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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

Postmodern practice
March 10, 2011 - 9:15am

David Roberts has an interesting post on Grist, asking whether climate change denialism has roots in postmodern theory. In general, he seems to come down on the side of "not really", but that's just the way I recode his text. <rofl>

Along the way, he (predictably, doesn't everyone?) takes a couple of swipes at academic postmodernists. And he differentiates postmodern theory from postmodern practice -- he equates the latter to expressions of tribal identity that create perception-based realities.

One of my concerns with the relatively little postmodernist analysis that I've read is that it never transcends the theoretical. If postmodernism is a form of critical analysis (is it?), it seems to be one which has inoculated itself against all political projects. But if the purpose of analysis is to reveal/discover/construct knowledge, and (as Roberts notes) knowledge has become politicized to the point that major sectors of society feel fully entitled not only to their own analysis but to their own facts, isn't the a form of intellectual abdication?

In a world where ignorance is bliss and willful ignorance creates political power, is it responsible for academe to remain apolitical?


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