Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hegel vs. Pomo

I honeslty don't seek this stuff out, but when I come across it, I feel obliged to let you know. Call it the millinerd contract with America (and Canada). So here it is, one more contemporary critique of postmodernity brought directly to your screen, this time from the Hegelians.
"[W]hat postmodernists present as the fatal flaw of modernity and its philosophy - their lack of any final given or postulatable foundations in subjectivity, nature, language, being, etc.- Hegel recognized and proclaimed as the initial key to, and the first step in understanding, modernity's and philosophy's triumph. In Hegelian terms, it is only postmodernists' tacit foundationalism, their obdurate and otiose attachments to the belief that freedom and reason must be grounded in some givens, that leads them to the illicit conclusion that the absence of such given foundations must result in the nihilist victory of arbitrary caprice and irrational subjectivism...
As if that wasn't itself a brainfull, get ready for "cryptofoundationalism":
What [postmodernsits] fail to see is that the absence of foundations for modernity's freedom need not necessarily lead to a nihilistic will-to-power as some sort of 'postfoundational foundation.' Paradoxically endorsing some version of Nietzshe's cryptofoundationalism, they miss, or ignore, Hegel's discovery that the conceptual and practical legitimacy of modernity can be demonstrated by a systematic philosophy that originates in the liberating discovery that the foundational assumption is itself wihout foundations (x)."
Though it's not news that postmodern thought rejects Hegel, what is news is that a gaggle of neo-Hegelians are making a fresh case that the rejection was based on a profound misunderstanding. I'm not a Hegelian any more than I am a Marxist, but in both this and that case the books quoted from are not the product of an isolated author, but are the collected essays of multiple authors.

Like I said, I don't go looking for such things, but I wonder how much I'd find if I did.