Allow me to say once again—everyone chooses a source of authority to understand or interpret the world and universe in which he or she lives. And again, there are a relatively small number of alternatives for people to choose from. Postmodernism is one of those sources of thought people adopt and use as a lens thorough which to interpret the world in which they live.

Postmodernism is a complex subject. So complicated, in fact, that it is said to be in a sort of constant flux and difficult for anyone to fully comprehend or nail down its core meanings (Sire, The Universe Next Door, p. 212). While postmodernism may be complex, its most prominent and obvious points are not difficult to articulate or understand.

Postmodernism continues to have remarkable influence on society, particularly on western culture. In fact, so pervasive and widespread is postmodern thought that James Sire says,“The effects of postmodern perspectives can be seen almost everywhere in Western culture” (Sire, The Universe Next Door, p. 231). Interestingly, many people in western societies, including America, are not even familiar with the term postmodernism, or at least have little knowledge of the matter. Yet the influence exerted by this philosophical view permeates throughout the whole of American society. One of the primary reasons for this wide-spread influence is due to the adaptation of postmodernist views by many of the most influential voices in America. These proponents include a good portion of higher academia, the national education system, the Hollywood industry, entertainment and social media outlets, the arts, to name only a few.

Postmodern thought also has tremendous pernicious effects on American and western thinking. James Sire summarizes this issue and says of postmodernism,

The horizon defining the limits of our world has been wiped away. The center holding us in place has vanished. Our age, which more and more is coming to be called postmodern, finds itself afloat in a pluralism of perspectives, a plethora of philosophical possibilities, but with no dominant notion of where to go or how to get there. A near future of cultural anarchy seems inevitable” (ibid, p. 212).

If Sire is correct, and we believe he is, it is imperative to understand postmodern thought in order to protect ourselves from the consequential influence postmodernism brings to those who ascribe to its views.

One word of caution and emphasis: It would be easy to think that this is simply a matter of philosophy and little more. Nothing could be further from the truth. Postmodernism directly influences everyone within American society and touches our everyday life and our most fundamental perspectives of living.

So, what is postmodernism? Let’s continue on to an explanation.

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