College Essays College Application Essays Essays on postmodernism
A postmodernist reflects history’s theological interpretations.
At the end of this century the big questions about reality and being human rise with unexpected power. We ask ever more agonizingly: What does it mean to be human? How do human beings fit into this vast cosmos? Where to from here? We live in a time of great uncertainty–caught in the transition from a bold and passionate optimism about the future to a deep skepticism and spirit of nihilism about finding any universal ways for mankind. We live in a postmodern time.
He was a key figure in the development of postmodernist philosophy.
Habermas's critique of postmodernism on the basis of performativecontradiction and the paradox of self-reference sets the tone and theterms for much of the critical debate now under way. Whilepostmodernists have rejected these criticisms, or responded to themwith rhetorical counter-strategies. Lyotard, for example, rejectsthe notion that intersubjective communication implies a set of rulesalready agreed upon, and that universal consensus is the ultimategoal of discourse (see Lyotard 1984 , 65-66). Thatpostmodernists openly respond to Habermas is due to the fact that hetakes postmodernism seriously and does not, like other critics,reject it as mere nonsense. Indeed, that he is able to readpostmodernist texts closely and discursively testifies to theirintelligibility. He also agrees with the postmodernists that thefocus of debate should be upon modernity as it is realized in socialpractices and institutions, rather than upon theories of cognition orformal linguistics as autonomous domains. In this respect, Habermas'sconcern with inter-subjective communication helps clarify the basisupon which the modernist-postmodernist debates continue to playout.