Re: Postmodernism

Wed, 8 Dec 1993 09:57:26 CST

The reservations about postmodernism expressed by A. Helgason, D. Yee
and perhaps others seem to me entirely warranted. Indeed, when they
concede that it probably has some value, they are more generous than I.
The fact that one's own personality and social locus affect what one
looks at and how one looks at it is important. But this insight is not
recent, and cannot be claimed by postmodernists as uniquely theirs.
Actually, I think what is possibly unique to postmodernism is not this
insight, but the fantastic non-sequitur that because subjectivity is
inevitable, knowledge is impossible. Come to think of it, the attempt
to rationalize nihilism through resort to subjectivity is so glib and
obvious that this also probably is a very old idea. The only concession
I will offer is that some scientists are unreflective enough to have
played into the hands of the cynical and hypocritical postmodern gang.
To paraphrase the poet Richard Wilbur: "They milk the cow of the world
and as they do/They whisper in her ear 'You are not true.'" --B. Graber