This page features a collection of the best resources on postmodernism. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on postmodernism. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about it.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of postmodernism:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Postmodernism. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 11,000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces the idea of postmodernism:
“That postmodernism is indefinable is a truism. However, it can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, the trace, the simulacrum, and hyperreality to destabilize other concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress, epistemic certainty, and the univocity of meaning. . . .
The term “postmodern” came into the philosophical lexicon with the publication of Jean-François Lyotard’s La Condition Postmoderne in 1979 (in English: The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, 1984), where he employs Wittgenstein’s model of language games (see Wittgenstein 1953) and concepts taken from speech act theory to account for what he calls a transformation of the game rules for science, art, and literature since the end of the nineteenth century. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
- Postmodernism didn’t cause Trump. It explains him. [2000 words]
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on Postmodernism.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.