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Unit 10

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  • 1. Unit 10Critical theory is deadPostmodernist thought
  • 2. Peter Sloterdijk
    Alas Dear Habermas (…) Critical theory is, on this Second of September, dead. She was long since bedridden, the sullen old woman, now she has passed away completely. We will gather at the grave of an epoch, to take stock, but also to think of the end of an hypocrisy. Thinking means thanking, said Heidegger. I say, rather, thinking means to heave a sigh of relief. (Die Zeit, 9 September 1999)
  • 3. Modernity and grand-narratives
  • 4. Modernism according to Gergen
    A revival of enlightenment beliefs
    A search for fundamentals or essentials
    A faith in progress and universal design
    Absorption in the machine methapor
  • 5. Grand-narratives
    Enlightenment
    Humanism
    Marxism
    Capitalism
    Psychoanalysis
  • 6. Progress?
    Are we all climbing the same mountain?
  • 7. Compare these grand-narratives to:
    Popper
    Kuhn
    Feyerabend
  • 8. Nietzsche: Anti-foundationalism
    Wittgenstein: Language-games
  • 9. Friedrich Nietzsche
    Where has God gone?" he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? (…)What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?
  • 10. To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life.
  • 11. The real and representation
    We cannot give a correct description of reality
  • 12. Postmodernism
  • 13. The ordinary
  • 14. Jean-Francois Lyotard
  • 15. La Condition postmoderne, A Report on Knowledge
    Opposing universals, meta-narratives
    Difference and micro-narratives, emphasizing the local
  • 16. Michel Foucault
  • 17. Historical research (remember Feyerabend)
    Responsibility, sensitivity, justice, and law are merely "tokens of ideology"
  • 18. Knowledge is always a form of power
    Knowledge can even be gained from power, power creates knowledge
  • 19. Jacques Derrida and deconstruction
  • 20. Research implications
  • 21. Against method
    Avoiding a definitive viewpoint
    Making research aware of ambiguity and difference
    Making research aware of the role of the author
  • 22. Criticism
  • 23. Criticism
    Relativist
    Vague, lost in its own complexity
    Postmodernism is also a metanarative, relapse into story-telling
    Wolves in sheep clothes: conservatives
  • 24. Sokal-affair
    Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
    1. it contained the right buzzwords
    2. It flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions.
  • 25. Example
    Die Revolution der gebenden Hand (The revolution of the giving hand)
    The perversity of the welfarestate
    Sloterdijk: revolutionary or disguised conservative?

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