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I've read some postmodern philosophy and it is strange how they attack science as being a social system that is biased and oppressive like any other "cultural and social structure." I don't really like postmodernists and i'm curious what you all have to say about them?
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JesicloneThe subject of post-modernism has raised its ugly head more than once on Booktalk. Most of us think that it is overblown rubbish. Richard Dawkins has an interesting essay about it in his latest book. One of the problems is defining exactly what it is other than simple minded, pernicious relativism.
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The real value of a Post Modern critique of Science involves the challenge for the Scientist to reveal his/her social and economic class- to take responsibility for the subconcious agendas being reinforced, defended and expanded by way of their scientific labors.The Post Modern critique is at best a way to keep individuals, even scientists, free of the delusion that they are free of the prejudices, biases and allegiences that direct all forms of discourse and struggles for power.At worst, Post Modern criticism sacrifices what is better because it is not perfect- ie, a scientific work is rejected because of its unavoidable flaws, and shown as worthy of consideration as a chicken clucking in the night- and ends up reducing everything to nonsense; when, obviously, some nonsense is better than others.
I think that there are certain aspects of post-modernism that are healthy. It challenges you to examine the foundations of your beliefs and reminds you that absolute objectivity is not something that you can achieve.Many of the theories associated with postmodernism remind us that we are acting without a foundation. I don't think that it encourages us not to act, only to accept that our actions are based on assumptions that cannot be justified. It demonstrates that we are all part of glacial shift in understanding.
I posted this on the Resevior Dogs thread yet since more people look at this one i'll put this here too.I have read Fashionable Nonsense (English translation of Intellectual Imposters) by Alan Sokal since I came across his Social Text hoax. I thought it was hilarious. I like satire, especially satirical performances. Sokal does not attempt to criticize all postmodern philosophers but to show that they know nothing when it comes to mathematics and science, yet use that obscure type of technical language to impress readers. I've recently left my postmodern phase due to what I have discovered. Now, I don't have anything against postmodernism. I do enjoy postmodern literature and postmodern art. Even postmodern history. Postmodern is just a very vague and broad term used to describe events, mostly culture, from the 1960s. I guess it's a better label than calling this the Information/ Globalization Age. I don't know or care....leave that to the future historians.I don't like postmodern philosophy. Basically philosophy has become an area of study that does not require professional academic philosophers, so most of the humanities and social science professionals have criticized natural science, since science has evidently earned the people's trust of being the reliable method of gaining knowledge. Look, even creation "scientist" attempt to use the scientific method to recruit agnostics....lol. Postmodern philosophy from the "elite" in France like Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard and Baudrillard is very obscure. I do enjoy reading philosophy like Bertrand Russell, and I'll admit that I do share some views from logical positivsm and existentialism (i guess because I enjoy existential literature as well:Sartre, Camus,Beckett,Kafka), yet I guess naturalism seems to be the reasonable philosophy for this life, even though naturalism was not a belief that a person thought of, but the belief as a result to the discoveries of science. I do believe in moral and aesthetic relativism but epistemic relativism (that all knowledge is truth) is absurd. How can contradictions like God exist and does not exist happen to be true. I do believe in that, yet that results by being extremely skeptical (i still value skepticism) to point of being irrational. Postmodern philosophers are just trying to keep their jobs, thus write and publish material by targeting "professional intellectuals" who will indulge in the new trendy school of thought and lure other individuals who look at them for authority. Like celebrities who promote Scientiology; obsessed fans will conform to that belief for the heck of it.