When it all starts to look the same…
I’ve been working on a paper for my Contemporary Social Theory class (among too many other things it seems) and I have reached a point where all the readings are melding into one another…Even in the standard Foucault/Habermas debates, i am seeing similarities in thought – the same thing being said a different way…Lyotard and Habermas – same thing… Z. Bauman and Habermas.. Bauman and Foucault.. in class, the differences are distinguished.. but when I read it, it seems to blend into one.
I know that it leads back to the [pivotal] enlightenment period. Whether they are trying to downplay this event in social history, and its effects (or lack of..!) on the rest of history, or giving it full props for who we are today, all the theory seems to iterate the ‘what if’ or ‘look at it this way instead’ of theoretical debate.
I cant imagine how fine one can split a hair!
I was impressed with Immanuel Kant’s work on theory of the present ‘Aufklarung’, until Foucault decided to dissect it, along with J.F. Lyotard.
This is what i see [based on the selected readings of my coursepack] in the Modernity vs Post Mdernity debate.
claim 1: There is no distinction, only evolution of modern, since modern is defined as distinct from the past. Bauman talks about this in terms of the fluidity of time being the key, not the solidity of space..
claim 2: Modern was created (very loosely speaking) to break free from the rigid rules of the ‘ancients’, but is now becoming as rigid as what it was trying to break from. (claim 1 makes sense according to this – but again, there are slight distinctions that keep them seperated..)
claim 3: Modern is predictability, Post Modern is spontaneous and in no way predictable..
claim 4: Even Post Modernity has become as predictable as modernity, falling back into the circle of claim 2 therefore – there needs to be a post post modernity?
claim 5: Post modernity is not about breaking away from modernity’s structure, but to redefine better structures…
I think it is easy to see how the debate becomes blurred, and i have to say – all this cyclical thinking hasnt cleared up a darn thing and i have a paper due tomorrow !!