Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power

The scientific validity of Marx’s theory is subject to a debate in the modern world but within his own construct Marx is scientifically consistent, and the theory holds true at all epochs in history just like science in Newton’s era.Marx theorized a world in which his very knowledge of people was based on scientific study of the economy as the base and social relations of production as the superstructure.

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Ultimately it is the interplay of language games which decides the dominant language game of an era.

Knowledge, therefore, is that language game which has faced odds against all language games and established itself.

In this regard, while the postmodernists like Lyotard and Foucault are critical about the science of metanarratives, modernists like Marx and Weber have left no stone unturned to establish the scientific nature of their theory.

Weber, however, realized that the rationality of the modern era was an “iron cage.” Through this essay, I shall argue how the views of the modernists and the postmodernists differ on the aspects of knowledge and power.

Power and knowledge are central to the life of most of the people in the contemporary world.

While hard power has been used to gain physical control over people or territories, knowledge has been used as an effective tool to coerce people with their own consent.Rather than being scientific, the theories of social science change as the language changes and are, therefore, not scientific according to Lyotard.Moving on from Lyotard, we shall go on to see how Foucault conceptualizes knowledge and power in a way very similar to Lyotard.Now, I shall make an exposition of what the postmodernists have to say on knowledge and power in order to justify my claims.Lyotard argues that modernity grounds science and knowledge in metanarratives which were seductively designed for social repression and political domination of the people.Rather than rooting knowledge on first principles, like in science, Foucault argues that there exists no external position of certainty which is beyond the realm of historicization of social conditions. Knowledge, for Foucault, is the key to power and manipulation in the postmodern world and not a mere subject to the command of rationality as in the era of modernity.Science, for Foucault, is the art of manipulation by which the subject of the study in the contemporary world is segregated from his/her self and objectified through the process of division and classification.Foucault’s work is characterized by suspicions of claims to universal truth.Foucault argues that it is the will to theorize utopias which leaves us in the dark most of the times.Moving on to Weber, we realize that Weber too was a believer in the scientific method and the rationality of the era of modernity.Given Weber’s conception of theorizing knowledge, one can, without doubt, locate him in the sphere of modernity.


Comments Essays Postmodernism Knowledge Power

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