IN SEARCH OF THE CANONS OF KNOWLEDGE AND RATIONALITY AND THE POSTMODERNIST REVIEW OF THE TRADITIONAL TASK OF EPISTEMOLOGY
The position of this paper is that the postmodernist onslaught on traditional
epistemology does not stand rigorous questioning. It actually committed a
conceptual suicide. The task of traditional epistemology, represented in the
discussions of the modern period, is essentially to search for and discover those
fundamental general principles and procedures that could form a universal and
foundational theoretical framework for knowledge and rationality. This quest for
a single reference point was opposed by the postmodern thought as an impossible
venture, given the problem of justification. An alternative epistemological
programme was, therefore, presented by figures in the postmodern agenda. This
was marked by a rejection of homogeneity, universality and foundation, and the
preference for heterogeneity, plurality and difference. The postmodern agenda
presents an epistemology of chaos to philosophy, thereby falling short of the
Archimedean point of view as well as denying a universalist form of epistemology
in preference for yet another universalist epistemology. The paper adopts the
philosophical method of analysis, critical evaluation and reconstruction to bring
to the fore the very weaknesses of the postmodern agenda. At the heart of the paper
is the thesis that a viable epistemology for the contemporary human condition is a
holistic and integral universality.
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