Are We in a Post-Modern Age? Essay

Are We in a Post-Modern Age? Essay

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This paper answers the question: Are We in a Post-Modern Age?

Post-Modernism can be described as a particular style of thought. It is a concept that correlates the emergence of new features and types of social life and economic order in a culture; often called modernization, post-industrial, consumer, media, or multinational
capitalistic societies.

In Modernity, we have the sense or idea that the present is discontinuous with the past, that through a process of social, technological, and cultural change (either through improvement, that is, progress, or through decline) life in the present is fundamentally
different from life in the past. This sense or idea as a world view
contrasts with what is commonly known as Tradition, which is simply the
sense that the present is continuous with the past, that the present in
some way repeats the forms, behavior, and events of the past.

I would propose that traditional ways of life have been replaced with uncontrollable change and unmanageable alternatives, but that these changes and alternatives eventually create something that may result in the society that traditionalists actually seek after; the balance between Nature and Technology. Modernity itself is merely
the sense that the present is a transitional point, not focused on a clear
goal in the future but simply changing through forces outside our control.

I will first describe how "Modernity" came about, and then to indicate
some of the features for which "Post-Modernity" is meant to be a reaction,
response or addition to modernization.

Beginnings of Modernity:

First, I aim to give a broad historical picture against which we may understand the rise of Modernity as an idea related to science and society or as a framework for a view of rationality.

We know that we experience change as either progress or transition, that
is, we view our historical situation and our lives presently as deriving
meaning and value in some unrealized future.

The shift from Renaissance humanism to Modern rationalism can be understood in terms of four shifts: (1) from an oral culture in which the theory and practice of rhetoric played
a central role to a written culture in which formal logic played a central
role in establishing the credentials of an argument; (2) from a practical
concern - with understanding and acting on particular cases to a more th...

... middle of paper ...

...spicious of the belief in shared speech, shared values, and shared perceptions
that some would like to believe form our culture but which in fact may
be no more than empty, if necessary, fictions.

I believe we should be committed to salvaging
what we can of the ideals of Enlightenment and Modernity. We need to stay
open to all valid claims of reasoning, knowledge, spirit, tradition, and
humanity; for we are not, and cannot be, all knowing in this life.

To be focused so completely upon Post-Modernism or Modernity, suggests
that we can somehow define a group, any group, in the sense of its cultural
essence; which is not in truth completely possible or even wise.

Are we in a Post-Modern Age? I would say yes as a defined theory
or word, but in the reality of man and life, the answer is No. Man
is continually changing and adapting and for ever continuing to progress
in spirit, technology, and social/cultural adaptation. Whatever age
we are presently in, we are modern compared to the one before, each age
lives its own Modernity; each era obligated to find its own balance between
Nature and Technology, Tradition and Progress; a continuous cycle until
the end of man.

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