- Hardcover: 278 pages
- Publisher: Ockham's Razor; Expanded edition (August 19, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983258406
- ISBN-13: 978-0983258407
- Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Expanded Edition) Hardcover – August 19, 2011
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By the end of Explaining Postmodernism, the reader may remain ill at ease with postmodernist malaise, but Hicks s lucid account will demystify the subject. * Curtis Hancock, Ph.D., Review of Metaphysics --Review of Metaphysics
With clarity, concision, and an engaging style, Hicks exposes the historical roots and philosophical assumptions of the postmodernist phenomenon. More than that, he raises key questions about the legacy of postmodernism and its implications for our intellectual attitudes and cultural life. * Steven M. Sanders, Ph.D., Reason Papers --Reason Papers
Refreshingly, Hicks does not take it as given that the poststructuralist viewpoints have been demonstrated to be in error. Rather, he seeks to trace them to a powerful ressentiment directed against the partisan of the Enlightenment and of capitalist achievement, and to provide the Enlightenment thinker with openings for serious intellectual engagement. * Marcus Verhaegh, Ph.D., The Independent Review --The Independent Review
About the Author
Stephen Ronald Craig Hicks (born 1960) is professor of philosophy at Rockford College, where he is also Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. He is the author of *Nietzsche and the Nazis* (Ockham's Razor, 2006, 2010), *Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault* (Scholargy Publishing, 2004; expanded edition, 2011), and co-editor of *The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis* (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998). Hicks earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1991 and his B.A. (Honours) from the University of Guelph, Canada in 1981.
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Top customer reviews
Hicks’s conclusions are this stark but his arguments are detailed. He sees this as fundamentally a failure of epistemology that has been exploited endlessly. Kant’s ultimate subjectivism and his separation of subject and object have been decisive in opening the door both to postmodernism and to romanticism. Hicks does not pursue the latter; that would require another book, but one which I would very much like to see him write.
The book is one of the most lucid and accessible studies of the history of philosophy that I have ever encountered and it is particularly acute in its ability to connect the dots and trace the intellectual lineages and etiologies. If you want to see how the defense of affirmative action, speech codes, and global warming activism ultimately connects with Rousseau, Kant and Marx, et al, this is the book with which you should begin.
This expanded edition adds two relevant essays: “Free Speech and Postmodernism” and “From Modern to Postmodern Art: Why Art Became Ugly.” The latter is particularly incisive.
The artful practice of writing or speaking gibberish, common among mystics and contemporary political philosophers, pays off with more than a few benefits. The producer of this junk flatters himself with a delusion of understanding above the common level.
Second, the practice confers virtual immunity from criticism. Effective criticism requires at least a minimal grasp of the subject in question. Unintelligible assertions, lacking anything sensible to grab onto, cannot be attacked cogently other than to label them unintelligible.
Third, if anyone so much as attempts an interpretation of the assertion, the originator easily weasels away with, "well, no, that's really not what I meant. You just don't understand."
Fourth, the asserter is free to wander about in any speculative fog of his choosing without having to prove anything.
Fifth, and worst, the gibberish resonates with far too many listeners and readers who also want to pretend that they know something special and unique, escape responsibility for their thoughts and actions and deflect blame for personal failures and disappointments onto some easily targeted group.
Today's "postmodernists" and defenders of religion continue the venerable tradition.
As Professor Hicks so clearly points out, "postmodernism" (an oxymoron), a relatively recent upchuck from the socialist malady, preaches that reality, reason and objectivity are illusions. Despite these severe handicaps in thinking (which they also reject), proponents manage to conclude that socialism is the only answer to our political conflicts. Then instead of being laughed off the stage, they are given university classrooms. Why?