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On the Future of HistoryThe Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath$
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Ernst Breisach

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226072791

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.001.0001

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Concluding Observations

Concluding Observations

Chapter:
(p.191) Part 5 Concluding Observations (p.192)
Source:
On the Future of History
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.003.0021

Postmodernism has proved to be neither a fad (although a measure of faddishness has marked it) nor a product of an overheated intellectual fashion industry. But neither has it turned out to be what postmodernists have expected it to be: the ultimate answer to life in general and historical understanding in particular. The postmodernist challenge's significant impact cannot be properly understood unless one focused attention on the postmodernist stipulation of a sharp break between modernity and postmodernity and of the need for a radical change in the human condition connected with it. For bringing that about, postmodernists had recourse to the reinterpretation of the role of time. Postmodernist theories became a serious challenge when they rejected the contention that the existentially important simultaneous presence of the two temporal experiences constituted an unalterable part of human life. These theories maintained that the exclusive dominance of either change or continuity was not only possible but was the necessary condition for a posthistoric postmodernity.

Keywords:   postmodernism, postmodernity, posthistoric postmodernity, historical understanding, human condition, temporal experiences

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