start with the best of intentions (for example, to criticize the lack of women or minorities involved in science), but provide the worst of arguments (such as the scientific method alienates women and minorities).
are reluctant to become postmodernists
because of a desire to retain some aspects of their `old' political desires" (207).
This is not to say that all or even most professors of literature, history, or philosophy are postmodernists
. But some of the most prestigious professors are, including the recent presidents of several important professional associations.
' favorite love-hate object--ratifies the human tendency to go along with the crowd rather than the evidence of one's senses.
But its vagueness is also part of its essence: postmodernists
refuse to be pinned down by strict definitions.
He wishes to submit the concept of modernity to a critical examination in order to show that the richly variegated complexities of modern experience offer the contemporary thinker some "interesting prospects," thereby refuting the claim of postmodernists
that modernity has come to its end.
She takes on, for instance, the concepts of truth, reason, objectivity, meaning, and belief in order to explore the "dynamics of contemporary intellectual controversy." As Smith argues, the controversy arises between traditionalists who propose and defend objectivist views of these concepts, and relativists or postmodernists
who challenge and undermine those views.
And so, too, does their insistence on the systemic unity of capitalism as a "totalizing" system - something for which they are sharply criticized by postmodernists
. One of the dominant themes of postmodernism, as Nugent pointed out, is indeed to deny the "systemic totality" of capitalism.
I think what the postmodernists
did was truly evil.
Citing Brian McHale's Postmodernist
Fiction, which concentrates on the postmodernists
interest in transgressing ontological boundaries, and noting Stoppards almost trademark interest in metatheatrical devices, Jernigan argues:
According to Kim, if we forget that "form and politics function dialec-tically" then difference becomes a kind of "empty sameness." Such an abstract concept of difference thus becomes "untrue to the critics who, desiring a better world, value difference in its most liberatory form" (80, 81).The point is further elucidated in Kim's reading of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, which considers the novel's "differential approach to white and nonwhite, Western and non-Western, male and female writers." Kim finds a tendency in readings of Gravity's Rainbow to "valorize without actually grappling with the real forms of difference in our world, and thereby reinscribe that difference," and takes issue with postmodernists
' "awed surrender to the sublime" (84, 116).
But to scholars of modern philosophy this resembles a vulgarization of Marx' superstructure-theory or a somewhat crude version of Kant's answer to the question: 'Is metaphysics as science possible?' Kant's answer, like our postmodernists
', is 'no.' Yet Kant provides successfully arguments that show that from the impossibility of metaphysics-as-science does not follow that metaphysics is meaningless, nefarious or even avoidable.