According to the Oxford English Dictionaries Online, postmodernism is “a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of ‘art'”.
Postmodernism arose as a social reaction to modernism, which explored the rationale of science as an approach to understand reality and the world. It encouraged the objective observation of life in order to find the answers to every question asked. There were two areas that particularly composed the modern approach: empiricism, which initially studied the knowing through the senses and later evolved into scientific empiricism and methodology; and the epistemological use of logic and reason. Modernism celebrated development and progress, and well as new discoveries and explanations in the industry.
- Could science and technology become the saviours of the human race?
- How are new materials in the industry celebrated?
- What is the continuity of the advances in warfare and weaponry?
- Is science a threat to humanity?
- How is this threat represented in art, literature, music and film?
- How can experience be explained as machines. monsters, aliens; or simply “others”?
The premodern period based its approach on the revelation of knowledge given from higher sources. It was often believed the the ultimate truth came from God, and the causality of daily events was attributed to supernatural forces. In this sense, authority was seen as mainly dogmatic. This can be appreciated through the historical study of the church and the privileged position it had in political endeavours. In contrast, modernism somehow took the power away from those based around dogma and handed it to those with logic, making scholars and scientists the new source of credible information. However, because not every single question can be answered through logic and reason, postmodernism encourages individual perspective.
Whilst it celebrates science as a useful tool, it also maintains an open mentality towards the unexplained, and a more holistic approach to problems that cannot be solved through empirical methodology. It recognises spirituality as a valid source of knowledge. Politically speaking, postmodernism seeks to deploy previous authority sources by using a less hierarchical approach to power.
- What is the distinction between representation and reality?
- What is the distinction between fact and fiction?
- How does life imitate art?
- How is information consumed nowadays?
- What’s the importance of digitisation?
- Has knowledge become democratised?
- Is there such thing as an original source of knowledge?
- What is reality?
- How has technology changed the way we live our lives?
- What is the impact of technology on the environment?
- Is there a reality to refer to?
- Is science fiction future fact?
- Is knowledge sourced from the Internet?
- Can relationships be virtual?
- Can modern society function without technology?
- Who is the keeper of knowledge?
- Is there such thing as an original author, artist, inventor, or originator?
- Are ideas collective by nature?
- How does it go from individual to collective?
- Does it matter?
- What happened to the ‘original idea’?
- Does style matter more than substance?