Contemporary philosophy is torn between a reliance on the pragmatic meanings of designated objects and a foundation based on formal theory. This book shows that philosophical knowledge, which no more has a terminal state than an infinite set has a last term, advances when the dialectical relationship between the two approaches is synthesized. The choice of designations is intimately related to theory and the form of theory is intimately related to the character of designated objects. The intimate dialectical relationship between theory and meaning is explored in detail in the area of international theory. The recent emphasis on realism rests on a regressive misunderstanding of the dialectical relationship between theory and practice that loses Newton's acute understanding of it, an understanding that underlies the great advances of physics, and that is lost in the contemporary social sciences.
Formulating a new approach to philosophy which, instead of simply rejecting postmodern thought, tries to assimilate some of its main features, Paul Crowther identifies conceptual links between value, knowledge, personal identity and civilization understood as a process of cumulative advance.
A controversial, complicated and difficult concept to grasp, postmodernism is nevertheless a thrilling intellectual adventure and Introducing Postmodernism provides the ideal guide. It helps unwravel and explain the ideas that have been used to definte the world's cultural condition over the last three decades. It goes back to the roots in art, politics, history and philosophy and iexamines some of Postmodernisms biggest names - from Jackson Pollock to Foucault, Warhol to Fukuyama.
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