“It is very common now to encounter feminist, anti-racist, LGBT activists who espouse postmodern ideas but seem to have no idea of their genesis. Nevertheless, they will focus intently on society as culturally constructed by discourses which create dominant and marginalized groups and work on an assumption that knowledge is dependent on identity. Consequently, they will argue that language can be violence, that power produces knowledge, that knowledge and morality are culturally relative, and that science and reason are imperialist, masculinist, white and heteronormative. They may never mention Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault or even Said, Spivak or Butler, but these ideas are postmodern.”
In light of some recent intellectual debates with my uncle over the last several months via email, I thought I’d pass along an article I found which discusses the impact of postmodern philosophy on modern social movements, namely intersectionality and identity politics. As I suspected, many of these movements are an assault on reality itself. The author shows how the original postmodern thought of deconstructing knowledge and replacing it with language and power structures as an epistemic endeavor has crept into the overt attack on science and reason (particularly in the social sciences). You can see this assault in the academy, in politics, and in media. This is a long, but worthwhile read for anyone interested in understanding this issue more.