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Commonplaces

Piquant excerpts lifted from Touchstone editors' own reading & listening.



Theory [the hyper-modernist intellectual movement active in the universities] holds that objective knowledge—that which is true for everyone, regardless of their identity—is unobtainable, because knowledge is always bound up with cultural values. This is the postmodern knowledge principle. For Theory, the knowledge that is currently most valued is intrinsically white and Western, and it interprets this as an injustice—no matter how reliably that knowledge was produced. This is the postmodern political principle. . . .

Throughout even the most recent applications of Theory, then, we see radical skepticism that knowledge can be objectively, universally, or neutrally true. This leads to a belief that rigor and completeness come not from good methodology, skepticism, and evidence, but from identity-based "standpoints" and multiple "ways of knowing." That such an approach doesn't tend to work is considered unimportant because it is deemed to be more just. That is, this belief proceeds from an ought that is not necessarily concerned about what is.

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
Critical Cynical Theories (Pickstone, 2020), 79.


Society Commonplaces #82 May/June 2021

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