Citanda: Plato and the Postmoderns

A bit from the end:

Plato’s Socrates accepts with Protagoras the relativity of sense perception – but sense perception that yields appearances, only; he will not, however, affirm a universal relativism that does no justice to the totality of the knowing process; one that is self-contradictory and unable to account for universal truth, which some judgments, especially but not exclusively mathematical ones, affirm.

The post-modernist critical enterprise is related to Protagorean relativism in its refusal to acknowledge the possibility of universal truth, and in its denial of language’s abilty to grasp what is real. Ontologically, it acknowledges only what is becoming, not being in itself; it refuses language status beyond expressing flux, asserting there is no fixed, universally shared meaning to words. That we are able to, and do, distinguish between things in process of becoming and being itself indicates the diminution in post-modernists’ grasp of relationship between the word and reality. A phobia, almost, of affirming the real?

And yet, as one contemporary critic of post-modernism remarks, post-modernists – he names Derrida – are assured of an intrinsic connecton between the words specifying their lecture fee and the actual sum they expect to receive in payment. Curious, that.

via CathBlog – Plato and the postmoderns – CathNews.

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