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. This will better enable us to think about how to advance Objectivism in contemporary academic culture.”

Guidelines for Writing

Introduction: Defining Postmodernism

1. Martin Heidegger, "What is Metaphysics?"

2. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction
Trans. Robert Hurley (Vintage/Random, 1980). See Part One, "We 'Other Victorians,'" pp. 3-13, and Part Four, Chapters 1-3, pp. 81-114.

3. Jacques Derrida, "Cogito and the History of Madness" and "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"
See Chapters 2 and 10, Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (University of Chicago Press, 1978), pp. 31-63 and 278-293.

4. Richard Rorty, "Solidarity or Objectivity?" and "The Contingency of Language"
See pp. 21-34, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (Cambridge University Press, 1991), and pp. 3-9, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, (Cambridge University Press, 1989).


Fall 1999 Participants:

Melinda Ammann                             
William Dale                                      
Roger Donway                                
Stephen Hicks (Scholar-in-Residence)    
Shawn Klein                                      
Jamie Mellway                               
Eyal Mozes                                      
David Potts                                      
David Ross                                    
Bryan Register                                  
Will Thomas (Moderator)               
Will Wilkinson                              
Jason Walker                                   
Michael Young                                

In addition, the following faculty members are lurking on the list and may post from time to time:

Susanna Fessler (literature)
David Kelley (philosophy) 
Jim Lennox (philosophy) 
Ken Livingston (psychology) 
Rick Minto (philosophy)
Kirsti Minsaas (literature)
Susan Dawn Wake (philosophy)

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