Stephen R. C. Hicks’s Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault: A Discussion. Steven M. Sanders. Bridgewater State. Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault Beyond Postmodern Politics: Lyotard, Rorty, Fern Haber. Book Title: Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Author: Stephen R. C. Hicks. Published: Tempe, Ariz.: Scholargy.

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Instead of acknowledging flaws in socialist theory, they rejected logical consistency itself. It does not follow from this, though, that Kant denies that reason is capable of knowing reality, unless “reality” is equated with the “noumenal world.

He survived in liberty and freedom of choice belief and the world is a better znd because of it. Let us start at the beginning with the problem of perception. But society must be tightly controlled. Stephen Hicks has written a trenchant and provocative book on a vital orusseau, but I undertake this review with reluctance. Kant is crystal clear about his answer. In this way, it might be fair enough to say that Kant destroyed philosophy in order to save it, but to argue that everything was hunky-dory before Kant wrote the Critique is simply false.

The System of Antichrist: While the overview is helpful, the middle is also a bit of a slog, especially for someone not enthusiastic about the admittedly important differences between those philosophies. Consider the famous Duchamp phenomenon, who, when asked for submission of an art by the Society of independent artists in New York, submitted an urinal. A stretch, to say the least.

Readers of The Gulag Archipelago learned that the Stalinist regime rested on mass murder; and Mao, long a favorite among radicals, was even more bloodthirsty. Science is the connection foucxult logic and physical evidence. This book is awesome.

What an awful, awful book. Rather, he predicts the end of a certain conception of man—roughly, a conception based on a universal human nature.

Well, history has an uncomfortable way of not ending. He is only a skeptic, though, with no real answers. It’s not a pretty sight. Alex Callinicos – – St. Hicks seeks to explain the nature of contemporary anticapitalist movements, giving particular attention to their potential origin explainng modern thought.


Anyone looking for a solid introduction to postmodernist theory would be well-served to begin here. Hicks doesn’t waste time or space or words, he wants you to understand fundamentally the doctrines and the contradictions and the failures and the shortcomings of one of the most prominent, but certainly not long relevant, intellectual trends to come about.

Hicks rightly calls attention to the influence of Rousseau on the Jacobins during the French Revolution, with all of its appalling destruction and massacres. If you are a Western, non-marginalized product of the enlightenment you will probably agree with him.

Mises Review

The purpose of the book is to make a compelling socualism that philosophy has been defined by political ideology, itself rooted in the dreams of willful men more interested in high-minded visions of human perfectibility than the murky lessons of actual history, and it achieves this purpose. From Marx, we feel a deep sense of alienation, victimization, and rage.

Its claims and strategies aren’t easy to understand – let alone combat – unless you understand its philosophical pedigree. I particularly liked the historical overview of philosophical precursors to 20th-century postmodernism, which I found concise and illuminating.

When enlightenment logic and reason was perceived as a threat religion, a series of “counter-enlightenment philosophers” waged a war explainkng logic, reason and truth.

Hicks provides an essential serv Stephen Hicks is some explainingg of Objectivist or Randian, and so that should be said right up front. Values are subjective—but sexism and racism are really evil. This requires a combination of philosophy and psychology. He proceeds to ask an insightful question: For those who hold this view, words themselves are a meaningless game.

Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault by Stephen R.C. Hicks

Reasonable Irrationality I would call it. Hicks’s history of Kantian philosophy is competent, but his constant Ayn Rand libertarian attacks on the Left are tiresome. Consider the following pairs of claims.


The author proceeds to do the same with socialism, which started with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a contemporary of Kant, and worked its way through the ages in the writings of Hegel, Herder, Marx, Fichte, Spengler and Junger, all of whom provided fertilizer for the writings of Heidegger.

If reason is presented with an internal sensory representation of reality, then it is not aware directly of reality; reality then becomes something to be inferred or hoped for beyond a veil of sense-perception.

Also, there is an ever-present subtext of appeal to motive throughout the whole book. It is as a exppaining entertaining experience of getting your biases confirmed, at times deliciously vitriolic, and times highly informative and eye-opening. Nevertheless, the two strains ultimately came together in the twentieth century, when all the great postmodernist thinkers, Derrida and Foucault included, were hardcore socialists at the same time.

If reason provides no access to reality, but is rather a mask for power, the critique of socialism ffom disabled. Aryeh Botwinick – – Temple University Press.

Leftist intellectuals during most of the twentieth century looked to socialism as a secular equivalent of salvation. A very lucid and devastating criticque of contemporary postmodernism. And it is for this reason that no experience can confute them. It gave room for the ideas of universities and hospitals to flourish and almost all of them were religious reasonably irrational institutions to start with.

The words do not even have to be true or consistent to do the necessary damage.

However, the main merit is that we get a master class in the use of the false dichotomy from both the postmodernists and the author himself. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in quite some time. If it were true, “then postmodernists would be adopting political positions across the spectrum, and that is simply not happening” p.