Monday, August 16, 2010

Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to FoucaultExplaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault

by Stephen R. C. Hicks

The battle between modernism and the philosophies that led to postmodernism was joined at the height of the Enlightenment. Knowing the history of that battle is essential to understanding postmodernism.
- Explaining Postmodernism, p 22.

This book is an excellent introduction to both the philosophical foundations of Postmodernism and the history of its battle with the Enlightenment outlook. The author analyzes the views of specific philosophers who provided the ideas that led to contemporary postmodern thinkers; including brief summaries of the views of each. Comparative charts are provided along the way that are helpful in assessing different views and changes in philosophy over time. He elucidates the links between the ideas of philosophers and makes connections; for example, he identifies the nexus between postmodern thinkers and leftism.
The book is structured with four chapters on intellectual history preceded by an introductory essay on the definition of Postmodernism, and followed by a concluding section that comments on the current state of affairs. While critical of the post-modern project, it is a thorough and fair presentation of Postmodernism from a pro-enlightenment individualist point of view.

Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen R. C. Hicks. Scholargy Publishing. 2004.

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