I just finished reading Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? The last chapter I had to read twice, and though I’m feeling better about it, I’m still sorting through some new stretches in my way of thinking, primarily, my own postmodern dilemma with my very modern, Cartesian equation of knowledge with certainty. That is to say, modern rationalism equates knowledge with certainty – Prove it! is the motto – and postmodernity has seen the crumbling of much of what we once thought certain, thereby deducing (rightly, I think, of course I can’t be certain ;)) that certainty is unattainable, and therefore, knowledge is unattainable. The irony is that to deduce that knowledge is unattainable, that we can’t know anything, simply because we’ve had the chair of certainty pulled out from under us, is to still hold to a modern epistemology. It isn’t postmodern at all. It’s simply the natural (rational) conclusion of modernism, which is why I like Middleton and Walsh’s term for our current cultural climate, “hypermodernism.” Smith (Who’s Afraid) agrees with this assessment and urges us to become truly postmodern, to abandon “what is worst about modernism,” namely modern epistemology.
All the stretching of my mind was taxing, so today I decided I needed a break from the types of things I’ve been reading of late. (I’m also reading C.S. Lewis’s Letters to Malcom, which are reflections on prayer. It is not easy.) I could think of no better distractions from theology and philosophy than sex and TV, so I picked up a book called, Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity and another one called, The Gospel According to the Simpsons. Both are a nice change of pace.