Re: New To List


Good question. I think this debate about post-modernism is quite useful.
My guess is there is a problem in the definition of terms.

Hagen wrote:

>Post- modernist reject this mandate arguing that the structure of
>rationality is not immutable but rather is the product of history, culture,
>learning. etc.. Kant's argument demands that the manner in which we
>comprehend the world remain static. Post-modernists such as Foucault agrue
>that "rationality" is a historical construction. That means, for example, it
>changes over time. It can be distorted by power and other human interests.
>That the present sensibility that we share is just one of many possible

The crucial issue, the reason, I think, why post-modernism raises as many
hackles as it does, is that it is not clear just what is meant by
"rationality" in such a statement. It is interesting that Hagen says that
rationality can be distorted...this implies that there is such a thing as
an undistorted rationality. Clearly Foucault and most anybody writing
under the banner of post-modernism still "believes" in some kind of
understanding, some kind of critical function, some kind of rationality,
some kind of logic. Otherwise why bother? and what would they be saying

I don't pretend to have the issue mastered by any means, but I think it's
important to be able to focus in on the red flags for the resistance to
post-modernism. Rationality is one of them. Otherwise, I think this is a
good opener to the questions at issue in the debate.

Jorge Pedraza


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