The Two-Fold Challenge of (Post)Modernity

The challenge of (post)modernity is two-fold:

  1. We have recognized that our observation of evidence and the rational thought processes we use to build coherent models of reality are shaped by language, but the language we use is contingent and relative. The language we use is shaped by the communities of which we are a part, which means that our very ability to reason is shaped and formed by our communities.
  2. The radical individualism that arose from the Enlightenment (which, again, was shaped by the language and culture of Europe in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries) has woven itself into the fabric of the way we all experience reality. This means that we think we are individually autonomous, able to personally, individually shape the way we view reality. We think we are not beholden to the communities of which we are a part.

So — our very ability to reason is shaped by social context, but we operate under the assumption that it isn’t. What could possibly go wrong in a situation like this?

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