A fun talk on Postmodernism.

Gary Aylesworth defines postmodernism as:

a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, the trace, the simulacrum, and hyperreality to destabilise other concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress, epistemic certainty, and the univocity of meaning.

I had automatic subtitles on while watching the video and it figured “differentiate” as “French cheese”. Poetic, I’m sure. Cop that Derrida! Cop that Foucault!

In the video the lecturer presents a slide which makes the claim “thought and language can’t distinguish two worlds that have exactly the same structure–exactly the same logical form.” But that is a patently false claim in my view. Take for instance the integers and the rationals, they are distinguished but we can build an isomorphism that shows they have the same form.

Later this statement is made: “we could know the necessary and sufficient stimulatory conditions of every possible act of utterance, in a foreign language, and still not know how to determine what objects the speakers of that language believe in.” This is true, but it’s also true of all people who speak the “same” language, too.

Then it is said “there is no fact of the matter about which translation is right”, but that’s not true. There is a fact of the matter about substance. Some machines can work and others can’t owing to the specific nature of what substance can do and how it works. Of course we can’t truly know substance as we only have objective access to it.

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