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Let's assume, that it is possible to label some philosophical currents as "postmodernist" and that they have some principles in common. What is modernism then?

I'm asking this because Cody Gray's explanation of postmodernism mentions modernism several times without explaining it, including:

... "postmodernism" is that it's characterized by a rejection of modernism, the pseudo-scientific mentality of progressive objectivity established in the Enlightenment. ...

It's hard to say whether "postmodernity" actually seeks to replace modernity, to render it obsolete, or whether it merely allied with it, continuing and reinvigorating the modernist project.

What is modernism in this context? What kind of philosophy can be called modernist? Is it possible to find notions that are common for modernist philosophy?

What i've found so far is that modernist philosophy is any philosophy that is modern and not postmodernist, which doesn't mean much.

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This is really broad, maybe even too general to be meaningfully answered in this format -- is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to develop this a bit further? What might you have been studying that might have made this an important and interesting concern? What might you be expecting in an answer? What have you found out so far? –  Joseph Weissman Jan 12 '13 at 16:05
Hands down, the answer to your question is almost certainly "Logical Positivism". Damned if I can be bothered to find a reference for that assertion though... –  Tom Boardman Jan 12 '13 at 18:35
What are you looking for that isn't covered, e.g. in Wikipedia's entry on the subject? –  Joseph Weissman Jan 13 '13 at 0:13
If you mean philosophy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_philosophy –  danielm Jan 14 '13 at 10:37
The problem with characterising such a broad stream of thought now is that we're in the middle of it, as Cody pointed out its hard to say whether post-modernism is a continuation of modernism or not. Its not a school of philosophy as such but a much more pervasive characterisation of intellectual culture. –  Mozibur Ullah Jan 19 '13 at 10:00

1 Answer 1

Great question. I found Martin Irvine's Approaches to Po-Mo really helpful in digesting the modernist tendency, particularly the table at the end providing a point-by-point comparison of the values of modernism and post-modernism.

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