[FRIAM] Postmodernism for Rationalists

gⅼеɳ ☣ gepropella at gmail.com
Mon Nov 20 15:36:47 EST 2017

I don't know anyone who still claims to be (or think as) a postmodernist.  The temporal context implied by "post-" simply indicates a stage we've gone through, not a centralized, coherent way of thinking.  The transition referred to by "postmodern" simply indicates that we lost our *assumed*, fixed, foundation.  Modern had a firm, fixed footing.  We lost that and now we'll always be post modern.

Attempts to replace the previous (modern) footing with some new, unitary, coherent foundation have been successfully resisted.  But it seems to me like we're arriving at a constraint-based way of thinking.  Yes, *within* some set of constraints, there's plenty of semantic wiggle.  The constraints circumscribe a set of equivalent re-groundings.  But it's clearly nonsense to re-ground to something outside the constraints.  I.e. we're approaching something modelable by things like Kripke semantics.  Given a language, some things make sense and others don't.  Change languages and what makes (versus what doesn't make) sense changes.

If we get to the point in science where we can seriously talk about consciousness, then perhaps that will provide a new, fixed, grounding for meaning.  But until then, perhaps our best bet is to categorize types of language(s) and types of sentences in those languages to further constrain the wiggle room that postmodernism originally pointed out.

On 11/18/2017 10:15 AM, Steven A Smith wrote:
> PoMo seems "mature" enough now that it, itself is wanting to be received seriously (trying to rationalize itself to rationalists?).   It's (unfortunate) association with the Beat culture (my experience growing up was that the Beats were mostly the over-30 dropout men who were trying to horn in on the youth culture of the Hippies, especially (surprise!) the girls) and aspects of the (subsequent) drop-out culture exemplified by the Merry Pranksters.
> But what comes after/follows-from PoMo?   Post-Postmodernism?  MetaModernism?   A plenitude of *modernisms (as suggested by the PoMo aesthetic?)
> From the Wikipedia Post Postmodernism entry:
>     /Salient features of postmodernism are normally thought to include the ironic play with styles, citations and narrative levels,//^[6] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-postmodernism#cite_note-6> //a metaphysical skepticism or //nihilism <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism>//towards a “//grand narrative <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_narrative>//” of Western culture,//^[7] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-postmodernism#cite_note-7> //a preference for the virtual at the expense of the real (or more accurately, a fundamental questioning of what 'the real' constitutes)//^[8] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-postmodernism#cite_note-8> //and a “waning of affect”//^[9] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-postmodernism#cite_note-9> //on the part of the subject, who is caught up in the free interplay of virtual, endlessly reproducible signs inducing a state of consciousness similar to schizophrenia./^/[10]
>     <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-postmodernism#cite_note-10>/
> All I know about PoPoMo I just read in Wikipedia (how non-PoMo of me?) but recognize some of the ideas and names referenced there.   Eric Gan's PostMillenialism struck me for it's dismissal (judgement?) of PoMo as "victimary thinking"... a corollary of nihilism?   I don't really take Gan's Generative Anthropology seriously (though it has interesting ideas) and DO (against my personal convenience) believe in a postCapitalist/postDemocracy (r)evolution on the cusp of happening (perhaps even in my lifetime?).
> I also find something interesting in this description of metaModernism (same source):
>     /As examples of the metamodern sensibility Vermeulen and van den Akker cite the 'informed naivety', 'pragmatic idealism' and 'moderate fanaticism' of the various cultural responses to, among others, climate change, the financial crisis, and (geo)political instability./
>     /The prefix 'meta' here refers not to some reflective stance or repeated rumination, but to Plato's //metaxy <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaxy>//, which intends a movement between opposite poles as well as beyond.//^[25] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-postmodernism#cite_note-25> /

☣ gⅼеɳ

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