Master Thesis Postmodernism

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Rather, its differences lie within modernity itself, and postmodernism is a continuation of modern thinking in another mode.

Finally, I have included a summary of Habermas's critique of postmodernism, representing the main lines of discussion on both sides of the Atlantic.

Important precursors to this notion are found in Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche.

Kierkegaard, for example, describes modern society as a network of relations in which individuals are leveled into an abstract phantom known as “the public” (Kierkegaard 1846, 59).

There is no clear distinction, then, between the natural and the artificial in experience.

Indeed, many proponents of postmodernism challenge the viability of such a distinction , seeing in achieved modernism the emergence of a problem the philosophical tradition has repressed.Ideas such as God, freedom, immortality, the world, first beginning, and final end have only a regulative function for knowledge, since they cannot find fulfilling instances among objects of experience.With Hegel, the immediacy of the subject-object relation itself is shown to be illusory.In Marx, on the other hand, we have an analysis of the fetishism of commodities (Marx 1867, 444–461) where objects lose the solidity of their use value and become spectral figures under the aspect of exchange value.Their ghostly nature results from their absorption into a network of social relations, where their values fluctuate independently of their corporeal being.As he states in ” (Hegel 1807, 59), because subject and object are both instances of a “this” and a “now,” neither of which are immediately sensed.So-called immediate perception therefore lacks the certainty of immediacy itself, a certainty that must be deferred to the working out of a complete system of experience.A consequence of achieved modernism is what postmodernists might refer to as de-realization.De-realization affects both the subject and the objects of experience, such that their sense of identity, constancy, and substance is upset or dissolved.The modern public, in contrast to ancient and medieval communities, is a creation of the press, which is the only instrument capable of holding together the mass of unreal individuals “who never are and never can be united in an actual situation or organization” (Kierkegaard 1846, 60).In this sense, society has become a realization of abstract thought, held together by an artificial and all-pervasive medium speaking for everyone and for no one.


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