» » Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to Realism in American Thought

eBook Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to Realism in American Thought epub

by Peter Augustine Lawler

eBook Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to Realism in American Thought epub
  • ISBN: 0847694267
  • Author: Peter Augustine Lawler
  • Genre: Other
  • Subcategory: Humanities
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (July 29, 1999)
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • ePUB size: 1131 kb
  • FB2 size 1416 kb
  • Formats doc lrf mbr docx


Postmodernism Redefined Peter Augustine Lawler: Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to. .

Postmodernism Redefined Peter Augustine Lawler: Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to Real. As a consummate politician, Nixon cannot think outside of the political realm, yet he recognizes on some level that, given the nature of American society, a political utopia is impossible. efforts to resolve this dilemma.

Postmodernism Rightly Understood book. Lawler examines postmo Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism-a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament. Prominent political theorist Peter Augustine Lawler reflects on the flaws of postmodern thought, the futility of pragmatism, and the spiritual emptiness of existentialism.

Article in American Political Science Association 94(4):931 · December 2000 with 32 Reads. Cite this publication.

Peter Augustine Lawler. Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism-a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament.

By Peter Augustine Lawler. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. Published: 1 December 2000. For questions or feedback, please reach us at support at scilit.

Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism-a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of.

Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism-a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament. Postmodernism Rightly Understood. American Intellectual Culture (Paperback). Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc. Book Format.

What American Conservatives Can Learn From This Polish Novelist. Thinking about starting a group on your campus? These two students show you how. Sienkiewicz’s lessons transcend both geography and history, and are distinctly suited to contemporary conservative thought. See the Rest.

Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism―a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament

Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism―a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament. Lawler examines postmodernism by interpreting the writings of five respected and best selling American authors―Francis Fukuyama, Richard Rorty, Allan Bloom, Walker Percy, and Christopher Lasch.

Understanding the Global Community - Realism/Neorealism - Продолжительность: 4:11 Janux . American Literature after WWII - Продолжительность: 2:54 gaoyubao, th rtyf re Recommended for you. 2:54.

Understanding the Global Community - Realism/Neorealism - Продолжительность: 4:11 Janux Recommended for you. 4:11. Modernism & English Literature - Продолжительность: 10:27 Flippin' English Recommended for you. 10:27. Fast - Josh Kaufman - Продолжительность: 23:20 The RSA Recommended for you. 23:20. 10 Angielskich Zwrotów - Przeżyj Za Granicą (Angielski w Podróży cz.

Besides his continuing reflections on Tocqueville over the years, there were two books and an author that spurred Peter’s thinking in the 90s, leading to his breakout book of 1999, Post-Modernism Rightly Understood: A Return to Realism in American Thought. The two books were Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind and Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man. The author was Walker Percy. Percy was by far the greatest influence on Peter and the key to his mature thought. It was Percy’s thought that was for him the American return to realism.

Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realisma poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament. Prominent political theorist Peter Augustine Lawler reflects on the flaws of postmodern thought, the futility of pragmatism, and the spiritual emptiness of existentialism. Lawler examines postmodernism by interpreting the writings of five respected and best selling American authors Francis Fukuyama, Richard Rorty, Allan Bloom, Walker Percy, and Christopher Lasch. Lawler explains why the alternatives available in our time are either a "soulless niceness," which Fukuyama, Rorty, and Bloom described as the result of modern success, or a postmodern moral responsibility that accompanies love in the ruins, as articulated by Percy and Lasch. This is a fresh and compelling look at the crisis of the human soul and intellect accompanied by the onset of postmodernity.
Comments: (5)
Still In Mind
Peter Lawler died almost a year ago at the relatively young age of 65 (I think) and was beloved by his students, and
he influenced well known commentators like Rod Dreher and Ross Douthat. While generally "conservative", his work
requires a more in depth way of thinking that isn't easily captured by the usual terms.

Postmodernism Rightly Understood looks at the end of the modern project through five American thinkers-Francis
Fukuyama, Richard Rorty, Allan Bloom, Walker Percy, and Christopher Lasch. He begins with Fukuyama, whose
End of History and the Last Man is endlessly beaten up, most recently by Patrick Deneen who feels bad about it,
but it's necessary for his Why Liberalism Failed. Fukuyama's "tricky atheism" is compared with the great Hegelian
Alexandre Kojeve and it is shown how the end of history is really that, so there's no lengthy period where everything
is just smoothed out. Fukuyama takes a number of political and social stances which may be of greater or lesser
value, e.g. opposition to radical environmentalism, but they fail to support his intellectual theses. Rorty is a gifted
and popular exponent of pragmatism, but his conventional liberal stances have little to offer and result in a leveling
or flattening of the soul, where the higher aspirations of man are discouraged and we settle for mediocrity. Bloom
was wildly popular among "conservatives" for the Closing of the American Mind, but his atheist Socratic approach
also reaches its limits, when he observes that his modernized students are "nice", which Rorty or Fukuyama or our
therapists also could have said. Christian anthropology, through Paul and Augustine, finds things that are not so nice.
As Newman said, original sin is the only mystery of faith that has empirical verification.

p. 72 The children of the divorced "represent in extreme form the spiritual vortex set in motion by loss of contact
with other humans and the natural world". It makes sense to say that the extreme experience will become more common,
and so students will more commonly experience themselves in cosmic and personal disarray. Does not the resulting
fear, rage, and doubt show they have souls? The pragmatic project to deeroticize the world is not really returning
human beings to Rousseau's state of nature. (end of quote)

Bloom should have followed that insight further, but for Lawler it is the Southern novelist (following Flannery
O'Connor in her Thomistic realism) Walker Percy who does so. To Lawler, Percy is arguably a better thinker
than he is a novelist, but the novel is an effective means to convey his thought. As Bloom hinted with the
children of the divorced, but as Percy fully develops in his novels, the fact that we're restless, homeless,
broken, "messed up" is the evidence that we have souls, as Augustine showed but as modern thought from
Rousseau to contemporary psychotherapy has suppressed in the attempt to show that everything is ok, we're
all nice. It's similar to step one in the twelve steps, as Bill Wilson shows in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,
where giving up is the foundation of purposeful lives.

p. 106
It is easier to experience and share the truth about human existence freed from the shared illusions of culture.
Love in the ruins is between two particularly needy, undeluded selves who know, far better than human
beings usually do, that love is not an illusion. So one reason Percy's thought is postmodern is that he can
say that, despite or because of its derangement, "the present age is better than Christendom". At one time,
"everyone was a Christian and hardly anyone thought twice about it. But in the present age the survivor of
theory and consumption becomes a wayfarer in the desert like St. Anthony, which is to say, open to signs".
It is both easier and harder but, in the best case, better to be a Christian or Jew today. It is a good time to
experience one's openness to the truth about being, including one's own being.

Needless to say, this is now known as Dreher's Benedict Option, stressing the positive or hopeful aspect.
Dreher often refers to his fellow Southerner Percy. It also reminds me of Fulton Sheen quoting Chesterton-
"Dead bodies float downstream. Only living things can swim upstream. These are wonderful times to be
a Christian!" Or C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity-is Christianity Hard or Easy?

Finally, there is Christopher Lasch with his populist critique of the psychotherapeutic culture, where the elite
helping people are nice and compassionate to our problems and feel sorry for us while administering meds
and reassuring us that everything is ok and nice. There's no moral expectation, nothing to really strive
for in terms of greatness or virtue. Psychoanalysis was Socratic, leading the individual to insight, but psychotherapy
as we generally know it is for the problems of society, not the wisdom or virtue of the individual. The working
class has held on to convictions about morality and achievement more than the professional class. However,
as Patrick Deneen points out, by the time Charles Murray wrote Coming Apart (2010 I think), the people of
Murray's fictional small town Fishville would do well to imitate some of the life choices of the elite. This is also
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.

Finally, a summary on page 9.

This book's debt to (Leo) Strauss is fundamental but limited. He and I agree that modern, mechanical science leaves
no room for a teleological account of human nature, or finally for any account of distinctively human nature at
all. But what natural scientists know today is more complex than Rousseau or Strauss would have us believe.
Some sort of realistic account of human nature, some sort of Thomism, may actually be the most plausible
way of accounting for what we really know. I do not agree with Strauss that all contemporary Thomists accept
thoughtlessly the dualism between mechanical science and moral teleology, and my view of what is right according
to nature is much more compatible with Christianity than Strauss's. Strauss and most Straussians and I disagree
on the character of postmodernism rightly understood as well as on the connection between moral realism and
scientific realism. (end of quote)

Most Thomists, whether they look to Maritain, Gilson, or more recently McInerny or Schall, would agree with
the basic conclusions of this book. Lawler takes the reader on a more winding route to get there, through these
five thinkers and others, and with the literary and therapeutic detour to engage the right side of the brain,
the gut, the heart and above all the soul.
Flas
First of all, I likely would never have known about this book had it not been nominated as of possible interest for me on an Amazon webpage. It did look appealing then, so I ordered a copy with only rather vague if positive expectations. The purchase turned out to be a big win, even though my philosophy background was definitely lacking (e.g., pragmatism). In all, the "understanding of postmodernism" conveyed was intriguing, eclectic, salutary, and intuitively satisfying. Furthermore, the book's content has stimulated several follow-up threads of pursuit for me via cited references (e.g., Walker Percy's).

Clearly, the book was "intriguing" to me because it held my interest well despite limitations in my background. I attribute this to ample but not pedantic elaboration of key concepts or viewpoints. Moreover, there were often differing views presented with an interplay of perspectives among diverse thinkers; such contrasts in viewpoints aided appreciably in their clarification or amplification. Then, certain themes were propagated and reinforced over succeeding chapters. The author recapitulates rather incisively his view of "postmodernism rightly understood" on pages 109-110, with acknowledgement of Percy's influence.

Of especial note, the contrast between psychoanalysis as originally conceived and psychotherapy as widely practiced nowadays was quite unexpected and most "intriguing" to me (pp. 161-164). Their respective protocols reflect diametrically opposed approaches for coping with the exigencies of human circumstances, especially the ineradicable prospect of death. Whereas the original pattern of psychoanalysis sought through introspective probing to confront and ameliorate the anxieties prompted by disconcerting fundamental aspects of human life, psychotherapy largely seeks to avoid or mask such aspects. It does so through patronizing, diversionary techniques, especially consciousness modifying drugs. The former regimen deals forthrightly with human circumstances, and seeks to engender the individual's own capacity for managing such anxieties. In contrast, psychotherapy inhibits the full engagement of life through constraining the range of human experiences and prerogatives; this constitutes a deliberate de-humanizing suppression of core human circumstances and potentialities.

The selection of thinkers covered was "eclectic" in that their respective disciplines or orientations were surprisingly varied. They ranged from Francis Fukuyama through Flannery O'Connor. Thus, not all were philosophers per se. Nonetheless, the development and reinforcement of key ideas occurred without any discernible discontinuities in the flow of ideas. Ultimately, the associated interplay of viewpoints conveyed and strengthened the author's major positions. One instance is the revealing juxtaposition of a classless society versus one that distinguishes a knowledge class apart from a laboring class. In particular, the elitist views of Richard Rorty's modernism are pitted against the populist views of Christopher Lasch's postmodernism. Here, the elitist knowledge class strives for a society of contented consumers (the laboring class) of the elitist products, e.g., governing directives and social programs. These products purposively deprecate human sovereignty to achieve the laboring class' suppressed stress levels as well as their general dependency. The populist position spurns the class stratification of the welfare or therapeutic state in favor of a classless "universal competence" wherein all citizens contribute in meaningful ways to society's direction and well-being (pp. 158-159).

In all, the central message, as well as several subordinate points, was for me convincingly made and supported. In consequence, the advocated remedial courses for individuals or society were shown to offer a "salutary" recipe for alleviating much of the personal and societal ills bequeathed by modernity, largely under the auspices of the scientistic or expert elite. For example, the psychotherapists' widespread use of drugs to neutralize anxieties is to be discouraged in general for actually degrading the users' overall quality of life as a human being (p.183). Here, the attendant truncation of human sovereignty may be manifested by listless dependency or by a significantly reduced range of human experiences. Ultimately, the author raises the question of whether a viable democracy can function at all with a large population of in effect "clever animals" (per Alexis de Tocqueville p. 25). But this issue is irrelevant to what the elitists' have in mind anyway: namely, a utopian society under administrative rule by scientific experts, or technocrats, via technology (pp. 36, 92 & 119).

Since I had recently been reading various analyses of problems arising out of late modernity's sociopolitical evolution and its regrettable outcomes, I found this book's prospects for a robust and forthright postmodernism to be "intuitively satisfying", not to mention reassuring. Of course, my Christian faith predisposed to relate positively to the stance/thrust of this book. Moreover, it elucidated and reinforced elements of my faith. Nevertheless, the book's message would seem to be similarly appealing on a strictly secular basis to persons genuinely concerned over the fullest realization of human dignity and its potential.

In sum, I believe this book is well suited for the non-specialist because it treats core issues of postmodernism breadth-wise, with only modest depth-wise examination. But then, the central concepts here are not ones that necessitate or merit significant in-depth treatment. To wit, the nature of humans and their condition, when directly approached, is inherently and fixedly straightforward, despite its obdurately perplexing aspects. This situation is evidenced by the capacity of many "ordinary" persons to relate to and cope rather well with the baffling core aspects of reality. Alas, the more idealistic, fastidious, or scientistic tend to rebel against a reality whose harshness or limitations they find to be less than perfect or not even tolerably acceptable.
Stick
It has been a long time since I have written in, highlighted and underlined this much in one book. Peter Lawler has given us armchair philosopers, or in my case wannabe!, a valuable tool to help us understand our time. The clarity of definition and distinction (post modern versus hyper modern for example) are most helpful. It has been a long time since I read any Percy, this book encouraged me to reread and rethink his novels in a more informed light. I found the book to be a real treasure. Thank you Dr. Lawler.
watching to future
A lot of popular authors who still retain some degree of depth (David Foster Wallace being one) have made a point of trying to understood postmodernism in order to change it. This seems impossible, but without some change in a morass of complete relativity and (now anomie), not much is going to change at all.

Lawless is essentially a Thomist, and his root motive is a search for truth, not kicks and comfort. He is not afraid to spell it out: secular humanism means thus: "You stick to your bullsh*t, I'll stick to mine, and that is the premise of our societal agreement." But how to argue oneself out of the agreed upon chaos society has become?

He does a good job of it. He suggests a return to possibility while still allowing realism to have the upper hand. His arguments are ontological rather than pure logical positivism. I imagine this book was a difficult undertaking, and is one of the most comprehensive I have ever read.
eBooks Related to Postmodernism Rightly Understood: The Return to Realism in American Thought
Contacts | Privacy Policy | DMCA
All rights reserved.
lycee-pablo-picasso.fr © 2016-2020