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73

Gödel himself worried that his incompleteness theorems were a kind of cheap trick, just a hidden trivial version of the liar paradox, but using "this statement is not provable" instead of "this statement is false." So I think the question is a good very one. And although I have huge admiration for the theorems, let me describe another sense in which ...


64

Gödel's Incompleteness theorems are not cheap tricks in any sense of the phrase. If you want to call an ingenious method that no-one else anticipated a 'trick' then so be it - but it is in no way cheap. Let's review what Gödel proved in his two so-called incompleteness theorems. I will state the theorems informally but note that every single term in the ...


42

While I'm not entirely convinced of the premises of the question, in general people seek out philosophies that address conditions of life as they experience it. In the marketplace of ideas, a philosophy may thrive not as much because of its connection with deeper truth, but because of its connection with present conundrums. In light of that, I'd submit ...


37

I can think of 2 reasons: Naturalism is the philosophy most promoted in public schools. With some exceptions, people tend to stick with what they're taught in school. Believing in a supernatural being that loves us used to be a widely accepted and even promoted way to view the universe, even in schools. That is no longer the case. The new standard is to ...


20

Here are three reasons (there may be more): The Analytic/Continental divide (some might say feud - see here for example): At the beginning of the 20th Century, two schools (or more accurately, two opposing styles) of writing in philosophy emerged: The Analytic style which was popular mostly in English speaking countries, and the Continental style, which ...


17

Jacob Ross, Rejecting Ethical Deflationism,' Ethics 116, 2006: 742–68 defines nihilism as : ▻ NIHILISM - DEFINITION '...the view that the notions of good and bad and of right and wrong are illusions and that, objectively speaking, no option or state of affairs is better than any other, nor are any two options or states of affairs equally good. Thus, while ...


11

John Searle apparently asked Michel Foucault, and Pierre Bourdieu, why they wrote so badly. (Apparently they were both much clearer in conversation or when lecturing, and Searle respected them both greatly.) He says that Foucault told him, If I wrote as clearly as you do, people in Paris wouldn't take me seriously, they would think it's child-like, it's ...


9

Some critics, such as Annie Dillard in her book Living By Fiction, argue that post-modernism (in literature) is actually just "contemporary modernism", and that there are no significant differences between them. Note that, for example, most of the points raised in the answer by @jbpjackson above would apply to Joyce's "Ulysses", which is sometimes ...


9

Modernism is characterized by a loss of faith in the "transcendental signified"—or a kind of generalized loss of faith—yet unlike postmodernism is still somewhat nostalgic for the time when that faith was intact. Postmodernism is further decentered. While modernism blurs the distinction between high and low art, postmodernism rejects it. However, in an ...


9

None of the answers you're going to get to this question will be satisfying. Nor will any of them be correct. I could tell you that "postmodernist" thought is generally characterized by a "rejection of objective Truth", and a strong suspicion towards "totalizing meta-narratives", but that probably wouldn't tell you very much. And it wouldn't be strictly ...


8

Most folks you are pointing out on the right, from Mussolini's notion that each race has its own truth to Karl Rove's dismissal of 'fact-based people' are not really post-modernists, they are relativists in a degenerate way which is actually based in the realpolitik of how easy intellectual manipulation is for a cult of power in an atmosphere with too many ...


8

If nihilism is more popular these days, I would argue this is because the ideas which guided people through life with certainty and optimism no longer enjoy a consensus. Nietzsche discussed the prospect of a post-religious world (God is dead, Will to power, Ubermensch), and was disgusted with the idea of an entire society driven by mass culture, which he ...


7

With regard to Foucault himself, you are unquestionably missing the point. Foucault repeatedly insisted that he was a historian, not a philosopher. He wasn't interested in solving the world's problems, he was interested in investigating them and writing a genealogy. In fact, it has been problematic for many people that he seems to propose no realistic ...


7

One of the major dysfunctions of the science wars in the '90s was that people were using terms to yell at each other — social construction, relativism, postmodernism, paradigm, theory, science, fact, truth, reality — with very little in the way of clear and generally accepted definitions, even among partisans on one side of the dispute. Ian Hacking wrote a ...


6

A pleasing virtue of the common definitions is that they are often themselves postmodern! But a simple definition of postmodernism is that it is the set of reactions and responses to modernism. Modernism, as I understand it, is an equally vague mindset that says, "I've found the fount of all wisdom and knowledge. The more that I drink of it, the more ...


6

As no one else has yet taken the other side, I'll try my hand at devil's advocate. Keep in mind that I am not a mathematician so the answer will likely contain mistakes and I'm not committed to this view, but am interested in seeing the debate become a debate. Further, my understanding of Gödel's work comes largely from my reading of Gödel, Escher, Bach: ...


6

I'll try to offer a brief sketch that moves from what I take to be "overarching" (more inclusive) complaints to more specific ones. Please keep in mind that I am, personally, very dissatisfied by most of Postmodern thought; I'm not trying to hide that fact or pretend to distance myself from judgment. Postmodernism, at its most basic level, is a critique of ...


5

In his book Non-Duality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy, David Loy writes: If philosophy in the nineteenth century became historically conscious, philosophy in the twentieth century has become self-conscious. Attention has shifted from the construction of metaphysical systems to the act of philosophizing, that is, thinking itself. This has taken a ...


5

In Fashionable Nonsense, Sokal and Bricmont draw on quite a few different bits of Irigaray's work, but the one that is most extensively quoted is her This Sex Which Is Not One, specifically chapter 6 on "The Mechanics of Fluids". Irigaray is writing about the treatment of women and the feminine within the context of western philosophy, and in this chapter ...


5

Yes there are excellent critiques -- if you can get a postmodernist to listen. The postmoderist is a little narcissistic and will see you as just a narrative purveyor looking for power. But consider, if there is no "final" truth, then why do we agree on what time it is? Why should I believe that you exist and aren't just a robot trying to get human rights ...


5

I admittedly lack a solid grounding in philosophy and likely some problems with postmodernist thought escape me. I am however one of those leftists who has no huge, general problem with all of postmodernists thought so I'll try to answer. The way I see it, postmodernism is at it's core not the ideology that "anything goes" (though I'm sure you can point me ...


5

Yes and no, postmodernism certainly embraced the rejection of "first principles" and perhaps elevated it to a new level, but this rejection was neither originated by it nor is specific to it. Traditional justification of knowledge "from first principles" has been a hallmark of classical philosophy, from Plato, to Descartes, to Kant, to Husserl, more broadly ...


4

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about Foucault's History of Madness: A study of the emergence of the modern concept of “mental illness” in Europe, The History of Madness is formed from both Foucault's extensive archival work and his intense anger at what he saw as the moral hypocrisy of modern psychiatry. Standard histories saw the ...


4

In the context of Latour's work, a hybrid is something that combines aspects that would traditionally be considered to belong to the natural and social realms. For Latour, the distinguishing trait of modern societies is that they differentiate between nature and society, whereas premodern ones do not make this difference. Latour doesn't like this duality, ...


4

With all the usual disclaimers about postmodernism in place (i.e. not being a single approach, including a variety of contrasting ideas, etc.)… The "culprit" here is the wide reception of French literary critic Roland Barthes and his essay The Death of the Author from 1967. Taking cue from similar ideas by earlier writers, the essay questions the role that ...


4

Our first order of business is to actually look at the painting. There are a few crucial details to notice. First, this is a painting of a scene of painting. That alone should give you at least an inkling of why Foucault choses to discuss this work. The room is lit through a window out of frame, and the walls of the room are covered with paintings. We see ...


4

In defense of what is sometimes called "obscurantism", particularly in philosophy, it can be said that reason proceeds sometimes by disruption, radical irreverence, noise. It is easy to see that not all said obscurantists are of the same caliber. The same can be said of the defenders of clarity. That said, this is not what the authors you collectively refer ...


4

Chomsky, criticizing so harshly the postmodernism here, ( he is even calling their theories or whatever as pseudo-science. ) is describing in the above message? in a discussion? that the postmodernists are self- and mutual-admiration among those who propound what they call "theory" and "philosophy,". If sophists are the "merchants of wisdom", then the ...


4

My google search shows that there are no papers discussing 2N2C. The thesis at most was mentioned as a passing interest, never as a focal point. Also, Richard Boyd’ entry on scientific realism in SEP (https://stanford.library.sydney.edu.au/archives/spr2009/entries/scientific-realism/) was archived, and replaced by a different author (https://plato.stanford....


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