From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology by Lawrence E. Cahoone

By Lawrence E. Cahoone

This vintage anthology presents an unprecedented choice of the fundamental readings in modernism and postmodernism.

* locations modern debate within the context of the feedback of modernity because the 17th century.
* Chronologically and thematically prepared.
* fundamental and multidisciplinary source in philosophy, literature, cultural stories, social conception, and non secular studies.

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I shall proceed by setting aside all that in which the least doubt could be supposed to exist, just as if I had discoveredthat it was absolutely false; and I shall ever follow in this road until I have met with something which is certain, or at least, if I can do nothing else, until I have learned for certain that there is nothing in the world that is certain. iii I suppose,then, that all the things that I see are false; I persuademyself that nothing has ever existed of all that my fallacious memory represents to me.

The sometimes obscurerhetorical strategiesof postmodernismmake senseif one acceptsits critique of such inquiry. To say then that the postmoderncritique is invalid because the kind of theory it produces does not meet the standards of traditional or normal inquiry is a rather weak counter-attack. saysin effect that whatever critique does not advance the interests of traditional inquiry is invalid. So, while the threat of self-contradictiondoesraise a serious problem for postmodernism,one that would prevent postmodernism from regarding itself as valid in the way traditional philosophieshope to be, that fact does nothing to show that normal inquiry is immune to its critique.

This sense of loss was reflectedby some of the greatest thinkers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In our brief selection,just as Descartes,condorcet, and Kant are formulating and celebrating the new rationality, Rousseau and Burke are warning against it. Then in the nineteenth century, some of the most powerful criticisms of modern life will be made by Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche. But however much they criticize modernity in some respects, they are entangled in it in others. Such is forever the fate of the critics of modernity, who opposea force so encompassingthat even its enemiesmust borrow its power to light against it.

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