So then i got thinking about how, from what little philosophy i've read, my thoughts tend to be postmodernist. And how i agree with much of postmodernism. But also how i see some issues with it. Or rather, not with postmodernism. More like how i see some issues with how people *interpret* and work (rather ironically) in the confines of postmodernism.
The following is a brief overview of my thoughts on the current state of postmodernism and what's coming from it. (i've thought about this before, but i'm also adding a lot to it as i type, so this is very nearly a stream-of-consciousness kind of e-mail)
Postmodernism, as a rule, embraces diversity and complexity. It seems to have more or less grown in response to the minimalist and inadequate foundations of modernism, which explains why postmodernist views more or less define the world as a set of complex interactions of widely varied components. Some critics of postmodernism seem to target this perception head-on, saying that it over analyzes things, makes them too complex. And these critics essentially sit on a pair of forked branches stemming from postmodernism itself.
So we have a chart (or "family tree") that looks something like this:
all that really old stuff --> Romanticism --> Modernism --> Postmodernism -- [fork in branch] --> Reversion or "Remoderism" (branch I) and "Post-postmodernism" (branch II)
The Reversion/"Remodernism" branch seems self-explanatory. These people disdain postmodernism and have circled back around to modernism (which leads to the potential for a circular evolution, and how cool would that be?). Then there's the Post-postmodernism approach. I highly doubt most of these people would define themselves as such, since they're not quite so likely to even think about this stuff in the first place. But it seems that, by and large, people who i would tag as post-postmodernist have a largely pessimistic, anxiety-driven view. They note the holes in postmodernism (primarily citing the excessive complexity of post-modernist interpretations) and unconsciously arrange themselves into a new school of thought.
However, it seems to me that this might be the wrong approach to take (or if not exactly "wrong", since i'm loathe to say that in this sort of discussion, then perhaps "unnecessary" would be the better word choice). What we need is not a new school of thought- or, in the case of remodernists, a return to the old school- but rather a renovation of the current school.
In other words, don't fix what's not broken, but do feel free to make adjustments and offer improvements.
Focus less on the complexity of individual components within the whole and more on the complexity of the interactions of those individual components. Since everything seems to be made of progressively smaller components, analyzing the interactions of the larger components will invariably and appropriately lead to the analyzation and definition of those individual components and their own composition (much like the structure of a molecule, which is made of atoms, which are made of protons, electrons, and neutrons... and so on). Look at the world not as an advanced mammal, but as something more like a Portuguese man-o'-war.
Pay attention to individual trees and take note of their species, but never lose sight of the forest.
Keep in mind that everything is relative and must be interpreted in context, if at all. Do that, and you need not fear running the risk of generalization or over-simplification.
This may seem a deviation from what is widely thought of as postmodernism, and perhaps in some ways it is. Yet this is not a new school of thought so much as it is a new department within the school in question.
So what about the rest of you guys? I'm not a philosophy student- in fact, i haven't taken a single class on the subject- so i'm sure there are plenty of holes in my reasoning. But the root of my thoughts is that i've read a bit of negative criticism regarding postmodernism. But it seems to me that the problem isn't postmodernism, but the intellectual cowardice and/or impotency of many so-called postmodernists.
Anyone want to help me bounce this one around a bit?