Postmodernism is a cargo cult. It seeks to duplicate the form of rational inquiry, while lacking the substance. It's children dressing up in parents' clothes, and complaining about things they don't understand, like taxes and sciatica, for no better reason than that is what they see adults doing with their time. Monkey see, monkey do.
Postmodernists believe that if they make their terminology sufficiently obscurantist, sesquipedalian, and circumloquatious, nobody will notice the lack of substance. To a large extent, they are correct in that belief.
Some postmodern philosophers (like Baudrillard) are beyond help, while others (like Foucault) are largely salvageable. This must be judged on a case-by-case basis, but not without boots to wade through the exceedingly thick bullshit that permeates the entire idea-space.
When you start getting to ideas such as "science is sexist because it probes the natural world (which is the sacred feminine) against its will, thus committing rape" it's time to throw the document in the fire. It's important to leave a lot of room around the fire, though, as you've probably underestimated how much pomo literature is totally worthless.
Jack: I just learned about postmodernism in college, and now I totally believe in it, and self-identify as such.
Jill: You and every other gullible sophomore looking for an intellectual family where you can't possibly be wrong, you fucking latte-sipping coward.
Postmodernism: pseudo-intellectual Trojan Horse of tyrants everywhere in the western world. Began in Arts faculties in various universities under "thinkers" like Derrida, Baudrillard, Foucault and Irigaray, and spread like a cancer into at least the "soft" sciences, if not further afield.more...
Works insidiously by establishing in the minds of the faithful that there are no ultimate truths in either a moral or a scientific sense, and dressing up bullshit in flowery language. Postmodernism pretends to be a guarantor of pluralism (a concept far better served, btw, by rational debate), and is in love with concepts such as the "transgressive" and the "paradigm shift". Unfortunately these matters are brought up in the midst of reams and reams of tendentious twaddle which constitute a dreadful waste of perfectly good trees, and the most notable effect of postmodernist (un)thinking is not the freeing of anyone's mind from conservative tyranny, but the scrapping of the very idea of objective truth. Once this happens, of course, what follows (outside the ivory towers
A reaction to the work of Modern philosophers, most of whom created vast systems of meaning founded upon one central concept. In many religions, the central and beginning premise is some supreme being or concept. The postmodernist critique removes that central concept, it "decenters" the system of meaning. Postmodernism points out that all systems of meaning are in constant negotiation and flux, therefore claims of transcendant morality are suspect.
Furthermore, postmodernism critiques all claims of "objective" truth by revealing that human subjectivity always exists in every truth proposition. Due to the pervasive effects of subjectivity, postmodernist critiques are critical of all sweeping claims concerning social policy, truth, justice, morality, and ethics.
Finally, postmodernism is a school of thought which examines the traditional "either/or" dichotomies in modern philosophy, and reveals that these supposedly neutral dichotomies actually favor one side over the other. (Good/Evil, Above/Below, Male/Female)
Modern Philosopher: "The word "justice" means ______"
Postmodernist: " The term 'justice' means many different things, depending on the subjective positions of the members of the discussion. Outside any discussion of 'justice', there is no meaning which we can find. 'Justice' 'exists' so long as we negotiate its meaning as between ourselves in our society."
Ignoramus: "Postmodernism means _______"
"Postmodernist" : " The label 'postmodern' applies in many different contexts, and it cannot be abstracted into only one meaning or definition, for that defies the very essence of 'postmodern', which of course is a non-essence. "
Postmodernism is a movement thought up by the French, and promulgated by academics which has contributed massively to all of our lives by:
1) ensuring that no child going to school in the 70s and 80s was taught grammar
2) confusing the hell out of, causing to fail, and generally annoying any uni student studying philosophy or law
3) of course the veracity of (1) and (2) depend on context, and truth is subjective, and as all meanings are a product of both THE MAN and THE SYSTEM what you say is only valid from your own point of view as is this whole urban dictionary entry, anyway
All the people who thought this up, and continue to promulgate it, and make people write essays about it, will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
The planes flying into the twin towers didn't cause them to burst into flames and collapse, using a different frame of reference, in accordance with postmodernism, the towers collapsed of their own accord in line with the inevitable consequences of capitalism
A term that you keep on hearing about in college and have to look up on Wikipedia. Basically says "fuck it" to the search for any intellectual conclusions.
Once you look up postmodernism on Wikipedia, feel free to sound smart around your friends by using it in conversations!
Postmodernism is the ultimate lubricant invented by social sciences in order to fuck every concept and structure that humans ever came up with. At the same time it is used as a means for social sciences to penetrate one another.
Anthropology put some postmodernism on its cock and managed to penetrate History so deep that it screamed...then it turned towards Political Science, which fainted immediately.
Imagine that on everyone's hand there is a penis and a vagina. Now imagine what it would be like to shake hands with someone.
Fred: Hi, I'm Fred Derkowitz, nice to meet you.
Bob: Hi Fred I'm Bob. Oh God.
Fred: That feels amazing.
Bob: L’important, c’est que le sexe n’ait pas été seulement affaire de sensation et de plaisir, de loi ou d’interdiction, mais aussi de vrai et de faux. Postmodernism booyakasha.