the language of postmodernism

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Belinda
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Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by Belinda »

Iwannaplato wrote:
There is no unity amongst modernists (my sense of the word) nor is there one amongst postmodernists around abortion. They are not moral stances, though both can have morals. Both can be moral realists or not depending. Postmodernists would be more likely to question science in a broader way than modernists, but I think, generally, both would acknowledge the physical facts of the procedure.
Historical relativity is more of thing for pomos than for modernists. However modernists too grant that historiography is a product of time, place, and cultural values.I agree with Iwannaplato.

Liberally educated pomos and mods all understand and to a significant degree must accept cultural relativity unless they are intellectually and emotionally attached to medieval notion of God as all-powerful moral Authority.
iambiguous
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Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by iambiguous »

How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
In Jacques Derrida’s words, “[t]he fact of language is probably the only fact ultimately to resist all parenthization.” That is to say, we cannot get outside of language. Language is an “internal,” self-referential system, and there is no way to get “external” to it—although even to speak of “internal” and “external” is also meaningless on postmodern grounds.
Once again: go about the business of living your life from day to day. A "normal day."

Now, how many times in regard to the language you use to communicate with others is the "intellectual contraption" above going to come up?

Get back to us on that.

Language as a "self-referential system" is perfectly coherent when the self itself is perfectly coherent. Doing things wholly in sync with the meaning that we give to words to encompass our day-to-day interactions with others. In the family. At school. On the job. On the baseball diamond.

What on earth is the significance of deconstruction and semiotics then? Premodern, modern, postmodern interactions...your words and mine generating little or no ambiguity or confusion or conflict.
There is no non-linguistic standard to which to relate language, so there can be no standard by which to distinguish between the literal and the metaphorical, the true and the false. Deconstruction is therefore in principle an unending process.
Same thing. Take this obtuse assessment out into the world with you. Only not "in principle", in reality. The standards that transcend human language are mathematical and scientific laws, nature, biology, demographics, empirical facts. Words and worlds almost entirely in sync. Meaning often conveyed by and large on automatic pilot.

On the other hand, in regard to value judgments....

How are premoderns, moderns and postmoderns not equally impaled on the arguments I make above and elsewhere?
Unmasking does not even terminate in “subjective” beliefs and interests, for “subjective” contrasts to “objective,” and that too is a distinction that postmodernism denies. A “subject’s beliefs and interests” are themselves socio-linguistic constructions, so unmasking one piece of language to reveal an underlying subjective interest is only to reveal more language. And that language in turn can be unmasked to reveal more language, and so on. Language is masks all the way down.
Are you a postmodernist? Know any postmodernists? Bring them on board.

Then, given a particular context let's discuss our respective "beliefs and interests" in regard to how effective human beings either can or cannot be in communicating a sense of reality.

https://ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175006
Belinda
Posts: 7046
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by Belinda »

iambiguous wrote: Sun Jul 24, 2022 6:18 pm How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
In Jacques Derrida’s words, “[t]he fact of language is probably the only fact ultimately to resist all parenthization.” That is to say, we cannot get outside of language. Language is an “internal,” self-referential system, and there is no way to get “external” to it—although even to speak of “internal” and “external” is also meaningless on postmodern grounds.
Once again: go about the business of living your life from day to day. A "normal day."

Now, how many times in regard to the language you use to communicate with others is the "intellectual contraption" above going to come up?

Get back to us on that.

Language as a "self-referential system" is perfectly coherent when the self itself is perfectly coherent. Doing things wholly in sync with the meaning that we give to words to encompass our day-to-day interactions with others. In the family. At school. On the job. On the baseball diamond.

What on earth is the significance of deconstruction and semiotics then? Premodern, modern, postmodern interactions...your words and mine generating little or no ambiguity or confusion or conflict.
There is no non-linguistic standard to which to relate language, so there can be no standard by which to distinguish between the literal and the metaphorical, the true and the false. Deconstruction is therefore in principle an unending process.
Same thing. Take this obtuse assessment out into the world with you. Only not "in principle", in reality. The standards that transcend human language are mathematical and scientific laws, nature, biology, demographics, empirical facts. Words and worlds almost entirely in sync. Meaning often conveyed by and large on automatic pilot.

On the other hand, in regard to value judgments....

How are premoderns, moderns and postmoderns not equally impaled on the arguments I make above and elsewhere?
Unmasking does not even terminate in “subjective” beliefs and interests, for “subjective” contrasts to “objective,” and that too is a distinction that postmodernism denies. A “subject’s beliefs and interests” are themselves socio-linguistic constructions, so unmasking one piece of language to reveal an underlying subjective interest is only to reveal more language. And that language in turn can be unmasked to reveal more language, and so on. Language is masks all the way down.
Are you a postmodernist? Know any postmodernists? Bring them on board.

Then, given a particular context let's discuss our respective "beliefs and interests" in regard to how effective human beings either can or cannot be in communicating a sense of reality.

https://ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175006
There are non-linguistic modes of communication. How is pomo of language similar to pomo of architecture or fine art? Or for that matter how does pomo affect poetic language as distinct from explicit language? Afer all pomo buildings can be lived in, and poetic language causes affects that are not self referential.
iambiguous
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by iambiguous »

How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
For the modernist, the functionality of language is complementary to its being cognitive. An individual observes reality perceptually, forms conceptual beliefs about reality on the basis of those perceptions, and then acts in reality on the basis of those perceptual and conceptual cognitive states.
In other words, for the moral and political objectivists among us, the functionality of language in the is/ought world is interchangeable with its functionality in the either/or world. One can use language cognitively to determine the morality of abortion as readily as one can use it to describe abortion as a medical procedure. They just employ different fonts, God or No God, to nail down the objective truth.
Some of those actions in the world are social interactions, and in some of those social interactions language assumes a communicatory function. In communicating with each other, individuals narrate, argue, or otherwise attempt to pass on their cognitive beliefs about the world. Rhetoric, then, is an aspect of language’s communicatory function, referring to those methods of using language that aid in the effectiveness of cognition during linguistic communication.
Again, all revolving around the limitations of language in regard to cognition -- "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses" -- itself.

After all, are or are not social interactions down through the ages and around the globe communicated [more or less successfully] assuming very, very different sets of premises regarding what is or is not rational and virtuous? And if language [modernist or otherwise] was there to provide us with the most reasonable and moral options, how to explain the ceaseless conflicts? Well, the objectivists of course insist that the problem revolves precisely around those who are not "one of us"...those who don't cogitate about the world we live in as they do.

You, perhaps?
For the postmodernist, language cannot be cognitive because it does not connect to reality, whether to an external nature or an underlying self. Language is not about being aware of the world, or about distinguishing the true from the false, or even about argument in the traditional sense of validity, soundness, and probability. Accordingly, postmodernism recasts the nature of rhetoric: Rhetoric is persuasion in the absence of cognition.
Over and again: how ridiculous is this? Do we really live in a world where postmodernists are able to show us that in regard to our interactions in the either/or world, our words cannot revolve around the same "external nature", the same empirical facts?

What point do I keep missing here?

https://ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175006
Belinda
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by Belinda »

I think sometimes the form and the meaning are very close together. For instance an abstract painting or sculpture merges form with meaning. The form itself is the meaning. Or for instance when language is mediated through calligraphy the form is the meaning to a large extent, and the actual performance of fine calligraphy is its own meaning.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is e.g. what I type now as I am trying hard to separate my meaning from the limitations of the electronic typewriter and from my own bias.

Spinoza famously tried to keep his meanings devoid of formal bias by writing as if he were Euclid.

The postmodernists are right in that ultimately you can never separate form and meaning. Language is a social activity, as Wittgenstein well knew. His Blue and Brown Books are social interactions with students, to a significant extent. Modernist tradition is that truth is to be discovered. Mathematical formulas are as abstractly pure meaning as is possible to man.
iambiguous
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by iambiguous »

How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
Richard Rorty sees a great deal of pain and suffering in the world and much conflict between groups, so language is to him primarily a tool of conflict resolution. To that end, his language pushes “empathy,” “sensitivity,” and “toleration”—although he also suggests that those virtues may apply only within the range of our “ethnocentric” predicament: “we must, in practice, privilege our own group,” he writes, which implies that “there are lots of views which we simply cannot take seriously.”
Go ahead, see if you can reconcile these two opposing social, political and economic inclinations. Aside from suggesting that all rational men and women are obligated to embrace your own language. Your own definitions and meaning.

Also, "a great deal of pain and suffering in the world and much conflict between groups" results from those who use language precisely in order to sustain it. The ruling class using code words to pit different demographic groups against each other. Ethnocentric or otherwise. MAGA in a nutshell for many.
Most other postmodernists, however, see the conflicts between groups as more brutal and our prospects for empathy as more severely limited than does Rorty.
I don't use words like "brutal" or "severely limited" myself, but in having become "fractured and fragmented" in regard to these conflicts, I'm just as pessimistic. To me these conflicts are part and parcel of what Rorty encompasses in "ironism":
* She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered;

*She realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts;

*Insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself. Richard Rorty
Just choose a context.
Using language as a tool of conflict resolution is therefore not on their horizon. In a conflict that cannot reach peaceful resolution, the kind of tool that one wants is a weapon. And so given the conflict models of social relations that dominate postmodern discourse, it makes perfect sense that to most postmodernists language is primarily a weapon.
Is the language I use here a weapon?

Obviously: Yes, no, maybe.

After all, why wouldn't "I" be just as fractured and fragmented about this as well?
Belinda
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Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by Belinda »

Conflict resolution and world view are alike mediated by language. This is because language is a symbolic system which , as symbolic, can refer to abstract qualities such as quantity and value.

To weaponise language you'd need to lack or pretend to lack shared symbols.
iambiguous
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by iambiguous »

How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
This [my post above] explains the harsh nature of much postmodern rhetoric. The regular deployments of ad hominem, the setting up of straw men, and the regular attempts to silence opposing voices are all logical consequences of the postmodern epistemology of language.
Right, like the premodernist and the modernist objectivists among us don't employ ad hominems, straw men and censorship as "logical consequences" of their own "epistemology of language". In fact, in insisting that what they and only they know about practically everything under the sun, they seem [to me] far more likely to employ them.

Here for example.
Stanley Fish...calls all opponents of racial preferences bigots and lumps them in with the Ku Klux Klan. Andrea Dworkin calls all heterosexual males rapists and repeatedly labels “Amerika” a fascist state. With such rhetoric, truth or falsity is not the issue: what matters primarily is the language’s effectiveness.
Okay, but I say at least double it in regard to the authoritarian dogmatists who use Bibles or manifestos to anchor their own language in. And "postmodernists" of my ilk, in being fractured and fragmented regarding the language available to them, react quite the opposite. They are often anything but adamant and coarse in labeling those who don't share their own political prejudices.
If we now add to the postmodern epistemology of language the far Left politics of the leading postmodernists and their firsthand awareness of the crises of socialist thought and practice, then the verbal weaponry has to become explosive.
Sure, but what about the modernist epistemology of the MAGA crowd and their firsthand awareness of more traditional Republican thought and practice? What, they don't have their own renditions Of Fish and Dworkin when it comes to creating political effigies?

https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=175006
Belinda
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by Belinda »

iambiguous wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 3:23 pm How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
This [my post above] explains the harsh nature of much postmodern rhetoric. The regular deployments of ad hominem, the setting up of straw men, and the regular attempts to silence opposing voices are all logical consequences of the postmodern epistemology of language.
Right, like the premodernist and the modernist objectivists among us don't employ ad hominems, straw men and censorship as "logical consequences" of their own "epistemology of language". In fact, in insisting that what they and only they know about practically everything under the sun, they seem [to me] far more likely to employ them.

Here for example.
Stanley Fish...calls all opponents of racial preferences bigots and lumps them in with the Ku Klux Klan. Andrea Dworkin calls all heterosexual males rapists and repeatedly labels “Amerika” a fascist state. With such rhetoric, truth or falsity is not the issue: what matters primarily is the language’s effectiveness.
Okay, but I say at least double it in regard to the authoritarian dogmatists who use Bibles or manifestos to anchor their own language in. And "postmodernists" of my ilk, in being fractured and fragmented regarding the language available to them, react quite the opposite. They are often anything but adamant and coarse in labeling those who don't share their own political prejudices.
If we now add to the postmodern epistemology of language the far Left politics of the leading postmodernists and their firsthand awareness of the crises of socialist thought and practice, then the verbal weaponry has to become explosive.
Sure, but what about the modernist epistemology of the MAGA crowd and their firsthand awareness of more traditional Republican thought and practice? What, they don't have their own renditions Of Fish and Dworkin when it comes to creating political effigies?

https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=175006
The Bible gets a bad reputation sometimes. This is because The Bible is used as a book of explicit rules. When The Bible is used as literature especially poetic language it's full of wisdom, some of it close to Heideggerian Dasein theory.
iambiguous
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: the language of postmodernism

Post by iambiguous »

How Postmodernists Use Language as a Weapon
Stephen Hicks
From the Church and State website
When theory clashes with fact

In the past two centuries, many strategies have been pursued by socialists the world over. Socialists have tried waiting for the masses to achieve socialism from the bottom up, and they have tried imposing socialism from the top down. They have tried to achieve it by evolution and by revolution. They have tried versions of socialism that emphasize industrialization, and they have tried those that are agrarian. They have waited for capitalism to collapse by itself, and when that did not happen they have tried to destroy capitalism by peaceful means. And when that did not work some tried to destroy it by terrorism.
And what does this emphasize if not the gap -- the chasm -- between words carefully calibrated and then ordered theoretically in a manifesto and attempts to take these definitions and deductions out into the numbingly complex reality of actual human interactions?

Isn't that why any number of objectivists [political or otherwise] here prefer to keep their own ideological/deontological arguments up in the clouds?

And, indeed, where nihilism often comes into play here is not over ends but over means. Everyone who is "one of us" agrees that this or that "ism" is the One True Path. But not everyone agrees to embrace "by any means necessary".
But capitalism continues to do well and socialism has been a disaster. In modern times there have been over two centuries of socialist theory and practice, and the preponderance of logic and evidence has gone against socialism.
Of course, what is this assessment itself if not another "general description intellectual contraption"? Your "logic and evidence" embracing capitalism or their "logic and evidence" embracing socialism.

Or my own "logic and evidence" suggesting that it is entirely reasonable to be "fractured and fragmented" in confronting both.

Only I tend to eschew logic here and note how each side is more than capable of providing both reasonable arguments and ample historical evidence to make their case.

https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=175006
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