One cheer for postmodernism

Ken Parish has a fascinating piece on the very limited impact of postmodernism on judicial decisions in Australia and the US. Economics is similar, in that postmodernism has had almost zero impact. I did a literature search for Foucault, Derrida etc a while back, and, outside some peripheral fields like marketing, there was absolutely nothing. This is surprising , since a lot of postmodernism rests on economic claims about modernity, globalisation and so on. Ken dismisses postmodernism as useless, but I can think of at least three good uses
(i) Therapy for recovering Stalinists
(ii) A harmless target on which right-wing pundits can vent their rage
(iii) Some theoretical content for degrees in “communications”
I’m particularly keen on (iii), for the reasons set out by Deirdre Macken in the weekend Fin (subscription required). As a columnist, it’s hard enough hanging on to my space against the usual competitors. Imagine if all those communications graduates had actually been taught how to write a coherent argument,.

One thought on “One cheer for postmodernism

  1. […] In a fairly standard example of thread-jacking/topic drift, my challenge to nominate disinterested scientists sceptical of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis veered rapidly off-track, turning quickly to the shortcomings of Hassan al-Turabi (a Sudanese politician, it appears). I’m posting this as a separate thread for the discussion beginning with this comment by Michael Burgess who observed, in response to Dave Ricardo, While I don’t know what to think on the greenhouse issue, I do find it somewhat ironic that many of those who are usually so post-modern in their outlook (there is no objective truth etc and following Thomas Kuhn this applies as much in the physical sciences as it does in the social sciences etc) suddenly get very absolutist when it suits them. I do think that before making such a claim, MB might reasonably have searched the site using the facility provided. He would have found many references to both left-wing and right-wing varieties of postmodernism, among which this is, I think the kindest (and it’s not very kind). […]

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