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Postmodern Philosophical Critique and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Higher Education (Critical Studies in Education and Culture Series) [Paperback]

Roger Mourad , Roger P. Mourad

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Book Description

August 26, 1997 0897895541 978-0897895545

This work explores the philosophical positions of five postmodern thinkers—Lyotard, Rorty, Schrag, Foucault, and Derrida—to show how their critiques imply that scholars are unduly limited by the belief that inquiry is fundamentally about gaining knowledge of phenomena that are assumed to exist prior to and independent of inquiry, and to persist essentially unchanged by inquiry. The author argues that there are good reasons why this constraint is both unnecessary and undesirable, and he resituates the disciplines within a more flexible foundation that would expand what counts as legitimate inquiry. This foundation would emphasize the inquirer as a cause of reality, not just an observer who aims to accurately describe and explain phenomena. Mourad proposes an intellectual and organizational form which he calls post-disciplinary research programs. These dynamic programs would be composed of scholars from diverse disciplines who collaborate to juxtapose disparate disciplinary concepts in order to create contexts for post-disciplinary inquries.

Editorial Reviews


“There is much in Postmodern Philosophical Critique and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Higher Education which is compelling....Mourad provides more than a timely critique of this system. While many postmodernists are uneasy about talking in these terms, Mourad offers a 'foundation' on which a new system of inquiry might be legitimatelyexpanded, rather than replaced, providing the potential for a new direction and purpose for research in institutions of higher education.”–Australian Educational Researcher

“A clear, lucid analysis about postmodernity and knowledge production. This is a text that will appeal to those who have read the postmodernists extensively as well as the neophytes who wish to learn more about what all the fuss is about. Mourad offers a guide that offers us a way out of the postmodern maze by understanding it, and of course, ourselves.”–William G.Tierney Professor and Director,Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis University of Southern California

“Roger Mourad lays out the possibilities for inquiry in higher education in light of the failure of the Enlightenment project and postmodernism's critique. In an era of relentless criticism of higher education, Mourad's analyses could provide a renewed sense of intellectual purpose and direction for the academy.”–Yvonna S. Lincoln Professor of Higher Education Texas A & M University

Book Description

What is the significance of postmodern philosophy for the pursuit of knowledge generally? The author explores the philosophical basis for an expanded field of inquiry through a cogent analysis of the thinking of five leading postmodern philosophers: Lyotard, Rorty, Schrag, Foucault, and Derrida.

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