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By Lawrence E. Cahoone

From Modernism to Postmodernism is the main authoritative and finished number of the major vintage and modern readings of postmodernity and modernity.

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Additional info for From Modernism to Postmodernism (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)

Example text

The volume's selectionsare ordered chronologically. Editor's notes, referenced by lower case roman numerals, are at the bottom of the page; all author's notes, referenced by Arabic numerals, appear as endnotes. My additions to the author's endnotes are in square brackets; any other additions to the text in square brackets, unless otherwise noted, are the translators', or in rare casesa former editor's. The referenceat the foot of the first page of each selection makes it clear what works of the author's have been selected,the word 'from' there indicating that only a part of the relevant subdivision (book, essay, chapter, section) has been selected.

That is, postmodern texts would undercut their own possibility of having a cogent meaning and of being true. Postmodernistswould then be in the position of denying the validity of their own denials. To avoid this self-contradiction, the critics continue, postmodernistswrite in a coy or ironic fashion, unwilling to make explicit methodological or philosophical claims. Hence they dodge criticism by a subterfugeunbefitting an inquirer. Rhetorical flourishes on both sides notwithstanding, postmodernism raises crucial questions to which philosophy is bound by its own commitments to respond.

What of thinking? I find here that thought is an attribute that belongs to me; it alone cannot be separatedfrom me. I am, I exist, that is certain. But how often? Just when I think; for it might possibly be the case if I ceased entirely to think, that I should likewise ceasealtogether to exist. I do not now admit anything which is not necessarilytrue: to speakaccurately I am not more than a thing which thinks, that is to say a mind or a soul, or an understanding, or a reason, which are terms whose significance was formerly unknown to me.

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