If postmodernism is now officially dead, where is philosophy and the arts today?

It has been said that the Financial Crisis of 2008 and 911 Terrorist Attack were the final two nails in the coffin of post-war postmodernism. If that is accepted as true, then what are the cutting-edge ideas which show most promise of where philosophy and the arts are headed in the new millennium?

I’d say that post-modernism is still alive and kicking. But regardless, I don’t think the direction of “philosophy and the arts” can be summarized today, in the same way that it might have been in previous generations. The arts, in particular, are too splintered. One still has elite Parisian gallery owners who believe that a pile of lead pipes covered in cheese is ‘art’, but meanwhile there are millions of people who don’t care and would rather buy a pleasant landscape.

But wasn’t that always the case. Is the modern-day elitist Parisian/London/New York gallery owner who blindly accepts such self-indulgences as gold, and lords these extravagances before only a handful of appreciative patrons, under the flashbulbs of the snickering international press any different today than what it was 50-75 years ago?

No one is required to like and appreciate lead pipe modern art installations over more classic/popular art forms, regardless of what some art gallery owner thinks. That’s the thing about art. Its subjectivity of taste.

I’m struggling to see the links between art, 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. What connects terrorists and banking as influencial events on the art world, in general or particular? What are we debating?

I hereby decree that pomo is over. The intellectual/cultural/artistic period in which we are now living shall be designated “cyberzoic.” It sounds cool and scientific and it’s got “cyber” in it.

The connection is that people and governments stopped buying art work because several scares over the economy caused the patrons of art to be more stingy. Less money = less artists, so fewer artist means less selection, which, of course, means “ZOMG DYING!”

The problem is that this has happened everywhere. Consumer electronics, for the most part (iPhone/Galaxy/Nexus as fairly large bright spot outliers), have suffered horribly. Is it dead in a ditch? No. Has it completely changed because consumers have spent a lot less money than in the past? Heck yes.

Once the economy is riding the next bubble for ten years, I’m sure we’ll have all kinds of PoMo rolling around, plus whatever else is considered chic at the time.

Said by whom?

Analytical philosophy, which forms (by far) the mainstream of philosophy in the English speaking world (and is, so I hear, increasingly influential elsewhere too), has never had much time for postmodernism.

The “weak” postmodernist idea has some value to it. Yes, much of what we think is shaped by our culture, and, yes, it is a worthwhile thought experiment to try to break through out cultural conditioning. It’s a way of examining our premises, pretty much always a good idea.

The “strong” postmodernist idea – that there is no such thing as meaning – loses value by dint of its own exaggeration. Of course there is meaning. Communication isn’t perfect, but it is attainable.

Lots of ideas are good in modest forms that, taken too far, become oppressive.

I prefer “pre-apocalyptic.”

“There is no such thing as meaning” is a gross oversimplification of postmodern/poststructural thought. Most philosophers in that vain believe meaning is historically contingent - bound in the symbolic order by which signification is established. In other words, it is not universal and is culturally specific.

That’s the weak version, which has some value. The strong version, put forward by some, is that all “meaning” is connotative and can never be complete. This is not quite the same as “There is no such thing as meaning” but I was trying to keep the post from getting too long.

I also wish I could provide you a cite, but I don’t have one. I have actually heard people declare, seriously, that “communication” as we normally define it is impossible. One writer said that the only “real communication” between humans is glandular.

:dubious: Has anyone eve not believed that? (Well, anyone since the Renaissance, apart, maybe, from Jerry Fodor with his innate semantics for mentalese.)

When I went to Wikipedia I found this list of entires:

The OP smooshes together two disciplines that use wildly differing interpretations of the word, makes an untested assumption of its vitality, asks about what effect something irrelevant has had on it, and jumps off into the unknown.

I’m tempted to call that a living example of postmodernism, but in fact it’s closer to one of those threads in which someone insists that relativity is wrong.

Historically these shifts of thinking in philosophies of art and criticism actually have initiated from within the sciences, but typically have taken up to half a century to make their way across the disciplines. If this pattern continues, we might expect to see chaos theory take on a more expansive cultural influence.

That’s because most pomo thought is the “weak” version he cited. But not all.

To answer the OP’s question, in the parts of academia that I have contact with, the hotness right now is material culture and object-oriented ontology. The focus is on things considered apart from the uses to which humans put them. For example, that could mean studying a manuscript as a physical object with a history, rather than just a text that you can read.

No, no, that would spoil the surprise.

I like to think of the the start of the arts today as faux-art, or fart for short.