Stephen R. C. Hicks’s Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault: A Discussion. Steven M. Sanders. Bridgewater State. Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault Beyond Postmodern Politics: Lyotard, Rorty, Fern Haber. Book Title: Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Author: Stephen R. C. Hicks. Published: Tempe, Ariz.: Scholargy.

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The gamble is that he won’t usher in the revival of right wing national socialism.

Explained the genesis and developments of postmodernist theory to philosophy-averse me. I understood this before I read this book but what I didn’t know, and that Hick’s points out, is that many of the philosophers of the enlightenment still had deep religious convictions and faith of the Christian kind and they all realized the threat reason posed on their faith but more importantly they became aware of this abyss called nihilism.

View all 12 comments. I think our author is avoiding issues that are not compatible with his own belief system. Resentful because God didn’t die forever. Kant said, okay, you want to use reason, fine. I took up this book because I see the word ‘postmodernism’ thrown around a lot, without any clear understanding of what it is.

In their attempts to subvert reasons strangle hold on reality, the philosophers of old used their reasoning power to try and fight reason back and give a little room for faith or non-reason again seems very ironic.

This marks the first departure from the natural law doctrines sociqlism in classical philosophy and Christianity. For those who hold this view, words themselves are a meaningless game.

The author suggests that their strategy is based, in the words of Nietzsche, on the following motivation: And its only 4.

The reformation created this idea that man doesn’t need an intermediary pope, priest, etc. Hicks does not devote much space to a detailed account of the various postmodernists he mentions; he devotes his principal attention to a general portrayal of the movement and an account of its philosophical genealogy.


Unfortunately, he stops short skeptiicism offering solutions. Given that the Enlightenment grew more radical and anti-religious with every new generation of thinkers, it’s fair to ask whether it, and the modern societies it spawned in the West, weren’t top-heavy from the beginning.

Light reading it isn’t. Maybe he wrote them to sell his brand of enlightenment rational to the Puritans and Quakers or maybe he actually believed it – only God knows.

He argues that postmodernism emerged as ho rhetorical strategy of committed socialists once the failure of socialism could no longer be ignored. The unfortunate thing is that their contempories, the so called ‘New Atheists’ sound a lot like the postmodernists. Art can be something I piss on. Hicks factually and carefully explains the origins and causes of postmodern thought and how it has become an unfortunate cornerstone in much modern thought.

eplaining For example, Karl Popper was a strong defender of scientific method, but gets labelled as a postmodernist because he acknowledged that evidence was theory-laden. He elucidates the links between the ideas of philosophers and makes connections; for example, he identifies the nexus between postmodern thinkers and leftism.

For that matter, did not Augustine himself argue to the same conclusion? Later another atheistic anti-reason big fish in philosophy, Nietzche, remarked, “They are no philosophical race, these Englishmen: Such views can no longer rationally be maintained. That said, the author makes an excellent case for the origins and d An excellent overview of the historic roots of postmodernism Much of this book is spent in summarizing the philosophers who set the foundation for Marxism and post-modernism.

Dec 12, Dan Rera rated it really liked it Shelves: Preview — Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen R. He is only a skeptic, though, with no socialissm answers. It is correct that there are no proofs in science, but there are degrees of confidence. If you are a Western, non-marginalized product of the enlightenment you will probably agree with him. Refreshingly, Hicks does not take it as given that these poststructuralist view-points have been demonstrated to be in error.


Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault

On one point, Hicks fom to me not only disputable but altogether mistaken. But then at last, he concluded that postmodernism can’t be refuted unless its historical premises can be refuted.

But really a false dichotomy is being set plstmodernism between the individual and the collective, and we are supposed to choose the individual. Quotes from Explaining Postmo It may be a mystery why these abstractions are such powerful tools to help us understand physical reality.

Where you do not have it you have atrocities and inequalities way worse than where you do have it. In response, he calls attention to a key aspect of contemporary history. Science is the connection between sketpicism and physical evidence. He does give an excellent brief discussion of Derrida, for whom there is nothing beyond language. Nietzsche points this out. Are they not here caught in a contradiction that even they cannot dismiss?

Why do skeptical and relativistic arguments have such power in the contemporary intellectual world?

Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault by Stephen R.C. Hicks

Traditionalists seem to forget that the ruling classes who actually made the decisions had plenty of cold and hot blooded foicault. Postmodernists have, up to now, been uniformly people of the left. Primarily, the left and the right’s difference is their view on objective reality. The result is postmodernism: I am slightly warmer although still not very warm to postmodernism these days. Hicks operates with a simpleminded dichotomy between foucaault and reason that does not do justice to medieval thought.

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