Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Postmodernity: MetaModernism and Antimodernism

I recently ran across a reference to Professor Stephen M. Feldman's taxonomy of postmodernists. He contends that there are postmodernists who are best described as anti-modernist. They dislike anything modern, they distrust scientific and all universal propositions. Then there are the metamodernists.

Metamodernists are moderate postmodernists who use the tools of postmodernism for a better understanding of the world. Postmodernism can be a liberating construction that allows for a bridge between the rigidity and normalization of modernity and the fluidity and flux of postmodernity.

Postmodernism does not need to be reduced to nihilism nor must it eliminate the ethical and moral foundations produced under modernism.

Instead, postmodernism grants a license for flexibility and multiplicity. It removes the necessity of privileging one position over another and can allow multiple positions and interpretations to exist simultaneously. |Neither Dead nor Dangerous: Postmodernism and the Teaching of Legal Writing - 58 Baylor L. Rev. 893|
I like this formulation since I have many friends who I consider postmodernists... but they exist along a wide spectrum. I think American society is still strongly modernist and so most of us borrow constantly from both the modernist and postmodernist schools of thought and Feldman's distinction helps capture the nuance of these different positions.

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