Truth About the Truth: De-Confusing and Re-Constructing the Postmodern World.

Overview

Includes essays and excerpts from the works of prominent modern thinkers such as Umberto Eco, Jacques Derrida, and Isaiah Berlin among others.

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Overview

Includes essays and excerpts from the works of prominent modern thinkers such as Umberto Eco, Jacques Derrida, and Isaiah Berlin among others.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There is no longer one ``truth about the truth,'' observes freelance journalist Anderson (Reality Isn't What It Used to Be), who has compiled 33 previously published short pieces by postmodern pundits grappling with problems of belief, identity and society. In an engagingly skeptical, aphoristic voice (``look at the post modern world as a kind of jailbreak from the Grand Hotel''), Anderson provides continuity between sections as diverse as ``Symbols at Work and Play'' (which includes a relatively lucid passage from Jacques Derrida on ``the dubious relationship between a word and its referent'' and Stephen Katz's spoof on ``How to Speak and Write Postmodern'') and ``Science Without Scientism,'' featuring passages from Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend on the instability of scientific principles. Final chapters from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Vaclav Havel about necessary links between politics and faith suggest where Anderson's real sympathies lie. That Anderson has chosen some of the most accessible writings on postmodernism available is both a strength and a weakness. Academics may view this work as a remedial postmodern primer, while the larger audience for whom the volume seems intended may still be put off by considerable vocabulary barriers: a problem of readership that points up the continuing chasm between what's on the minds of academics versus those of more regular folk. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874778014
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: A New Consciousness Reader Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 808,736
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Walt Truett Anderson's previous books included Reality Isn't What it Used to Be, To Govern Evolution, Rethinking Liberalism, The Upstart Spring and Open Secrets. A longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a fellow of the Meridian Institute, an international network of Scholars and practitioners concerned with issues of governance, earning, leadership and the future. He writes regularly for the Pacific News Service and currently serves as president of the American division of the World Academy of Art and Science.

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Table of Contents

The Truth About Truth Introduction: What's Going On Here?
PART ONE. IN AND OUT OF THE GRAND HOTEL

Themes and Definitions
1. Steinar Kvale: Themes of Postmodernity
2. Charles Jencks: What Is Post-Modernism?
3. Umberto Eco: "I Love You Madly," He Said Self-consciously

The Construction of Reality
4. Ernest Becker: The Fragile Fiction
5. Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann: The Dehumanized World
6. Michel Foucault: Strategies of Power

Three Useful Inventions
7. Isaiah Berlin: The Idea of Pluralism
8. Roy Wagner: The Idea of Culture
9. Werner Sollors: The Idea of Ethnicity

PART TWO. ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR

Symbols at Work and Play
10. Richard Shweder: Santa Claus on the Cross
11. Jean Baudrillard: The Map Precedes the Territory
12. Ernest Sternberg: The Economy of Icons
13. Jacques Derrida: The Play of Substitution
14. Stephen Katz: How to Speak and Write Postmodern

Different Kinds of Difference
15. James Davison Hunter: The Orthodox and the Progressive
16. Richard Rorty: Ironists and Metaphysicians
17. Pauline Marie Rosenau: Affirmatives and Skeptics
18. Walter Truett Anderson: Four Different Ways to Be Absolutely Right
19. bell hooks: Postmodern Blackness

PART THREE. SELF, SEX AND SANITY

The Pluralistic Person, The Disappearing Self
20. Robert Jay Lifton: The Protean Style
21. Kenneth J. Gergen: The Healthy, Happy Human Being Wears Many Masks
22. Connie Zweig: The Death of the Self in the Postmodern World

Sex and Gender
23. Maureen O'Hara: Constructing Emancipatory Realities
24. William Simon: The Postmodernization of Sex and Gender

Reconstructing Psychology
25. Stanley Krippner and Michael Winkler: Studying Consciousness in the Postmodern Age
26. Maureen O'Hara and Walter Truett Anderson: Psychotherapy's Own Identity Crisis

PART FOUR. FAITH AND FREEDOM

Science without Scientism
27. Howard Gardner: Gifted Worldmakers
28. Thomas Kuhn: Scientists and Their Worldviews
29. Paul Feyerabend: Anything Goes

Religion in the Age of Disbelief
30. Huston Smith: Postmodernism and the World's Religions
31. Martin Marty: Religio-Secular Society
32. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: The Opening of the American Mind
33. Vaclav Havel: The Search for Meaning in a Global Civilization

Epilogue: The End and Beginning of Enlightenment
Notes
Contributors

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