Postmodernism in Latin America

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Postmodernism in Latin America Postmodernism is the 19th and 20th century reaction against the previously dominant western foundationalism, or modernism. Foundationalism is rooted in classic Cartesian philosophy: ontologically, an objective reality exists independent of our perception of this reality and we can gain access to it if our theories are logically based on some indubitable foundation. For Descartes, this indubitable, uncontroversial point of reference aligns with "I think, therefore I am." However, after each stated foundation posited the process of critical undercutting begins; we find no extant foundation upon which to build our ontologically relevant theories. Postmodernism, in brief, alternatively negates the existence of the ultimate reference point. There exists no grand or meta-narrative that explains the world from some objective, disinterested vantage point. Each narrative in based on particular perspectives and is in turn biased by these perspectives. To avoid the seeming inevitable nihilism an extension of postmodern thought leads, the emphasis is then placed on the necessity of agreement. Truth is not an objective statement, but contrarily is a measure of a particular narrative's fit with the set standards in which it is placed. For example, in scientific enterprise, research is performed in the context of traditions that have set up their own standards for establishing successful science. Traditions have established and agreed upon the rules of engagement, the common language, and set of standards by which good science is judged. There are three main themes debated within the postmodern context: (1) extreme relativism (2) philosophy of science (3) Hermeneutics. The extreme relativists are most ... ... middle of paper ... ...uence of event can be assuredly teased from the various testimonies describing the murder. We are even left wondering whether or not it was raining on that fateful day. Each person's own subjective perspective brings a bit of truth while negating the existence of the ultimate foundationalist center. Everybody is right. Works Cited Evans, Richard J. "Postmodernism and the study of History." History Review. Dec 1998: 28. Haber, Stephen H. "The Postmodernism Debate in Latin America." Mexican Studies-Estudios Mexicanos. 13(1997): 363-384, Richard, Nelly. "The Latin American problematic of theoretical-cultural transference: postmodern appropriations and couterappropriations." The South Atlantic Quarterly. 92(1993): 453-357. Rincon, Carlos. "The peripheral center of postmodernism: on Borges, Garcia Marquez, and alterity." Boundary 2. 20(1993): 162.

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