Periodicity, “Postmodernism”, and the Excesses of the New Realism

Justin E. H. Smith in his Substack Newsletter:

Shortly after September 11, 2001, Bruno Latour for example began to suspect the intellectual fashion to which he himself had contributed so much was at least in part responsible for creating a global environment in which “we each have our own truths”. This realization came for him when, returning to his native village in Bourgogne and speaking with the common people who work the Latour family vineyards, he learned that, for a good number of them, “their own truths” told them it was “the Jews” who brought down the Twin Towers. Other science-studies luminaries too, who had previously delighted in stoking the idea that science is but a discourse alongside others, came to realize that they shared at least some responsibility for a wide array of suspicious attempts to join the narrativity train, to spin the past according to taste, such as the Creation Science Museum of Petersburg, Kentucky, or the crypto-creationist Discovery Institute, both of which were, if run by reactionaries, nevertheless effective illustrations of the usefulness of postmodernism.

The reckoning with what “theory” had wrought was broad and various. Even the Catholic postmodernist philosopher Jean-Luc Marion felt compelled, in the preface to a later edition of his 1982 apophatic summa, God Without Being, to reply to critics who worried that he was tiptoeing right up to the brink of atheism. Don’t worry, he reassured them, notwithstanding the title of this book, God is.

More here.