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Sociologija  2002 

Postmodernism and the end of anthropology

DOI: 10.2298/soc0204343s

Keywords: postmodernism , paradigmatic changes , consumer culture and politics , critique of representation , legitimation crisis , conceptual/linguistic turn in human sciences , critique of anthropocentrism as discursive field of metaphysics , doxa , phronesi

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The notion of postmodernism concerns changes in culture, social and economic relationships and ways of thinking related to post-industrial society and information epoch. The main feature of the changes in the sphere of thinking concerns supremacy of signs over reality, that is, over objects which thinking refers to as a field of true experience. Autonomy of signs (symbolic communities, social and cultural practices aimed at construction of reality, domination of technology and engineering in all sectors of life, cult of desire in regard to consumer culture) makes necessary rethinking over basic categories (man, evolution, progress, nature, culture, tradition, sex), with the purpose to criticize their metaphysical discursive background and to point to political aspects of such thinking. The standpoint from which the critique of anthropocentrism opens new and more human horizons in social thought today is questioned in the article. The author argues that 'anthropocentrism', as ethical and responsible attitude, based on connection between praxis, phronesis and doxa, is actually prerequisite to deconstruction of power discourse today.


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