Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power

Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power-45
Rather than rooting knowledge on first principles, like in science, Foucault argues that there exists no external position of certainty which is beyond the realm of historicization of social conditions. Knowledge, for Foucault, is the key to power and manipulation in the postmodern world and not a mere subject to the command of rationality as in the era of modernity.Science, for Foucault, is the art of manipulation by which the subject of the study in the contemporary world is segregated from his/her self and objectified through the process of division and classification.

Rather than rooting knowledge on first principles, like in science, Foucault argues that there exists no external position of certainty which is beyond the realm of historicization of social conditions. Knowledge, for Foucault, is the key to power and manipulation in the postmodern world and not a mere subject to the command of rationality as in the era of modernity.Science, for Foucault, is the art of manipulation by which the subject of the study in the contemporary world is segregated from his/her self and objectified through the process of division and classification.

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The knowledge in the postmodern world is based on perspectives and is incomplete.

However, such knowledge is grounded in multiplicity and any attempt to singularize the causes of a factor, as in metanarratives, would bring down the credibility of knowledge.

In the process, this essay shall bring out what various postmodernists thinkers have to say on the idea of knowledge and power, and compare the same with the rationalist, scientific thinking of thinkers like Weber and Marx of the modern era.

In the debate, I locate Marx and Weber in the realm of science and Lyotard and Foucault on the side of anti-science.

The scientific validity of Marx’s theory is subject to a debate in the modern world but within his own construct Marx is scientifically consistent, and the theory holds true at all epochs in history just like science in Newton’s era.

Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power

Marx theorized a world in which his very knowledge of people was based on scientific study of the economy as the base and social relations of production as the superstructure.On the one hand, Weber realized the problems with the rationality of the modern era but saw it as something unavoidable, while, on the other, the postmodernists reject the rationality of the modern era altogether but are celebratory about the same.From Marx who is on the cusp of modernity, we moved on to Weber who laid the foundation for those who laid the foundations of postmodernity.Lyotard celebrates pluralism in knowledge, which deepens his contempt for metanarratives which tend to generalize the diverse truths of life.Lyotard argues that the ability of a smaller language game is suppressed by the might of larger language game.Marx was a believer in science, and his works are based on a typically scientific understanding of the society.One can locate Marx’s idea of knowledge and power in the realm of science because he has categorically theorized the flow of power in the hands of proletariat and bourgeoisie and argued that the knowledge or culture of the bourgeoisie is the dominant knowledge of the era.Moving on to Weber, we realize that Weber too was a believer in the scientific method and the rationality of the era of modernity.Given Weber’s conception of theorizing knowledge, one can, without doubt, locate him in the sphere of modernity.Foucault’s work is characterized by suspicions of claims to universal truth.Foucault argues that it is the will to theorize utopias which leaves us in the dark most of the times.

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