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Perspectives on the postmodern revolution: a study of the nature and application of postmodernism through precedent

Foulks, Michael (2005) Perspectives on the postmodern revolution: a study of the nature and application of postmodernism through precedent. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This work is a study of postmodernism that attempts to understand the concept by analysing its comparative context. Defining my frame of reference was no easy task and I deal equally with phenomena that have been labelled postmodern and those that have not but still fit into the wider picture that I explore. In a work like this it is important to take a wider view and understand not just the spikes of activity that demand attention but also the circumstances within which they occur and the norms on which they are founded. One of my key concerns is how postmodernism can be understood historically as well as circumstantially. I explore at length the similarity between the political theory and philosophy of the sophists, a group of presocratic thinkers whose concerns centred around relativistic scepticism, and postmodern theorists. I am interested in comparing the two groups of thinkers not only because if they are similar postmodernism can be understood in historical terms, but also because if they exhibit differences these differences help us to clarify the nature of postmodernism. My analysis includes an examination of the intellectual and socio-political backgrounds of both groups of thinkers, and leans toward understanding the theories as normal and natural rather than truly radical or revolutionary. Postmodernism resists conventional analysis and is something that perhaps cannot be understood holistically: certainly not from the modern perspective. It may not have a central 'truth' to understand or a limit to its reach but if we are to make any sense of it, we must study the individual whys and wherefores of postmodernism. Ultimately I do not believe that postmodernism is something radical or alien, existing somehow outside of the social order, and I have attempted to show this through rational grounded argument in this work.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 Jul 2012 14:14

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