Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power

Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power-44
The knowledge in the postmodern world is based on perspectives and is incomplete.

Moving on to Weber, we realize that Weber too was a believer in the scientific method and the rationality of the era of modernity.

Given Weber’s conception of theorizing knowledge, one can, without doubt, locate him in the sphere of modernity.

Moving further, we shall understand thinkers like Lyotard and Foucault who have written extensively on knowledge and power and have presented a vehement critique of the science and rationality of the era of modernity.

We have already located the postmodernists on the side on anti-science in the debate.

Rather than rooting knowledge on first principles, like in science, Foucault argues that there exists no external position of certainty which is beyond the realm of historicization of social conditions. Knowledge, for Foucault, is the key to power and manipulation in the postmodern world and not a mere subject to the command of rationality as in the era of modernity.

Science, for Foucault, is the art of manipulation by which the subject of the study in the contemporary world is segregated from his/her self and objectified through the process of division and classification.

Marx was a believer in science, and his works are based on a typically scientific understanding of the society.

One can locate Marx’s idea of knowledge and power in the realm of science because he has categorically theorized the flow of power in the hands of proletariat and bourgeoisie and argued that the knowledge or culture of the bourgeoisie is the dominant knowledge of the era.

Their fundamental disagreement is with the “metanarratives” of the modernity era, which have been used as a tool of political and social coercion.

They reject that the theories of modernity are continuous functions of society while arguing that radical breaks have been a characteristic feature of theories of modernity and, therefore, such theories are unscientific.

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