Postmodernism: Philosophical Aspects

Paul Patton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Postmodernism is an unstable concept because of the complex ways in which it overlaps with other concepts such as postmodernity, poststructuralism, and pragmatism. It may be identified by reference to an open-ended list of themes, including a preference for plurality, difference, and identity over unity, universality, and identity. Postmodernism also privileges a nonreferential conception of signs and images as simulacra rather than representations, although no less real in their effects. It also seeks to account for the possibility of criticism and to maintain commitments to freedom and progress, however redefined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioural Sciences
EditorsJames D. Wright
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Criticism
  • Difference
  • Differend
  • Différance
  • Grand narrative
  • Modernism
  • Modernity
  • Multiplicity
  • Postmodernity
  • Poststructuralism
  • Pragmatism
  • Representation
  • Simulacra
  • Truth


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