Talk:Postmodernism/Archive 3

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We need a simple no-frills definition somewhere on this page.

As it is, there is no clear cut definition of post modernism. You'd have to read the entire damn page as it is to get the gist of it. There should be a very brief "crash course" in the introduction section. Michael.A.Anthony 00:35, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I should say, there is no clear cut definition of post modernism ANYWHERE on this page. It's all heaped in piles of subjectiveness and various extraneous crap that could really go. Plus the wording in the introduction induces pain and vomiting like some kind of Grade A prescription drug. Michael.A.Anthony 04:23, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
There really is no definition of postmodernism. It would be impossible for anyone to define it. It is basically a word in search of a definition. Bus stop 04:56, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Then that is what should be specifically stated, rather than the excuse we have for an intro at the moment. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Michael.A.Anthony (talkcontribs) 16:53, 17 April 2007 (UTC).
I think postmodernism is a term that refers to the qualities of various aspects of the age we live in. But I don't think it starts out with a definition. Rather, it seeks out qualities that characterize the times in which we live. Consequently, it is constantly evolving, as a term. It's definition is more like a work in process. Bus stop 19:33, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
We could do better than this... i will try to get some reliable sources, it seems (in reliable on- and offline sources) that this should be about the art movement, and social events and the like belong to postmodernity. starting with indefinable, there are still some things one can say in a single sentence, artists, for one. and i believe that even academic online sources can be horribly wrong, or rather hastily written, mixing up postmodernist with postmodern. --FlammingoHey 22:19, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S.:I think this is going to be a great article! In time, maybe even a "good article"!!! ;-) FlammingoHey 22:22, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

This entry hurts my head. And my eyes. I love most wiki entries, but I just thought I would agree with the above comment and add that the entire article makes a piss-poor encyclopedia entry. There is just no structure to it. The pictures are pretty.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:50, 21 April 2007


Arriving at this page for the first time, and with no concept of what post-modernism is, I found myself none-the-wiser after reading the introduction.

Do you not think it possible that in the desire to make the introduction as general as possible, it is now pretty much devoid of meaning. All it now says of factual relevence is that post-modernism refers to the period/label after modernism. well no shit? 03:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

good job everyone

this page has come a long way in a short time. this is an impossible topic. thumbs up everyoneSpencerk

postmodernism vs. postmodernity

The intro of the article begins Postmodernism is a term usually used to describe the historical period that occurs after modernism, as well as a type of intellectual thought that is often considered a critique of (or reaction to) modernism. The historical period is postmodernity, which occurs after modernity. Postmodernism isa type of thought. I suggest the sentence being Postmodernism is a type of intellectual thought that is often considered a critique of (or reaction to) modernism. It is distinct from postmodernity which is used to describe the historical period that is said to have occurred after modernity.' Anyone have problems with this? JenLouise 00:34, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Futhermore the First Usage section says: The term appeared first as postmodernity. Firstly, there is no reference for this and secondly I don't beleive the terms mean the same thing and therefore this sentence shouldn't be here. And then below in The development of postmodernism it says Modernity, is defined as a period or condition loosely identified with the Industrial Revolution, or the Enlightenment. One "project" of modernity is said to have been the fostering of progress, which was thought to be achievable by incorporating principles of rationality and hierarchy into aspects of public and artistic life. (see also post-industrial, Information Age). Although useful distinctions can be drawn between the modernist and postmodernist eras, this does not erase the many continuities present between them. Once again, I'll change these if nobody has any problems? JenLouise 00:53, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

That's cool, but: couple questions:

The modernity page describes modernity as a cultural movement... does postmodernism have to be intellectual -- or even thought? Can postmodernism be action? I bet all sorts of people are postmodernists without even knowing what that means

second, what came first, postmoderism or postmodernity? The answer to this should be hashed out in the causes of postmodernism section, maybe. --Ok! 17:10, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I have no objection. Though the words postmodernity and postmodernism are often used interchangeably, that's just sloppy writing, and I don't think there would be any true NPOV violation in normatively separating the definitions of these two terms. COGDEN 01:04, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

The 'ism' ending of both terms (modernism and postmodernism and)stands for an intellectual movement within the arts, i.e. literature, film, music, painting, etc. What modernitystands for entaisl a rather larger discussion but in short: it is essentially a period that is characterised by a major shift in the world view in the West. Kaloyan* 06:48, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Lots of people in the arts do use "modernism" in this sense... but the term is also used more broadly by social scientists and philosophers to refer a whole cultural zeitgeist, or very broadly conceived philosophical movement.

Changes to introduction

Thanks to Spencerk for making the changes to the introduction, I have changed the first point back to include the idea of "reaction to Modernism", "grand narrative" and "reason" which disappeared from your new sentence because I'd say these are central to the idea of postmodernism.

Someone should note that wikipedia is would be a very postmodern thing to do.

Most of the article is clear and informative. The "Development of postmodernism" section in particular is helpful. The "Overview" section has less clarity. The biggest problems are in the first paragraph: The first sentence is not true. Something along the lines of "Post modernism can either be seen as a movement of ideas contrary to modernism or as a continuation of modernism" might be better. That's a bit clunky, but you get the idea. Modernism is not defined until the "Development of postmodernism" section though, and ideally the "Overview" needs to be more general, introducing the reader to ideas that will be more fully elaborated later. I take the point about modernism's interest in what lies below the surface, but the list of influences (Freud, Marx, Einstein) is misleading, partly because postmodernists have also been influenced by Freud, Marx and Einstein. The "Developments" section makes the point much more clearly, describing Marxism etc as "master narratives". The last sentence doesn't make sense, grammatically or philosophically. Grammatically, no obvious "ideals" have been given in the preceding sentences, so the word has no reference. Philosophically, Freud, Marx and Einstein are not "ideals". I think the first paragraph should be cut. Then, the "Overview" would be a quick description of the "postmodern" world, and the relationship with modernism can wait until the "Developments" section.--Ethicoaestheticist 11:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect assertion about Po-mo's relation to Modernism

The description of Modernism - and Post-modernism's relation to it - is quite incorrect and presents an interesting contrast to the modernism article, which is fairly accurate. I will be changing some of the information on Modernism in the article on Po-Mo, as it was hardly this:

"Modernism is often characterized by very ‘’straight-forward’’ themes like honesty, progress, and logic (among many others). For example, modern architecture was valued more for its utility and clarity of form than for its decoration or ornaments."

Modernism was a time of immense experimentation, and was primarily a reaction against Realism and the Enlightenment, drawing heavily on Greek antiquity. Post-modernism is more a continuation, development and widening of Modernism, with different foci (the other, as opposed to the self).

Hi CrystalSeraph, I'm assuming you wrote the above because you made the edit. I have reverted your edit for now, because I think you made a major change to what the article said, and it should be discussed first. Having read the modernism article, I agree that what appears about modernism here does not really match it, however alot of people definitely do agree that modernism values logic, progress (and reason) so we need to be careful what is deleted and changed. Postmodernism arose in reaction to what postmodernists (I use this term very loosely) viewed as modernism. So perhaps the article should say this and note that this postmodern view of modernism may not correspond to the view of modernism that modernists hold. Rewriting the article to say that postmodernism is a continuation of the ideas of modernism, is defintely not something you should do without first disussing and reaching consensus. So I have reverted your edit, but incorporated the idea that in understanding postmodernism you need to know about the Englightenment and the Realist period because this is not controversial. I think we need to continue the discussion here before making any more changes. JenLouise 22:28, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah Crystal(?), unfortunately all these terms get really fuzzy, because different groups of people tend to use the terms totally differently without noticing it. I've taken several classes on modernist literature, and several on postmodern thought (which hardly makes me an expert, but it's enough to pick up on a few things...). Between the two groups, you get a very different picture of what "modernism" means. I think the article on Postmodernism is pretty accurate in that postmodernists tend to use "modernism" to refer to something like a continuation of englightenment thought... You know, it's this scientific way of thinking, where reason, logic, and truth are key. The metanarrative is that by following reason and carrrying out careful experiments and whatnot, you're going to progress toward a better understanding of the world, better ways of living, etc.
In the arts though, when people talk about "modernism," it's usually much different than this straightforward sort of scientific picture. Modernism is avant-garde, weird, pushing limits and boundaries, and breaking from the old. I mean you look at Joyce, Faulkner, Pollock, and whoever else, and there aren't too many immediately apparent connections to the reason, science, and structure that postmodernists are reacting against... In fact, modernism in the literary/artistic sense often seems like it's already rejecting what postmodernists call a modern perspective... and it's in that sense, I think, that you want to talk about pomo as a continuation of modernism.
On the other hand, there are ways of interpreting artistic modernism so that it is part and parcel of the modernism that postmodernists are so opposed to. Take somebody like Mondrian, for example... His art is all about developing a formal system that's supposed to get closer to the inner essence of things--closer to expressing the real inner truth than traditional representational art ever could. And, in a sense, I think you can see something very similar in the spirit of his art to the whole scientific, rational quest for progress and knowledge. The same goes for other modern art movements, like cubism, and literary figures. Joyce, Faulkner, and Proust--a few key modernists authors--are, in a sense, trying to use new methods of writing to get closer than ever before to the real, inner truth. Postmodern art, on the other hand, like postmodern theory, is supposed to have given up on finding or expressing the truth or inner essences. Instead, it's just an incoherent mesh of cultural references and ironic self-references. You lose the sort of systematic and directed thinking of modern artists and replace it with the art of pastiche.
Do you sort of see what I'm getting at? I'm not saying this is necessarilly the right interpretation of modernism (and certainly some "modern" authors, like Nietzsche and Kafka, seem to lend credit to the idea that postmodernism is a continuation of modernism)... but I think that's at least where a lot of postmodern theorists are coming from.
When there are differences of opinion and interpretation from different sources, the thing to do is not to attempt a synthesis, but to show these differences and their origin, so that the reader is informed of the debate and able to make up their own mind. Providing verifiable references is always helpful too. Tyrenius 00:17, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Criticism is Postmodern

does anyone agree with this? does postmodernism contain the idea of the critism of postmodernism. Could this relate to Jesus dictum of "loving your enemy?" Is there any discussion of Christ and postmodernism? Religion and postmodernism? If postmodernism contains the criticism of or even the destruction of itself than what is postmodernism not? Xsxex 03:43, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're getting at... but that's the wonderful thing about the criticism of postmodernism: it's postmodern. From a modernist perspective, you criticize something on the basis of its truth or falsity... You know, provide evidence and give arguments against the claims you're challenging. But people who criticize postmodernism generally don't do this... Instead, they criticize it for being just a bunch of buzz words without any content. They suggest that it's all just a bunch of posturing among a set of academics to maintain their social position. And it's funny, because that's almost exactly what the postmodernists are saying, except they apply the same critique to everyone, while pomo's critics generally think themselves exempt.

Huge rewrite of aticle

Hi Stirling, you've made huge changes to the vary contraversial article on postmodenrism without any discussion on the talk page. Much of the content you deleted has been added after much discussion, and I definitely feel that you have changed the way the article presents post-modernism, rather than removing possible POV sentences. In addition, some of your sentences are very clunky, and will need to be rewritten for easier comprehension, and I'm not sure that its worth the effort, when I don't even agree with half the changes. In the first paragraph alone:

  • You've written: postmodernism is a "movement or condition supplanting modernism". Supplanting doesn't sound very NPOV to me.
  • You should not have the following as one sentence:

Post-modernism is most commonly held to be a movement or condition supplanting modernism, and countering basic assumptions held to be part of modernism, including ideas of rationality and objectivity held to be rooted in The Enlightenment and in positivist and realist movements from the late 19th century - as well as an extension of liberating trends in the modern period. However a large number of thinkers and writers hold that it is simply a period or variety of modernism, or a reactionary movement against the modern project and is not, therefore, properly a separate period or idea.

I count 5 ideas, which technically means 5 sentences, but it should be at least 2 or 3.

The rest of your edits are the same. I would like to suggest that you specifically detail what was wrong with all the sections that you deleted (ie. bit by bit - simply claiming that it is POV is not enough), and justify why your edits make it more NPOV? Otherwise, I will revert it and then go and try and include relevant points you've made into the earlier version. JenLouise 04:03, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

The article as presented falls below the POV standards, the citability standards and is a personal essay. The article does need a huge rewrite, as the present material is obviously beneath encyclopediac standards and is in every way below older versions of the article which had a more comprehensive and cited NPOV treatment. Stirling Newberry 14:59, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to suggest to delete the 'postmodern example' part as I think it makes it harder to understand the overall theoretical basis of postmodernism. These examples seem out of context in a page dedicated to a general introduction to postmodernism only because the examples don't give enough information. Clutter 14:00, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

making up problems...

A lot of people are coming to this site to find out something about postmoderism, and, as one can see from this discussion page, they dont find any satisfaction here. Why?

Here is one attempt to answer that question: One thing is well known about PoMo, they reject universals. And why is that? Its because they oppone to the usage of a lot of words, words that they think are being used in a stupid, unreflected way, both in philosophy and in general (that you can distionguish clearly between subjects like that is another one that is questioned) Its in many ways a lot like what Wittgenstein says in the "Philosophical investigations": a lot of our problems are caused by our use of words, if you realize this a lot of problems will disappear. (§116-->) PoMo is a lot like that, they try to build a philosophy around insights like that about language, even though they go a long way beyond Wittgenstein. So please dont try to understand postmoderism in it self, that would be like trying to understand the world by reading just the frontpage of the New York times. Headlines dont say a thing.

And the political? What is left if all these categories and words, values and norms get a bit "shaky"? Are the marxist and other critics right when they say that there is no possibilities for politics and engagement in the world with a such viewpoints? Because, as Derrida says, you can always put footnotes on every single word you write (meaning that there is always something to say about the meaning of a word). In other words, you could spend all you time investigating how the meanings and values crack up at close scrutiny, and of course that would keep you from taking any real standpoints to events in the world. And this is the point where PoMo gets pragmatic, one has at some points go with what you got, forget the insecurity for short whiles to act. But never get stuck in one single viewpoint. Its like the paradox that european christians faced when they explored the world and met people that werent christians, but just the same, good caring people. It was what Spinoza was so eager to insist upon, heathens can also be good people. Sorry for the digression, but I hope you see the point. Just because people designated PoMo reject universal values and categories, doesnt mean that they are not able to take up positions in very concrete cases. Rejection the one, single ("true") perspective is NOT (please get this!) saying that all perspectives are equal. There are ways for judging several perspectives against each other, but these ways are not universal, but must be found in each concrete situation. You can not be completely sure, but then again, it might just be that you always have to be just a bit pragmatic. And in such a perspective its all you can do, but that doesent have to be so bad.

If you want to know what postmoderinsm is, forget it. Why would you want to know? Do you want to know what I mean with the word følsdgdkndsuoø? Rather go to a single author and read. Use introductions with extreme caution. It is hard, but it will be understandable (it really is, despite all claims otherwise)It might just be great and constructive, and not nihilistic and negative and all.

So we can never understand postmodernism, because it's a word and, like every other word, its ultimate meaning will escape us. Okay, I'm with you. But then you tell us we can understand a particular author if we just read him or her. Not only that, but we should avoid those pesky introductions, because we don't want to be led astray by someone else's interpretation. Hmm... sounds like somebody's a bit old-fashioned in priveleging the "original" text.
And your idea that rejecting a single correct perspective doesn't mean that all perspectives are equal? Sure that gets tossed around all the time nowadays by people like you, who like to call themselves postmodernists while pretending they can still make definite statements. But come on. Look at what you're actually saying. "There are ways for judging several perspectives against each other, but these ways are not universal, but must be found in each concrete situation." Okay, then give me one "concrete situation" where one perspective is better than another. Just one. And I'll show you an absolutist stance you've just taken, and ten ways to call it into question.
Nothing is understandable--neither postmodernism nor any particular author. Postmodernism is inescapably nihilistic and negative. It's just that "nihilic" and "negative" happen to bleed into "great" and "constructive," when you look hard enough.
  • This talk section is filled with uncredited essays. Brilliant.

--Post-modernist ideas, when looked upon from a great height or perhaps a soggy below, express man's acknowledgment that we are a part of a un-sensed but not unknown,- process. Talking, ideas, clothing, ideas, entertainments, ideas, buildings, ideas, - Post -modernism will seem in it's most objective way, to be an injection of truth into these processes of man's invention and knowledge and communications and doubt. Hence the actor who looks at the audience and refers to a past role or non-fictional mishap from the actor's life. Regard the museum which to every side of it's outside- being of a totally different style, regard the on-line encyclopedia that let's it's users/readers mutate evolve process the text itself. Brilliant. Post-modernism- A little fun truth of uncertainty into the inventions of men who cannot stay in rooms, with thier hands upon their laps.Book M 10:23, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I believe truth should be added to every

see also section of every article related to post modernism, for is that truly the one single defining word to describe the post-modern. ????.Book M 11:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Some basic English for a change

I find it all so amusing that talks about Post-Modernism, a theory dealing with finding and resurecting whatever it was that us humans were doing before modernism came and put us all in suits and bikinis, should be using so many words created within the last few minutes. This is purely a modernist trap that must DIE! (I can't believe I read the word *historicist*!!!!)

The more obfiscation is alowed to BE the post modernist debate the more it all simply becomes an exercise in modernism.

Guy Debord was right in expelling all but the core from the Situationist movement (Death to Situationism!).

In short - Modernism is the term used to explain the electric/electronic world. It has suplanted what we knew to be day to day reality with advertising catch phrases and jokes from TV and desires we never wanted in the first place. The hight of modernism has to be America placing men on the moon to play golf. Modernism is equivilant to absurdity and banality. This is not MY point of view ... with the exception of the golf on the moon bit ... I've read too much about this subject over the past decade and a half to not say something on this board but I'm not going to subvert myself by being academic about it. I'm not academic. Death to Situationism!

Post Modernism has its origins in post WWII Europe with the Situationist International movement. After the Allies swept through the continent, America trying best to enforce economic pennance throughout the region and always looking for that "sucker born every minute", The Situationist International was born in the flames of several other European art movements (C.O.B.R.A., the Letterists etc.) to usher in a new era of radicalism. The basic rant of the Situationist is (and I'm trying my best to do this verbatim) "Any revolutionary who does not speak directly of day to day life, or the subversive nature of love, has a corpse in their mouth." What the situationist attempted to do was to experience life as it may have been experienced before modernism packaged it and sold it to you. One of their favorite parlor games was using the wrong map to find their way around town in order to find their own monuments and "hot spots." They termed this form of mapping "psychogeography." It was shortly after this that they subverted the students union of Les Ecoles des Beaux Arts in France, an archetectural school, and led the Paris student riots of May 5th 1968.

As the flames settled Post Modernism was incubated and became a discourse about archetecture - namely that the buildings and cities we are building are not fit for habitat (I remember a comedian on television saying that he was living in an apartment in New York that he would't let a dog live in). Soon it was the Post Modern movement and it sought to ruin everything but has, ernestly, done absolutely nothing in two decades ... the same period of time it's been debated in universities. Death to Situationism!

Guy Debord refered to modern society as the Society of the Spectacle and he once said something to the effect that the spectacle co-opts all that it fears and then sells it back to you in a spectacular form. It is for this reason that nothing publicly understood (ie. pop or popular) will ever be radical or important. The revolution will not be televised.

Death to Situationism!

Long live the situationist!


I don't agree with the following statement from the introduction, and think that it needs a source in any case: "most agree that postmodern ideas have had a major impact on philosophy, art, critical theory, literature, architecture, interpretation of history, and culture since the late 20th century."

Most of whom agree? I know modern philosophers themselves wouldn't agree (at least) with the part of the statement that concerns themselves.

I doubt postmodernism has had much influence outside literary criticism and perhaps some soft sciences.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Vokaler (talkcontribs) .

Agree with need for source. Postmodern influence on architecture and art? If it hasn't influenced them, then they are called Postmodern, so they now partly define it.
Please put new talk underneath old talk.
Tyrenius 10:44, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
No. If postmodern ideas (cultural relativism, existentialism, and the others mentioned in the introduction) haven't influenced them, I don't think they should be called postmodern, and in any case, my point was that those ideas, which are usually associated with postmodernism, haven't had such an influence. Whether something should be called postmodern only because of the time in history in which that something was created is the subject of a different discussion. Vokaler 17:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
But it's not that simple. The idea of postmodernism's influence isn't that everyone has read Derrida, and rushes off to incorporate it in their work... Obviously very few people have had this sort of direct contact with official postmodern theory. But there's an idea that a lot of these postmodern ideas are out there in sort of a general zeitgeist of our time... what with reality TV, multiculturalism, and continual bombardment with all sorts of framentary narratives and perspectives.
You're right that analytic philosophers are one group who would steadfastly deny having been influenced in the least by all that po-mo mumbo-jumbo. But even they would probably concede that it's had considerable influence in other areas of culture.
I didn't mention Derrida. And while multiculturalism has clearly had effect on some soft sciences, has it, outside liberal propaganda, had any real effect on the way people think about things outside small lit. crit. or sociolog. or some such circles? Not really. Even its effect on literary criticism has clearly begun to wane; and its influence never was as significant as some would like to think it was (not all English departments were full of professors teaching phonebooks along with Shakespeare, and telling the baffled students there was no real difference between the two). And in architecture and art, postmodernism signifies something very different from what it does in literary criticism or in relation to soft sciences.
I think the sweeping statement which I have quoted somewhere above should be removed from the introduction of the article until some source can be found for it. Even with source, the statement should perhaps be taken with a grain or litre of salt (though considering that postmodernists have traditionally been, to put it charitably, skeptical about logic, and the scientific method, perhaps it would be appropriate for a po-mo-related article to contain statements that seem unreasonable, and that are certainly not based on scientific data of any kind). 17:43, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Nice try, but I'm afraid we have to work by wiki policies. There's not much editorial input going into this thrilling subject, so I think we may have to rely on you for now to do the right thing. :) Tyrenius 02:21, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
actually, most philosophers would likely agree, if you phrase the question in appropriate terms. if you asked, has postmodernity influenced the practices and thought of contemporary philosophy?' the answer will be yes, if they are honest, clearthinking and not in the dismissive mood, because it clearly has, and there are around 3000 books and innumerable articles in philosophy journals that indicate that. of course, if you want to ask modern philosophers... good luck, most of those died before 1800, unless you define modern philosophy differently. as for the art question, there are artists that claim to be inspired, influenced, etc. by postmodernism. i am not sure what you mean by 'soft sciences', but it is a derogatory term. there are sciences and then there are special sciences, the sciences include everything where descriptions can be given outside of historical analysis, and the special sciences are where those descriptions can form lawlike predictions of the future. generally, when given the derogatory nature of 'soft science', i suggest that we might infer a 'critical position' of the poster instead of a 'neutral' position. for those that are approaching the article in that manner, without doing adequate research to back their changes, i suggest reading the wikipedia policies on neutrality.--Buridan 11:57, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not a native speaker. What would be a neutral term for soft sciences? Humanistic sciences? In any case, assuming you are a native speaker, you should know that the word 'modern' has different meanings. It should be obvious from the context in which I used the word I meant it as a synonym for 'present'. As for the postmodern ideas mentioned in the introduction to the article having influenced the practices and thought of contemporary philosophy, I ask for further elaboration. That numerous philosophers have written books and articles that can, by the careless, be confused as propagating postmodern ideas, does not count as real influence (since you didn't make it clear what you meant by their having been influenced, I have to guess).
Finally, my neutrality, or lack of, does not in any way justify somebody else's making sweeping statements in the introduction with no basis on reality nor any existing article or book. It would already make the introduction sound less laughable if the words "major impact" were replaced with the words "some effect" ('effect' would be the correct word in any case). Let's try and see, even though the need for source will remain.

Neutral term for what you've called "soft sciences" is either "social sciences" or "special sciences." And Modern Philosophy conventionally refers to the philosophy beginning with Descartes (early 1600s) and ending with Kant (late 1700s). What followed was "Contemporary philosophy." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:33, 25 April 2007

(GrammarGal raises her hand timidly...)

I see that there are big debates going on here, and possibly some rewrites in the future, so although I consider this a minor change I thought I'd ask first.

I had to read this sentence several times before I got the gist and would like to make some minor punctuation repairs to clarify, as follows:


Postmodern scholars argue that such a decentralized society inevitably creates responses/perceptions which are described as post-modern, such as the rejection of what is seen as false, imposed unities of meta-narrative and hegemony, breaking of traditional frames of genre, structure and stylistic unity, and the overthrowing of categories which are the result of logocentrism and other forms of artificially imposed order.

Proposed change:

Postmodern scholars argue that such a decentralized society inevitably creates responses/perceptions which are described as post-modern, such as the rejection of what are seen as the false, imposed unities of meta-narrative and hegemony; the breaking of traditional frames of genre, structure and stylistic unity; and the overthrowing of categories which are the result of logocentrism and other forms of artificially imposed order.

I would also change the two "which"es to "that"s unless the author is British or Queen's English–educated?

I'll make the changes if no one objects; please tell me if rewrites are imminent and there's no point.

Thanks, Grammargal 18:39, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Last call for objections. Going once... twice... (I'm thinking y'all have bigger fish to fry.) Grammargal 00:01, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

There's really no need to ask about changes this minor -- go ahead and fix it! Someone who disagrees can always revert your edit. -- Rbellin|Talk 01:21, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks very much -- still getting my footing around here. Grammargal 02:31, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

a request for introduction debate

following the latest restructuring of the introduction, i now declare that major changes in the intro not predicated by discussion on the talk page be punishable by some sort of death.
archival discussions for intro

The latest restructuring of the introduction was justified with the following criticism: dense thicket of unconnected ideas that presents an almost inpenatrable barrier and over simplification to the casual reader, removing strange effect of overlap contents & box)
heres the question everyone: should the introduction be for the casual reader?
my vote, yes.
My speculation is that this is a popular page on wikipedia, and 99% of those readers are seeking an first understanding of what it means to call something postmodern. These people (the 99%) Will Be Scared Off When They See "Framework of Discussion" as the beginning section.
If this debate goes the way of creating a technical page, I suggest splitting the page like general relativity and Introduction to general relativity. Spencerk 00:46, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't like to see revert wars on this page at all, but I hardly think the appropriate response is (even if you're joking) to suggest that removing your favored version is a punishable offense. I think the bullet points which Spencerk keeps reinserting are not just oversimplifications (which might be okay in a lead section for expository purposes) but are just completely wrong: factually incorrect and inaccurate about the topic. Neither Seinfeld nor existentialism, for instance, are appropriate links here. Further, the bullet points are not introduced or explained in any way. They read like idiosyncratic original research, not like a general introduction to the topic for an encyclopedia article. So I favor removing the bullet points, but I still agree the article's lead should be made more readable for a general audience. (Stirling Newberry wrote some text a while ago that we might be able to recover from the edit history and re-edit for the purpose of crafting a better lead; I think it was lost in a too-heated edit war at the time.) -- Rbellin|Talk 03:50, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree, lots of inaccuracy: skepticism toward anyting new, is as old as the hills. Progress is not really modernist but enlightenment or Hegelian. "Communication is shaped by culture", not sure who thought communication wasn't a part of culture. "Meaning is created by the individual"! this is the strangest thing here. "Only copies without an original" this is not PM in general but a particular idea. "Globalisation", this comes from Marx. PM tries to capture an era, in my opinion, and even Lyotard failed in giving PM, when he just described science as using language games, he left out what was happening in philosophy, hence his PM just becomes one side of the science war.
  • cool, i understand. are we in aggreement that the introduction/overview should be an introduction for the uninformed? I'm still kinda bent on the idea of bullets or a table to avoid ugly rhetoric, because i have been watching this page for a while and it seems to develop this way. lets do it you guys. Spencerk 06:11, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

on the use of bullets=

What makes you think that grossly inaccurate bullet points are good for the un-informed? They are, infact, only good for the to-be mis-informed. Short bullet points lack structure, lack any setting and look bad. They may be ok for a presentation when someone can talk around them, otherwise they just bombard the reader with a disjointed plethora of ideas and put off the casual reader. Probably why most encyclopedias are not written that way. Rhetoric is unavoidable and aint ugly in general, do the work of suggesting changes to the rhetoric if you think it is bad. In any case if your ideal, uninformed, reader is that lazy, I don't think postmodernism will be of interest to them. --Lucas

  • lucas, i feel you are making a characature of me- that lazy or that i don't have an understanding of postmodernism.

Outside of wikipedia, of the 5 relevant top google hits for "postmodernism", you will see that 3 of them use bullet points for an introduction: (all of which are made by faculty at american colleges)

perhaps your belief that "They are, infact, only good for the to-be mis-informed" is extreme, and does not reflect the consensus of discussion thus far. And perhaps your belief that "Rhetoric is unavoidable" conflicts with the Wikipedia:Manual of Style#LegibilitySpencerk 21:30, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Are you suggesting we draw this down to google level and copy all those "postmodernism, 7 steps to get ahead in marketing" websites. The ones you gave above were not of this kind and didn't do stodgy bullets like here (except for Colorado's one, which looks like its on LSD), quotes were juxtaposed, and one starts with a discussion of pomo as an epoch versus pomo as a movement. You must be USian, for whom rhetoric is always something other than good style, that is, a rhetoric that balances sentences, reads well, and has some umph. Anyhow, let us split the difference and talk instead about style, what is wrong with the style? Should the style of the article itself demostrate pomo? --Lucas

Should the style of the article itself demostrate pomo -haha good point, i think we have an interesting discussion here.
postmodernism is totally something that may never be able to break into its componant parts - i get what you mean how bulleting the points will give it a sort of candy definition. say over the next few weeks we made a wicked, clean non-bulleted introduction, we're just gonna see people say "what do you mean the intro doesn't mention neitszhe?" and then before long its a brick. lets leave it for now to get other opinions in here :)Spencerk 00:54, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
A wicked clean brick! Well fine, but isnt that (de)construction! I agree Nietzsche could be mentioned in intro, though he is also an influence on Modernism too. Is this then the objection you have to the intro? Lucas
Saying anything about postmodernism is bound to be remarkably inaccurate... I don't see how bullets make it very much worse. Plus, most style guides for internet writing agree that online readers are INCREDIBLY lazy... So I say bullets are good.


What's 'mic'ed'?

Out of context I'd guess it to be a misspelling of miked, to feed through a microphone. Tell me where you find it in the article and I'll change it. TheScotch 11:42, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


The article's full of passages like this: "Instead, they value the collage of elements, the play and juxtaposition of ideas from different contexts, and the deconstruction of symbols into the basic dynamics of power and place from which those symbols gain meaning as signifiers. In this it is related to post-structuralism in philosophy, minimalism in the arts and music, the emergence of pop, and the rise of mass media." I'm not denying that such language has some meaning to whoever was responsible but things need to be clarified. The Van Piercy quote uses deliberately obscure language and it's not a notable source. The language elsewhere isn't so much difficult as weird (words like "connote" and "commodified"). An article about post-modernism that didn't read like it's been written by post-modernists would be an improvement. --Lo2u (TC) 00:58, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

no thank you, please  :) --Buridan 01:03, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I've changed a lot for the sake of plain English as well as to correct problems:


  • Many words like "profoundly", "importantly", "strongly", "compelling" removed
  • Views reported as fact (even with the word "fact" used occassionally).

Sense/ grammar:

  • far too much to list, some errors that seriously obscured the sense of what was being said.

Pretentiousness, silliness and deliberate obscurity:

  • Hyperbole in "the omnipresence of broadcast media".
  • "Although useful distinctions can be drawn between the modernist and postmodernist eras, this does not erase the many continuities present between them. (These continuities are why some refer to post-modernism as both the cessation and continuation of modernism.)" A paradoxical sentence, serving only to complicate things, has been introduced where what is really being explained is merely the continuity.
  • "The term does not apply to post-anything aside from following modern thought. The term post-modern can be viewed as an intentional contradiction, which reflects the spirit of irony or silliness for which it is sometimes known, but also for its central idea--that all polarities, at some point, overlap."
  • "Contemporaneous" wrongly used instead of "contemporary".
  • "minimized" used to mean "played down".
  • I've removed the entire account of the Benhabib/ Butler debate, although I expect that to be reverted. The fact that several sentences do not make sense ("Benhabib argues against these positions as she holds that they undermine the bases from which feminist politics can be founded as strong versions of postmodernism remove the possibility for agency, sense of self-hood, and the appropriation of women’s history in the name of an emancipated future."); that the justification for the detail not matched elsewhere in the article is the rather unsafe assertion that the debate is "sophisticated"; that some sentences are written in such an obscure fashion that I really don't believe they can be understood by anyone except their own author ("Butler uses this debate over the definition of "postmodernism" to demonstrate how philosophy is implicated in power relationships"); makes the inclusion here seem suspicious.
  • The long quote in my previous post - interestingly there seem to be three attemps to define postmodernism in the article: one is incomprehensible; the second (that I've removed) under "Connotations" a narrow, poorly written original mini-essay; the third under "Term" talks about how difficult the term is to define.

Logical non sequiturs and unsupported assertions:

  • "The true seat of power then is wherever the knowledge is being controlled. The state becomes less powerful as more agents can wield or control this knowledge."
  • "Psychologists also assert a cognitive bias, which points at the human bias of truth."
  • "This is deeply intertwined with the thesis of social determinism..." --Lo2u (TC) 22:52, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Yeah I tried reading this article and it seems like it was written by a bunch of pretentious pricks. How 'bout using some plain English for us illiterati? -- 23:25, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Post-modernism and Post-Structuralism

I am having issues grappling with the difference between these two terms. What seems to be the case is that Postmodernist thought is the larger frame, which includes Post-structuralism. Still, can someone elaborate on this? Kaloyan* 04:40, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah... none of these terms are very clear cut. But in general, when people talk about "post-structuralism," they're talking about a group of French thinkers who were big in the 60s and 70s: Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Julia Kristeva, etc. These thinkers are also certainly leaders in "postmodern" thought, but postmodernism gets used much more broadly--a label that can be appplied to virtually anything that's happened since WWII. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:49, 7 February 2007 (UTC).


"Most" agree? First paragraph.

I'm sure the article is riddled with these. {Slash-|-Talk} 06:26, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The weasels are just one symptom of a larger disease infecting this article -- poor writing. Unfortunately, I've seen a lot worse writing in Wikipedia, but still, this one needs work. I may camp here for a little while to make some minor revisions here and there. Postmodernism is a topic that deserves a thoughtful, well-written article.Thinkenstein 22:06, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Moe Szyslak quote

The "weird for the sake of weird" line from the Simpsons is funny, but taken out of context doesn't mean much. And as someone said in the edit comments, the quote could easily be about Modernism (or plenty of other things for that matter). It doesn't add anything to the understanding of Postmodernism. Freshacconci 16:22, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

At least it states its source.--Ethicoaestheticist 18:50, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


The most obvious and simplest problem with this article is that, as far as I can tell just skimming, it never says who coined the term postmodernism. Start with that. TheScotch 11:40, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Now there's a can of worms. I wouldn't know where to begin. Charles Jencks is one of the first, but I have no idea if we can really say it started with him. Freshacconci 17:56, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Reversion to Newberry's version

I've reverted to this as it is obviously better written, and explains the whole idea much better than what was before. edward (buckner) 10:20, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Is the article Postmodern?

This article is hilarious. I've read it three times and still don't have a clue what post-modernism is.

Does "Postmodernism" mean anything? Is this article an example of postmodernism? Domminico

I don't find the article funny. Excuse my observation which may seem uncivil, but it seems, in spite of your expertise, you speak as a novice to the study of postmodernism. I'm sure you realize it is a very difficult concept to discuss in a way that is comprehensible to those new to the topic. This is not eletist, it is just an unfortunate fact. I have not contributed any substantial edits to this article but I think the other editors have done a fairly good job. Sounds like you are looking for Wikipedia to produce a "Postmodernism for Dummies," but those who have studied postmodernism should know that any effort to produce such a thing in something as short as an encyclopedia article will inevitably be inaccurate. Its a no-win situation for you editors, so I accept the current form as a legitimate choice.Will3935 01:18, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
There are plenty of postmodernists who would say "postmodernism" is meaningless. In fact, one key postmodern idea is that words have no meaning in the sense that you say a word and you have this separate entity floating in your head called meaning (see W.V. Quine). Instead, postmodernists tell us, all there is to know about words are how they are used in particular communities. In your case, I'm guessing "postmodernism" is not used in the community in which you live, except by perhaps an occassional intellectual outsider on TV or the internet or something? If that's the case, "postmodernism" really is quite meaningless to you--or, at least, it means little more than that its speaker is a pretentious asshole who's in some way excluding you from his/her rhetorical games. However, I can also say, with a fair level of confidence, that if you were in the right context--say a college class on philosophy or architecture--the word could become quite "meaningful" in that you could use it to proper effect.--BrownApple 02:41, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

The name, in any case, is obviously a contradiction in terms. It is not an oxymoron, however, because an oxymoron is properly deliberate, a rhetorical or literary device or flourish, and postmodernist adherents are remarkably oblivious to the absurdity of the rubric. It could very well be that the High Priests of obscurantism here are fooling no one but themselves. I'll laugh along with you, Domminico. (Postmodernism means everything--and nothing.) TheScotch 12:09, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that postmodernism gives one plent to laugh at. You guys may be interested in a satirical piece I wrote for my userpage (a little too long to post here) "Seven Easy Steps to Becoming a Postmodern Scholar." Its a work in progress so it will probably be longer in a day or two.Will3935 12:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Apart from the quotations section and two block quotes the article is lacking in in-text citations. I think this is a deficiency in an article of this sort.Will3935 01:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

"Most agree?"

In the opener, it states that "[n]evertheless, most agree that postmodern ideas have influenced philosophy, art, critical theory, literature, architecture, design, marketing/business, interpretation of history, and culture since the late 20th century." The "most agree" part is more than a bit weasely. I'm changing it to a previous edit of mine, "[i]t is generally accepted that postmodern ideas have impacted on...". Freshacconci 16:46, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, please note WP:WEASEL. Freshacconci 16:48, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
As though that's any less weasely? "Generally accepted" by whom? Basically all you've done is replace two weasel words with five. If you want to fix a weasel, you've got to add some actual content (i.e. such and such survey of top professors revealed...), not just change the phrasing. If anything, I'd say the original phrasing was better for being more direct.
So come up with something better. I don't agree that what I wrote was more weasely, but I think the original intent was to indicate in the opener how much postmodern thought had infiltrated many sectors of history, culture and so on. Remember, this is all a process of refinement. Some troll keeps deleting the whole paragraph, but I think it's important to get this basic info across. Of course, it could be worded much better and I invite anyone to rework it until it's better (and by that I mean reword it, fix it, change it, but not erase it altogether--not an accusation against the anonymous person responding to me above, but the troll who haunts this article from time to time). Freshacconci 15:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

modern, post modern?

Doesn't "modern" mean simply generally 'what is around today', i.e. 'up to date'? ...'what is around today'. That is not implying in any way that "modern" is better or worse. How can something be post that? Maybe this is a 5year-old's definition of "modern", so...? VeriGGlater 20:07, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a degree of ridiculousness built into all these discussions. We don't know what "modern" means. Yet we are defining "postmodern." Bus stop 01:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, yes, perhaps. But this is an encylcopedia and the terms "modern" and "postmodern" are part of everyday language and, of course, specialized language. To the first comment: of course "modern" often means the current time we live in, but here it's specifically referring to a period of time within art history, design history, philosophy and so on. I'm only (somewhat) versed in art and design history, so I can only speak of that, but the period of "modern" for art and design usually begins around the middle of the 19th century and ends around 1970. However, of course, these dates are not fixed and any number of art historians will have any number of different ideas about beginning and end dates, and, worse, whether there is an end date (or for that matter a beginning date). The best we can do in trying to keep things straightforward is to define terms, give an idea of what different thinkers and historians believe is to be the beginning/end dates, give some examples of what modernism/postmodernism is, and so on. So, short answer: there is something called "modernism" or "modernity" or "modern" that does not mean "now", and there is something called "postmodernism" which supposedly comes after, and is an answer to, modernism. Freshacconci 01:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It almost seems stuck up and arrogant of people to call their stuff "modern". Almost as if they thought nothing more or better could come after it. That is of course, if the meaning of that word was the same then as its general usage is now. Or maybe 'they' intially used the word as a meaningless label and applied new meaning to it different from the meaning "current". Does that make any sense? VeriGGlater 11:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It makes sense. In visual art, the first "moderns" were concerned with being contemporary, and to distinguish themselves from the past (the Renaissance mainly). So in that sense, we are still "modern". It was when art historians started to formalize things that the term was applied to a specific period and a specific break with the past. I don't think 19th century artists felt that they were modern in the sense that nothing would come after them. But since the term became a specific period, artists and historians began to think in terms of "postmodern" to break with what was now considered modern, i.e. the past (a bit ironic, definitely absurd really). Freshacconci 20:10, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

In philosophy, "modern" is generally used to describe the brand of philosophy inagurated by Descartes (and Bacon) in response to certain concerns of so-called medieval philosophers (most notably the sceptics). Specifically, modernity places "man" at the center of the philosopher's concern. It is still an open question whether certain strands of 20th and 21st century philosophy (Derrida and Butler, say, but even more so Lyotard) ought to be called "post"-modern to indicate a radical break with modernity (i.e., the decentering of the subject) or if it ought to still be called modern, as it arises out of the same concerns as Descartes (or does it?). The question of what to call these philosophers is, I believe, uninteresting. A more interesting question concerns whether or not these folk have really performed a radical break from the modern project. P.S. - This only refers to philosophy - postmodernism means different things in architecture, music, etc., which may or may not have anything to do with philosophical post-modernism. Editor437 01:48, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Specifically, modernity places "man" at the center of the philosopher's concern. I guess I am trying to figure out the etymology of it? It doesn't seem like the philosophy really has anything at all to do with the history of the word used to describe it before it was used to describe it. Also, there's got to be some kind of connection between modern or postmodern art and philosophy and whatever else those words are used as adjectives to describe. There's got to be some similar strain of meaning running through every use of it. that I think about it...maybe not. Maybe I'm trying to find out if there is some such similar strain, what that is, and where it came from. VeriGGlater 11:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It goes back to the Latin "modernitas" -- this is not classical Latin, but 12th century usage. The word modern is constructed by mode-hodiern, mode meaning the manner or the fashion, hodiern meaning today, hence "today's fashion." It's interesting that the word did not come about until so late -- this suggests that in the 12th century there was some significant reason to demarcate what is modern by the coinage of a word. I'm not aware of anything particularly modern in 12th century philosophy, but I do believe this is about the time of the ars nova in music.

So, yeah, I think the etymology tells us how the term can be used to refer to a common movement, or better, a set of common tendencies, in philosophy, art, and whatever else. Editor437 02:00, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

What is the name of the philosophy in which there are infinate centers of the universe and all are equal? Or something like that... VeriGGlater 14:04, 5 April 2007
Is this Leibniz' philosophy - where "monads," the most basic stuff of existence, each mirror the rest of the universe? Editor437 02:04, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

My comments are only in reference to visual art. Sorry -- I wasn't cognizant that I was on the Postmodernism page, as opposed to the Postmodern art page. Bus stop 02:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

removed nietzssche and kierekegaard from timeline

Neither of these philosophers can be seen as part of a timeline of postmodernist and relativist thinking. For starters, Kierekegaard is taken out of context. His view is more complex than the simply "truth is subjectivity":

"Most people are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, frightfully objective sometimes--but the task is precisely to be objective toward oneself and subjective toward all others."

His quote on truth relates to how we find it, not its nature. This is why he says "truth is subjectivity", and not "truth is subjective."

Also note that Kierkegaard wrote in pseudonyms - So, even in context, a quote like "truth is subjectivity" does not necessarily represent Kierkegaard's thinking. I tend to think only certain readings (which need not mean mis-readings) of Kierkegaard, and certain aspects of his writing (e.g., the concept of repetition) have influenced what we call postmodernism. It would be incorrect, to say the least, to label Kierkegaard himself a postmodern, but he is certainly an influence. Editor437 22:35, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Let's move on to Nietzsche. Contrary to what the timeline claims, Nietzsche never claimed that all values were superficial. Rather, he tried to argue for his own set of values: the overman (also called the superman), the virtue of overcoming, and the virtue of a will to power. "God is dead" was an attack on the values of his day, not on values in general. This article is awful, it needs major improvement. --Urthogie 16:36, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I would like to see Kierkegaard and Nietzsche back in the timeline. They have influenced post-modern philosophy. Whether or not this is based on a misreading can be included in the article.--Ethicoaestheticist 17:08, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, before they're reintroduced I'd like two things to be explained:
  • What source establishes the connection between the two and postmodernism?
  • What source establishes the connection between the two and postmodernism is strong enough to warrant specific mention, as opposed to mentioning some other two philosophers?
Sources would be required for me to support their inclusion.--Urthogie 18:26, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree with you both; their influence on PoMo is based on selective readings, taking some texts at face value, and ignoring others. I would support reincluding them, with the note that it is a selective reading (or misreading) of their texts. Nevertheless, there are many who have incorporated them into the tradition:
  • The Stanford Encyclopedia on PoMo, sees both K&N and Marx as precursors: [1]
  • Both Kierkegaard in Post/Modernity by Martin J. Matustik and Nietzsche and Postmodernism by Dave Robinson attempt to describe how their philosophies fit the PoMo mold.
  • Jacques Derrida's The Gift of Death on Kierkegaard and Gilles Deleuze Nietzsche on Philosophy on Nietzsche are just two books by so-called "postmodern" philosophers to appropriate them into the tradition. Anything by John D. Caputo would also reinforce this position.
Cheers, Poor Yorick 20:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Ok, so they should be included in the history section but not in the timeline, as that would be giving undue weight to those who believe they are relevant.--Urthogie 12:52, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Both are too ambiguous to be summed up in a single quote on the timeline, but ought to be brought back to the article.--Ethicoaestheticist 14:16, 6 April 2007 (UTC)


I have some concerns involving the reference of Foucault as a Post-Modernist. While many individuals who read his work see a postmodern twist in his writing, Foucault himself renounced the title (and the post-structuralist title as well). I have the references in regards to this and will look them up. In addition, though the contributors to the article may have postmodern sentiments, the article in its form/style does not have to reflect the content matter that it describes. I believe that the best way to describe this concept is in the most academic of ways by properly referencing key sources and by elucidating key areas of importance. To do this, we should approach this article in a more universal manner in keeping with other posts dealing with philosophical concepts. [afakirani] 15:14, 13 April 2007

In spite of his aversion to the term, he's certainly lumped into the category of postmodernist poststructuralist often enough... to the point that he's almost one of the defining members. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:48, 7 May 2007 (UTC).


Well, my edit tonight was maybe no real improvement, but the ip adding the tag "article has too many weasel words" was right. I tried to find some "Many say"-s and "It is argued"-s where other editors may have books that support the claims. It's not that bad, actually. And readers may notice that some information needs to be varified first, especially who these "some" and "many" are. --FlammingoHey 23:25, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Gehry and Utzon as postmodern architects?

The article leads with how Postmodernism was coined as a term to describe the architectural reaction against Modernism in the 50s and 60s, yet the images accompanying this part show Frank Gehry's Stata Center and Jorn Utzon's Sydney Opera House. Gehry is definitely deconstructivist and the Sydney Opera House isn't really iconic of the movement (compare Saarinen's TWA terminal.) Definitive Postmodern architecture reacts against the big monumental structures of Modernism and returns to historical reference and explores the taboos of Modernism, like color and iconography. These movements opened up the range of architectural explorations that enabled deconstructivist architects like Gehry, and it is that reaction that should be represented here. For this reason I nominate works by Robert Venturi and Michael Graves to be far more representative of postmodernism.

Perhaps the best solution would be two contrasting photos showing Modernism and Postmodernism, like juxtaposing the Seagram Building and Citigroup Center, or more famously Farnsworth House and Vanna Venturi House. This would allow readers to understand, at a glance, the physical manifestations of objective Modernism and Modern architecture and subjective Postmodernism and Postmodern architecture. Since Postmodernism is meaningless without the understanding of its reaction to Modernism, this kind of comparison is important to the article's context.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Galemp (talkcontribs) 20:23, 2 May 2007

This sounds really great, and shows the article is only scratching the surface of what it could tell. Please weave it into what is already said, which I right now don't dare do to! --FlammingoHey 00:02, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Done. I added a section on Postmodernism's origins in architecture, and uploaded the seminal photo of Venturi's mother's house which is mysteriously absent from Wikipedia's archives. Since I originally came to this page having heard about the evils of 'postmodern society' from preachers and evangelists, I also linked to some relevant content for that under the 'Criticism' section. Galemp 20:22, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Early May: Still mixing postmodern and postmodernist

The sections on philosophy and criticism are about philosophers etc looking at society, which is part of the topic postmodernity, while postmodernism is necessarily a movement; the article should distinguish more clearly whether those really talk about the perspective of thinking (-ism) or the state of culture and society. I am not sure right now, as the adjective in THIS article should ALWAys be "postmodernist", not "postmodern", and that distinction is - quite commonly, of course - forgotten at some points. This is not about the terms, but whether the quotes are really about the philosophy/art or the state of society. That said, the term is eg. "postmodern architecture" although the -ism is meant... the question is whether both articles should be merged instead.--FlammingoHey 16:12, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

but I think one of the ideas in this movement is that there's really very little separation between thinking and the state of a culture and society. They really do go hand in hand in a way you can't really parse out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC).
In examples, postmodernism would include not doing something the modernist way, but to find a new way doing something in an art based on something traditional (cf Britannica/M-W definition of, relating to, or being any of several movements (as in art, architecture, or literature) that are reactions against the philosophy and practices of modern movements and are typically marked by revival of traditional elements and techniques), and postmodernity, on the other hand, includes reevaluation of the entire Western value system (love, marriage, popular culture, shift from industrial to service economy) that took place since 1950/1960, with a peak in the Social Revolution of 1968.--FlammingoHey 18:14, 7 May 2007 (UTC)