2 added 106 characters in body
source | link

MyI agree that the postmodernists are to some extent the new sophists, the new philosophical rhetoricians. My understanding of both sophism and postmodernism is that they arise from form of epistemological skepticism, some form of relativism, vis claims to knowledge in general, or about [one or another aspect of] the world. Skepticism might of course simply lead to quietism -- to simply shutting up. Why, in the absence of a quest for power, money and/or/influence, claim to know what believes cannot be known?

While postmodernists can claim an actual or "theoretical" basis/justification for their position (relativism: i.e. the 20th Centuries dismantling of empiricism, positive science, and universal rationality, leading to the radical reflexivity of late sociology of science, etc.), both sophists and postmodernists came to the realization that in the absence of reliable or "real" knowledge, in the absence of [access to] a world capable of significantly constraining what can be asserted (the friction provided by [now “naïve”] metaphysical realism), we are left only with the epistemic constraint (regulatory concept) of warranted assertability, of justified assertion, which to a large extent enables us to [relatively] freely "manipulate" (or “massage” as lawyers like to say) language in order to advance whatever position/idea/interest one wishes to advance and can justify (a perfect example is the American postmodernist, Richard Rorty's practice of "redescription"). Aside from the skepticism they share, this realization, and the freedom it enables, might be characterized as the most salient similarity between sophists and postmodernists.

An important difference between them might be said to be that [particularly the critical theorist] postmodernists further claim that knowledge is a function of power, that those with power have [cynically or otherwise] created/fabricated the "truths" that we (the power-less) live by, the "rationality" and "reality" that we live/believe in, so they are not necessarily being disingenuous by foisting alternate fabricated realities/truths upon a society/culture in a purported effort to create a “better”, more "moral" world, often for their favorite, sometimes "oppressed" interest group. Whereas I am not aware of any such brand of "activist" sophism.

(Simplistically, I like to conceptualize the postmodern ethos/bathos as that of a world of third rate lawyers spewing dubious and tendencious closing arguments at one another, whereas the modern (pre late 20th C) ethos was that of amateur scientists (empiricists) conducting their lives on the basis of faith in "reason," purported "common sense" and the conclusions of their our over simplified experiments.)

My understanding of both sophism and postmodernism is that they arise from form of epistemological skepticism, some form of relativism, vis claims to knowledge in general, or about [one or another aspect of] the world. Skepticism might of course simply lead to quietism -- to simply shutting up. Why, in the absence of a quest for power, money and/or/influence, claim to know what believes cannot be known?

While postmodernists can claim an actual or "theoretical" basis/justification for their position (relativism: i.e. the 20th Centuries dismantling of empiricism, positive science, and universal rationality, leading to the radical reflexivity of late sociology of science, etc.), both sophists and postmodernists came to the realization that in the absence of reliable or "real" knowledge, in the absence of [access to] a world capable of significantly constraining what can be asserted (the friction provided by [now “naïve”] metaphysical realism), we are left only with the epistemic constraint (regulatory concept) of warranted assertability, of justified assertion, which to a large extent enables us to [relatively] freely "manipulate" (or “massage” as lawyers like to say) language in order to advance whatever position/idea/interest one wishes to advance and can justify (a perfect example is the American postmodernist, Richard Rorty's practice of "redescription"). Aside from the skepticism they share, this realization, and the freedom it enables, might be characterized as the most salient similarity between sophists and postmodernists.

An important difference between them might be said to be that [particularly the critical theorist] postmodernists further claim that knowledge is a function of power, that those with power have [cynically or otherwise] created/fabricated the "truths" that we (the power-less) live by, the "rationality" and "reality" that we live/believe in, so they are not necessarily being disingenuous by foisting alternate fabricated realities/truths upon a society/culture in a purported effort to create a “better”, more "moral" world, often for their favorite, sometimes "oppressed" interest group. Whereas I am not aware of any such brand of "activist" sophism.

(Simplistically, I like to conceptualize the postmodern ethos/bathos as that of a world of third rate lawyers spewing dubious and tendencious closing arguments at one another, whereas the modern (pre late 20th C) ethos was that of amateur scientists (empiricists) conducting their lives on the basis of faith in "reason," purported "common sense" and the conclusions of their our over simplified experiments.)

I agree that the postmodernists are to some extent the new sophists, the new philosophical rhetoricians. My understanding of both sophism and postmodernism is that they arise from form of epistemological skepticism, some form of relativism, vis claims to knowledge in general, or about [one or another aspect of] the world. Skepticism might of course simply lead to quietism -- to simply shutting up. Why, in the absence of a quest for power, money and/or/influence, claim to know what believes cannot be known?

While postmodernists can claim an actual or "theoretical" basis/justification for their position (relativism: i.e. the 20th Centuries dismantling of empiricism, positive science, and universal rationality, leading to the radical reflexivity of late sociology of science, etc.), both sophists and postmodernists came to the realization that in the absence of reliable or "real" knowledge, in the absence of [access to] a world capable of significantly constraining what can be asserted (the friction provided by [now “naïve”] metaphysical realism), we are left only with the epistemic constraint (regulatory concept) of warranted assertability, of justified assertion, which to a large extent enables us to [relatively] freely "manipulate" (or “massage” as lawyers like to say) language in order to advance whatever position/idea/interest one wishes to advance and can justify (a perfect example is the American postmodernist, Richard Rorty's practice of "redescription"). Aside from the skepticism they share, this realization, and the freedom it enables, might be characterized as the most salient similarity between sophists and postmodernists.

An important difference between them might be said to be that [particularly the critical theorist] postmodernists further claim that knowledge is a function of power, that those with power have [cynically or otherwise] created/fabricated the "truths" that we (the power-less) live by, the "rationality" and "reality" that we live/believe in, so they are not necessarily being disingenuous by foisting alternate fabricated realities/truths upon a society/culture in a purported effort to create a “better”, more "moral" world, often for their favorite, sometimes "oppressed" interest group. Whereas I am not aware of any such brand of "activist" sophism.

(Simplistically, I like to conceptualize the postmodern ethos/bathos as that of a world of third rate lawyers spewing dubious and tendencious closing arguments at one another, whereas the modern (pre late 20th C) ethos was that of amateur scientists (empiricists) conducting their lives on the basis of faith in "reason," purported "common sense" and the conclusions of their our over simplified experiments.)

1
source | link

My understanding of both sophism and postmodernism is that they arise from form of epistemological skepticism, some form of relativism, vis claims to knowledge in general, or about [one or another aspect of] the world. Skepticism might of course simply lead to quietism -- to simply shutting up. Why, in the absence of a quest for power, money and/or/influence, claim to know what believes cannot be known?

While postmodernists can claim an actual or "theoretical" basis/justification for their position (relativism: i.e. the 20th Centuries dismantling of empiricism, positive science, and universal rationality, leading to the radical reflexivity of late sociology of science, etc.), both sophists and postmodernists came to the realization that in the absence of reliable or "real" knowledge, in the absence of [access to] a world capable of significantly constraining what can be asserted (the friction provided by [now “naïve”] metaphysical realism), we are left only with the epistemic constraint (regulatory concept) of warranted assertability, of justified assertion, which to a large extent enables us to [relatively] freely "manipulate" (or “massage” as lawyers like to say) language in order to advance whatever position/idea/interest one wishes to advance and can justify (a perfect example is the American postmodernist, Richard Rorty's practice of "redescription"). Aside from the skepticism they share, this realization, and the freedom it enables, might be characterized as the most salient similarity between sophists and postmodernists.

An important difference between them might be said to be that [particularly the critical theorist] postmodernists further claim that knowledge is a function of power, that those with power have [cynically or otherwise] created/fabricated the "truths" that we (the power-less) live by, the "rationality" and "reality" that we live/believe in, so they are not necessarily being disingenuous by foisting alternate fabricated realities/truths upon a society/culture in a purported effort to create a “better”, more "moral" world, often for their favorite, sometimes "oppressed" interest group. Whereas I am not aware of any such brand of "activist" sophism.

(Simplistically, I like to conceptualize the postmodern ethos/bathos as that of a world of third rate lawyers spewing dubious and tendencious closing arguments at one another, whereas the modern (pre late 20th C) ethos was that of amateur scientists (empiricists) conducting their lives on the basis of faith in "reason," purported "common sense" and the conclusions of their our over simplified experiments.)