Summer 1990

Postmodern or Modern-plus?

Kenneth L. Schmitz

Some say that we are no longer modern. It is said that we have shed the primary beliefs that have governed Western societies for three centuries and even longer. We are told that these beliefs continue to convict us by their consequences; but that they no longer convince us by their arguments. We are no longer persuaded that they persuade us. This running critique of modern principles and practices has been called "postmodern." In writing about the much-discussed "post-modernity," one risks the danger of not being modern enough, since yesterday's "post-modernity" may turn rather too quickly into today's déjà vu. Indeed, it is no accident that much of the discussion, especially as it centers about "post-structuralism" and "deconstruction," occurs in language in which the frequent use of the word "passé" is a discriminating badge of honor. By its verynature the critique seems bent upon exhausting all of its possible moves post-haste.



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