Chapter

Concluding Observations

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/9780226072814.003.0021
Concluding Observations

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Postmodernism has proved to be neither a fad (although a measure of faddishness has marked it) nor a product of an overheated intellectual fashion industry. But neither has it turned out to be what postmodernists have expected it to be: the ultimate answer to life in general and historical understanding in particular. The postmodernist challenge's significant impact cannot be properly understood unless one focused attention on the postmodernist stipulation of a sharp break between modernity and postmodernity and of the need for a radical change in the human condition connected with it. For bringing that about, postmodernists had recourse to the reinterpretation of the role of time. Postmodernist theories became a serious challenge when they rejected the contention that the existentially important simultaneous presence of the two temporal experiences constituted an unalterable part of human life. These theories maintained that the exclusive dominance of either change or continuity was not only possible but was the necessary condition for a posthistoric postmodernity.

Keywords: postmodernism; postmodernity; posthistoric postmodernity; historical understanding; human condition; temporal experiences

Chapter.  6788 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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