From: MATTHEW PAUL KUNDERT (email@example.com)
Date: Tue May 27 2003 - 21:52:18 BST
I wanted to help make the case the Matt, (Not that Steve really needs it) and to offer some warnings about postmodernism, which seems to suffer from SOM every bit as much as Modernism.
All these "cases" being made against me. My oh my. The warnings are all well and good for moronic post-modernism, of which I doubt you'd find much in academia. Usually you only hear about it from the D'Souzas of the world and in dripped down varieties which distort the original message. Fish and Rorty have been fighting it for years. Which is why I took the liberty of applying the warnings and the "cases" to an actual post-modernist, Rorty. And I can't say that much of it holds. But, then again, as I already said, nobody believes me. Oh well.
The lastest round includes this: "the postmodern postition that thinks it is neutral on values, insists there is no priviledged position, is it self 'championing the next wave of value strutures.' This is why preformative contradictions are nearly inevitable for flatlanders. SOM intellectuals are, to put it in crude terms, so blinded to the interior that they fail to see the moral dimension in their own views. He's saying they hold a moral position even if they don't recognize it as such."
Staccato replies as I've already answered these charges (very recently) before:
The post-modern position is not neutral on values. There is no privileged position if, and only if, we construe "privileged position" as meaning "ahistorical, universal, privileged metaposition." I reply to the performative contradiction charge every other post, so I'll leave that one. And post-moderns do see a moral dimension and they do recognize themselves as holding moral positions. As you might say, how couldn't they?
That's enough denying. The one thing that I think comes close to hitting a mark is post-modernism as "championing the next wave of value structures." The reason this comes close is because post-moderns as a rule own up to contingency. It is completely aware of its own place in history and the dialectical nature of history. A new wave will inevitably rise. However, post-modernism generally simply consists in a negative point, that modernism is bad. As long as it does this, and does not try and erect modernesque (i.e. universal) structures on top of the ashes, the movement beyond post-modernism will consist of projects that have already assimilated the main message of post-modernism: contingency.
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