postmodernism

broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism

Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism, marking a departure from modernism. The term has been more generally applied to describe a historical era said to follow after modernity and the tendencies of this era. Postmodernism is generally defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward what it describes as the grand narratives and ideologies associated with modernism, often criticizing Enlightenment rationality and focusing on the role of ideology in maintaining political or economic power. Postmodern thinkers frequently describe knowledge claims and value systems as contingent or socially-conditioned, framing them as products of political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. Common targets of postmodern criticism include universalist ideas of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, science, language, and social progress. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-consciousness, self-referentiality, epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, and irreverence. Postmodern critical approaches gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy of science, economics, linguistics, architecture, feminist theory, and literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature, contemporary art, and music. Postmodernism is often associated with schools of thought such as deconstruction, post-structuralism, and institutional critique, as well as philosophers such as Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, and Fredric Jameson. Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse and include arguments that postmodernism promotes obscurantism, is meaningless, and that it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge.
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movement: postmodernism

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Author

David Foster Wallace cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

David Foster Wallace

American fiction writer and essayist

Author

Irvine Welsh cover

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Irvine Welsh

Scottish novelist

Author

Ken Kesey cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Ken Kesey

American novelist

Author

Pat Barker cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Pat Barker

British writer

Author

Mircea Cărtărescu cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Mircea Cărtărescu

Romanian writer

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