Chapter

At the Core of the Postmodernist Challenge to History

in On the Future of History

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780226072791
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226072814 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.003.0004
At the Core of the Postmodernist Challenge to History

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Both modernists and postmodernists expected an era with a novel human condition once their views of the world had become the organizing principles of life. Guidance in that life would no longer come from the recorded past. Human life in postmodernity would have a new structure and dynamic. Postmodernists did not choose in the simple reductionist way to replace reason as the all-important force with another specific aspect of human life. In the postmodernism debate, which has focused on methods and interpretive approaches of history, this choice has not figured significantly. In a decisive shift, postmodernists based their hope for a postmodernity, completely and irrevocably set apart from the past, on a radically different valuation of the two basic human experiences of time—change and continuity. In doing so, postmodernists touched the core of the historicity of human life and historical thought: the historical nexus.

Keywords: modernists; postmodernists; human condition; human life; human experience; change and continuity; historical nexus; historical thought

Chapter.  1847 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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