(Paraphrased from Sire, p. 173 regarding Neitzsche's parable written over 100 years ago.)
When a culture looses its philosophic center (view of reality), it looses its philosophy, the foundation of its culture, and its view of who each individual is. "When
God dies, both the substance and value of everything else dies with it. The acknowledgement of the death of God is the beginning of postmodern wisdom. It is
also the end of postmodern wisdom.
It is hard to classify as a worldview since it is still in formation. Roots come from sociology, not philosophy. It does not study being (metaphysics) or knowing
(epistemology). Instead, it considers "how notions of being and knowing arise and function in society."
What is the prime reality?
Language constructs meaning for itself.
Words mean what you want them to mean.
The Death of Truth
Being is prior to knowing.
Relativism takes over all
Knowing = relativism.
aspects of reality.
Language takes on survival value. Usefulness not truthfulness.
Radical relativism: no one's story is truer than anyone else’s.
Does it say what you want? Does it get you what you want?
Does it satisfy the teller?
Personal experience defines reality.
What is the nature of
external reality?
Who is man?
People construct themselves with their stories.
The Death of the Substantial Humans construct themselves by the stories they tell about themselves. "We are only what we describe ourselves to be."
Why is it possible to know
If nothing is there, it can't be known.
"The truth about reality is forever hidden from us. All we can do is tell stories about our experiences"
What happens to man at
"Whatever" we construct it to be.
Social good is whatever society says it is. (cultural relativism)
What is the basis for
No appeal to a higher good then human good.
Truth is pragmatic.
Being Good without God
Social good is whatever society says is good (ethic) If a person is happy with where society draws the line, then individual
freedom remains. There is no appeal to any higher good outside the human family.
Experience/perspective by story
What is the meaning of
Everyone's story is true history
human history?
We tell stories-they represent the truth
Panoramic Sweep
No One story is more true than another story
The past is not fixed. The meaning of events can not be found in their context. The reality of the past is what the historian
chooses to make of it.
Nothing we think can be checked against this view of reality. Postmodernists are antirealists. (Nothing is known that is really there) Language is a power play. It
prejudices all conversations.
We are only the product of the blind forces of nature.