Political Philosophy and Public Purpose

Postmodern Theory and Progressive Politics

Toward a New Humanism

Authors: de Zengotita, Thomas

  • Offers an intellectual history of postmodernist thought and its social and political legacies, clarifying some of the most notoriously difficult texts and overturning many commonly held misunderstandings
  • Shows how French theory conditioned the rise of “Identity Politics” in Anglophone settings
  • Emphasizes motive, mood, and biographical anecdote for nuanced and accessible portraits of major thinkers and the questions that motivated them 
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90689-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90688-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book explores the origins of the academic culture wars of the late 20th century and examines their lasting influence on the humanities and progressive politics.  It puts us in a position to ask this question: what to make now of those furious debates over postmodernism, multiculturalism, relativism, critical theory, deconstruction, post-structuralism, and all the rest? In an effort to arrive at a fair judgment on that question, the book reaches for an understanding of postmodern theorists by way of two genres they despised and hopes, for that very reason, to do them justice. It tells a story, and in the telling, advances two basic claims: first, that the phenomenological/hermeneutical tradition is the most suitable source of theory for a humanism that aspires to be universal; and, second, that the ethical and political aspect of the human condition is authentically accessible only through narrative. In conclusion, it argues that the postmodern moment was a necessary one, or will have been if we rise to the occasion and seize the opportunity it offers: a truly universal humanism might yet be realized even in—or perhaps especially in—this atavistic hour of parochial populism. 

About the authors

Thomas de Zengotita teaches at the Dalton School, USA, and New York University's Draper Interdisciplinary Master's Program, USA. He is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine. He holds a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University, USA.   

Reviews

“Blame for a ‘crisis of the humanities’ is often laid at the door of something called ‘postmodernism,’ usually by those who have little notion of the substance of European philosophy in the twentieth century. In this accessible and amiable book, Thomas de Zengotita provides an expert survey of seeds of a new humanism and a progressive agenda to be found precisely in traditions routinely attacked for burying both.” (Samuel Moyn, Professor of History and Law, Yale University, USA)

“In Postmodern Theory and Progressive Politics, Tom de Zengotita has given us a bold genealogy of the present intellectual moment. Using history as a search-lamp and a scalpel, he sheds new light on the ideas we hold to today, and seeks to remove them surgically from the old debates that impede their continued development. Revealing the forces that shaped postmodern theory in the twentieth century, Zengotita urges us to update it for the political challenges of our time.” (Edward Baring, Associate Professor of Modern European History, Drew University, USA)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Introduction: Phenomenology, Ideal Types, Narrative

    de Zengotita, Thomas

    Pages 1-8

  • The Situation of the Modern Subject

    de Zengotita, Thomas

    Pages 11-53

  • New Authorities, Works, and Disciplines

    de Zengotita, Thomas

    Pages 57-90

  • Phenomenology

    de Zengotita, Thomas

    Pages 91-100

  • The Linguistic Turn

    de Zengotita, Thomas

    Pages 101-112

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90689-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90688-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Postmodern Theory and Progressive Politics
Book Subtitle
Toward a New Humanism
Authors
Series Title
Political Philosophy and Public Purpose
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-90689-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-90689-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-90688-1
Series ISSN
2524-714X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 393
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour
Topics