ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reconsidering Postmodernism-What Is New in the Old Lamp

What Is New in the Old Lamp Gurpreet Mahajan This paper argues that the value of postmodernism derives from its power of negation. Its critique of objectivism and the 'metaphysics of presence' offers a new philosophical framework within which elements of the early critiques of enlightenment/modernity can be incorporated and given a more comprehensive form and analytic depth. However, when the concepts employed in the critique are transformed into affirmative norms, they yield an attitude of scepticism and nihilism within which every kind of 'coherent' and 'meaningful' enquiry becomes suspect. Consequently, to retain at least some of the philosophical insights of postmodernism, we need to make a distinction between its potentialities of negation and its norms of affirmation. We need also to rethink the concepts through which anti-foundationalism is given a positive content.

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