Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fenwick W. English
Postmodernism is neither a philosophy nor a unified perspective or doctrine. Rather, it is a loosely assembled collage of voices, ideas, and techniques of criticism that are juxtaposed against the long-established traditions of inquiry, especially in the empirical sciences. However, postmodernism is not antiscientific. Rather, a postmodernist perspective calls into question the privileged position that posits science is the only method of knowing that has value in the world. Modernity is generally associated with the Age of Enlightenment beginning with the works of René Descartes (1596–1650) and later thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and François Voltaire and the assumption that reason could solve most of the world's problems. Postmodernists point out that modernists have not solved the problems of poverty and war. The last century is testimony to the ...