Postmodernism and the Crisis of Meaning: A Way Out?

Postmodern thought has made the search for meaning and identity more difficult. Many scholars have searched for an oasis on the other side of despair including French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. In this IAI video, philosophers and a sociologist discuss whether his metaphor of desire provides a way out of the postmodern dilemma.

LOGO_iai-black_40x373Finding meaning and identity in a postmodern world can be challenging even for philosophers. Postmodern thought cuts through traditional metaphysical and epistemological categories and invites us to embrace despair as the "new normal." Some thinkers have tried to find oases on the other side of despair in God, community, and living authentically. Others are turning inward and ask us to focus on aspects of our experience of human as a way through. In a recent debate for the Institute of Art and Ideas, scholars discuss whether the metaphor of desire as articulated by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze provides us with the necessary tools to ground meaning and identity. From their website: Postmodernism undermined the dream of a definitive account of reality. Yet we still need some way to make sense of ourselves and the world. Might the Deleuzean metaphor of desire provide a way forward? Can desire better account for what makes us human, or is this continental confusion? Philosopher Simon Blackburn, Deleuze scholar James Williams, and Cambridge sociologist Véronique Mottier work through these questions in this fascinating discussion. Check out the video below!

blog comments powered by Disqus