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Postmodernism
Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourseNuyen, A.T., 1992. The Role of Rhetorical Devices in Postmodernist Discourse. Philosophy & Rhetoric, pp.183–194. characterized by skepticism toward the " grand narratives" of modernism, opposition to epistemic certainty or stability of meaning, and emphasis on ideology as a means of maintaining political power. Claims to objective fact are dismissed as naïve realism, with attention drawn to the conditional nature of knowledge claims within particular historical, political, and cultural discourses. The postmodern outlook is characterized by self-referentiality, epistemological relativism, moral relativism, pluralism, irony, irreverence, and eclecticism; it rejects the "universal validity" of binary oppositions, stable identity, hierarchy, and categorization. Initially emerging from a mode of literary criticism, postmodernism developed in the mid-twentieth century as a rejection of modernism and has been obse ...
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Modernism
Modernism is both a philosophical and arts movement that arose from broad transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement reflected a desire for the creation of new forms of art, philosophy, and social organization which reflected the newly emerging industrial world, including features such as urbanization, architecture, new technologies, and war. Artists attempted to depart from traditional forms of art, which they considered outdated or obsolete. The poet Ezra Pound's 1934 injunction to "Make it New" was the touchstone of the movement's approach. Modernist innovations included abstract art, the stream-of-consciousness novel, montage cinema, atonal and twelve-tone music, divisionist painting and modern architecture. Modernism explicitly rejected the ideology of realism and made use of the works of the past by the employment of reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody. Modernism also rejected ...
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Relativism
Relativism is a family of philosophical views which deny claims to objectivity within a particular domain and assert that valuations in that domain are relative to the perspective of an observer or the context in which they are assessed. There are many different forms of relativism, with a great deal of variation in scope and differing degrees of controversy among them. ''Moral relativism'' encompasses the differences in moral judgments among people and cultures. '' Epistemic relativism'' holds that there are no absolute principles regarding normative belief, justification, or rationality, and that there are only relative ones. '' Alethic relativism'' (also factual relativism) is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture (cultural relativism). Some forms of relativism also bear a resemblance to philosophical skepticism. ''Descriptive relativism'' seeks to describe ...
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The Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries with global influences and effects. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the value of human happiness, the pursuit of knowledge obtained by means of reason and the evidence of the senses, and ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, and constitutional government. The Enlightenment was preceded by the Scientific Revolution and the work of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and others. Some date the beginning of the Enlightenment to the publication of René Descartes' '' Discourse on the Method'' in 1637, featuring his famous dictum, '' Cogito, ergo sum'' ("I think, therefore I am"). Others cite the publication of Isaac New ...
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Obscurantism
In philosophy, the terms obscurantism and obscurationism describe the anti-intellectual practices of deliberately presenting information in an abstruse and imprecise manner that limits further inquiry and understanding of a subject. There are two historical and intellectual denotations of ''obscurantism'': (1) the deliberate restriction of knowledge—opposition to the dissemination of knowledge; and (2) deliberate obscurity—a recondite style of writing characterized by deliberate vagueness. The term ''obscurantism'' derives from the title of the 16th-century satire (''Letters of Obscure Men'', 1515–1519), which was based upon the intellectual dispute between the German Catholic humanist Johann Reuchlin and the monk Johannes Pfefferkorn of the Dominican Order, about whether or not all Jewish books should be burned as un-Christian heresy. Earlier, in 1509, the monk Pfefferkorn had obtained permission from Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1486–1519), to burn all copies o ...
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Meta-narrative
A metanarrative (also meta-narrative and grand narrative; french: métarécit) is a narrative ''about'' narratives of historical meaning, experience, or knowledge, which offers a society legitimation through the anticipated completion of a (as yet unrealized) master idea. Etymology "Meta" is Greek for "beyond"; "narrative" is a story that is characterized by its telling (it is communicated somehow). Although first used earlier in the 20th century, the term was brought into prominence by Jean-François Lyotard in 1979, with his claim that the postmodern was characterised precisely by a mistrust of the "grand narratives" (Progress, Enlightenment, Emancipation, Marxism) that had formed an essential part of modernity. Skepticism In '' The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge'' (1979), Lyotard highlights the increasing skepticism of the ''postmodern condition'' toward the totalizing nature of metanarratives and their reliance on some form of "transcendent and universal trut ...
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Post-structuralism
Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism, the intellectual project that preceded it. Though post-structuralists all present different critiques of structuralism, common themes among them include the rejection of the self-sufficiency of structuralism, as well as an interrogation of the binary oppositions that constitute its structures. Accordingly, post-structuralism discards the idea of interpreting media (or the world) within pre-established, socially constructed structures.Bensmaïa, Réda. 2005. "Poststructuralism." Pp. 92–93 in The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought', edited by L. Kritzman. Columbia University Press. Poster, Mark. 1988. "Introduction: Theory and the problem of Context." pp. 5–6 i''Critical theory and poststructuralism: in search of a context'' Merquior, José G. 1987. ''Foucault'', (Fontana Modern Masters series). University of Californi ...
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Age Of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries with global influences and effects. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the value of human happiness, the pursuit of knowledge obtained by means of reason and the evidence of the senses, and ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, and constitutional government. The Enlightenment was preceded by the Scientific Revolution and the work of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and others. Some date the beginning of the Enlightenment to the publication of René Descartes' ''Discourse on the Method'' in 1637, featuring his famous dictum, ''Cogito, ergo sum'' ("I think, therefore I am"). Others cite the publication of Isaac ...
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Knowledge
Knowledge can be defined as awareness of facts or as practical skills, and may also refer to familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called propositional knowledge, is often defined as true belief that is distinct from opinion or guesswork by virtue of justification. While there is wide agreement among philosophers that propositional knowledge is a form of true belief, many controversies in philosophy focus on justification: whether it is needed at all, how to understand it, and whether something else besides it is needed. These controversies intensified due to a series of thought experiments by Edmund Gettier and have provoked various alternative definitions. Some of them deny that justification is necessary and replace it, for example, with reliability or the manifestation of cognitive virtues. Others contend that justification is needed but formulate additional requirements, for example, that no defeaters of the belief are present or that t ...
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Categorization
Categorization is the ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as objects, events, or ideas), organizing and classifying experience by associating them to a more abstract group (that is, a category, class, or type), on the basis of their traits, features, similarities or other criteria that are universal to the group. Categorization is considered one of the most fundamental cognitive abilities, and as such it is studied particularly by psychology and cognitive linguistics. Categorization is sometimes considered synonymous with classification (cf., Classification synonyms). Categorization and classification allow humans to organize things, objects, and ideas that exist around them and simplify their understanding of the world. Categorization is something that humans and other organisms ''do'': "doing the right thing with the right ''kind'' of thing." The activity of categorizing things can b ...
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Literary Criticism
Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of literature's goals and methods. Though the two activities are closely related, literary critics are not always, and have not always been, theorists. Whether or not literary criticism should be considered a separate field of inquiry from literary theory is a matter of some controversy. For example, the ''Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism'' draws no distinction between literary theory and literary criticism, and almost always uses the terms together to describe the same concept. Some critics consider literary criticism a practical application of literary theory, because criticism always deals directly with particular literary works, while theory may be more general or abstract. Literary criticism is often published in essay or book form. Academic liter ...
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Deconstruction
The term deconstruction refers to approaches to understanding the relationship between text and meaning. It was introduced by the philosopher Jacques Derrida, who defined it as a turn away from Platonism's ideas of "true" forms and essences which take precedence over appearances, instead considering the constantly changing complex function of language, making static and idealist ideas of it inadequate. Deconstruction instead places emphasis on the mere appearance of language in both speech and writing, or suggests at least that essence as it is called is to be found in its appearance, while it itself is "undecidable", and everyday experiences cannot be empirically evaluated to find the actuality of language. Deconstruction argues that language, especially in idealist concepts such as truth and justice, is irreducibly complex, unstable and difficult to determine, making fluid and comprehensive ideas of language more adequate in deconstructive criticism. Since the 1980s, th ...
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Rhetorical Modes
The rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse) are a long-standing attempt to broadly classify the major kinds of language-based communication, particularly writing and Speech, speaking, into Narrative, narration, description, Exposition (narrative), exposition, and Argumentation theory, argumentation. First attempted by Samuel P. Newman in ''A Practical System of Rhetoric'' in 1827, the modes of discourse have long influenced Teaching writing in the United States, US writing instruction and particularly the design of mass-market writing assessments, despite critiques of these classification's explanatory power for non-school writing. Definitions Different definitions of mode apply to different types of writing. Chris Baldick defines mode as an unspecific critical term usually designating a broad but identifiable kind of literary method, mood, or manner that is not tied exclusively to a particular form or genre. Examples are the ''satiric'' mode, the ''ironic'', the '' ...
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