Sunday, September 26, 2010

Postmodern poison part 1

The postmodern poison revolves around the subject of truth. In an interview with philosopher John Caputo of Syracuse University, the poison of postmodernism is taken.[1]

One of the common views of postmodernism is that no grand metanarritives exist. A grand metanarritive would be an all encompassing story that would represent truth, such as the message of atonement through the death of Jesus or simply the message of the bible. As Caputo states, "So everything that modernity tried to dispel, post-modernists also want to dispel, but they want to do it in another way. They want to do it without the overarching, very strong epistemological and metaphysical claims that modernist philosophers embraced." The keyword is overarching, in that, the grand metanarritive is denied.

The way that postmoderns break with the grand metanarritive is though deconstruction. Caputo explains, "The negative tone of the word “deconstruction, ” that it’s grammatically a negation, throws you off. If somebody deconstructs you they’re doing you a favor. But they’re breaking the rigidity of beliefs that are being held too tightly and to fiercely. They want to open you up into the ways in which things can be reinvented." Deconstruction is not concerned with truth, but as Caputo explains a reinvention of beliefs. Truth is irrelevant on a purely postmodern view. Truth cannot be reinvented, no matter how much Caputo would like it to be so. When truth is deconstructed, the poison of postmodernism has been taken.

[1] For the full interview click here

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