Rediscovering Values: Coming to Terms with Postmodernism

Rediscovering Values: Coming to Terms with Postmodernism

Rediscovering Values: Coming to Terms with Postmodernism

Rediscovering Values: Coming to Terms with Postmodernism

Synopsis

The author's primary purpose in this short book is to clearly define the nature of value and restore it to a central place in discussions of ethical and aesthetic problems. He begins the book with a broad cultural perspective on the issue of postmodernism in general, then takes a closer look at recent attempts to reduce values to evaluation, to deny their objectivity. The central chapter focuses on the question, "What Is Value?" after which Curtler discusses values in the fine arts and literature, concluding with the question of values in education.

Excerpt

We live in troubling times. But like Mrs. Jellyby, her head filled with notions of Borrioboola-Gha, we bluster effusively over trivia while all around us serious problems go unattended. "Conservatives" (who don't give a moment's thought to conservation) worry about the gross national product and interest rates, while "liberals" tinker with a broken social machine and busily add names to the list of society's victims. Environmentalists make impossible demands as their critics holler about "jobs" while downsizing. Nations that are able to do so stockpile nuclear weapons, while those that aren't try to find out how to join the fray; terrorists and political dissidents stand by to pick up the scraps. While we complain about maintaining our "quality of life," we can hear the politicians in the background dickering about where to put the growing tonnage of nuclear waste that we produce. Overhead the ozone thins while we cut down rain forests, plan a new golf course in Las Vegas, and take little note of our diminishing aquifers, global warming, and desertification. Human populations increase . . .

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