Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Posthuman Destinies on the postmodern subject.
“A prevalent discourse of a recent epoch concludes with its [the subject’s] simple liquidation”, states Jacques Derrida in an interview with Jean-Luc Nancy. The “recent epoch” Derrida is talking about is postmodernism, of course. And who would know better what postmodernism is about than the wizard of postmodern thought himself? In a discourse that casts doubt on the credulity of metanarratives, that questions the hermeneutics of meaning, the rational, self-contained subject of modernism has had a hard time indeed. For the subject at stake here, the subject allegedly liquidated in postmodernism, is the modern subject. Its beginnings can be traced back to sometime around the Renaissance and Reformation, but it is most commonly characterized in terms of the Cartesian Ego: it is strong, autonomous, reasonable and above all coherent. It has cast off determination by church doctrine and Christianity`s encompassing truths and instead goes for, as Heidegger puts it, “legislating for himself”.

Postmodernism then dismantles and deconstructs all the grand-narratives and overriding truths, only this time this affects not only the grand-narrative of religion, but also the subject itself, whose status as a rational entity is seen as another grand-narrative.
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