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Characteristics of Postmodernism


QUESTION: What are the characteristics of Postmodernism?


When listing the chracteristics of postmodernism, it is important to remember that postmodernists do not place their philosophy in a defined box or category. Their beliefs and practices are personal rather than being identifiable with a particular establishment or special interest group. The following principles appear elemental to postmodernists:
  • There is no absolute truth - Postmodernists believe that the notion of truth is a contrived illusion, misused by people and special interest groups to gain power over others.

  • Truth and error are synonymous - Facts, postmodernists claim, are too limiting to determine anything. Changing erratically, what is fact today can be false tomorrow.

  • Self-conceptualization and rationalization - Traditional logic and objectivity are spurned by postmodernists. Preferring to rely on opinions rather than embrace facts, postmodernist spurn the scientific method.

  • Traditional authority is false and corrupt - Postmodernists speak out against the constraints of religious morals and secular authority. They wage intellectual revolution to voice their concerns about traditional establishment.

  • Ownership - They claim that collective ownership would most fairly administrate goods and services.

  • Disillusionment with modernism - Postmodernists rue the unfulfilled promises of science, technology, government, and religion.

  • Morality is personal - Believing ethics to be relative, postmodernists subject morality to personal opinion. They define morality as each person’s private code of ethics without the need to follow traditional values and rules.

  • Globalization – Many postmodernists claim that national boundaries are a hindrance to human communication. Nationalism, they believe, causes wars. Therefore, postmodernists often propose internationalism and uniting separate countries.

  • All religions are valid - Valuing inclusive faiths, postmodernists gravitate towards New Age religion. They denounce the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ as being the only way to God.

  • Liberal ethics - Postmodernists defend the cause of feminists and homosexuals.

  • Pro-environmentalism - Defending “Mother Earth,” postmodernists blame Western society for its destruction.
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