ABSTRACT. "Postmodernism", like a host of other similar terms christened with the same prefix, such as "Post-Impressionism" and "Post-Expressionism", employs a reactive rhetorical device or strategy, betraying what I call a "naming anxiety". Postmodernism gets a bad press. It is attacked from all sides. Both the right and the left deny its reality or reinterpret postmodernism as an epiphenomenon - the cultural logic of late capitalism, or a kind of secondary narcissism, or a neoliberal "free trade" global capitalism such as that promoted by the World Trade Organization. Postmodernism is also appropriated for different purposes by those who examine a certain politics, aesethics, and epistemology. Many standard accounts of postmodernism take no notice of apocalyptic thinking - its different cultural expressions - or the importance of time, especially in relation to Being.


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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

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