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Caught Between This Age and the Next: Postmodernity, Narrative Knowledge, and the Search for a Coherent System of Ethics

Reeder, Nathan (2011)
Honors Thesis (72 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Kelleher, Paul
Committee Members: Hartle, Ann ; Ivey, Adriane
Research Fields: Literature, American; Philosophy
Keywords: Postmodern; Postmodernism; Postmodernity; Ethics; Foucault; Bauman; Narrative Paradigm; Narrative Knowledge; Watchmen
Program: College Honors Program, English
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/931b0

Abstract


Surveying various "postmodern" thinkers, this paper articulates similarities in various
approaches to postmodern ethics, examining issues involving identity, relationships, and
sociality. Attempting to explain the postmodern approach as an aesthetic approach to ethics, a
categorical confusion, this paper not only challenges the possibility of such a form of ethics, but
also, it asserts that postmodernity and modernity have similar aims. Concerning itself with a
theory on moral knowledge production, it also draws from Bruno Latour, arguing that all
knowledge can be categorized into various "narrative paradigms." This paper concludes with
Alan Moore's Watchmen, using the text as concrete background for the discussion of narrative
paradigms and arguing that biological survivalism is a necessary precondition of ethics.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………1-4

FOUNDATIONS OF POSTMODERNITY:
LYOTARD AND NIETZSCHE……………………………………………………………5-13

"THE DARKNESS OF MERE BEING:"
POSTMODERN ETHICS AND RESPONSE……………………………………………14-31

THE STATUS OF KNOWLEDGE AFTER
POSTMODERNITY………………………….33-48

"WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?"
A LOOK AT ETHICS AND NARRATIVE PARADIGMS WHEN
FACED WITH THE END OF THE WORLD……………………………………………49-63

BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………………………...…64-65


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