Postmodern philosophy

Postmodern philosophy is a philosophical movement that arose in the second half of the 20th century as a critical response to assumptions allegedly present in modernist philosophical ideas regarding culture, identity, history, or language that were developed during the 18th-century Enlightenment.[1][2] Postmodernist thinkers developed concepts like difference, repetition, trace, and hyperreality to subvert "grand narratives", univocity of being, and epistemic certainty.[3] Postmodern philosophy questions the importance of power relationships, personalization, and discourse in the "construction" of truth and world views. Many postmodernists appear to deny that an objective reality exists, and appear to deny that there are objective moral values.[1]

Jean-François Lyotard defined philosophical postmodernism in The Postmodern Condition, writing "Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards meta narratives...."[4] where what he means by metanarrative is something like a unified, complete, universal, and epistemically certain story about everything that is. Postmodernists reject metanarratives because they reject the concept of truth that metanarratives presuppose. Postmodernist philosophers in general argue that truth is always contingent on historical and social context rather than being absolute and universal and that truth is always partial and "at issue" rather than being complete and certain.[3]

Postmodern philosophy is often particularly skeptical about simple binary oppositions characteristic of structuralism, emphasizing the problem of the philosopher cleanly distinguishing knowledge from ignorance, social progress from reversion, dominance from submission, good from bad, and presence from absence.[5][6] But, for the same reasons, postmodern philosophy should often be particularly skeptical about the complex spectral characteristics of things, emphasizing the problem of the philosopher again cleanly distinguishing concepts, for a concept must be understood in the context of its opposite, such as existence and nothingness, normality and abnormality, speech and writing, and the like.[7]

Postmodern philosophy also has strong relations with the substantial literature of critical theory.[8]

Characteristic claims

Many postmodern claims are a deliberate repudiation of certain 18th-century Enlightenment values. Such a postmodernist believes that there is no objective natural reality, and that logic and reason are mere conceptual constructs that are not universally valid. Two other characteristic postmodern practices are a denial that human nature exists, and a (sometimes moderate) skepticism toward claims that science and technology will change society for the better. Postmodernists also believe there are no objective moral values. A postmodernist then tolerates multiple conceptions of morality, even if he or she disagrees with them subjectively.[9][10] Postmodern writings often focus on deconstructing the role that power and ideology play in shaping discourse and belief. Postmodern philosophy shares ontological similarities with classical skeptical and relativistic belief systems.[1]

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that "The assumption that there is no common denominator in 'nature' or 'truth' ... that guarantees the possibility of neutral or objective thought" is a key assumption of postmodernism.[11] The National Research Council has characterized the belief that "social science research can never generate objective or trustworthy knowledge" as an example of a postmodernist belief.[12] Jean-François Lyotard's seminal 1979 The Postmodern Condition stated that its hypotheses "should not be accorded predictive value in relation to reality, but strategic value in relation to the questions raised". Lyotard's statement in 1984 that "I define postmodern as incredulity toward meta-narratives" extends to incredulity toward science. Jacques Derrida, who is generally identified as a postmodernist, stated that "every referent, all reality has the structure of a differential trace".[3] Paul Feyerabend, one of the most famous twentieth-century philosophers of science, is often classified as a postmodernist; Feyerabend held that modern science is no more justified than witchcraft, and has denounced the "tyranny" of "abstract concepts such as 'truth', 'reality', or 'objectivity', which narrow people's vision and ways of being in the world".[13][14][15] Feyerabend also defended astrology, adopted alternative medicine, and sympathized with creationism. Defenders of postmodernism state that many descriptions of postmodernism exaggerate its antipathy to science; for example, Feyerabend denied that he was "anti-science", accepted that some scientific theories are superior to other theories (even if science itself is not superior to other modes of inquiry), and attempted conventional medical treatments during his fight against cancer.[13][16][17]

Definitional issues

Philosopher John Deely has argued for the contentious claim that the label "postmodern" for thinkers such as Derrida et al. is premature. Insofar as the "so-called" postmoderns follow the thoroughly modern trend of idealism, it is more an ultramodernism than anything else. A postmodernism that lives up to its name, therefore, must no longer confine itself to the premodern preoccupation with "things" nor with the modern confinement to "ideas", but must come to terms with the way of signs embodied in the semiotic doctrines of such thinkers as the Portuguese philosopher John Poinsot and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce.[18] Writes Deely,

The epoch of Greek and Latin philosophy was based on being in a quite precise sense: the existence exercised by things independently of human apprehension and attitude. The much briefer epoch of modern philosophy based itself rather on the instruments of human knowing, but in a way that unnecessarily compromised being. As the 20th century ends, there is reason to believe that a new philosophical epoch is dawning along with the new century, promising to be the richest epoch yet for human understanding. The postmodern era is positioned to synthesize at a higher level—the level of experience, where the being of things and the activity of the finite knower compenetrate one another and provide the materials whence can be derived knowledge of nature and knowledge of culture in their full symbiosis—the achievements of the ancients and the moderns in a way that gives full credit to the preoccupations of the two. The postmodern era has for its distinctive task in philosophy the exploration of a new path, no longer the ancient way of things nor the modern way of ideas, but the way of signs, whereby the peaks and valleys of ancient and modern thought alike can be surveyed and cultivated by a generation which has yet further peaks to climb and valleys to find.[19]

History

Precursors

Postmodern philosophy originated primarily in France during the mid-20th century. However, several philosophical antecedents inform many of postmodern philosophy's concerns.

It was greatly influenced by the writings of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche in the 19th century and other early-to-mid 20th-century philosophers, including phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, structuralist Roland Barthes, Georges Bataille, and the later work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Postmodern philosophy also drew from the world of the arts and architecture, particularly Marcel Duchamp, John Cage and artists who practiced collage, and the architecture of Las Vegas and the Pompidou Centre.

Early postmodern philosophers

The most influential early postmodern philosophers were Jean Baudrillard, Jean-François Lyotard, and Jacques Derrida. Michel Foucault is also often cited as an early postmodernist although he personally rejected that label. Following Nietzsche, Foucault argued that knowledge is produced through the operations of power, and changes fundamentally in different historical periods.

The writings of Lyotard were largely concerned with the role of narrative in human culture, and particularly how that role has changed as we have left modernity and entered a "postindustrial" or postmodern condition. He argued that modern philosophies legitimized their truth-claims not (as they themselves claimed) on logical or empirical grounds, but rather on the grounds of accepted stories (or "metanarratives") about knowledge and the world—comparing these with Wittgenstein's concept of language-games. He further argued that in our postmodern condition, these metanarratives no longer work to legitimize truth-claims. He suggested that in the wake of the collapse of modern metanarratives, people are developing a new "language-game"—one that does not make claims to absolute truth but rather celebrates a world of ever-changing relationships (among people and between people and the world).

Derrida, the father of deconstruction, practiced philosophy as a form of textual criticism. He criticized Western philosophy as privileging the concept of presence and logos, as opposed to absence and markings or writings.

In the United States, the most famous pragmatist and self-proclaimed postmodernist was Richard Rorty. An analytic philosopher, Rorty believed that combining Willard Van Orman Quine's criticism of the analytic-synthetic distinction with Wilfrid Sellars's critique of the "Myth of the Given" allowed for an abandonment of the view of the thought or language as a mirror of a reality or external world. Further, drawing upon Donald Davidson's criticism of the dualism between conceptual scheme and empirical content, he challenges the sense of questioning whether our particular concepts are related to the world in an appropriate way, whether we can justify our ways of describing the world as compared with other ways. He argued that truth was not about getting it right or representing reality, but was part of a social practice and language was what served our purposes in a particular time; ancient languages are sometimes untranslatable into modern ones because they possess a different vocabulary and are unuseful today. Donald Davidson is not usually considered a postmodernist, although he and Rorty have both acknowledged that there are few differences between their philosophies.[20][21]

Criticism

Criticisms of postmodernism, while intellectually diverse, share the opinion that it lacks coherence and is hostile to the notion of absolutes, such as truth. Specifically it is held that postmodernism can be meaningless, promotes obscurantism and uses relativism (in culture, morality, knowledge) to the extent that it cripples most judgement calls.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Duignan, Brian. "postmodernism (philosophy) (Encyclopædia Britannica)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Definition of POSTMODERN". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Aylesworth, Gary (2015). "Postmodernism". In Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015 ed.). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
  4. ^ Lyotard, J.-F. (1979). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. University of Minnesota Press.
  5. ^ Sim, Stuart. Routledge Companion to Postmodernism
  6. ^ Taylor, Victor and Charles Winquist. Encyclopedia of Postmodernism "Binary Opposition"
  7. ^ Derrida, Jacques; Bass, Alan (2001). "7 :Freud and the Scene of Writing". Writing and Difference (New ed.). London: Routledge. p. 276. ISBN 0203991788. Retrieved 8 September 2017. The model of hieroglyphic writing assembles more strikingly—though we find it in every form of writing—the diversity of the modes and functions of signs in dreams. Every sign—verbal or otherwise—may be used at different levels, in configurations and functions which are never prescribed by its "essence," but emerge from a play of differences.
  8. ^ Problematizing Global Knowledge. Theory, Culture & Society. Vol. 23 (2–3). Sage, 2006
  9. ^ Baghramian, Maria and Carter, J. Adam, "Relativism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  10. ^ Blackburn, Simon (2005). "Postmodernism". The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford University Press, UK. ISBN 9780198610137. In its poststructuralist aspects it includes a denial of... any fixed reality or truth or fact to be the object of enquiry.
  11. ^ Ermarth, Elizabeth Deeds. Postmodernism, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N044-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/postmodernism/v-1.
  12. ^ Council, National Research; Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and; Education, Center for; Research, Committee on Scientific Principles for Education (2002). Scientific Research in Education. National Academies Press. pp. 20, 25. ISBN 9780309082914.
  13. ^ a b Preston, John (2016). "Paul Feyerabend". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  14. ^ Phillips, Denis Charles; Burbules, Nicholas C. (2000). Postpositivism and Educational Research. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 1. ISBN 9780847691227.
  15. ^ Kidd, Ian James (21 December 2016). "Was Feyerabend a Postmodernist?". International Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 30 (1): 55–68. doi:10.1080/02698595.2016.1240463. This article asks whether the philosophy of Paul K. Feyerabend can be reasonably classified as postmodernist, a label applied to him by friends and foes alike.
  16. ^ Horgan, John. "Was Philosopher Paul Feyerabend Really Science's "Worst Enemy"?". Scientific American Cross-check (blog). Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  17. ^ Pierre, Elizabeth Adams St (July 2016). "Comment: "Science" Rejects Postmodernism". Educational Researcher. 31 (8): 25–27. doi:10.3102/0013189X031008025.
  18. ^ John Deely, Four Ages of Understanding: The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (Toronto: U. of Toronto, 2001).
  19. ^ John Deely, "Philosophy and Experience," American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly LXVI.4 (Winter 1992), 299–319, esp. 314–15.
  20. ^ "An interview with Rorty". unc.edu. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  21. ^ Davidson, D., 1986, "A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge," Truth And Interpretation, Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, ed. Ernest LePore, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, afterwords.

Further reading

  • Charles Arthur Willard Liberalism and the Problem of Knowledge: A New Rhetoric for Modern Democracy. University of Chicago Press. 1996.
  • John Deely "Quid sit Postmodernismus?," in Roman Ciapalo (ed.) Postmodernism and Christian philosophy, 68–96, Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press. 1997.

External links

Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry (French: [al.fʁɛd ʒa.ʁi]; 8 September 1873 – 1 November 1907) was a French symbolist writer who is best known for his play Ubu Roi (1896), a pataphysical work which depicts the bourgeoisie as the super-mediocre. He coined the term and philosophical concept of pataphysics, which uses absurd irony to portray symbolic truths (and playfully vice versa).Jarry was born in Laval, Mayenne, France, and his mother was from Brittany. He was associated with the Symbolist movement. His play Ubu Roi is often cited as a forerunner of Dada and the Surrealist and Futurist movements of the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote in a variety of hybrid genres and styles, prefiguring the postmodern, including novels, poems, short plays and opera bouffes, absurdist essays and speculative journalism. His texts are considered examples of absurdist literature and postmodern philosophy.

Clément Rosset

Clément Rosset (French: [ʁɔsɛ]; 12 October 1939 – 28 March 2018) was a French philosopher and writer. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, and the author of books on 20th-century philosophy and postmodern philosophy.

Contemporary philosophy

Contemporary philosophy is the present period in the history of Western philosophy beginning at the early 20th century with the increasing professionalization of the discipline and the rise of analytic and continental philosophy.The phrase "contemporary philosophy" is a piece of technical terminology in philosophy that refers to a specific period in the history of Western philosophy (namely the philosophy of the 20th and 21st centuries). However, the phrase is often confused with modern philosophy (which refers to an earlier period in Western philosophy), postmodern philosophy (which refers to continental philosophers' criticisms of modern philosophy), and with a non-technical use of the phrase referring to any recent philosophic work.

Criticism of postmodernism

Criticisms of postmodernism, while intellectually diverse, share the opinion that it lacks coherence and is hostile to the notion of absolutes, such as truth. Specifically it is held that postmodernism can be meaningless, promotes obscurantism and uses relativism (in culture, morality, knowledge) to the extent that it cripples most judgement calls.

Postmodernism is a highly diverse intellectual and artistic activity, and two branches (for example, postmodern literature and postmodern philosophy) can have little in common. Criticism of postmodernism in general is usually not a comprehensive attack on the various diverse movements labelled postmodern. Such criticism often refers to specific branches of postmodernism, frequently on intellectual theories in the humanities (philosophy, history, gender and LGBT+ studies, structuralism, cultural relativism and "theory"). Postmodern philosophy is also a frequent subject of criticism for obscurantism and resistance to reliable knowledge. For example, a philosopher may criticize French postmodern philosophy but have no problem with postmodern cinema. Conversely, philosopher Roger Scruton criticized postmodern humanities and some elements of postmodern art, yet never broadly attacked the entire inventory of varied postmodern projects. One of the very criticisms of postmodernism, as a whole, is the absence of a definition of what postmodernism in itself is and even what specific post-modern anything is.

From Bakunin to Lacan

From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power is a book on political philosophy by Saul Newman, published in 2001. It investigates the essential characteristics of anarchist theory, which holds that government and hierarchy are undesirable forms of social organisation. Newman seeks to move beyond the limitations these characteristics imposed on classical anarchism by using concepts from post-structuralist thought.

By applying post-structuralist theory to anarchism, Newman presents an account of post-anarchism. His post-anarchism is more substantive than that of earlier thinkers, and has influenced later approaches to the philosophy. Released in a climate of an anarchist movement hostile to postmodern philosophy, From Bakunin to Lacan was criticised for its poor understanding of and engagement with contemporary anarchism.

Hyperreal

Hyperreal may refer to:

Hyperreal numbers, an extension of the real numbers in mathematics that are used in non-standard analysis

Hyperreality, a term used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy

Hyperreality (art), a school of painting

Hyperreal , a song by Jvcki Wai, Kid Milli and Swings

"Hyperreal", a song by The Shamen

"Hyperreal (song)", by Flume (2017)

“Hyperreal”, a song by My Ticket Home

Jayne Svenungsson

Jayne Christine Svenungsson (born 9 December 1973) is a Swedish theologian and writer.Svenungsson received her PhD on the dissertation Guds återkomst: En studie av gudsbegreppet inom postmodern filosofi (The return of God: a study of the notion of God within postmodern philosophy) in 2004. Since 2015 she has been professor of systematic theology at Lund University.She received the Karin Gierow prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy for important contributions to popular education, in 2015.In September 2017, Svenungsson was elected to the Swedish Academy. She was installed on 20 December 2017, succeeding Torgny Lindgren on seat 9. She left the Academy on 7 November 2018.

Neomodernism

Neomodernism is a term that has at times been used to describe a philosophical position based on modernism but addressing the critique of modernism by postmodernism. It is currently associated with the works of Ágnes Heller, Victor Grauer and Carlos Escudé and it is strongly rooted in the criticisms which Habermas has leveled at postmodern philosophy, namely that universalism and critical thinking are the two essential elements of human rights and that human rights create a superiority of some cultures over others. That is, that equality and relativism are "mutually contradictory".

Postmodern law

Postmodern law, and postmodern jurisprudence, relates to interpretations of the legal system using postmodern philosophy and the theories of postmodernism. It also relevant to law within the context of the postmodern era. Since the mid-1990s Annual meetings of the Association of American Law Schools have focused on the inclusion of postmodern interpretative strategies at these meetings. Postmodern interpretations of the law can involve critically considering legal inequalities connected to gender, class, race and ethnicity by acknowledging "diversity and multiplicity". Critical practices connected to postmodern philosophy, such as critical literacy and deconstruction, can be used as an interpretative tool to ensure that a range of different and diverse values and norms are acknowledged or considered.

Postmodern religion

Postmodern religion is any type of religion that is influenced by postmodernism and postmodern philosophies. Examples of religions that may be interpreted using postmodern philosophy include Postmodern Christianity, Postmodern Neopaganism, and Postmodern Buddhism. Postmodern religion is not an attempt to banish religion from the public sphere; rather, it is a philosophical approach to religion that critically considers orthodox assumptions (that may reflect power differences in society rather than universal truths). Postmodern religious systems of thought view realities as plural and subjective and dependent on the individual's worldview. Postmodern interpretations of religion acknowledge and value a multiplicity of diverse interpretations of truth, being and ways of seeing. There is a rejection of sharp distinctions and global or dominant metanarratives in postmodern religion and this reflects one of the core principles of postmodern philosophy. A postmodern interpretation of religion emphasises the key point that religious truth is highly individualistic, subjective and resides within the individual.

Postmodern theatre

Postmodern theatre is a recent phenomenon in world theatre, coming as it does out of the postmodern philosophy that originated in Europe in the middle of the twentieth century. Postmodern theatre emerged as a reaction against modernist theatre. Most postmodern productions are centered on highlighting the fallibility of definite truth, instead encouraging the audience to reach their own individual understanding. Essentially, thus, postmodern theatre raises questions rather than attempting to supply answers.

Postmodernism (disambiguation)

Postmodernism is a philosophical concept.

It may also refer to:

Postmodernityor the influence of Postmodernism in various disciplines:

Postmodern art

Postmodern feminism

Postmodern film

Postmodernism (international relations)

Postmodern literature

Postmodernism (music)

Postmodernism (political science)

Postmodern philosophy

Postmodern theatreor foundational books about the topic:

Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, by Fredric Jameson

The Postmodern Condition, by Jean-François Lyotard

Radical orthodoxy

Radical orthodoxy is a Christian theological and philosophical school of thought which makes use of postmodern philosophy to reject the paradigm of modernity. The movement was founded by John Milbank and others and takes its name from the title of a collection of essays published by Routledge in 1999: Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology, edited by Milbank, Catherine Pickstock, and Graham Ward. Although the principal founders of the movement are Anglicans, radical orthodoxy includes theologians from a number of ecclesial traditions.

Sokal affair

The Sokal affair, also called the Sokal hoax, was a scholarly publishing sting perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University and University College London. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. The submission was an experiment to test the journal's intellectual rigor and, specifically, to investigate whether "a leading North American journal of cultural studies—whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross—[would] publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions".The article, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity", was published in the Social Text spring/summer 1996 "Science Wars" issue. It proposed that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. At that time, the journal did not practice academic peer review and it did not submit the article for outside expert review by a physicist. Three weeks after its publication in May 1996, Sokal revealed in Lingua Franca that the article was a hoax.The hoax sparked a debate about the scholarly merit of commentary on the physical sciences by those in the humanities; the influence of postmodern philosophy on social disciplines in general; academic ethics, including whether Sokal was wrong to deceive the editors and readers of Social Text; and whether Social Text had exercised appropriate intellectual rigor.

Syed Nomanul Haq

Syed Nomanul Haq (Nu'man al-Haqq) (Urdu: سید نعمان الحق‎; born February 15, 1948 in Karachi, Pakistan) is an international Pakistani scholar and intellectual historian noted especially for his contributions to the fields of Islamic history and Islamic philosophy. He is currently a faculty member at the Habib University, Karachi. In his career spanning twenty years, Haq has gained widespread repute for his teaching, publications and editorial and research work on the history and philosophy of science, postmodern philosophy, history of religion, history of art and history of literature, for which he has won multiple prizes and awards.

Teleology

Teleology or finality is a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal. It is derived from two Greek words: telos (end, goal, purpose) and logos (reason, explanation). A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic. Natural teleology, common in classical philosophy but controversial today, contends that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, irrespective of human use or opinion. For instance, Aristotle claimed that an acorn's intrinsic telos is to become a fully grown oak tree.Though ancient atomists rejected the notion of natural teleology, teleological accounts of non-personal or non-human nature were explored and often endorsed in ancient and medieval philosophies, but fell into disfavor during the modern era (1600–1900). In the late 18th century, Immanuel Kant used the concept of telos as a regulative principle in his Critique of Judgment. Teleology was also fundamental to the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel.

Contemporary philosophers and scientists are still discussing whether teleological axioms are useful or accurate in proposing modern philosophies and scientific theories. Example of reintroducing of teleology in modern language is notion of attractor. For another instance in 2012, Thomas Nagel, who is not a biologist, proposed a non-Darwinian account of evolution that incorporates impersonal and natural teleological laws to explain the existence of life, consciousness, rationality, and objective value. Regardless, the accuracy can also be considered independently from the usefulness: it is a common experience in pedagogy that a minimum of apparent teleology can be useful in thinking about and explaining Darwinian evolution even if there is no true teleology driving evolution. Thus it is easier to say that evolution "gave" wolves sharp canine teeth because those teeth "serve the purpose of" predation regardless of whether there is an underlying nonteleologic reality in which evolution is not an actor with intentions. In other words, because human cognition and learning often rely on the narrative structure of stories (with actors, goals, and proximal rather than distal causation), some minimal level of teleology might be recognized as useful or at least tolerable for practical purposes even by people who reject its cosmologic accuracy.

Theopoetics

Theopoetics is an interdisciplinary field of study that combines elements of poetic analysis, process theology, narrative theology, and postmodern philosophy. Originally developed by Stanley Hopper and David Leroy Miller in the 1960s and furthered significantly by Amos Wilder with his 1976 text, Theopoetic: Theology and the Religious Imagination. In recent times there has been a revitalized interest with new work being done by L. Callid Keefe-Perry, Rubem Alves, Catherine Keller, John Caputo, Peter Rollins, Scott Holland, Melanie May, Matt Guynn, Roland Faber, and others.

Twentieth-century theatre

Twentieth-century theatre describes a period of great change within the theatrical culture of the 20th century, mainly in Europe and North America. There was a widespread challenge to long-established rules surrounding theatrical representation; resulting in the development of many new forms of theatre, including modernism, Expressionism, Impressionism, political theatre and other forms of Experimental theatre, as well as the continuing development of already established theatrical forms like naturalism and realism.

Throughout the century, the artistic reputation of theatre improved after being derided throughout the 19th century. However, the growth of other media, especially film, has resulted in a diminished role within the culture at large. In light of this change, theatrical artists have been forced to seek new ways to engage with society. The various answers offered in response to this have prompted the transformations that make up its modern history.Developments in areas like Gender theory and postmodern philosophy identified and created subjects for the theatre to explore. These sometimes explicitly meta-theatrical performances were meant to confront the audience's perceptions and assumptions in order to raise questions about their society. These challenging and influential plays characterized much of the final two decades of the 20th-century.

Although largely developing in Europe and North America through the beginning of the century, the next 50 years saw an embrace of non-Western theatrical forms. Influenced by the dismantling of empires and the continuing development of post-colonial theory, many new artists utilized elements of their own cultures and societies to create a diversified theatre.

Value theory

Various approaches of Value theory examine how, why, and to what degree humans value things; whether the object or subject of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else.

Within philosophy, it can be known as ethics or axiology. Early philosophical investigations sought to understand good and evil and the concept of "the good". Today, much of value theory aspires to the scientifically empirical, recording what people do value and attempting to understand why they value it in the context of psychology, sociology, and economics.In ecological economics value theory is separated into two types: donor-type value and receiver-type value. Ecological economists tend to believe that 'real wealth' needs a donor-determined value as a measure of what things were needed to make an item or generate a service (H. T. Odum, Environmental Accounting: Emergy and environmental decision-making, 1996).

In other fields, theories positing the importance of values as an analytical independent variable (including those put forward by Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Jürgen Habermas). Classical examples of sociological traditions which deny or downplay the question of values are institutionalism, historical materialism (including Marxism), behaviorism, pragmatic-oriented theories, postmodern philosophy and various objectivist-oriented theories.

At the general level, there is a difference between moral and natural goods. Moral goods are those that have to do with the conduct of persons, usually leading to praise or blame. Natural goods, on the other hand, have to do with objects, not persons. For example, the statement "Mary is a good person" uses 'good' very differently than in the statement "That is good food".

Ethics is mainly focused on moral goods rather than natural goods, while economics has a concern in what is economically good for the society but not an individual person and is also interested in natural goods. However, both moral and natural goods are equally relevant to goodness and value theory, which is more general in scope.

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