Notes and References The first difficulty in writing about this subject is that the term 'Jew' has been used during the last years with two rather different meanings. To understand this, let us imagine ourselves in the year Then the universally accepted meaning of the term 'Jew' basically coincided with what the Jews themselves understood as constituting their own identity. This identity was primarily religious, but the precepts of religion governed the details of daily behavior in all aspects of life, both social and private, among the Jews themselves as well as in their relation to non-Jews.
Martin Heidegger[ edit ] Martin Heidegger rejected the philosophical basis of the concepts of "subjectivity" and "objectivity" and asserted that similar grounding oppositions in logic ultimately refer to one another. Instead of resisting the admission of this paradox in the search for understanding, Heidegger requires that we embrace it through an active process of elucidation he called the " hermeneutic circle ".
He stressed the historicity and cultural construction of concepts while simultaneously advocating the necessity of an atemporal and immanent apprehension of them. In this vein, he asserted that it was the task of contemporary philosophy to recover the original question of or "openness to" Dasein translated as Being or Being-there present in the Presocratic philosophers but normalized, neutered, and standardized since Plato.
This was to be done, in part, by tracing the record of Dasein's sublimation or forgetfulness through the history of philosophy which meant that we were to ask again what constituted the grounding conditions in ourselves and in the World for the affinity between beings and between the many usages of the term "being" in philosophy.
To do this, however, a non-historical and, to a degree, self-referential engagement with whatever set of ideas, feelings or practices would permit both the non-fixed concept and reality of such a continuity was required—a continuity permitting the possible experience, possible existence indeed not only of beings but of all differences as they appeared and tended to develop.
Such a conclusion led Heidegger to depart from the phenomenology of his teacher Husserl and prompt instead an ironically anachronistic return to the yet-unasked questions of Ontologya return that in general did not acknowledge an intrinsic distinction between phenomena and noumena or between things in themselves de re and things as they appear see qualia: Being-in-the-world, or rather, the openness to the process of Dasein's becoming was to bridge the age-old gap between these two.
In this latter premise, Heidegger shares an affinity with the late Romantic philosopher, Friedrich Nietzscheanother principal forerunner of post-structuralist and postmodernist thought. Jacques Derrida[ edit ] Jacques Derrida re-examined the fundamentals of writing and its consequences on philosophy in general; sought to undermine the language of "presence" or metaphysics in an analytical technique which, beginning as a point of departure from Heidegger's notion of Destruktioncame to be known as Deconstruction.
Michel Foucault[ edit ] Michel Foucault introduced concepts such as ' discursive regime ', or re-invoked those of older philosophers like ' episteme ' and ' genealogy ' in order to explain the relationship between meaning, power, and social behavior within social orders see The Order of ThingsThe Archaeology of KnowledgeDiscipline and Punishand The History of Sexuality.
In direct contradiction to what have been typified as modernist perspectives on epistemologyFoucault asserted that rational judgment, social practice, and what he called " biopower " are not only inseparable but co-determinant.
Instead, Foucault focused on the ways in which such constructs can foster cultural hegemonyviolence, and exclusion. Foucault was known for his controversial aphorisms, such as "language is oppression"[ citation needed ], meaning that language functions in such a way as to render nonsensical, false, or silent tendencies that might otherwise threaten or undermine the distributions of power backing a society's conventions—even when such distributions purport to celebrate liberation and expression or value minority groups and perspectives.
His writings have had a major influence on the larger body of postmodern academic literature. This crisis, insofar as it pertains to academia, concerns both the motivations and justification procedures for making research claims: As formal conjecture about real-world issues becomes inextricably linked to automated calculation, information storage, and retrieval, such knowledge becomes increasingly "exteriorised" from its knowers in the form of information.
Knowledge thus becomes materialized and made into a commodity exchanged between producers and consumers; it ceases to be either an idealistic end-in-itself or a tool capable of bringing about liberty or social benefit; it is stripped of its humanistic and spiritual associations, its connection with education, teaching, and human development, being simply rendered as "data"—omnipresent, material, unending, and without any contexts or pre-requisites.
The value-premises upholding academic research have been maintained by what Lyotard considers to be quasi-mythological beliefs about human purpose, human reason, and human progress—large, background constructs he calls " metanarratives ".
These metanarratives still remain in Western society but are now being undermined by rapid Informatization and the commercialization of the university and its functions. The shift of authority from the presence and intuition of knowers—from the good faith of reason to seek diverse knowledge integrated for human benefit or truth fidelity—to the automated database and the market had, in Lyotard's view, the power to unravel the very idea of "justification" or "legitimation" and, with it, the rationale for research altogether, especially in disciplines pertaining to human life, society, and meaning.
We are now controlled not by binding extra-linguistic value paradigms defining notions of collective identity and ultimate purpose, but rather by our automatic responses to different species of "language games" a concept Lyotard imports from J.
Austin 's theory of speech acts. Richard Rorty[ edit ] Richard Rorty argues in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature that contemporary analytic philosophy mistakenly imitates scientific methods. In addition, he denounces the traditional epistemological perspectives of representationalism and correspondence theory that rely upon the independence of knowers and observers from phenomena and the passivity of natural phenomena in relation to consciousness.
As a proponent of anti-foundationalism and anti-essentialism within a pragmatist framework, he echoes the postmodern strain of conventionalism and relativismbut opposes much of postmodern thinking with his commitment to social liberalism. Jean Baudrillard[ edit ] Jean Baudrillardin Simulacra and Simulationintroduced the concept that reality or the principle of " The Real " is short-circuited by the interchangeability of signs in an era whose communicative and semantic acts are dominated by electronic media and digital technologies.
Baudrillard proposes the notion that, in such a state, where subjects are detached from the outcomes of events political, literary, artistic, personal, or otherwiseevents no longer hold any particular sway on the subject nor have any identifiable context; they therefore have the effect of producing widespread indifference, detachment, and passivity in industrialized populations.
He claimed that a constant stream of appearances and references without any direct consequences to viewers or readers could eventually render the division between appearance and object indiscernible, resulting, ironically, in the "disappearance" of mankind in what is, in effect, a virtual or holographic state, composed only of appearances.
For Baudrillard"simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or a reality: Eclectic in his methodology, Jameson has continued a sustained examination of the role that periodization continues to play as a grounding assumption of critical methodologies in humanities disciplines.
He has contributed extensive effort to explicating the importance of concepts of Utopia and Utopianism as driving forces in the cultural and intellectual movements of modernityand outlining the political and existential uncertainties that may result from the decline or suspension of this trend in the theorized state of postmodernity.Israel Shahak was a resident of the Warsaw Ghetto and a survivor of Bergen-Belsen.
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