Thursday, September 07, 2006

I rather dislike the word "postmodern"

I recently read James KA Smith's "Who's Afraid of Postmodernism," and I have to say, I've just grown tired of the word.

It seems ridiculous to me that we are always struggling with the concept of two postmodernism: the "bad kind," which is nothing more than the not-quite-radical-enough radicalization of modernism; and the "good kind," which not only deconstructs deconstructionism, but deconstructs the deconstruction of deconstructionism. "Good postmodernism" discovers the ontotheological nature not only of modernity but also its pretentious offspring, and discovers that the intellectual world after Ockham has seen an amputation, not a growth, of human thought.

I don't like talking about "good postmodernism" vs. "bad postmodernism" because the latter is not really "post" and the former is not really "modern". I believe that the prefix we should be using, is not "post" but "neo" - indicating a modification, in light of historical developments, without an essential change of direction.

"Bad postmodernism" is really just neo-modenrism (unfortunately, the word is already taken to mean something different than I intend).

"Good postmodernism" one might call neo-pre-modernism, which basically just disregards nominalism as a valid turn in human thought.

No comments: