Monday, January 5, 2009

The Emperor’s postmodern clothes

The often over the top relativism in much of today’s academic environment (perhaps with emphasis in the humanities) is an increasingly frustrating phenomenon. The seemingly stunning disregard for evidential empiricism and apathy towards observable reality has resulted, for example, in the metastasis of un-proven and dubious medical modalities into the very institutions charged to protect reason and critical thought.

Here is a humorous comparative list translating some “politically correct” phrases into what is really meant when they are uttered. Postmodernism is an interesting philosophical exercise with respect to human social interactions, but it does have one major drawback if extended beyond the realm of the mind – reality.

A brief guide to deconstructing academically fashionable phrases for the uninitiated (partial exerpt)

David A. Levy

All points of view are equally valid

…….I am willing to abandon all logic and evidence just to maintain the illusion that I am being open-minded and fair.

There is no objective reality

…….except for what I’m saying right now.

In our culture, empiricism is over-privileged

…….I don’t have any facts to back up my argument.

I’m not saying better,I’m saying different

…..I’m saying better.

Let us start a dialogue

….Let me start a monologue.

This warrants more conversation

…I can’t believe that you have the temerity not to agree with me.

Don’t you think that sounds kind of racist?

….good luck disagreeing with me now.

One can prove anything with statistics

…I should have paid more attention in stats class.

The interreferential nature of our phenomenological field can be neither deconstructed nor decontextualized from our ontological meta-narrative

…Don’t I sound really intellectual and hip?

Science is merely one more opinion

…My Uncle Bill told me so.

Ref: Skeptical Inquirer Vol32, No. 6 Nov/Dec 2008


Lauriel said...

Haha, MAS, thanks for posting that. Talking with post-modernists drives me batty! I have more meaningful conversations with my cat.

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