- The French New Right’s Quest for Alternative Modernity
- Leonidas Donskis
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The revival of Romantic ironic reflection, according to Rorty, looks as a symptom of the general crisis of metaphysical thought. The new postmetaphysical epoch means the final of the old pattern of philosophizing, the transition to the free ironic game with historical realities and life problems. The change of time-space perception is also in the focus of attention of the theorists of postmodernity.
Time, according to F. Jameson, appears today as bound together with the perception of speed. In the final of our century, time is given through the description of the objects found in the world. This very kind of time perception revealed in the works of M. Proust becomes prevailing today. Unlike the traditional society, the events happening today are not anchored to a certain place and determined by the rhythms of nature.
If time is strictly related to speed, then one should acknowledge its relations with global and cultural space. The subjective time perception is expressed in spatial images that are different not only from the traditional society, but also from the liberal capitalism.
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The postmodern ironist subjects to doubts the basic thought patterns of the classical modernity: he is totally possessed by the spirit of aesthetic game with tradition. The postmodern epoch is a period of self-negation of classical humanistic consciousness and its transition to another form. Although the followers of postmodernism are not speaking about the value of a person, the imperative of ironic reflection constantly reminds us about its persistent presence as a shadow of their arguments. Such an approach logically produces the refutation of substantialist theories of historical progress together with the global utopias of the future.
As a pattern of cultural reflection, postmodernism is obviously a fruit of the Western world. In their negation of the foundations of modernity paradigm of thought, those who follow the postmodern line of argument are not able to proclaim their own views to be the symbol of the real downfall of modernity standards: in this case , they could be accused of the restoration of the metanarrative discourse crowned by the eschatological final.
Besides, such a picture would be a too simple vision of history unable to take into account contemporary modernization changes still nourished by the impulse going from the West. The utopia of the end of history, of the final triumph of the liberal program of social development is alien to the foundations of the postmodernist consciousness.
Appealing to the example of the postcommunist stage of development in Eastern Europe, J.
The French New Right’s Quest for Alternative Modernity
Baudrillard expresses his deep suspicions about the coming "end of history". But if the end of history is illusory, one has no reason to speak about the fading away of the tide of economic, scientific, technological, and political modernization, about the transition of mankind to the postmodern type of development due to the spreading influence of the reflexive pattern created by the Western elitist intellectuals by the end of our century.
The postmodernist reflexive activity reveals new facets of the modernization consciousness showing that its conceptual basis should be reconsidered anew in the perspective offered by the contemporary West.
Ruining many stereotypes of modernity consciousness, the postmodernist reflection, contrary to its dominant orientation, is stimulating the search for a positive perspective. Ironic reflection, damaging all metanarrative constructions and global utopias of the future, indirectly puts a question concerning the competence of reason that should provide conditions for a dialogue between different cultures, strategies of discourse in different civilizations.
Given the crisis of the classical linear views of historical progress, the dialogue of different civilizations in space and time becomes a very serious theoretical problem.
Finally, in the light of the coming new millennium, there remains a question of the universal values significant for different cultures. The follower of the postmodernist pattern of reflection should not avoid the question of the competence of reason creating a wide spectrum of world interpretations. Therefore, he should be particularly interested in the relations between language and rational structure of thought, sense and emotional human relations to the world.
It is possible to go along the path of ironic negation of any type of a metanarrative reconciliation of radically opposed nonidentical poles, their assimilation in the monologue, but anyway one should be attentive to the voice of the other, his rational strategy or type of critical reflection. In this case, the problem of the rational structure of the dialogical thought becomes of primary importance.
The negation inherent in the style of thought of postmodern epoch , R. Bernstein rightly points out, should bear in itself the opportunity of a positive assertion. Contemporary philosophical critique necessarily develops itself in the space of reconciliation-rupture. Unlike the classical linear progressive vision of history, its contemporary interpretations are based on the idea of the variety of civilizations engaged in an active dialogue in diachronic and synchronic perspectives.
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- Modernity in Crisis - A Dialogue on the Culture of Belonging | L. Donskis | Palgrave Macmillan.
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One-sided view focused on Europe as the center of historical universe makes the way for a more balanced vision that appeared not only under the influence of discoveries in ethnology and cultural anthropology, but also due to the inner problems of the Western world that resulted in multi-culturalism, growth of ecological and feminist movements etc. History is no longer portrayed as a straight highway, but should be viewed as a tree with multiple boughs stretching in different directions.
Since the modernization process still has as its well the old center of the Western world, there arises a question regarding the applicability of the universals, values, and life patterns formed within its boundaries to the context of other cultures.
From the point of view of a follower of postmodernist philosophy, it is a false problem due to the incompatibility of different cultures. However, it is a really important task to find a way of mutual understanding and agreement for various cultures in order to solve urgent contemporary problems. The values of nature, life, human gender, personality and its freedom, justice, democracy, culture with its universal dimensions of Truth, Beauty, and Good still constitute the eternal field of contemporary discussions.
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Their different visions and interpretations correlative to various life worlds stimulate debates having often political significance and impact on the course of historical events. The issue of justice, for example, attracts the attention of scholars trying to define its universal aspects and at the same time to find a way for contextualizing of this concept in the multiplicity of cultures.
Stimulating attentive attitude to the otherness, the postmodernist reflection leads to the contextualization of firmly established universals in the process of cultural dialogue. The situation of the final of the century clearly reveals the need of the positive solution of high modernity problems in the light of the postmodernist reflexive pattern created by the intellectuals of the developed Western countries.
New , previously unknown fruits could be expected as the result of such positive synthesis: pasting together seemingly heterogeneous "critical ontologies" may contribute to the creation of the new visions of culture and history, to the reconsideration on this basis of the universals of Western consciousness having direct influence on social and political life, to the birth of synthetic forms of culture, social institutions that accompany modernization process. Conservative and postmodernist reaction will still accompany modernization in the nearest future.
The consequences of modernity are definitely revealed by postmodernist consciousness catalyzing modernization, giving it a qualitatively new dimension. Baudrillard, Jean. The Illusion of the End. Cambridge: Polity Press, Bernstein, Richard. The New Constellation. Habermas, Jurgen. Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, Lyotard, Jean-Francois.
Back to the roots:Shakespeare and Popular Culture in the 20th and 21st centuries
The Postmodern Explained. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, Rorty, Richard. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, White, Stephen. Political Theory and Postmodernism. Paideia logo design by Janet L.
kryolanjerusalem.com/modules/rastrear/1254.php All Rights Reserved. References Baudrillard, Jean. Foucault, Michel. New York: Routledge, Giddens, Anthony. The Consequences of Modernity. Jameson, Fredric. The Seeds of Time. New York: Columbia University Press, Theories of conspiracies and historic determinism may belong to these categories.
In order to separate pretended science from a more genuine experimentally based science we need analytical tools. The same can be necessary for separating myths from ideologies and separating both from religion or institutionalized belief systems. Intellectual analysis of this kind will be of importance in a modern civilization, not for the purpose of trying to eliminate everything that is not derived from a universal science, but for an appropriate classification, and for necessary control and corrections of misuse.