Meaning of Postmodernity

What is Postmodernity:

Postmodernity is an artistic, philosophical and historical movement that was born at the end of the 20th century as a search for new forms of expression centered on the cult of individualism and criticism of rationalism.

Postmodernity or postmodernity as an artistic movement, incorporates the previous avant-garde currents in a current aesthetic that reflects the chaos generated by the information and technology revolution in which we live today.

As a philosophical current, postmodernity seeks new ways of thinking focused on the growth of the individual through the use of technology. It is characterized by criticizing the currents of old thoughts that are considered outdated, such as positivism and rationalism.

As a historical period, postmodernity spans from the end of the 20th century to the present day, therefore, its exact definition is still diffuse and in the process of definition.

Characteristics of postmodernity

Postmodernity has characteristics that depend on the field in which they are applied. For example, in architecture it is presented as the rescue of the form that modernism rejects; in philosophy it is defined as a modern nihilism, that is, the obsolescence of values ​​and in education technology and innovation are validated for the generation of a self-sufficient and independent man.

Despite these differences that may be contradictory to each other, postmodernity has common and transversal characteristics described below:

  • It is anti-dualist: they criticize the duality that the concepts defined in the past have created, thus leaving many meanings outside the field of knowledge. In this way, postmodernity defends diversity and pluralism.
  • It questions literary and historical texts: they claim that the authors of the texts lack objectivity and misrepresent the truth to reflect personal ideas.
  • It states that truth is not universal: language is considered the key to truth and is the only thing that shapes human thought, therefore, truth is context-dependent and questionable. There is only perception.
  • It values ​​the form over the content: how and what the message transmits is more important than the message itself.
  • Defend hybridization and popular culture: all forms of knowledge and knowledge are valid. Distortion distortion has no limits in the spheres of knowledge.
  • The present is the only thing that matters: they seek the immediate, since the past and the future are not in the hands of the individual.
  • It revalues ​​nature: they worry about the consequences of industrial development and demand that modern sciences limit themselves to generating universal valid knowledge.

Postmodern art

Mona Lisa with bazooka rocket, Banksy, 2010.

Postmodern art is considered an artistic movement that begins in the late twentieth century, as opposed to modernism or art nouveau.

Also called postmodernism, this trend was born in the '70s and developed in the' 80s inspired by and using techniques developed in art history, presenting art through a current aesthetic.

Postmodern art is characterized by the breakdown of the linearity that defined avant-garde currents from time to time or the fashionable avant-garde. Postmodern art is defined as the movement that ends the avant-garde, as defined by Rudi Fuchs in 1982.

Due to the information revolution and the rise of technology, postmodern art reflects the complexity and chaos of today's society, using objects and images from popular culture and intervening in works of classics.

Postmodern art is part of contemporary art, some of its currents being the following:

  • Pop Art
  • Abstract art
  • Conceptual art
  • Minimalism
  • Abstract expressionism
  • among others.

Postmodernism and education

Postmodernity imprints on education systems a need for a change in the influence that is exerted on the personal, educational and cultural development of the individual, being valid only what makes functional and immediate sense.

Postmodern education inserted within psychopedagogy is based on the information system in which society is immersed. In this context, the use of technology becomes a fundamental tool for innovation, providing immediate and functional validity of knowledge.

According to the American author Alvin Toffler (1928-2016), postmodern education is characterized by the following points:

  • Be interactive
  • It takes place in any environment or institution
  • The information processing is convertible between different means for the conformation of more complex systems
  • They look for plural sources of information
  • They totally democratize information
  • They defend that the information should not present borders or differences

Postmodern architecture

The postmodern movement in architecture rescues the concepts that modern architecture eliminates at the beginning of the 20th century, imposing, for example, the mere functionality of buildings.

In this way, postmodern architecture returns the importance to form by combining, in this sense, the ancient and the modern to solve not only functional but also social, economic, cultural and aesthetic problems.

Postmodernity and modernity

Postmodernity was born as a reaction against the extreme rationalism of modernity. Postmodern thought is characterized by disenchantment and apathy over the failure of modernity as a renewing current of thought and expression of contemporary society.

Postmodern philosophy

In the field of philosophy, postmodernity is also defined as the philosophy of deconstruction where detail and the fragmentation of thought predominate, in turn giving order to chaos.

The phenomenon of fractals, for example, represents this philosophy where the repetition of fragments is similar to the repetition of each human being, but as a whole they constitute entry doors to the labyrinth of knowledge.

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is considered the precursor of postmodern thought by proclaiming the death of God, therefore, the absence of dogmas or values. In this sense, postmodernity is considered a modern nihilism that does not believe in the need for values ​​over the individual.

Among the authors representing postmodern philosophy are:

  • Jean François Lyotard: French philosopher who introduced in 1979 through his work The postmodern condition the concept of postmodernity in philosophy, criticizing the prevailing positivism, that is, the application of the scientific method and rationalism to obtain objective knowledge.
  • Esther Díaz: Argentine philosopher who argues that postmodernity is a clash between the world of sophisticated technology that surrounds us and the discourses inherited from past eras such as romanticism and rationalism.

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