« 52 Albums, Week 24: The Walking (Jane Siberry) | Main | 52 Albums, Week 25: The Allman Brothers Band »

06/19/2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"I find the bad in our society, such as increased divorce rates, to be much much more complicated and based on many more factors than postmodernism as a phenomenon."

Sure. I think there is some disconnect here between the way(s) we're using the term. It has never crossed my mind to blame postmodernism for things like the divorce rate, the crack epidemic, or social problems in general. Possibly it's implicated in a few, for instance the stuff I mentioned in the post about some of the campus protests. But most of our big problems were well under way before the word "postmodern" had even been heard by more than a few intellectuals. They're in fact problems of what we loosely call the modern world. One can attribute some of our problems to a general weakening of the social order, and in turn attribute that to the ideas that are taken for granted by the society, but most people who engage in that kind of analysis go back centuries looking for the causes.

I'm puzzled as to what "one truth" psychotherapy has ever pushed, apart maybe from orthodox Freudianism. Though every school seems to have its favored analysis and prescription, so I guess to that extent any given school has "one truth."

"Given that modernism (at least in therapy) was a label for the belief of one truth that can be applied to everyone..."

I'm pretty sure that's a sense of the term that's used only in the therapy world. Or at any rate not in philosophy and the arts. I've never heard it used that way. The Cambridge dictionary doesn't even have a separate entry for the word--it just says "See postmodern." Modernism in the arts was very definitely a general shaking-up and breaking-down of various traditions.

Also, regarding the idea that "everyone has their own truth": if that means that everyone sees things differently, has different experiences, different needs, etc., it's...um...true. But if that's all it means, "everyone has their own truth" is a really bad way of describing it.

On the other hand, if it means, as some postmodernists apparently mean, that there is finally no such thing as truth, it's not true and can be quite destructive. For instance, right after the election I ran across a piece by a young Asian-American woman whose "reality" included the notion that Trump's win had legitimized people who want the "extinction" of every non-white person in America. I'm sure such a person can be found, but the idea that a there is a serious movement for the extinction of non-white people in America is not anybody's truth, it's just plain delusional. It's not doing anybody a favor to indulge things like this.

In the long run it's a recipe for more rather than less conflict. If everyone's personal truth is equal, and the truths are in conflict, there's no way to resolve it except by force (not necessarily physical force, maybe just legal). There's not even a theoretical possibility of arriving at common ground. You see that at work in things like the Evergreen College incident.

"not necessarily physical force, maybe just legal"

Legal force involves physical force.

Threat of, anyway. Yes, that's true. I meant to be contrasting mob violence, riots, etc on the one hand and capturing control of the government by ordinary political means on the other, so as to enforce your will that way. As feminists and others thought they had done re Catholic institutions and the ACA. But ultimately you're right.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo