Steve Smith and postmodernism - Essay Example

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This paper analyzes how does Steve Smith defend postmodernism. It would be necessary to state the critiques of Østerud against postmodernism. Østerud’s criticism is summed by the statement that “Postmoderns retreat from basic norms of science and professional scholarship”…
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How does Steve Smith defend postmodernism?
To be able to answer how Steve Smith defend postmodernism, it would be necessary to state the critiques of Østerud against postmodernism. In sum, Østerud’s criticism is summed by the statement that “Postmoderns retreat from basic norms of science and professional scholarship” (Smith 330) and that it is anti-scientific, lacks rigor and negates human advancement. To these criticisms, Steven defended postmodernism by debunking Østerud argument against postmodernism point by point.
The first defense of Smith from Østerud is his criticism against Østerud terminology as too abstract that cannot even pinpoint in detail his positions but rather content himself with quotations from international relations literature. In sum, Smith is criticizing Østerud for lack of vagueness and lack of originality. The terminology which Østerud uses that are often borrowed from epistemological argument and perspective, are also lambasted by Smith to be foggy and fancy “talking about imprecise shortcuts” (331). Østerud penchant for usage of new terminologies as required in studying international relations is also debunked by Smith to be hardly unique to international relations. Even the deconstruction method and approach of Østerud criticism against postmodernism which is deconstruction is also lambasted by Smith to be faulty because it leads an infinite regression that undermines the research. He also negated the claim of Østerud that postmodernism is anti-unscientific is very simplistic and reject the notion put forth by Ostrud that “postmoderns are not rigorous” (332).
The biggest defense of Smith for postmodernism from the criticism of Østerud is his reiteration of the purpose of postmodernism to be closer to Enlightenment because it focuses on how to use knowledge to improve human condition which is the same as the aim of the enlightenment which is his direct refutation against Østerud’s criticism that postmodernist negates the advancement of knowledge. Read More
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