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Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid-to-late 20th century across , , , and , marking a departure from . The term has been more generally applied to describe and the tendencies of this era.

Postmodern thinkers frequently describe claims and as contingent or socially-conditioned, framing them as products of political, historical, or cultural and . These thinkers often view personal and spiritual needs as being best fulfilled by improving social conditions and adopting more fluid discourses, in contrast to , which places a higher degree of emphasis on maximizing and which generally regards the promotion of objective truths as an ideal form of discourse. Some philosophers assert that those who employ postmodernist discourse are prey to a performative contradiction and a paradox of self-reference, as their critique would be impossible without the concepts and methods that modern reason provides.

(1987). 9780262581028, MIT Press.

Postmodernism is generally defined by an attitude of skepticism, , or rejection toward what it describes as the and associated with modernism, often criticizing Enlightenment rationality and focusing on the role of in maintaining political or economic power. Common targets of postmodern criticism include ideas of objective reality, morality, , , , , , and . Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-consciousness, , epistemological and , pluralism, and irreverence.

Postmodern critical approaches gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including , philosophy of science, , , , , and literary criticism, as well as in fields such as literature, , and music. Postmodernism is often associated with schools of thought such as , post-structuralism, and institutional critique, as well as philosophers such as Jean-François Lyotard, , and .

Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse and include arguments that postmodernism promotes , is , and that it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge.

Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourseNuyen, A.T., 1992. The Role of Rhetorical Devices in Postmodernist Discourse. Philosophy & Rhetoric, pp.183–194.
(1999). 9780631195573, Blackwell Publishers.
defined by an attitude of skepticism toward what it describes as the and of , as well as opposition to certainty and the stability of meaning. It questions or criticizes viewpoints associated with Enlightenment rationality dating back to the 17th century, and is characterized by , , and its rejection of the "universal validity" of binary oppositions, stable identity, , and .
(1992). 9780415067508, Routledge. .
Postmodernism is associated with and a focus on in the maintenance of economic and political power. Postmodernists are generally "skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races," and describe truth as relative. It can be described as a reaction against attempts to explain reality in an objective manner by claiming that reality is a mental construct. Access to an or to objectively rational knowledge is rejected on the grounds that all interpretations are contingent on the perspective from which they are made; as such, claims to objective fact are dismissed as "naive realism."

Postmodern thinkers frequently describe claims and as contingent or socially-conditioned, describing them as products of political, historical, or cultural and hierarchies. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to , epistemological and , pluralism, and irreverence. Postmodernism is often associated with schools of thought such as and post-structuralism. Postmodernism relies on , which considers the effects of ideology, society, and history on culture.

(1995). 9780415105699, Routledge.
Postmodernism and critical theory commonly criticize ideas of objective reality, morality, , , , language, and .

Initially, postmodernism was a mode of discourse on literature and literary criticism, commenting on the nature of literary text, meaning, author and reader, writing, and reading.

(1989). 9780631163398, Blackwell.
Postmodernism developed in the mid- to late-twentieth century across , , , and as a departure or rejection of modernism. Postmodernist approaches have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including political science,
(2021). 9780203426050, Routledge.
organization theory,
(2021). 9780199640379, Oxford University Press.
, philosophy of science, , linguistics, architecture, , and literary criticism, as well as in fields such as literature and music. As a critical practice, postmodernism employs concepts such as , , trace, and difference, and rejects abstract principles in favor of direct experience.

Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, and include arguments that postmodernism promotes , is meaningless, and adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge.

(2021). 9780983258407, Ockham's Razor Publishing.
(2021). 9781315836102, Routledge.
(1989). 9780745606149, Polity Press.
Some philosophers, beginning with the pragmatist philosopher Jürgen Habermas, say that postmodernism contradicts itself through self-reference, as their critique would be impossible without the concepts and methods that modern reason provides. Various authors have criticized postmodernism, or trends under the general postmodern umbrella, as abandoning Enlightenment rationalism or scientific rigor.
(1994). 9780300068689, Yale University Press.
(1999). 9781861971241, Profile.

Origins of term
The term postmodern was first used in 1870.
(1997). 9789027234438
John Watkins Chapman suggested "a Postmodern style of painting" as a way to depart from French ., The Postmodern Turn, Essays in Postmodern Theory and Culture, Ohio University Press, 1987. p. 12ff. J. M. Thompson, in his 1914 article in The Hibbert Journal (a quarterly philosophical review), used it to describe changes in attitudes and beliefs in the critique of , writing: "The raison d'être of Post-Modernism is to escape from the double-mindedness of Modernism by being thorough in its criticism by extending it to religion as well as , to Catholic feeling as well as to Catholic tradition."Thompson, J. M. "Post-Modernism," The Hibbert Journal. Vol XII No. 4, July 1914. p. 733

In 1942 H. R. Hays described postmodernism as a new literary form.

In 1926, Bernard Iddings Bell, president of St. Stephen's College (now ), published Postmodernism and Other Essays, marking the first use of the term to describe the historical period following Modernity. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 2004 The essay criticizes the lingering socio-cultural norms, attitudes, and practices of the Age of Enlightenment. It also forecasts the major cultural shifts toward Postmodernity and (Bell being an Anglo-Catholic priest) suggests orthodox religion as a solution. However, the term postmodernity was first used as a general theory for a historical movement in 1939 by Arnold J. Toynbee: "Our own Post-Modern Age has been inaugurated by the general war of 1914–1918".Arnold J. Toynbee, A study of History, Volume 5, Oxford University Press, 1961 1939, p. 43. In 1949 the term was used to describe a dissatisfaction with modern architecture and led to the postmodern architecture movement Encyclopædia Britannica, 2004 in response to the modernist architectural movement known as the International Style. Postmodernism in architecture was initially marked by a re-emergence of surface ornament, reference to surrounding buildings in urban settings, historical reference in decorative forms (), and non-orthogonal angles.Seah, Isaac. "Post Modernism in Architecture".

Author suggested the transformation into a post-modern world happened between 1937 and 1957 and described it as a "nameless era" characterized as a shift to a conceptual world based on pattern, purpose, and process rather than a mechanical cause. This shift was outlined by four new realities: the emergence of an Educated Society, the importance of international development, the decline of the nation-state, and the collapse of the viability of non-Western cultures.

In 1971, in a lecture delivered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, described "post-modernism" in art as having started with , "who first rejected sense-data and the singular point-of-view as the basis for his art, and treated art as a critical investigation".

(2021). 9780262026314, The MIT Press.

In 1996, Walter Truett Anderson described postmodernism as belonging to one of four typological world views which he identified as:

  • Postmodern-ironist, which sees truth as socially constructed.

  • Scientific-rational, in which truth is defined through methodical, disciplined inquiry.

  • Social-traditional, in which truth is found in the heritage of American and Western civilization.

  • Neo-romantic, in which truth is found through attaining harmony with nature or spiritual exploration of the inner self.

The basic features of what is now called postmodernism can be found as early as the 1940s, most notably in the work of artists such as Jorge Luis Borges.See Barth, John: "The Literature of Exhaustion." The Atlantic Monthly, August 1967, pp. 29–34. However, most scholars today agree postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s.Cf., for example, Huyssen, Andreas: After the Great Divide. Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986, p. 188. Since then, postmodernism has been a powerful, though not undisputed, force in art, literature, film, music, drama, architecture, history, and continental philosophy.

The primary features of postmodernism typically include the ironic play with styles, citations and narrative levels,See Hutcheon, Linda: A Poetics of Postmodernism. History, Theory, Fiction. New York: Routledge, 1988, pp. 3–21See McHale, Brian: Postmodern Fiction, London: Methuen, 1987. a metaphysical skepticism or towards a "" of Western culture,See Lyotard, Jean-François, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press 1984 and a preference for the virtual at the expense of (or more accurately, a fundamental questioning of what 'the real' constitutes).See Baudrillard, Jean: "Simulacra and Simulations." In: Jean Baudrillard. Selected Writings. Stanford: Stanford University Press 1988, pp. 166–184.

Since the late 1990s, there has been a growing sentiment in popular culture and in academia that postmodernism "has gone out of fashion".Potter, Garry and Lopez, Jose (eds.): After Postmodernism: An Introduction to Critical Realism. London: The Athlone Press 2001, p. 4. Others argue that postmodernism is dead in the context of current cultural production. DiVA 833886.

Theories and derivatives

Structuralism and post-structuralism
was a philosophical movement developed by French academics in the 1950s, partly in response to French ,
(2021). 9781351305846, Routledge.
and often interpreted in relation to and . Thinkers who have been called "structuralists" include the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the Marxist philosopher , and the semiotician Algirdas Greimas. The early writings of the psychoanalyst and the literary theorist have also been called "structuralist". Those who began as structuralists but became post-structuralists include , Roland Barthes, , and . Other post-structuralists include , , Jean-François Lyotard, , Hélène Cixous, and . The American cultural theorists, critics and intellectuals whom they influenced include , John Fiske, Rosalind Krauss, , and .

Like structuralists, post-structuralists start from the assumption that people's identities, values and economic conditions determine each other rather than having intrinsic properties that can be understood in isolation.

(1963). 046509516X, New York: Basic Books. 046509516X

Lévi-Strauss, quoting D'Arcy Westworth Thompson states: "To those who question the possibility of defining the interrelations between entities whose nature is not completely understood, I shall reply with the following comment by a great naturalist: In a very large part of morphology, our essential task lies in the comparison of related forms rather than in the precise definition of each; and the deformation of a complicated figure may be a phenomenon easy of comprehension, though the figure itself has to be left unanalyzed and undefined."
Thus the French structuralists considered themselves to be espousing and constructionism. But they nevertheless tended to explore how the subjects of their study might be described, reductively, as a set of essential relationships, schematics, or mathematical symbols. (An example is Claude Lévi-Strauss's algebraic formulation of mythological transformation in "The Structural Study of Myth"Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Anthropologie Structurale. Paris: Éditions Plon, 1958.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Structural Anthropology. Trans. Claire Jacobson and Brooke Grundfest Schoepf (New York: Basic Books, 1963), 228.

Postmodernist ideas in and in the analysis of and have expanded the importance of . They have been the point of departure for works of , and , as well as being visible in marketing/business and the interpretation of history, law and culture, starting in the late 20th century. These developments—re-evaluation of the entire Western value system (, marriage, , shift from an industrial to a ) that took place since the 1950s and 1960s, with a peak in the Social Revolution of 1968—are described with the term , as opposed to postmodernism, a term referring to an opinion or movement.

(1993). 9780820315317, University of Georgia Press.
Post-structuralism is characterized by new ways of thinking through structuralism, contrary to the original form.

One of the most well-known postmodernist concerns is "deconstruction", a theory for philosophy, literary criticism, and textual analysis developed by .
(2021). 9780415461511, Routledge.
Critics have insisted that Derrida's work is rooted in a statement found in Of Grammatology: " Il n'y a pas de hors-texte" ("there is no outside-text"). Such critics misinterpret the statement as denying any reality outside of books. The statement is actually part of a critique of "inside" and "outside" metaphors when referring to text, and is corollary to the observation that there is no "inside" of a text as well.Derrida (1967), Of Grammatology, Part II, Introduction to the "Age of Rousseau," section 2 "...That Dangerous Supplement...", title, "The Exorbitant Question of Method", pp. 158–59, 163. This attention to a text's unacknowledged reliance on metaphors and figures embedded within its discourse is characteristic of Derrida's approach. Derrida's method sometimes involves demonstrating that a given philosophical discourse depends on binary oppositions or excluding terms that the discourse itself has declared to be irrelevant or inapplicable. Derrida's philosophy inspired a postmodern movement called among architects, characterized by design that rejects structural "centers" and encourages decentralized play among its elements. Derrida discontinued his involvement with the movement after the publication of his collaborative project with architect Peter Eisenman in Chora L Works: Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman.Peeters, Benoît. Derrida: A Biography, pp. 377–8, translated by Andrew Brown, , 2013,

The connection between postmodernism, posthumanism, and cyborgism has led to a challenge to postmodernism, for which the terms postpostmodernism and postpoststructuralism were first coined in 2003:

More recently , post-postmodernism and the "death of postmodernism" have been widely debated: in 2007 Andrew Hoberek noted in his introduction to a special issue of the journal Twentieth Century Literature titled "After Postmodernism" that "declarations of postmodernism's demise have become a critical commonplace". A small group of critics has put forth a range of theories that aim to describe culture or society in the alleged aftermath of postmodernism, most notably Raoul Eshelman (performatism), Gilles Lipovetsky (), Nicolas Bourriaud (), and Alan Kirby (digimodernism, formerly called pseudo-modernism). None of these new theories or labels have so far gained very widespread acceptance. Sociocultural anthropologist Nina Müller-Schwarze offers neostructuralism as a possible direction.Müller Schwarze, Nina 2015 The Blood of Victoriano Lorenzo: An Ethnography of the Cholos of Northern Coclé Province. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Press. The exhibition Postmodernism – Style and Subversion 1970–1990 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (, 24 September 2011 – 15 January 2012) was billed as the first show to document postmodernism as a historical movement.

In the 1970s a group of poststructuralists in France developed a radical critique of modern philosophy with roots discernible in Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, and became known as postmodern theorists, notably including Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and others. New and challenging modes of thought and writing pushed the development of new areas and topics in philosophy. By the 1980s, this spread to America (Richard Rorty) and the world.

Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French-Algerian philosopher best known for developing a form of analysis known as , which he discussed in numerous texts, and developed in the context of phenomenology.
(2014). 9781317490937, Routledge. .
(2021). 9781433100093, Peter Lang. .
He is one of the major figures associated with post-structuralism and postmodern philosophy.
(2021). 9780231107907, Columbia University Press.
(1989). 9781501746185, Cornell University Press.
(1996). 9781438410449, SUNY Press. .

Derrida re-examined the fundamentals of writing and its consequences on philosophy in general; sought to undermine the language of "presence" or in an analytical technique which, beginning as a point of departure from Heidegger's notion of Destruktion, came to be known as .

Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, , and literary critic. First associated with , Foucault created an oeuvre that today is seen as belonging to post-structuralism and to postmodern philosophy. Considered a leading figure of , his work remains fruitful in the English-speaking academic world in a large number of sub-disciplines. The Times Higher Education Guide described him in 2009 as the most cited author in the humanities.

Michel Foucault introduced concepts such as '', or re-invoked those of older philosophers like '' and 'genealogy' in order to explain the relationship between meaning, power, and social behavior within social orders (see The Order of Things, The Archaeology of Knowledge, Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality).

(2018). 9781317336679
(2013). 9780203604168
(2021). 9780241386019, PENGUIN BOOKS.

Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard is credited with being the first to use the term in a philosophical context, in his 1979 work . In it, he follows Wittgenstein's language games model and speech act theory, contrasting two different language games, that of the expert, and that of the philosopher. He talks about transformation of knowledge into information in the computer age and likens the transmission or reception of coded messages (information) to a position within a language game.

Lyotard defined philosophical postmodernism in The Postmodern Condition, writing: "Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards meta narratives...."

(1979). 9780944624067, University of Minnesota Press.
where what he means by is something like a unified, complete, universal, and epistemically certain story about everything that is. Postmodernists reject metanarratives because they reject the concept of truth that metanarratives presuppose. Postmodernist philosophers, in general, argue that truth is always contingent on historical and social context rather than being absolute and universal—and that truth is always partial and "at issue" rather than being complete and certain.

Richard Rorty
Richard Rorty argues in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature that contemporary analytic philosophy mistakenly imitates scientific methods. In addition, he denounces the traditional epistemological perspectives of representationalism and correspondence theory that rely upon the independence of knowers and observers from phenomena and the passivity of natural phenomena in relation to consciousness.

Jean Baudrillard
Jean Baudrillard, in Simulacra and Simulation, introduced the concept that reality or the principle of "" is short-circuited by the interchangeability of signs in an era whose communicative and semantic acts are dominated by electronic media and digital technologies. Baudrillard proposes the notion that, in such a state, where subjects are detached from the outcomes of events (political, literary, artistic, personal, or otherwise), events no longer hold any particular sway on the subject nor have any identifiable context; they, therefore, have the effect of producing widespread indifference, detachment, and passivity in industrialized populations. He claimed that a constant stream of appearances and references without any direct consequences to viewers or readers could eventually render the division between appearance and object indiscernible, resulting, ironically, in the "disappearance" of mankind in what is, in effect, a virtual or holographic state, composed only of appearances. For Baudrillard, "simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or a reality: a ."

Fredric Jameson
Fredric Jameson set forth one of the first expansive theoretical treatments of postmodernism as a historical period, intellectual trend, and social phenomenon in a series of lectures at the Whitney Museum, later expanded as Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991).
(1991). 9780822309291, Duke University Press.

Douglas Kellner
In Analysis of the Journey, a journal birthed from postmodernism, Douglas Kellner insists that the "assumptions and procedures of modern theory" must be forgotten. Extensively, Kellner analyzes the terms of this theory in real-life experiences and examples. Kellner used science and technology studies as a major part of his analysis; he urged that the theory is incomplete without it. The scale was larger than just postmodernism alone; it must be interpreted through cultural studies where science and technology studies play a huge role. The reality of the September 11 attacks on the United States of America is the catalyst for his explanation. In response, Kellner continues to examine the repercussions of understanding the effects of the September 11 attacks. He questions if the attacks are only able to be understood in a limited form of postmodern theory due to the level of irony.

The conclusion he depicts is simple: postmodernism, as most use it today, will decide what experiences and signs in one's reality will be one's reality as they know it.


The idea of Postmodernism in began as a response to the perceived blandness and failure of the Utopianism of the Modern movement. Modern Architecture, as established and developed by and , was focused on:
  • the pursuit of a perceived ideal perfection;
  • the attempted harmony of form and function;Sullivan, Louis. "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered," published Lippincott's Magazine (March 1896). and,
  • the dismissal of "frivolous ornament."Loos, Adolf (1910). "Ornament and Crime".
    (1976). 9780262200332, MIT Press. .
They argued for an architecture that represented the spirit of the age as depicted in cutting-edge technology, be it airplanes, cars, ocean liners or even supposedly artless grain silos.Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture. Dover Publications, 1985/1921. Modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is associated with the phrase "".

Critics of Modernism have:

  • argued that the attributes of perfection and minimalism are themselves subjective;
  • pointed out in modern thought; and,
  • questioned the benefits of its philosophy.Venturi, et al.

The intellectual scholarship regarding postmodernism and architecture is closely linked with the writings of critic-turned-architect , beginning with lectures in the early 1970s and his essay "The Rise of Post Modern Architecture" from 1975. His magnum opus, however, is the book The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, first published in 1977, and since running to seven editions.

(1977). 9780847801671, Rizzoli.
Jencks makes the point that Post-Modernism (like Modernism) varies for each field of art, and that for architecture it is not just a reaction to Modernism but what he terms double coding: "Double Coding: the combination of Modern techniques with something else (usually traditional building) in order for architecture to communicate with the public and a concerned minority, usually other architects."Jencks, Charles. "The Language of Post-Modern Architecture", Academy Editions, London 1974. In their book, "Revisiting Postmodernism", Terry Farrell and Adam Furman argue that postmodernism brought a more joyous and sensual experience to the culture, particularly in architecture.
(2021). 9781859466322, RIBA Publishing.

Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. Cultural production manifesting as intermedia, installation art, conceptual art, deconstructionist display, and multimedia, particularly involving video, are described as postmodern.
(2021). 9780415988797, Routledge.

Graphic design
Early mention of postmodernism as an element of graphic design appeared in the British magazine, "Design."
(2021). 9780300100341, Yale University Press. .
A characteristic of postmodern graphic design is that "retro, techno, punk, grunge, beach, parody, and pastiche were all conspicuous trends. Each had its own sites and venues, detractors and advocates."
(2021). 9780132410755, Pearson.

Jorge Luis Borges' (1939) short story "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote", is often considered as predicting postmodernismElizabeth Bellalouna, Michael L. LaBlanc, Ira Mark Milne (2000) Literature of Developing Nations for Students: L-Z p.50 and is a paragon of the ultimate .
(1997). 9780838636442, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. .
is also considered an important precursor and influence. Novelists who are commonly connected with postmodern literature include , , , Pier Vittorio Tondelli, John Hawkes, William S. Burroughs, , , , , E. L. Doctorow, , Jerzy Kosiński, ,
(2021). 9780521769747
(Pynchon's work has also been described as ""), , , Ana Lydia Vega, Jáchym Topol and .

In 1971, the Arab-American scholar published The Dismemberment of Orpheus: Toward a Postmodern Literature, an early work of literary criticism from a postmodern perspective that traces the development of what he calls "literature of silence" through Marquis de Sade, , , , and many others, including developments such as the Theatre of the Absurd and the .

In Postmodernist Fiction (1987), details the shift from modernism to postmodernism, arguing that the former is characterized by an epistemological dominant and that postmodern works have developed out of modernism and are primarily concerned with questions of ontology., Postmodernist Fiction (Abingdon-on-Thames: , 2003). McHale's second book, Constructing Postmodernism (1992), provides readings of postmodern fiction and some contemporary writers who go under the label of . McHale's "What Was Postmodernism?" (2007) follows 's lead in now using the past tense when discussing postmodernism.

Jonathan Kramer has written that avant-garde musical compositions (which some would consider modernist rather than postmodernist) "defy more than seduce the listener, and they extend by potentially unsettling means the very idea of what music is."
(2021). 9781501306020, Bloomsbury Academic.
The postmodern impulse in classical music arose in the 1960s with the advent of musical . Composers such as , Henryk Górecki, , John Adams, , , , and reacted to the perceived elitism and dissonant sound of atonal academic modernism by producing music with simple textures and relatively consonant harmonies, whilst others, most notably challenged the prevailing of beauty and objectivity common to Modernism.

Author on postmodernism, Dominic Strinati, has noted, it is also important "to include in this category the so-called '' musical innovations and mixing of styles associated with groups like , and performers like , together with the self-conscious 'reinvention of ' by the Pet Shop Boys".

Urban planning
Modernism sought to design and plan cities which followed the logic of the new model of industrial ; reverting to large-scale solutions, aesthetic standardisation and design solutions. Modernism eroded urban living by its failure to recognise differences and aim towards homogeneous landscapes (Simonsen 1990, 57). ' 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities
(1993). 9780679644330, Modern Library. .
was a sustained critique of urban planning as it had developed within Modernism and marked a transition from modernity to postmodernity in thinking about urban planning (Irving 1993, 479).

The transition from Modernism to Postmodernism is often said to have happened at 3:32pm on 15 July in 1972, when Pruitt–Igoe, a housing development for low-income people in St. Louis designed by , which had been a prize-winning version of 's 'machine for modern living,' was deemed uninhabitable and was torn down (Irving 1993, 480). Since then, Postmodernism has involved theories that embrace and aim to create diversity. It exalts uncertainty, flexibility and change (Hatuka & D'Hooghe 2007) and rejects utopianism while embracing a utopian way of thinking and acting. Postmodernity of 'resistance' seeks to deconstruct Modernism and is a critique of the origins without necessarily returning to them (Irving 1993, 60). As a result of Postmodernism, planners are much less inclined to lay a firm or steady claim to there being one single 'right way' of engaging in urban planning and are more open to different styles and ideas of 'how to plan' (Irving 474).

The study of postmodern urbanism itself, i.e. the postmodern way of creating and perpetuating the urban form, and the postmodern approach to understanding the city was pioneered in the 1980s by what could be called the "Los Angeles School of Urbanism" centered on the UCLA's Urban Planning Department in the 1980s, where contemporary Los Angeles was taken to be the postmodern city par excellence, contraposed to what had been the dominant ideas of the Chicago School formed in the 1920s at the University of Chicago, with its framework of "urban ecology" and its emphasis on functional areas of use within a city and the "concentric circles" to understand the sorting of different population groups.

(2014). 9780520957633, Univ of California Press. .
of the Los Angeles School combined Marxist and postmodern perspectives and focused on the economic and social changes (globalization, specialization, industrialization/deindustrialization, Neo-Liberalism, mass migration) that lead to the creation of large city-regions with their patchwork of population groups and economic uses.

Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, including the argument that postmodernism is meaningless and promotes .

In part in reference to post-modernism, conservative English philosopher wrote, "A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is 'merely relative,' is asking you not to believe him. So don't."

(1996). 9780140249071, Penguin Books.
Similarly, criticized the vagueness of the term, enumerating a long list of otherwise unrelated concepts that people have designated as "postmodernism", from "the décor of a room" or "a 'scratch' video", to fear of nuclear armageddon and the "implosion of meaning", and stated that anything that could signify all of those things was "a buzzword".Dick Hebdige, 'Postmodernism and "the other side"', in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A reader, edited by John Storey, London, Pearson Education, 2006

The linguist and philosopher has said that postmodernism is meaningless because it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. He asks why postmodernist intellectuals do not respond like people in other fields when asked, "what are the principles of their theories, on what evidence are they based, what do they explain that wasn't already obvious, etc.?...If these can't be met, then I'd suggest recourse to 's advice in similar circumstances: 'to the flames'."

Christian philosopher William Lane Craig has said "The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unliveable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, , and technology; rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and . But, of course, that's not postmodernism; that's !"

American academic and aesthete has said:

German philosopher has said that "postmodernism at its best might be seen as a self-critical – a sceptical, ironic, but nevertheless unrelenting – form of modernism; a modernism beyond utopianism, scientism and ; in short a postmetaphysical modernism."

(1991). 9780262231602, MIT Press.

A formal, academic critique of postmodernism can be found in Beyond the Hoax by physics professor and in Fashionable Nonsense by Sokal and Belgian physicist , both books discussing the so-called . In 1996, Sokal wrote a deliberately nonsensical article in a style similar to postmodernist articles, which was accepted for publication by the postmodern cultural studies journal, . On the same day of the release he published another article in a different journal explaining the Social Text article hoax. The philosopher has supported Sokal and Bricmont, describing their book Fashionable Nonsense as consisting largely of "extensive quotations of scientific gibberish from name-brand French intellectuals, together with eerily patient explanations of why it is gibberish,"

(2021). 9780195152937, Oxford University Press. .
and agreeing that "there does seem to be something about the Parisian scene that is particularly hospitable to reckless verbosity."Nagel, p. 165.

A more recent example of the difficulty of distinguishing nonsensical artifacts from genuine postmodernist scholarship is the Grievance Studies affair.

The French psychotherapist and philosopher, Félix Guattari, often considered a "postmodernist", rejected its theoretical assumptions by arguing that the structuralist and postmodernist visions of the world were not flexible enough to seek explanations in psychological, social and environmental domains at the same time.

Zimbabwean-born British Marxist says that postmodernism "reflects the disappointed revolutionary generation of '68, and the incorporation of many of its members into the professional and managerial 'new middle class'. It is best read as a symptom of political frustration and social mobility rather than as a significant intellectual or cultural phenomenon in its own right."

(1990). 9780312042240, St. Martin's Press.

Christopher Hitchens in his book, Why Orwell Matters, writes, in advocating for simple, clear and direct expression of ideas, "The Postmodernists' tyranny wears people down by boredom and semi-literate prose."Christopher Hitchens. Why Orwell matters, Basic Books. , 2002

Analytic philosopher said, "Postmodernism, the school of 'thought' that proclaimed 'There are no truths, only interpretations' has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for 'conversations' in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster."DENNETT ON WIESELTIER V. PINKER IN THE NEW REPUBLIC

American historian traces the origins of postmodernism to intellectual roots in , writing "postmodernism has been nourished by the doctrines of Friedrich Nietzsche, , , and Paul de Man—all of whom either prefigured or succumbed to the proverbial intellectual fascination with fascism."

(2021). 9780691192352, Princeton University Press.

Daniel A. Farber and criticised postmodernism for reducing the complexity of the modern world to an expression of power and for undermining truth and reason:

, , David Stoesz & Bruce Thyer consider postmodernism to be a "dead end in social work epistemology." They write:

H. Sidky pointed out what he sees as several "inherent flaws" of a postmodern antiscience perspective, including the confusion of the authority of science (evidence) with the scientist conveying the knowledge; its self-contradictory claim that all truths are relative; and its strategic ambiguity. He sees 21st-century anti-scientific and pseudo-scientific approaches to knowledge, particularly in the United States, as rooted in a postmodernist "decades-long academic assault on science:"

See also

Culture and politics





Opposed by

Further reading
  • Alexie, Sherman (2000). "The Toughest Indian in the World" ()
  • Anderson, Walter Truett. The Truth about the Truth (New Consciousness Reader). New York: Tarcher. (1995) ()
  • Anderson, Perry. The origins of postmodernity. London: Verso, 1998.
  • Arena, Leonardo Vittorio (2015) On Nudity. An Introduction to Nonsense, Mimesis International.
  • Ashley, Richard and Walker, R. B. J. (1990) "Speaking the Language of Exile." International Studies Quarterly v 34, no 3 259–68.
  • (2000) Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • (1986) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.
  • Benhabib, Seyla (1995) "Feminism and Postmodernism" in (ed. Nicholson) Feminism Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. New York: Routledge.
  • Berman, Marshall (1982) All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity ().
  • (1995) The Idea of the Postmodern: A History. London: Routledge. ().
  • and Douglas Kellner. Postmodern Theory (1991) excerpt and text search
  • Best, Steven and Douglas Kellner. The Postmodern Turn (1997) excerpt and text search
  • Best, Steven and Douglas Kellner. The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium , 2001 ()
  • Bielskis, Andrius (2005) Towards a Postmodern Understanding of the Political: From Genealogy to Hermeneutics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  • Brass, Tom, Peasants, Populism and Postmodernism (London: Cass, 2000).
  • (1995) 'Contingent Foundations' in (ed. Nicholson) Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. New York: Routledge.
  • , Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique (Cambridge: Polity, 1999).
  • The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 6 ed., article "Postmodernism".
  • Farrell, John. "Paranoia and Postmodernism," the epilogue to Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau (Cornell UP, 2006), 309–327.
  • Featherstone, M. (1991) Consumer culture and postmodernism, London; Newbury Park, Calif., Sage Publications.
  • (1991) Modernity and Self Identity, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Gosselin, Paul (2012) Flight From the Absolute: Cynical Observations on the Postmodern West. volume I. Samizdat [10] ()
  • Goulimari, Pelagia (ed.) (2007) Postmodernism. What Moment? Manchester: Manchester University Press ()
  • Grebowicz, Margaret (ed.), Gender After Lyotard. NY: Suny Press, 2007. ()
  • Greer, Robert C. Mapping Postmodernism. IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003. ()
  • Groothuis, Douglas. Truth Decay. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000.
  • Harvey, David (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change ()
  • , The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, article "Postmodernism".
  • Hutcheon, Linda. The Politics of Postmodernism. (2002) online edition
  • Jameson, Fredric (1991) Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism ()
  • Kimball, Roger (2000). Experiments against Reality: the Fate of Culture in the Postmodern Age. Chicago: I.R. Dee. viii, 359 p. ()
  • Kirby, Alan (2009) Digimodernism. New York: Continuum.
  • Lash, S. (1990) The sociology of postmodernism London, Routledge.
  • Lucy, Niall. (2016) A dictionary of Postmodernism ()
  • Lyotard, Jean-François (1984) The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge ()
  • Lyotard, Jean-François (1988). The Postmodern Explained: Correspondence 1982–1985. Ed. Julian Pefanis and Morgan Thomas. ()
  • Lyotard, Jean-François (1993), "Scriptures: Diffracted Traces." In: Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21(1), 2004.
  • Lyotard, Jean-François (1995), "Anamnesis: Of the Visible." In: Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21(1), 2004.
  • McHale, Brian, (1987) Postmodernist Fiction. London: Routledge.
  • McHale, Brian (1992), Constructing Postmodernism. NY & London: Routledge.
  • McHale, Brian (2008), "1966 Nervous Breakdown, or, When Did Postmodernism Begin?" Modern Language Quarterly 69, 3:391–413.
  • McHale, Brian (2007), "What Was Postmodernism?" electronic book review, [12]
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, : A Study in Moral Theory (University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, 2nd edn.).
  • , Derrida on the Mend (Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1984; 1986; pbk. 2000, ISBN I-55753-205-2).
  • Magliola, Robert On Deconstructing Life-Worlds: Buddhism, Christianity, Culture (Atlanta: Scholars Press of American Academy of Religion, 1997; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000; , cloth, , pbk).
  • Manuel, Peter. "Music as Symbol, Music as Simulacrum: Pre-Modern, Modern, and Postmodern Aesthetics in Subcultural Musics," Popular Music 1/2, 1995, pp. 227–239.
  • (2021). 9780470168738, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
  • Murphy, Nancey, Anglo-American Postmodernity: Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Religion, and Ethics (Westview Press, 1997).
  • Natoli, Joseph (1997) A Primer to Postmodernity ()
  • Norris, Christopher (1990) What's Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy ()
  • Pangle, Thomas L., The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991
  • Park, Jin Y., ed., Buddhisms and Deconstructions Lanham: Rowland & Littlefield, 2006, ; .
  • Pérez, Rolando. Ed. Agorapoetics: Poetics after Postmodernism. Aurora: The Davies Group, Publishers. 2017. .
  • Powell, Jim (1998). "Postmodernism For Beginners" ()
  • Sim, Stuart. (1999). "The Routledge critical dictionary of postmodern thought" ()
  • Sokal, Alan and Jean Bricmont (1998) Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science ()
  • Vattimo, Gianni (1989). The Transparent Society ()
  • Veith Jr., Gene Edward (1994) Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture ()
  • Windschuttle, Keith (1996) The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering our Past. New York: The Free Press.
  • Woods, Tim, Beginning Postmodernism, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999, (Reprinted 2002)( Hardback, Paperback).
  • Stephen, Hicks (2014). "Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Expanded edition)", Ockham's Razor Publishing

External links

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