revert.---Mona- (talk) 16:38, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
It's not irrelevant when this Slymepiter has demonstrated a clear determination of removing what they call "postmodernist SJW rot" at RW. Their edits on these topics are automatically suspect. I'm not gonna be adding citation needed tags after every ranting paragraph that this nutjob inserts. If you claim to have read that book, how about you add that paragraph with your own words, instead of the spiteful and opinionated mishmash that Aneris vomited? Typhoon (talk) 16:44, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I adopt those particular words as my own. There. Now, consider yourself as reverting me, if you continue.---Mona- (talk) 16:49, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
In that case your wording is really crappy. Improve it. Typhoon (talk) 17:02, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not gonna let unsourced Anerism in here. Give a source for it or stop revertingTyphoon (talk) 17:08, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Happy days! It's now sourced with the entire book, available online.---Mona- (talk) 17:17, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
{1} (addressing a former comment by Typhoon) I don't "imagine" these claims to be about postmodernism, we are on the postmodernist page and Latour himself is featured in Sokal and Bricmont's book. Likewise, previous instances were about actual postmodernists, not "imagined" ones. Including the comical stunt by Ryulong where he cited an author, seemingly making his point, which took a simple wikipedia search and check of the postmodernist category to know she belongs into into the corner, too (which is also knowable from looking at people's views). Again, no "opinion" needed for the excellent reason that there are real people who really subscribe to this worldview — believe it or not.
{2} This particular assertion can be also cited with page number, and I could do it. But I won't. Typhoon isn't editing in good faith and I see no reason why something — I dare say — common sense, needs citation when Typhoon clearly shows his reasons have little to do with the substance of the argument. I am not convinced he and many others even bother to think about these matters when they can lazily revert and get away with it.
{3} Postmodernism is pseudoscience, yet for well known reasons fashionable nonsense again. This makes it relevant today, it's also a blindspot, i.e. work to do. I won't restate again why. It's curious that mona finds this tedious, yet you went through the Ryulong case, and you will continue to have such problems. When this isn't tedious now, it will be at some point. It would be easier to acknowledge that a certain "situation" exist and make up your mind about it, as a community. You can see this as constructive criticism, which I believe it is, or ignore it. — Aneris ✻ (talk) 17:22, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
"It's curious that mona finds this tedious" Huh? And what the hell does any of this have to do with Ryu?---Mona- (talk) 17:25, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
You ask what this has to do with Ryu? You ask this Aneris, a Slymepiter? Typhoon (talk) 17:41, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
If it isn't obvious already, I'll rather wait and see until it is. And no, the 'pit has nothing to do with it and Abbie Smith rocks. Typhoon just pulls the usual trick again: push for an attack (i.e. making it about me, and not about the subject here). You'd be obtuse if you don't know this schtick by now. The segment turned into nonsense already ;D — Aneris ✻ (talk) 17:49, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Aneris, that I agree with your analysis of Sokal and Bricmont doesn't translate into my endorsing your crusade. Your monomaniacal obsession with "SJW's" and "political correctness" is as vapid as any of these so-called "SJW's" you rail against. I think you'll find that is the overall attitude at this site. We are not a nest of the post-modernists Sokal and Bricmont (properly and competently) debunk. But the rest of your bullshit is mostly just that.---Mona- (talk) 17:57, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

The facts, again, disagree with you. At this point you have shown that you know nothing about the overall situation in the secular movement. You exaggerate perhaps out of cluelessness because you genuinely have no point whatsoever. My alleged "monomaniacal obsession" amouts to a user-space media collection (ported from bookmarks) and that I make your schtick transparent as what it is: hot air in the interest of certain ideological views. Where's my many edit wars? Where's my zionism equivalent? I note that postmodernism is in the zeitgeist again and it's a blind spot, i.e. potential for improvements. That's all there is. How many articles have I tainted? DG has made clear that he even wants to sweep such things as the EvoPych controversy under the rug (which I simply reported with sources, so that even Typhus here could only delete one sentence). Was there an edit war? Not even there. I was cooperative in each and every case once a consensus emerged in the previous 2(?) cases, too. You're in some edit revert war every second day, aren't you? Without this form of Typus stalking or without Ryo's antics I wouldn't be in any. Note how often I reverted here: 0 times. On the fallacies, I asked each time if we can use them, and proposed them. I agreed with the deletion too, when this seemed the will of the Powers That Be, even if completely unreasonable. I mostly resorted to arguing on talk pages, and after having Ryo and gang in my hair since the beginning and without knowing that they were actually unpopular, I at some point lost my patience, too. Of course I see what you do: This is your schtick again: we went from a subject matter to accusing and attacking me, again. I am actually curious whether you are just intellectually challenged or if you do this on purpose. Or you're what's called a social dominator. Make a test, and learn about youself. :D — Aneris ✻ (talk) 20:14, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Whoever maintains that the pseudoscientific aspects of postmodernism must be powerfully underscored - you have my axe! Though, only on the exact statement I just made. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:29, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

All I wanted is for Mona to cite their claims. Is is so unreasonable? I'm not even a fan of many things about postmodernism, but I don't go adding stuff like "this misses the point (but I won't explain how)". Typhoon (talk) 18:53, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
The opinion is the explanation. One need not reference one's every analysis here. Your demand is unreasonable. We'll end up with the Sokal section being entirely too long if we did that. And also if you applied the same standard to the whole article, or other articles. Moreover, I have not finished my copy-editing of your additions, and will be criticizing them more.---Mona- (talk) 19:04, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
ADDING: Typhoon has this unreasonable opposition to noting for our readers that the Sokal/Bricmont book is freely available online. We note that for our readers in the Zionism article for the Theodor Herzl book, and it's a service to the readers who may want to know they can easily access the referenced book immediately.---Mona- (talk) 19:12, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
It's not unreasonable. The reference tag does enough of a job for anyone who wants to know more. Without making us look like we're desperate to advertise a book. It's unprofessional and silly to add that stuff when the ref tag is enough. Typhoon (talk) 19:48, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Nope, and I'll be adding that back in. As I said, we do it on the Zionism page. It's a service to our readers who might want to immediately check the reference and be aware that they easily can.---Mona- (talk) 19:50, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
You say, "we" but you cite an article you've heavily edited. They can see that the book is free in the reference easily. My previous point stands. Typhoon (talk) 19:52, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
To add to what I said, please try to act less like a preacher. Kthxbye. Typhoon (talk) 19:48, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Uh-huh, sure. It's going back in for reasons stated.---Mona- (talk) 19:55, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

I'll be adding to this article later; good sources (such as non-polemic academic examinations published by Oxford) are thankfully widely avaliable, due to the problems faced by postmodernism. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:41, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Good! I'll hold you to that, on the 17th. (Unless Paravant removes the protection sooner.)---Mona- (talk) 19:51, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I can't promise anything by the 17th! But I'm rummaging through some brilliant works on it as we speak. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:57, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Great. Between the polar-opposite inanity of Typhoon and Aneris, I am getting buggy. So, I'm out of here for a bit.---Mona- (talk) 20:16, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, I try to be a force for nuance. And for snarking without mercy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:24, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Mona has personally accused me once again for no reason at all. And this kerfuffle is again for what? It's by the way always the same. The only option is to allow the bullies a free reign and not protest at all. But is this an option? Other users aren't exactly standing up against them. So, this is how it works: one users attacks and annoys the target user, and creates needless drama. Then another one takes over and so forth. The target user gets worn down or is annoyed and will at some point look unreasonable (too). The trick is that the harassers take turns and it seems as if the target is always at the centre of the drama, so that the "reasonable" thirds around then think the target user is causing the problems. In addition, the target at somepoint doens't know anymore who said what, and then may act aggressive towards thirds who are mabye only mildly critical (but from the target's perspective it looks even more unfair). This comes from the skewed perspectives everyone has. In addition, the drama is paid overproportionally by the outgrouper/target anyway, whether they caused it or not. The end goal is to ostracize the target. So that's how it works, and since people are filled with cognitive distortions they typically faintly remember who was part of some drama, but forget exactly why. So it sticks, whether you want it or not. The chilling effect also works. The big question is: what can be done about it? I usually socially experiment a little, which gives me a good idea how dysfunctional a community is. My invite to everyone on my talk page: what do you think targets can do about this bullying and that do YOU consider reasonable or constructive or the best way? — Aneris ✻ (talk) 21:07, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Latour and other issues[edit]

Someone made it so that this page isn't editable (for me at least). I wasn't involved in an edit war and my edit was perfectly reasonable and sourcable. So here it goes:

  • In a review of Sokal and Bricomnt's work, Richard Dawkins observes:
>the fellow's name is "Bricmont"
  • David Gerard and Typhoon predictably don't like this passage (which was already altered, see here.
It is, of course, trivially true that science is a human endeavor and as such 'constructed' and even 'socially constructed' in a mundane sense. Scientists are, after all, humans who developed their interests in a social setting and the scientific enterprise relies on funding and other factors that are likewise part of a cultural context. The knowledge that is produced is 'constructed' in a trivial sense, too, as humans discover some aspect of reality and have to cast this into a shape intelligible to humans. Sokal and Bricmont provided plenty of examples where 'constructed' has a second, profound meaning.

Let's see what Sokal and Bricmont say on Latour. First off, they don't agree with him, but feature him in a whole chapter 6, titled "Bruno Latour" which you find at page 125ff. On the subject matter, here's a characteristic quotation I could find on the fly, in context of science as a mere social construction. On page 97, they write:

Latour notes, correctly, that it would be an anachronism to assert that Ramses II was killed by machine-gun fire or died from stress provoked by a stock-market crash. But then Latour wonders, why isn't death from tuberculosis likewise an anachronism? He goes so far to assert that "Before Koch, the bacillus has no real existence." He dismisses the common-sense notion that Koch discovered a pre-existing bacillus as "having only the appearance of common sense". Of course, in the rest of the article, Latour gives no argument to justify these radical claims and provides no genuine alternative to the common-sense answer.

Now you would be obtuse if you don't see what is meant by the second, profound meaning, and why they don't agree with Latour's Motte-and-bailey doctrine around the term "constructed" (too bad, David Gerard also killed that article — maybe some people see the pattern now). — Aneris ✻ (talk) 18:07, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

There's no freakin' "pattern" here. You have various editors disagreeing. This happens about many things. While I share your views on the Sokal/Bricmont work, as well as your endorsement of their basic thesis, I do not consider myself to be fighting whatever "SJW" cabal you think you are trying to "expose."---Mona- (talk) 18:12, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
That's not even the question, this is the known part. I have no problem with that. People can think whatever they like and I'm not interest in thought control. I welcome that other people have a different take. I knew that beforehand obviously. So, if these people are postmodernists, they can be postmodernists. My objection is when such bias is informally and consistently influencing how articles are written, but is nowhere accounted for. This is what I see, and where I say: look! That's the pattern. — Aneris ✻ {talk/ideas} 20:08, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
"My objection is when such bias is informally and consistently influencing how articles are written, but is nowhere accounted for." PoMo perspective is not barred from having influence at this site. Many perspectives do. I will occasionally argue against them, but don't see them as some Dark Force doing whatever nefarious thing you have in mind. Nor am I in need of tutoring regarding their beliefs and what is wrong with them. ---Mona- (talk) 20:41, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

It's a method? It's a Theory?[edit]

In the opening, it says postmodernism is a useful "method". I'm currently not totally sure what this is attempting to communicate. What is the method? From the previous paragraph it would appear that that method is 1) identify that some thing is "modernist" 2) react against it. That will produce some ok results when the particular thing being reacted against needed to be corrected, I guess. But it isn't a method that I would recommend as being especially useful. Maybe this part needs to be clearer.

Then later in the article, under "Utility", it says that postmodernism is a "theory". What is the theory? It says it is something about both semantics and epistemology being "subjective" in some sense (I can't tell what it means). This might need to be cleared up a bit.

Also I would link to Worldview a few times. I think that's what a "meta-narrative" is.

Currently the page is locked but maybe some people have the authority to edit it? Thanks in advance if anyone is able to make these changes. Brianpansky (talk) 00:48, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

It'll be unlocked on Wednesday.---Mona- (talk) 01:30, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
You're right, and the article is in the process of recieving more edits that expand the understanding of Postmodernism while also (as cannot be avoided) adding further scalding of this "theory". As I've mentioned on Mona's talkpage: there's much to say about the many problems in Postmodernism. Icon Books' Introducing Postmodernism aptly terms it as "regularly controversial, rarely straightforward and seldom easy", calling it a "maddeningly enigmatic concept" - in plain RW english, that spells "crank alert". And crank alerts are always notably important and funny to catalogue, to snark and to debunk. The article will be unprotected at some point in time, since it was wisely locked by the moderators due to some edit warring. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:58, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Postmodernist is characterized by resisting categorization, because it wants to stay outside of the critique it seeks to apply to the assumptions and ideas of the modernity. It's thus not a meta-narrative itself, but wants to deconstruct those, too. Cited from Wikipedia:
Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives[. ..] The narrative function is losing its functors, its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language[...] Where, after the metanarratives, can legitimacy reside? — Jean-François Lyotard
It's quasi-religious hogwash, indeed a kind of "master ideology" that corrupts rational thought processes. — Aneris ✻ {talk/ideas} 01:14, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Some major streaks in Postmodernist thought appears to me as the modern academic refuge of the pseudoscience pushers. That alone signifies to me that the theories quickly spin into the woods at various points, away from reality and into solipsistic loops. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:19, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Once the page is unlocked I have mucho good stuff to add to the Sokal/Bricmont section. Typhoon wants sources? Fine, s/he's getting scads. The review of Fashionable Nonsense in Natural Science is quote-worthy; for starters, it calls the Sokal/Bricmont book a "thorough exercise in intellectual and moral hygiene." I like that a lot. But I will have to take care that the section doesn't get unmanageably long.---Mona- (talk) 01:29, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Sweet! We all appear to be in basic agreement, then. Also, keep in mind that the Science article also needs some help, and that the act of digging in Postmodernist theory will also be an exercise in digging into the cringeworthy anti-realism movement. So, to some part, the same sources we consult for the Postmodernism article can also be used by us to allow us to report on the necessary flak the anti-science takes from credible sources (by its very nature). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:38, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
"It's quasi-religious hogwash, indeed a kind of "master ideology" that corrupts rational thought processes." Why? How does any of that follow from your Lyotard quote? (talk) 01:45, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

More unclear parts in the article: mentions rejecting "central narratives", what are those and what does it even mean to "reject" them? It says "rejecting grand theories that attempt to "totalize" knowledge" ok but what does that even mean? What does it mean to "totalize" knowledge (or to attempt to do so) and what grand theories attempted to do so? Brianpansky (talk) 03:51, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Postmodernism is relativism at heart but of course there is considerable hand-wringing how strong this relativism is. The typical authors are either obscure and weasely that nobody has clue what they mean; state strong relativist positions; or one time say one thing, then another time say something else (see motte-and-bailey doctrine). Steven Pinker, of course another notable critic of postmodernism wrote: "The humanities have yet to recover from the disaster of postmodernism, with its defiant obscurantism, dogmatic relativism, and suffocating political correctness. And they have failed to define a progressive agenda."(Steven Pinker, 2013, New Republic) which is true. Progressive activism is fatally crippled by it, too. The modern variants of the rejection of a "central narrative" is for example called "lived experience", which comes for example via the postmodernist Intersectionality and Critical Race Theory conceptions. They hold that different peoples from other cultures have their "own truths". It's claimed the Evil White Man imposes his white science onto everyone in a colonial and imperialistic fashion (see Sapir-Whorf hypothesis). They were "totalizing" knowledge in the sciences, i.e. declare their findings as total for all and everything which is at times declared as an ideological and dogmatic "scientism" that does not allow "alternative" narratives, and doesn't allow e.g. women to "speak their truth". When I wrote "master ideology" I meant something like what Pinker meant by "dogmatic relativism", which is itself something that is imposed above all and declared as "the Truth" even when everything beneath it is declared relative. Postmodernism itself is a master-narratrive, even if the authors want to construe it as recursive of sorts. But that's why it's such obscure hogwash since virtually nobody can even conceptualize what it even means to simultaneously hold a position while at once "deconstructing" it. Postmodernists do this through metaphors or allusion to scentific concepts, or downright storytelling (as in CRT) but end up in meaningless mind-games. Lyotard for example wants it both ways: he clearly makes a claim as something he finds "truthful" yet at the same time announces this wasn't possible in principle, which are the typical postmodern shifts of meaning. By contrast, hardly any scientist claims their theories were totally true in an eternal sense, either. But this is the trivial part for which nobody needs postmodernism. — Aneris ✻ {talk/ideas} 09:53, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
"It's claimed the Evil White Man imposes his white science onto everyone in a colonial and imperialistic fashion" There's more than a kernel of truth to that. But while the diagnosis has some validity as far as it goes, the PoMo prescription is largely bullshit on stilts.---Mona- (talk) 17:05, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
You mean E=mc² doesn't work for people of colour? — Aneris ✻ {talk/ideas} 17:14, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Aneris, it is very difficult to engage with you. You do not argue in good faith. Look at that straw all over you from all the strawmen you kiss.---Mona- (talk) 17:34, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I didn't know you are mild-snark-allergic. I'm sorry! Well you claimed that "Evil White Man imposes his white science onto everyone in a colonial and imperialistic fashion" has more than a kernel of truth. The whole idea of "white science" is already cringey. Stuff they find out is true whether you are in Switzerland, the Faroer Islands or in the Sudan. And recall the chapter, somewhere when they go over Irigaray, of the devastating effects on the Third World, which is echoed by Noam Chomsky. — Aneris ✻ {talk/ideas} 17:57, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
That equation works a bit differently for different colors, since m refers to relativistic mass, and the various races are very differently mobile. Black runners, for instance, experience it differently from white couch-potatoes. Cheers Sorte Slyngel (talk) 18:02, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Postmodernism isn't all that bad in its ultimate consequences[edit]

Just a personal story: A physicist I know of took to studying postmodernistic history of science, came to the conclusion, that nothing could ever be stated with certainty, hence wasn't worth writing about and took his own advice and hasn't published a word since then! If only all were so consistent in their beliefs. Cheers Sorte Slyngel (talk) 01:03, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Why is Afrocentrism mentioned negatively?[edit]

Please, explain! I'm as white as white can be with visibly blue blood to boot, and I'm overcome with guilt, that my race has stolen all of its significant ideas from Africa. Sorte Slyngel (talk) 17:50, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Plea to drive-by editor David Gerard[edit]

If you must undo an edit, please explain yourself (either in the edit comment thingy or here in the talk page), and refrain from dishonestly marking such a revision as a "minor" edit. What kind of edit warring nonsense are you trying to engage in?

Please read what I have already written above. The article is unclear to the point of being nonsensical in various parts. If you can't stand the removal of sections that don't clearly communicate, then please just re-write them so that they do clearly communicate. It's got to change, either way, I don't care which. Brianpansky (talk) 23:02, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

David is a moderator here, and in the view of many carries on with some arrogance. As he did here. ---Mona- (talk) 23:11, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
Hello, this is me entering the discussion. I reverted with an edit note that explains my views. I don't think that the longer text that David attempted to preserve in this particular case is worse than the shorter text; on the contrary. Now, this is not a statement on the honesty of David's edit (e.g. marking it as minor) or anything like that. This is just me participating on the site in my own name; no connections to anything else. I liked the longer text segment, albeit I wouldn't crown it "final" in any real sense whatsoever. It's better than what was provided in its place, however. My two cents. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:12, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
My main contention with that section is that it calls post modernism a "critical method" (indeed, it says it a "useful" one "to keep on hand", as if we were talking about something discrete). This doesn't seem accurate at all, and I think it should be re-written to say "a set of views" rather than a "method". But if you think it is an accurate description to call it a "method", please outline what this method is (and why you think postmodernism "is" this method). Brianpansky (talk) 03:08, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I agree with you perfectly. I just didn't like the shorter text at all. Mona's reworking was good, and I added a few words to it to underlie how vague and unapplicable PM, as a broad framework of theory, is. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:02, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Just a little note: reverts (the ones sysops and higher have a special button for) are automatically marked as minor. David didn't intentionally label it as such and making such a big deal out of it seems like an exaggerated response either way. (talk) 03:13, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I worked off of the version the Rev had reverted back to, and did some tweaking. Hope this satisfies both sides.---Mona- (talk) 06:11, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
@141 Ah, that explains it then. No reason to assume malice. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:02, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

Balanced Article?[edit]

I find the article is written with the language/style/format of a scientist. I think a pomo should have a pomo version of this article, or at least included their viewpoint; but then again, I suspect few pomos edit Wikipedia. Also, the viewpoints show greater bias against pomos. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Such a posttextual paradigm and its subcapitalist implications could have a profound effect on the legibility of the material, especially if interpolated with the predominant narrative of wikis and their semanticist challanges they pose to the recipient. In other words, I like it, but it wouldn't exactly help promote postmodernism. ~ Aneris 11:05, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Socrates is a man; men are mortal; Socrates is mortal[edit]

In Postmodernism this Venn diagram: File:SocratesVennDiagram.png would be as follows:

  • Opressors
    • Males
      • White men

White men are males; males are opressors; White men are opressors. User000name (talk) 00:06, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Cool story bro. --Ymir (talk) 02:41, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Postmodernists do not believe in axioms. They believe that straight white males have power and they(even if they are straight white men themselves) have not. Thus, deconstruction.


>and a search began for a new kind of left-wing oppositional philosophy, the more unfalsifiable and incomprehensible the better.

How many layers of Karl Popper are you guys on?

Gramsci's Cultural Hegemony[edit]

The article is pretty strong, but it's missing out in its rough treatment of pre-WWII Marxist theory. Antonio Gramsci's prison writings are basically asking, "How in the world did fascism take over?" and arriving on the idea that the state builds power by changing the public's collective understanding of reality.

Semiology dove deeper on the exact mechanisms and focused in on how language abstracts reality into easy-to-exploit representations. Then comes Frankfurt school talking about how a government exerts control by building "soft power" cultural systems.

All of that to say that postmodernism was originally rooted in political philosophy (especially in reaction to fascism), not a response to enlightenment ideals as stated in the article. It's also to say that cultural Marxism is not limited to crank conspiracy theory. Lenin and Marx focused on materialism, but there were other guys, and social constructionism really started with the Italian Communists.

Seeing how vehemently the article talks about the Marxism, I'm not about to spend a bunch of time editing and possibly getting into a pissing contest over this. Hopefully someone sees the comment and considers cleaning things up. — Unsigned, by: / talk

Denial of rationality by postmodernists[edit]

Why is this not fully exposed as what it is? Encyclopedia Britanica lists the flurry of concepts postmodernism rejects. Truth, reason, discourse, logic, science. It only recognizes power struggles between groups(ie Marxism), which itself is oversimplification. As something that deny the very WORD this wiki is based on, it should be exposed as the dangerous nihilistic theory it truly is. It is the basis of identity politics and "everything is a social construct theories" and outright DESTROYED fields such as anthropology, english and even education. When science is denied, there is no methodology needed, just pure power struggle wishwash. It is the basis of Identity Politics and of White priviledge(which by the way is based on a book of a woman explaining her PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and has no scientific methodology AT ALL) and of systemic racism. It is nothing more than the intelectualification of Marxism and denial of western society and revolutionary to the core. The article on this on Encyclopedia Britannica is much better and seemed to have been written by a very competent individual in comparison. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

My first reply is that almost no sentence in your post is an accurate description of anything.
  • Neither rationality, nor reason, discourse, or science are denied by postmodern ideology. Discourse, in fact, is a central goddamn dogma. That's a very incorrect understanding of postmodernism, and certainly not the one given by EB.
  • Postmodernism doesn't concern itself with power struggles, that's indeed marxism's(and in a broader sense, Hegelianism's) purview.
  • It's not dangerous, and while you could argue it's nihilist, but schools such as absurdism(and existential ideology) counter that thought.
  • Identity politics are not based in post-modernism. I don't know where you got that from.
  • Anthropology still exists. So does English. And so does education as a field.
  • And after 5 sentences, we come to your first almost factually correct one, science is the most common and well appreciated methodological approach to knowledge, and post modernism does indeed reject the central dogma of skepticism, that science is the only valid approach to knowledge. This is the only real debate to be had about it, to be honest. But the rest of your sentence is bullshit and hogwash.
  • It is not the basis of privilege as a concept, and it's definitely not the basis of systemic racism(which has fucking assloads of empirical and observational support).
  • Marxism was already intellectualized, Karl Marx was always a fucking philosopher. Come on, man. And I'm not sure how you possibly arrived that it's a "denial" of "western society", which seems like meaningless babble.
I'd be more inclined to treat you as someone who's just wrong, but I gotta lean towards you're someone heavily into some reactionary forum, probably a shitty youtube video, based on you just completely bullshitting me on what Encyclopedia Britannica says. Either way, your criticism is way short of addressing any problems in this article. Rectocranialectomy recommended for this patient. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:23, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Huh... no. Postmodernism is the STRAIGHTFORWARD DENIAL of
1. There is an objective natural reality, a reality whose existence and properties are logically independent of human beings—of their minds, their societies, their social practices, or their investigative techniques. Postmodernists dismiss this idea as a kind of naive realism. Such reality as there is, according to postmodernists, is a conceptual construct, an artifact of scientific practice and language. This point also applies to the investigation of past events by historians and to the description of social institutions, structures, or practices by social scientists.
2. The descriptive and explanatory statements of scientists and historians can, in principle, be objectively true or false. The postmodern denial of this viewpoint—which follows from the rejection of an objective natural reality—is sometimes expressed by saying that there is no such thing as Truth.
3. Through the use of reason and logic, and with the more specialized tools provided by science and technology, human beings are likely to change themselves and their societies for the better. It is reasonable to expect that future societies will be more humane, more just, more enlightened, and more prosperous than they are now. Postmodernists deny this Enlightenment faith in science and technology as instruments of human progress. Indeed, many postmodernists hold that the misguided (or unguided) pursuit of scientific and technological knowledge led to the development of technologies for killing on a massive scale in World War II. Some go so far as to say that science and technology—and even reason and logic—are inherently destructive and oppressive, because they have been used by evil people, especially during the 20th century, to destroy and oppress others.
4. Reason and logic are universally valid—i.e., their laws are the same for, or apply equally to, any thinker and any domain of knowledge. For postmodernists, reason and logic too are merely conceptual constructs and are therefore valid only within the established intellectual traditions in which they are used.
5. There is such a thing as human nature; it consists of faculties, aptitudes, or dispositions that are in some sense present in human beings at birth rather than learned or instilled through social forces. Postmodernists insist that all, or nearly all, aspects of human psychology are completely socially determined.
6. Language refers to and represents a reality outside itself. According to postmodernists, language is not such a “mirror of nature,” as the American pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty characterized the Enlightenment view. Inspired by the work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, postmodernists claim that language is semantically self-contained, or self-referential: the meaning of a word is not a static thing in the world or even an idea in the mind but rather a range of contrasts and differences with the meanings of other words. Because meanings are in this sense functions of other meanings—which themselves are functions of other meanings, and so on—they are never fully “present” to the speaker or hearer but are endlessly “deferred.” Self-reference characterizes not only natural languages but also the more specialized “discourses” of particular communities or traditions; such discourses are embedded in social practices and reflect the conceptual schemes and moral and intellectual values of the community or tradition in which they are used. The postmodern view of language and discourse is due largely to the French philosopher and literary theorist Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), the originator and leading practitioner of deconstruction.
7. Human beings can acquire knowledge about natural reality, and this knowledge can be justified ultimately on the basis of evidence or principles that are, or can be, known immediately, intuitively, or otherwise with certainty. Postmodernists reject philosophical foundationalism—the attempt, perhaps best exemplified by the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes’s dictum cogito, ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am”), to identify a foundation of certainty on which to build the edifice of empirical (including scientific) knowledge.
8. It is possible, at least in principle, to construct general theories that explain many aspects of the natural or social world within a given domain of knowledge—e.g., a general theory of human history, such as dialectical materialism. Furthermore, it should be a goal of scientific and historical research to construct such theories, even if they are never perfectly attainable in practice. Postmodernists dismiss this notion as a pipe dream and indeed as symptomatic of an unhealthy tendency within Enlightenment discourses to adopt “totalizing” systems of thought (as the French philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas called them) or grand “metanarratives” of human biological, historical, and social development (as the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard claimed). These theories are pernicious not merely because they are false but because they effectively impose conformity on other perspectives or discourses, thereby oppressing, marginalizing, or silencing them. Derrida himself equated the theoretical tendency toward totality with totalitarianism.
  • Ultimately, everything I say they deny is denied. For your own denial that post-modernism is the evolution of Marxism. Well, Derrida, has admitted himself that his postmodernism is his own evolution of Marxism. He straight up said it. Postmodernism comes in the 70s, at the same time that Marxism stopped having any legitimacy has the purges and gulags came out heavily in the press, and the fact every communist country devolved in horrible totalitarianism. Postmodernism is the refuge of Marxists, although this is not scientifically proven I must admit(Except for Derrida who straight up admitted it).
  • Marx was an intellectual that's true and I did rethink that sentence and tought about that weakness. But what I truly meant was further intellectualization. Poorly worded I guess.
  • Derrida says that Western Civilization is based on Phalogocentrism. That is the logic of Men. He says that like it's a bad thing. During his time, the issue of race wasn't that big, but feminism was raging, and it proved to be the basis of MULTIPLE feminist writers, saying that ultimately, society is based on the logic and reason of enlightenment-influence WHITE MEN. I don't remember exactly which feminists wrote this but they were two and both were feminists and postmodernists.
  • White Privilege. Akin to saying rule of the majority. The very principle of democracy. Why doesnt Brazil talk of Latino Privilege, or south africa of Black Privilege? Maybe because they're not post-modernist logic denialists. Inequality is normal in all human societies, and Western Society happens to be the LEAST inequal. We are champions of tolerance. White Privilege people say that black people can't be racist because they don't have power. The very basis of postmodernism, Group struggle of power, denial of logic. Every individual of every race can be racist. All of this is just common sense, which is btw also denied by postmodernists. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
For someone who alleges such divine perfection of the concept of logic, you suck giant donkey balls at reflexively applying it to your own thoughts. This enormous stream of consciousness reply, you've made numerous attempts at implying a strict logical derivation of your totally nonsense conclusions, and even a minute attempt at structuring those thoughts a little more rigorously would reveal the insane leaps of logic underlying them. I'm not gonna do all of them, because fucking hell that'd be exhausting

Through the use of reason and logic, and with the more specialized tools provided by science and technology, human beings are likely to change themselves and their societies for the better. It is reasonable to expect that future societies will be more humane, more just, more enlightened, and more prosperous than they are now. Postmodernists deny this Enlightenment faith in science and technology as instruments of human progress. Indeed, many postmodernists hold that the misguided (or unguided) pursuit of scientific and technological knowledge led to the development of technologies for killing on a massive scale in World War II. Some go so far as to say that science and technology—and even reason and logic—are inherently destructive and oppressive, because they have been used by evil people, especially during the 20th century, to destroy and oppress others.

Now, let's convert that to traditional first order logic
if we define
PM(x) as "x is a postmodernist thinker"
HS(x) as "x believes that technology has harmed human society"
SC(x) as "x is scientific"
RE(x) as "x is based in reason"
HA(x,y) as "x hates y"
You assert
p1. ∃(x):PM(x)∧HS(x)
p2. ∀(x):SC(x)→RE(x)
Let's ignore that one of the central arguments postmodernists posit is that p2 is assumed while not actually true. Let's just just grant you both premises.
What the fuck kind of deduction are you taking to get from these premises to this later conclusion? This is the big question to answer to yourself. In case you miss the thesis in the volume of writing here
∀(x)∀(y): RE(x)∧PM(y)→HA(y, x)
It makes no goddamn sense. None. The ends don't connect. Hell, the ends don't get within a hundred miles of each other. You repeat this kind of reasoning over and over throughout your post.
I really want you to think about what led you to think they did. Because it wasn't "logic" (but it could be badly applied reasoning)
See, I'm not a postmodernist, while I think it's a useful framework to critique overly strong claims of objectivity from, I fundamentally value the methodological empiricism as an approach to understanding the mechanisms of the universe, but you can't just uncritically say "oh this school of thought is critical of 'the good one' so it's against everything good". The way you're talking is characteristic of a couple of specific right wing youtubers who just lie. Marxism is 100% a classical modernist, materialist philosophy, if someone tries to tie it to postmodernism, that person is lying to you. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 00:25, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
MMMM........... Youre quote that you so happily are trying to disprove is directly from Encylopedia britanica, it is not my words. Nice try trying to make me look like a fool, but I believe that whoever wrote the Encyclopedia Britannica article is... well have better credentials than you let's say :)
Social constructionism is EVIDENTLY a direct child of Postmodernist ideology. You can only think that gender is a social construct if you don't believe in any empirical argument in the first place, because it denies all evolutionary evidence we ever collected. Postmodernism doesnt believe in empirical evidence. That is the BASIS of it, their very FIRST assumption, and if you don't know that, you don't know postmodernism, it's as simple as that. You clearly aren't a professor at a University either, because you'd also know that postmodernist ideology, ie social constructism, is PERVASIVE, in humanities, justice studies, anthropoly, english, philosophy and education. Those fields still exist, as you stupidly counter-argued before that I thought they were not there anymore, but they are infiltrated by social constructionist theories, which are DIRECTLY inspired by Postmodernism. And that fact prevents them from being useful until we clean postmodernist and social construstionist theories from them. Also, they are not 100% dominated by pomos, for exemple, english, philosophy and education still have empirical thinkers, it's just that a lot, in some universities the vast majority, of the professors are pomo-inspired.
I never said that Marxism was postmodernism but that pomo was the child of Marxism, because Marxism doesn't deny reason. Postmodernism does however, and the second assumption they make, is that everything is a power struggle between different groups. So 1: Denial of empiricism, 2: Everything is power dynamics. That is also omnipresent in postmodernist literature, and again, if you don't know that, you don't know postmodernism. Basically, Postmodernism is 1. nihilism, 2. marxism. In the most simplest terms, but of course it varies in the details, and some pomo thinkers are not completely beyond redemption, just like some scientifics are total frauds. (talk) 02:50, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
Ikanreed is correct that postmodernism is not a consequence of Marxism. Postmodernism is often thought indefinable. The French derived their post structuralism from Marx and Freud. The Italians ignored Marx. For a quick introduction, see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ariel31459 (talk) 03:39, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry you missed the huge text telling you what the central point you should reflect on was. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:21, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
I've always found it interesting how Aquinas's transubstantiation prefigured the epistemological anarchy usually attributed to generic 'postmodernists'. If things aren't defined by their directly knowable physical qualities, but rather by a metaphysical 'essence' or Platonic 'substance' that can be swapped in and out to make the wafer 'really' turn into God's flesh, it's definitely true that it's possible nothing is as it seems. I might have been transubstantiated into a kangaroo, and nobody could tell because I still looked and acted the same, even if my human essence was swapped out for a kangaroo's. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 17:01, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
I feel that it is obvious from even a cursory study of philosophy, that the underpinnings of post-modernism existed from at least the enlightenment, and more reasonably all the way back to the Greek Skeptics. But the specific reactions that created the movement couldn't happen until "objective" "scientific" things like Eugenics and Bernay's attempt to create a consistent system with claims of having "solved" logic. The particular form of philosophical skepticism called "post modern theory" exists almost entirely as a reaction to claims of objectivity that go beyond their actual level objectivity.
From what I've read of Sokal, he had a pretty similar perspective, and did his hoax as a reaction to claims of subjectivity going far beyond their actual level of subjectivity. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 17:22, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
I just read through the BoN's posts. Their "Postmodernism" can me easily summed by and used interchangeably with "Cultural Marxism", such that one can dismiss the argument in its entirety offhand as nothing more than the rambling of the insane. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:54, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, but in particular he's regurgitating Jordan Peterson's brand of ideological dog food. Cultural Marxism as a conspiratorial shibboleth for disregarding structural criticisms is a neonazi thing that conservatives instantly fell in love with, but conflating it with postmodernism? That's one particular nutbar's fault. And because the connection is so tenuous and arbitrary, I wanted this particular horse I led to water to drink. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:44, 21 January 2019 (UTC)

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