Two Examples of Postmodernism
Postmodernism Lens

According to the definition of the postmodernism lens, the viewpoints and ideas change socially and culturally. The definition Wikipedia gives on postmodernism states: it involves the belief that many, if not all, apparent realities are only social constructs, as they are subject to change inherent to time and place. In the article "All about Philosophy" the meaning of postmodernism appears to be a personal mindset more than an organized movement. The reading “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf, supports this change of viewpoints and or ideas and can be seen throughout using the postmodernism lens. Wolf explains in “The Beauty Myth” how our ideas and beliefs about what “beauty” is have continuously changed throughout history. Depending on the era, the social situation, or gender the thought of what is considered beautiful changes and evolves. A postmodernist would share this view and agree that as our culture and social constructs change, so will our views on what we think about “beauty”. As we look at the television and magazine ads today, you see the already “beautiful’ or “fit” people advertising the very products that are supposed to make you look like them. Viewing these ads using the postmodernism lens, one could say that as our culture and society has changed; so have the ads for example, what use to be the “coke-bottle” figure or the “hourglass” shaped women has changed culturally into the “muscle-cut” and almost manly toned figure that society now believes as “beauty” for a woman. Using the postmodernism lens for “The Beauty Myth” and our ads on TV and magazines today, one can say that it is these changes within our culture and society that make many industries rich and productive today.

Links and Readings
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Eng. 252: For Columbus State Community College. E-Book. New York, NY: Pearson 2010


—Charles Sanders Pierce (10 Sept, 1839-19 Apr, 1914)
Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied chemistry and worked as a scientist for three decades. He is best known for his ideas in logic, math, science, semiotics, philosophy and logic. Although he is best recognized as being the founder of pragmatism, his mentality and all of his ideas were fast pace moving and his innovation brought him to discoveries way ahead of his time. For example in the late 80's he made the discovery that logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits, this later was used to create digital computers. For some time he worked as a professor of logic at Johns Hopkins University and there he met a lot of contributors that he later worked with on projects.
Notable Works:
Here are links to some of Pierce's academic papers published in prestigious American scientific and scholarly journals.
American Journal Of Mathematics
The Monist
Harvard Lecture 1, Spring 1865
History of Mathematics

—William James (11 Jan, 1842-26 Aug 1910)
Born and raised in New York City, James grew up in a wealthy family and from an early age was introduced to the world of theology by his father. His family is well known for their pioneering work and brilliance. Although he studied to be a doctor, his main focus was on psychology and philosophy. His career was mainly based at Harvard; He dabbled in various subjects being an instructor in physiology, anatomy, psychology, and philosophy. James was part of The Metaphysical Clun in 1872 which included some of the most important scholars of his time such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Peirce and Chauncey Wright.
Notable Works:
Here are links to some of James' writings.
The Principles of Psychology
The Will To Believe
Essays in Radical Empiricism
The Varieties of Religious Experience

—Alfred North Whitehead (15 Feb, 1861-30 Dec, 1947)
Originally being an English mathematician, Whitehead later became a philosopher dabbling in math as well. He wrote many works and some included knowledge on metaphysics, philosophy of science, logic, algebra, and the foundations of mathematics. Many of his ideas centered on the history of ideas and the role of mathematics and science in the upbringing of Western civilization. Part of his career was spent teaching at the University of Edinburgh. In his latest work, Whitehead expanded his views on truth, art, adventure, beauty and peace. This quote was taken from his work "Adventures of Ideas": "there are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil." (Whitehead 1933)
Noteable Works:
Here are some of Whitehead's most famous works:
Process and Reality: An Essay on Cosmology Part V
Principia Mathematica
Religion In The Making
Symbolism: It's Meaning and Effect
The Function of Reason

Overview and History


The history of Postmodernism has been viewed as a way for historians to take charge and pay more of an importance to addressing the ideas, cultural influences in beliefs that will provide a more intense effort of outlining the work we have in literary terms. It infancies individual modesty and to put it back into the history to free ourselves from the images what lastly produced a way to study societies approaches, and also determine the connection/interaction between social and economic factors. A statement recognized that the idea of Postmodernism states, “truth is always relative to a particular society or culture or group in society” (Evans, Richard). Postmodernism first became know for the art and architecture during the nineteen fifties then later recognized during the nineteen eighties was literature, but used during the beginning of the early eighteen seventies. Postmodernism consists more that the different logics of truth. Postmodernist’s say, “the very notion of "truth" is up for grabs" ( It has followed the Modernism theory to also introduced specific steps to distinguish the approaches of knowing. It depends not only on one attempt of logic but also obtains different ways too. It includes: “the premodern ways (revelation) and modern ways (science & reason), along with many other ways of knowing such as intuition, relational, and spiritual” ( Postmodern attempts to decline prior authority approaches and power because it is considered untrusting and with a less hierarchical approach which will allow more diffusion among society.

Link about the history and assumptions regarding it:
Postmodernism and History by Richard J. Evans

Here are some assumptions some have mentioned about Postmodernism:
-French sociologist Jean-François Lyotard : “incredulity toward metanarratives, a metanarrative being a comprehensive account of the nature of reality, similar to the concept of a worldview.”
-we are no longer able to say with any confidence that there is one true account of reality.