Re: unusual language [postmodernism]

Bob King (
Wed, 9 Oct 1996 16:50:41 -0400

On Wed, 9 Oct 1996, Anthony Rue wrote:
> How about some consideration that postmodernism isn't
> restricted to literary theory? Or even written texts? Can I nominate the
> Las Vegas strip as a
> primary text?

If pomo represents an epochal shift, then what has to shift is the picture
of truth itself, the "episteme" -- a picture which cuts across all
kinds of borders, strips, and streets, theories and practices.

My claim is that it's easy to trip out way too far on
pomo unless we note that its main feature is a constructivist model of
truth (and also then note that science has had this model for hundreds of
years -- letters just now coming on board). I know this strains those who
want to see no "main features" or "primary texts" :) but. . .

even among pomo thinkers Foucault and Jameson, for example, there is some
agreement that "regimes of truth" are a fact of life -- we're just forming
a new regime now, and it's not quite jell-o yet (epochal shifts take

I'm calling that new regime "constructivism" (because it names an
epistemological position rather than the who-knows-what that the term
postmodern names, other than to tell us that it's what comes after
modernism!) -- even though it's not really new -- the philosophical
tradition of constructivist epistemics dates back at least as far as
Vico (15th century?) in the West, with ties beyond that to suppressed
traditions of matriarchy and mysticism.