After the election is over tomorrow, I’ll be returning to Yale for the next installment of my lecture series there for the William F. Buckley Program, this time on the provocative title, “Justice Without Hyphens: The Dead End of Post-Modernism.” Yup, I’m planning to throw down, Jordan Peterson-style. Here’s a sample from the lecture to whet your appetite:
It is not easy to get your hands around just what we mean when we use this commonplace phrase, “postmodern.” Don’t ask a postmodernist; as the old joke goes, what do you get when you cross a postmodernist with a Mafiosi? You get an offer you can’t understand!
The radical skepticism of critical theory should be contrasted with old-fashioned Socratic skepticism. Socratic skepticism begins with the famous axiom, “I know that I know nothing,” which is meant to indicate a complete openness to being, a quest that begins always with the question, “What is. . .” about everything.
Postmodern skepticism evinces the exact opposite: I know that nothing can be known. Few postmodern thinkers say this very directly or necessarily think this explicitly, but when you try to take in the layer upon layer of the complications critical theorists lay down in the path to understanding anything, it amounts to the same thing.
It has been fun to see a few Power Line readers from the New Haven area at past appearances, and if you’re not in the area, do not despair! The Buckley Program posts videos of the lectures on YouTube, and I’ll also be rolling them out as Power Line podcasts down the road. And I’m planning on turning this lecture into an article or three, as I’m rolling out some new material (as musicians might say) with this one.
Lecture is in the same location as before, WLH 116 (100 Wall Street), at 4:30 pm Thursday.