Sunday, October 02, 2016

Everyone Has a Grand Narrative





Postmodern theorists such as Jean Francois Lyotard reject the idea of Master Narratives, or Grand Narratives (metanarratives). 

Philosopher Charles Taylor says, on the other hand, that "people always tend to understand themselves in terms of some big-scale narrative. The only remedy for a bad Master Narrative is a better Master Narrative." (And not, as postmodern philosophers think, scrapping them as, as if one could.)

This relates to my instinct that today's college students have this deep, metaphysical impulse and even longing. This can only be satisfied by a Grand Narrative.

Everyone has a mostly prethematized Grand Narrative.

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Here's an explicative quote from Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge:

Modernity is "any science that legitimates itself with reference to a metadiscourse of this kind [i.e., philosophy] making an explicit appeal to some grand narrative, such as the dialectics of Spirit, the hermeneutics of meaning, the emancipation of the rational or working subject, or the creation of wealth." 

Postmodernism, in turn, is ". . .incredulity toward metanarratives."