Monday, November 23, 2015

A Bibliography of Critiques of Postmodernism

For those of you who want a good list of critical analyses and critiques of Postmodernism.

General Critiques
Dennett, Daniel. 1998. “Postmodernism and Truth,” Butterflies and Wheels

Detmer, David. 2003. Challenging Postmodernism: Philosophy and the Politics of Truth. Humanity Books, Amherst, N.Y.

Devaney, M. J. 1997. ‘Since at least Plato …’ and Other Postmodernist Myths. St. Martin’s Press, New York.

Ellis, John M. 1989. Against Deconstruction. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.

Gross, Paul R. and Norman Levitt. 1994. Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Koertge, Noretta. 1998. A House built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths about Science. Oxford University Press, New York.

McKinley, B. 2000. “Postmodernism certainly is not science, but could it be religion?,” CSAS Bulletin 36.1: 16–18.

Norris, Christopher. 1993. The Truth about Postmodernism. Blackwell, Oxford.
This defends deconstruction, but condemns Postmodernism.

Sokal, Alan and Jean Bricmont. 1998. Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. Picador, New York.

Conservative Critiques
Norris, Christopher. 1990. What’s Wrong with Postmodernism. Harvester Wheatsheaf, England.

Norris, Christopher. 1993. The Truth about Postmodernism. Blackwell, Oxford.

Scruton, R. 1993. Upon Nothing. University College of Swansea, Swansea.

Scruton, Roger. 1994. “Upon Nothing,” Philosophical Investigations 17.3: 481–506.

Windschuttle, Keith. 1994. The Killing of History: How a Discipline is being murdered by Literary Critics and Social Theorists. Macleay Press, Sydney.

Windschuttle, K. 1998. “Foucault as Historian,” in Robert Nola (ed.). Foucault. F. Cass, London and Portland, Or. 5–35.

Marxian criticisms
Callinicos, Alex. 1990. Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique. St. Martin’s Press, New York.

Eagleton, Terry. 1996. The Illusions of Postmodernism. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, Mass.

Libertarian Critiques
Hicks, Stephen R. C. 2004. Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Scholargy, New Berlin, Milwaukee.


  1. I've now gone through most of your previous posts on Postmodernism. All a very great read and I even went out to buy Alan Sokal's Fashionable Nonsense book which I'm going to read soon. I've easily learned way more about it here than going on YouTube, which I think is plagued with ignoramuses who don't know what they're talking about from many sides, and hearing people without this kind of understanding or knowledge try to talk about it or throw buzz words like "neo-progressive" around. I get what they are saying, but I don't think borrowing a term from the Heritage Foundation is gonna help in that situation. I much prefer regressive in that sense and I mean when Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins have used it.

    With that said, I also believe I have figured out where I exactly stand on the issue of the current state of left wing politics, at least in America. I reject political correctness, identity politics, the anti-free speech crowd, anything like that and am baffled by how there are those who do know something about neoliberalism and the harm it has caused but don't approach talking about it from this economic perspective that you and Mike Norman bring to the table. Even a year ago, without having as much awareness of those kind of individuals, I would have still called myself progressive on a lot of issues, but there's now this negative connotation associated with it, so I've distanced myself away from using it unfortunately.

    I still need to go through your Foucault posts though, but I will be starting to do that today and I might start reading Chomsky more since I thought he was very on point in the videos that you linked to. Once again, thank you for all the work you've put into your blog and going out of your way to painstakingly debunk dangerous ideas and ideologues too.

    1. Sokal's book is great. It is available under two titles but is the same book. Gross and Levitt is also good.

  2. We should ask Post modernist professors why they should have a job? If there are no objective truths than there is nothing they can teach, so we should just hire a random homeless person off the street to do their job at half the cost. All views are equally valid so they wouldn't mind their replacements right?

    1. haha... I have often wondered that myself.

      If you contend that there are no objective truths, it follows everything you say cannot be true.

      Therefore you have nothing of interest to say. One may as well hire a shambolic drunk who rants on the street corners.

    2. I have also, in similar fashion, why "anarcho-capitalists" like Hans-Hermann Hope have sought employment at public, i.e. state, universities while they hate the state.

  3. I have a little question for you LK. Do you believe that the 60's new left were influenced at some point by postmodernism?

  4. Fredric Jameson's "Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" is also very influential (Marxian category)