Re: Foucault a postmodernist?

Karen writes in part:
>Thanks for your very clear and informative explanation - it's the most
>intelligible summary of the subject I've heard!
>Would you say then that critics of postmodernism base their criticism on
>its attack on positivism? Or do they agree that there are limitations to
>seeing the world in terms of an ideally detatched, rationalist viewpoint,
>but criticize the act of bothering to talk about it, as pointless, like
>relativism? I would think it's more of the latter.

I agree with your assesment of Scot's post; it was most helpful to me also,
along with the other comments offered here.

I think postmodernism is disliked by many because it undercuts the whole
idea of "control" which is such a high modernist value. The modernist
impulse is to control, control ideas, other people, life, nature, future,
etc. It is the worst possible thing to be "out of control." I believe there
is alot of literal "grief" among folks today over loss of a whole era in
which people actually believed they could be in control. It makes us feel
unbalanced, uncertain, even panicked, all feelings we have been taught are
somehow terrible. On the future side of this, however, postmodernism
provides little in terms of prescriptions, what to do, or at least little
agreement among postmodernists about such matters, so there is little basis
for any "community" of persons with similar ideas. This is often a critique
of Foucault; about the most he would say was to encourage "the specific
intellectual." Postmodernism is defined more by what it is not than what it
is, it is after modernism but otherwise the field is wide open, which is
what attracts me to it. It is the opposite of totalistic philosophies. Ed K.

Ed Knudson Portland, Oregon
Voice/Fax: (503)282-8303
Modem: (503)282-3477


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