Many activists use the language of postmodernism in their calls for “social justice.” Others say that postmodernism is destroying our civilization and will enslave us all.
In this course we will do what very few people on either side of the postmodernism controversy seem to have done: examine the texts that are associated with the notorious philosophy.
You’ll gain an understanding of the major arguments in the most famous works of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and other postmodernist philosophers, and you’ll have new ways of thinking about the questions they raise:
- Does truth exist?
- Is there a reality that exists outside and apart from human consciousness?
- Can ethics be objective?
- What purposes have truth claims served?
- What are scientific “facts”?
- What is power, who holds it, and where is it?
- Is physical punishment more effective than shame?
- Does power operate from the top of a society downward or from the bottom of society upward, or does it move in different directions and originate from multiple sources?
- Are words violent?
- Does one’s biology determine one’s destiny?
- Were you born a man or a woman or neither?
- Does freedom exist?