Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, Vol 23, No 1 (2015)

Relativism and postmodern public space (Anybody can be the hundredth monkey

Thomas Hauer
Issued Date: 2 Nov 2015


The presented study deals with philosophical analysis of modern and postmodern notions of public space. The actual problem of relativism in European culture is a consequence of essentialism, the belief that the world, reality or universe, has some inner essence which cannot be grasped in the language. Text analyzes the two main themes. Firstly, the treatise attempts at an philosophical analysis of the category – public space. It points out the dissension between the traditional and postmodern definition of this conception and the consequences resulting from these different attitudes. As far as the methodology is concerned, the study is based on French postmodern philosopher J. F. Lyotard, presenting the postmodern approach as a greater contribution. In postmodern public area we can meet two basic types of dissentions, while only the first of them can be solved by further grow of specialization and the expertlike know.
The second part of the study discusses Richard Rorty's philosophy, influence of Rorty's ideas on solving some traditional philosophical topics, especially the question of relativism. Richard Rorty's untraditional, provocative and inspiring version of neo-pragmatism enables us to view all the theories created so far by human culture as a case with tools. Physics and astronomy can be seen as a way to cope with some aspects of the Universe, philosophy, religion or literature as ways that help us cope with other aspects of the reality. One form of research results in statements, another in images, mathematical equations or stories. The emphasis is put on the analysis of the influence of neo- pragmatism and continental postmodernism on Rorty's writings. The main motto of the article is the statement that if we take care of free and critical public space, the truth will take care of itself.

DOI: 10.1558/eph.v23i1.24408


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