New Philosophy

Postmodern Philosophy

What are the distinctive methods of postmodern philosophy?

Building on the work of structuralists, particularly Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) and Jacques Lacan (1901–1981), most postmodern philosophers take social systems of language and symbols as their primary subject matter. More than that, they view the entire human world as existence within and through language. Their methods of analysis are variably hermeneutic, critical, and genealogical.

More specifically, deconstructionism proceeds by identifying aporia, or contradictions in Western thought that rested on theological principles insofar as they were ultimately inaccessible to consciousness. Typically, modern aporia required binary pairs, such as “right and wrong,” or “being and non-being,” each member of which was falsely defined in opposition to the other.


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