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Old 12-12-2001, 10:10 PM   #1
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i'm sure this has been flipped over and about a ton of times in this forum but i am interested. those of you that have been through any sort of post secondary arts degree have probably at some point had to toil through post modernist thought.

i just wrote an exam this morning that included an essay question about the substantial differences between modernism and post-modernist thought. however, like all the definitions i have ever read of post modernism, mine was fairly murky, broad, inconcise and any other adjective which will get me a mark of c.

i was wondering if anybody felt they had a concise definition or understanding of post modernis thought?

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Old 12-12-2001, 10:28 PM   #2
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*pulls something out of the air*

progressivism vs. stagnation?

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Old 12-12-2001, 10:36 PM   #3
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Post-modernism doesn't believe in absolute truth. While some people have flippantly put holes in such arguments by stating obvious facts, where post-modernism comes into play is in regards to what is "good" or "evil."

I think a lot of modern post-modernism came from the disillusionment with the JFK assassination and the immediate aftermath, which showed a government that was deeply entrenched in secretive elements. The public could no longer trust this element of "good," and we began to question what is "good" and what is "evil." The same goes for religion. We would like to think that religion is good, but when we see it do or support ideals that we find to be terribly against our beliefs, we question whether it is really "good" or really "evil."

Bush has, perhaps, made the mistake in trying to make this war on terrorism a "good" versus "evil" battle. Quite admittedly, he is probably right, but we are still a very cynical public that will openly question this. Post-modernists seemingly rarely go as far as to declare something to be outright "good" or "evil," but somewhere in the shades of gray, eventually coming to the conclusion that nothing is good nor evil.

Anyway, I hope this somewhat makes sense, and if anyone wishes to correct or clarify, go ahead.


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Old 12-12-2001, 10:39 PM   #4
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I liked "Post Modern Mtv" on weeknights at 10:30 back in the late 80s; kind of like a mini-120 Minutes.
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Old 12-12-2001, 11:00 PM   #5
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I'm not an expert on the subject, but here is what I understand of it. Post-modernism as the name would suggest is a reaction to modernism. Modernism was the idea popularized by Jean Jacques Rousseau whose writings and ideas ushered in the 'Enlightenment' era. The "self" is good and corrupted only by society. An outworking of this in art and literature would be romanticism...the notion of the human as intrinsically good and capable of making the world a better place. Truth was thought to be found within oneself. I think some of Kant's writings "have the courage to use your own intelligence" figure in with this too.

Enter Nietzche, who has been called the father of post-modernism. It's basically a systematic rejection of all the basic assumptions of European philosophies. At its core it attacks the celebration of self and the ability to know the world as it really is. In this philosophy, we cannot truly be objective because our views are not made in a vacuum and should be viewed with suspicion because man is self-seeking.

That's my stab, from what I've read and studied.

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Old 12-12-2001, 11:13 PM   #6
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I only know this from an art history point of view, so I don't think I can help much. But personally, I prefer the Modern art era to post-modern where anything goes and anything is good art 'as long as it's sincere'. I believe that there is good art, and then there is bad. Not much grey areas for me.

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Old 12-13-2001, 12:17 AM   #7
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Everyone else has made some good comments.

If you want a vast simplification, postmodernism can be summed up in one word: "whatever." This indicates some apathetic acceptance of all interpretations or points of view on reality, in the belief that there is actually no "reality" other than that which one perceives or constructs for oneself.

Hmm...this is probably no better than what you wrote on your exam. Oh well.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 12-12-2001).]
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Old 12-13-2001, 03:57 PM   #8
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!! For AP English I did a presentation on postmodern poetry in the new media and I used music and it was FUN. Seriously!! OK.

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