Friday, December 17, 2004

Words as Rhetorical Weapons

I recently came across this article which confirmed some suspicions I was having about the nature of some of the books I was reading after I started on the Ayn Rand tract
Postmodernism brings metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, and ethics to an end because these types of study assume a fixed, universal reality. Postmodernism denies the basis for knowing anything except itself. Consequently, postmodernists proclaim a universal tolerance of all ideas. Postmodernism can be evidenced in the following instances. Some scientists believe that there is no one self; rather the self is a changing socially constructed reality. Other scientists now contend that one of the
brain's functions is to tell stories (even with only few facts and frequently without the use of logic) in an effort to make sense of the world. Literary criticism is thought by many to find meaning in the reader's experience – the reader creates the book's reality. In turn, literary deconstructionists debate the idea of representing anything with words. Postmodernists tend to view the world as theater in which we are all competing spin-meisters. For example, political leaders try to get their story told by the media and believed by the people. In law, many scholars dismiss the idea of permanent legal principles. In psychology, a method for treating people involves the creation of a new life story for them (i.e., putting a different spin on their circumstances). Postmodernists are constantly redefining themselves and are searching for new meaning. As problem finders and problem solvers, they tend to reduce life (and especially political and social issues) to problems and solutions. They also like to engage in zero-base thinking, dismissing the systemically evolved knowledge of the ages.

I've only just started to study Objectivism, I've only just heard of it. In truth I've only just discovered postmodernism too. How strange that I should discover both simultaneously. Objectivism spoke to me naturally, practically. I commented to my friends and family I felt like someone was telling me the truth for the very first time. In contrast when I tried to explain postmodernism to a friend I told her it was a non-term, a joke on itself. Interesting.


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