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Postmodernism: pathologies of modernity from Nietzsche to the post-structuralists

Dews, P (2006) 'Postmodernism: pathologies of modernity from Nietzsche to the post-structuralists.' In: Ball, T and Bellamy, R, (eds.) The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought. The Cambridge History of Political Thought . Cambridge University Press, 343 - 467. ISBN 9780521691628

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Abstract

In the last quarter of the twentieth century the concept of postmodernism, and the associated notion of postmodernity, became a principal focus of discussion in philosophy, cultural analysis, and social and political theory. Nietzsche and Heidegger are crucial points of reference for the French post-structuralists, who provided the theoretical armoury of postmodernism. Foucault and Derrida have probably been the most influential of French post-structuralist thinkers. The central theoretical and political dilemma of postmodernist thought which was highlighted by its most eminent critic, J�rgen Habermas. Postmodernists have construed the collapse of metaphysical foundations as a licence for relativism, Habermas's conception of agreement as the intrinsic, albeit idealised, aim of communication provides, a 'post-metaphysical' account of the orientation to a context-transcending truth. On Habermas's account, modernity, in both its capitalist and bureaucratic socialist versions, is characterised by a 'colonisation' of the human life-world by instrumental reason. The perspectivism, and relativism, which are central to the epistemology of postmodernism, prohibit comprehensive historical claims.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2017 16:06
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:31
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15268

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