From Modernity to Postmodernity: A Historical Discourse on Western Civilization

Yazdani, Naveed; Murad, Hasan S.; Abbas, Rana Zamin
June 2011
International Journal of Business & Social Science;2011, Vol. 2 Issue 11, p249
Academic Journal
This paper traces the historical discourse of Western Civilization from the period of Modernity to Postmodernity. Major political, social, moral, and scientific shifts occurred in the Western Civilization during Modernity because of the maturation of underpinning utilitarian and materialistic ethics. Postmodernity is a critique on the ideologies of modernity. The identifiable difference between the two lies in the nature of discourse. The discourse of modernity rests on the transcendent criteria such as 'progress' and 'reason'. Postmodern discourse, on the other hand, analyzes social life in terms of paradox and indeterminacy and rejects all metanarratives and overarching guiding principles, religion, science, objectivity, rationality and the notion of truth. Yet the two are closely related and complement each other by sharing a deep commitment and affinity to empiricism, concrete forms and reductionism.


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