What Postmodernism Is [EP audiobook]

The first chapter of the audiobook version of my Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault.

Chapter One: What Postmodernism Is [mp3] [YouTube] [38 minutes]

ep-audioThe postmodern vanguard: Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, Rorty [mp3] [YouTube]
Modern and postmodern [mp3] [YouTube]
Modernism and the Enlightenment [mp3] [YouTube]
Postmodernism versus the Enlightenment [mp3] [YouTube]
Postmodern academic themes [mp3] [YouTube]
Postmodern cultural themes [mp3] [YouTube]
Why postmodernism? [mp3] [YouTube]


hickss-enlightenment-vision-flowchart-fullChapter Two: The Counter-Enlightenment Attack on Reason [mp3] [YouTube]
Chapter Three: The Twentieth-Century Collapse of Reason [mp3] [YouTube]
Chapter Four: The Climate of Collectivism [mp3] [YouTube]
Chapter Five: The Crisis of Socialism [mp3] [YouTube]
Chapter Six: Postmodern Strategy [mp3] [YouTube]

The Explaining Postmodernism page.

Persian translation of Explaining Postmodernism published

qoqnoos-persianMy Explaining Postmodernism has been translated into Persian by H. P. Safir and published by Qoqnoos Publishing House in Tehran, Iran.

I’ll update when an online link is available. In the meantime, here is the information page for available editions and translations.

Cyberseminar on postmodernism — update

Prompted by Eduardo Marty’s link to this discussion of postmodernism and libertarianism, here are updated links to my 1999 cyberseminar on The Continental Origins of Postmodernism, conducted while I was on sabbatical and Scholar-in-Residence at the Atlas Society.


Abstract for the course: For this 1999 online seminar “The Continental Origins of Postmodernism,” TAS Director of Programs Will Thomas served as moderator. Stephen Hicks, Professor of Philosophy at Rockford College, served as the scholar-in-residence. Participants read key works in the development of Postmodernism, to understand the origins of this powerful trend in contemporary thought and to develop the background of an effective Objectivist response. “Postmodernism is influential in contemporary academic and intellectual culture,” Hicks remarked. “But most of us are trained in the analytic tradition, so we are less likely to be exposed to the major postmodern thinkers. The purpose of this seminar, accordingly, is to broaden our knowledge of the current intellectual landscape by exploring the distinctively postmodern content, method, and style of philosophy.”foucault-m

Essays and discussion on:
Defining Postmodernism.
Martin Heidegger.
Jacques Derrida.
Michel Foucault.
Richard Rorty.

Participants in the seminar: Melinda Ammann, William Dale, Roger Donway, Shawn Klein, Jamie Mellway, Eyal Mozes, David Potts, David Ross, Bryan Register, Will Wilkinson, Jason Walker, Michael Young, Susanna Fessler, David Kelley, James Lennox, Ken Livingston, Rick Minto, Kirsti Minsaas, and Susan Dawn Wake.

Related: It was at TAS that year that I wrote the first draft of my Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault.

Owning “postmodernism” at Amazon

Three of my items are now in the top ten on postmodernism at Amazon Kindle:

kindle-logo* The first edition of Explaining Postmodernism has dropped from first to second.
* The expanded edition has dropped from fifth to seventh. Too sad.
* But my essay on Free Speech and Postmodernism is now up to tenth.

(The hardcover edition is also ranked in the top ten for print items.)

All part of the plan to make postmodernism™ my personal property.

Explaining Postmodernism 2nd and 9th at Amazon Kindle

kindle-logoAt Amazon’s Kindle books section, my Explaining Postmodernism holds two of the top ten places for books on postmodernism. The first edition is second, and the expanded edition is ninth [update: now seventh].

ep-front-cover-125pxThey are neck-and-neck with The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism and The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism, two traditionally strong-selling series.

Also: Both editions of Explaining Postmodernism can currently be read for free and borrowed by Kindle owners and Prime members. And for those who prefer paper, there is the lovely hardcover edition.

Definitely A Good Year for Explaining Postmodernism.

[My Nietzsche and the Nazis has some catching up to do. It’s 29th in Kindle books on Nazis and 60th on Nietzsche.]

Claude Lévi-Strauss and postmodernism

ep-100x156The expanded edition of my Explaining Postmodernism: From Rousseau to Foucault is being published late this summer. In preparing the manuscript, I re-read several transition figures, i.e., those twentieth-century intellectuals whom I judge to be important in preparing the groundwork for postmodernism.

One is anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), whom I first read as an undergraduate. Lévi-Strauss formally studied philosophy and law, but because the bulk of his influential career was in anthropological field studies and theory he is sometimes labeled the father of modern anthropology. He is enough of a metaphysical realist not to be a postmodernist, but his positions on other major philosophical issues put him among the forerunners.

strauss-claude-levi-the-savage-mind-100x156Here are three excerpts from his The Savage Mind (University of Chicago Press, 1962).

First, on his and Jean-Paul Sartre’s common inheritance from Karl Marx: “Although in both our cases Marx is the point of departure of our thought, it seems to me that the Marxist orientation leads to a different view, namely, that the opposition between the two sorts of reason is relative, not absolute” (p. 246).

Second, on his anti-humanism, which he shares with Martin Heidegger: “I accept the characterization of aesthete in so far as I believe the ultimate goal of the human sciences to be not to constitute, but to dissolve man” (p. 247).

Third, on his carrying on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s glorification of the primitivism: “we therefore remain faithful to the inspiration of the savage mind when we recognize that the scientific spirit in its most modern form will, by an encounter it alone could have foreseen, have contributed to legitimize the principles of savage thought and to re-establish it in its rightful place” (p. 269).levi-straussclaude-100x103

So: Lévi-Strauss is a post-Marxian anti-humanistic primitivist, and thus one of the gurus of the emerging postmodern movement that took off in the late 1960s and is still with us.

For more on the postmodernists and postmodernism, see my Explaining Postmodernism page.

Henry Giroux on education

apple-88x50Stephen Hicks discusses postmodernist Henry Giroux on education. This is from Part 14 of his Philosophy of Education course.

1 Clip:

Previous: Pomo: skeptical relativistic rhetoric against modern society.
Next: Postmodern education: Teacher training.
Return to the Philosophy of Education page or the full lecture series on Philosophy of Education at YouTube via these playlists.
Return to the StephenHicks.org main page.

Postmodern philosophy: Introduction

apple-88x50Stephen Hicks introduces postmodern philosophy by contrasting its themes to modernism and pre-modernism. This is from Part 14 of his Philosophy of Education course.

1 Clip:

Previous: [Part 13: Marxism] Education under socialism.
Next: What modernism is.
Return to the Philosophy of Education page or the full lecture series on Philosophy of Education at YouTube via these playlists.
Return to the StephenHicks.org main page.