Postmodernism and the Tendency of Modern Relativism

Change Cannot Change

As modern relativism points, postmodernism regarding the tendency of thought from time to time is inextricably linked to human needs for improvement due to growing problems. During from continuing to evolve, culture yet adjusts to the past; it is, thus, unsurprising to see shifts in multiple contexts. Increasing concerns and needs, especially in scientific matters, rotate and evolve in tandem with the growing population. Giving birth to ideas and the ability to attain life in different ways, science, of course, is often changing from year to year or from centuries to centuries.

To clarify, human nature tends to be pleased with scientific findings. Firstly, there is one result and line of thought to create and retest the prior findings’ effects. Secondly, the emergence of postmodernism and the phenomenon of repetition cannot be distinguished from modernism’s life without denying knowledge’s absolute reality. For instance, objectivity denotes the lack of personal value, and Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and Jacques Derrida help form a modern perception. In essence, postmodernism is a continuation and correction of modernism to provide new scientific thought and solutions. To sum up the tends, postmodernism is inextricably linked to flaws and relevance to current events.

The Cause and Effect of Poststructuralism

People always find it challenging to start from where, how, like what, and in what way. In addition to the inception, defining the term postmodernism is like a tendency of pluralistic meaning where modern relativism is no mutual agreement. It could be that postmodernism is a reaction to modernism and a desire to understand the world, and it may also be a response to the failures of the Enlightenment and at the same time getting rid of the truth. However, desire then takes the place of intellectuality, while emotion replaces cause and effect. Certainly, morality is relative and social construction replaces reality and illusion.

According to the late 20th movement in art, architecture, and criticism, a continuation of modernism, postmodernism is a skeptical interpretation of culture, literature, art, philosophy, history, economics, architecture, fiction, and literary criticism. It is a deconstruction and labels about the significance of popularity at the same time as poststructuralism. On the other hand, postmodernism is neither a single idea nor a theory. However, it underlies various single intersection theories as a continuation of modernism. The continuation is also very diverse. Lyotard said that postmodernism is a complete break from the era of modernism. For Derrida, postmodernism is a new radical form in which it is “killed” because of various homogenizing theories’ difficulty. However, the essence of this post-era is to step one stage into a new era.

Introduction and History

In terms of etymology, postmodernism comes from English which means understanding of modern relativism tendency after postmodern. First appearing in 1930, Federico de Onís showed a reaction, in art scope, to modernism. In history, Arnold J. Toynbee mentioned it in his book entitled A Study of History in 1934. Developing in other fields, it brought criticism of modernism in its areas. However, suppose postmodernism refers more to the concept of thinking. In that case, it refers, in fact, to the situation and social order of information technology products, globalization, lifestyle fragmentation, excessive consumerism, deregulation of money markets, identity criticism, and the re-exploration of traditional traditions. In short, rationalism and secularism is at least an abstract sense of the depiction of this era.

Modernism has an all-advanced and progressive significance that promises to lead to a more established world in which needs are always fulfilled. Rationality contributes to confronting myths and unfounded traditional convictions that make the world halt. It has a dark side, on the other hand, that loses focus on human life. Enlightenment raises oppression and domination and gives birth to progress, according to Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse. It becomes increasingly worrying by applying force to solve disputes, the intense pressure to overcome the weak, social inequality, and social destruction.


From his philosophical thinking, Soren Kierkegash knows how postmodernism and the tendency of modern relativism emerge. Opposing reasonable and rational rebuilding determines the validity of scientific truth. When the consensus or the rules apply in the contemporary world, objectivity will always be true. The truth is subjective for Kierkegaard, which means that opinion stresses the importance of an individual experience and its relative nature. This phenomenon, apart from science, has also penetrated different fields of life and reacted to the modernism movement’s failure. Modernism developed with rational and materialistic signs. Technological developments also helped to create religious, moral disorientation as human dignity collapsed.

In contrast of deconstruction of paradigms in diverse scientific fields, postmodernism figures and thinkers presented a new idea known as postmodernism. It tries to correct or create a new paradigm and even build it. Postmodernism is the antithesis of modernism for Derrida and Lyotard. The dominance of modernism is virtually all terms in postmodernism. This birth has created a new name and changed traditional knowledge.


In his application to modern subjectivity, Friedrich Nietzsche applies a lineage of tendency and modern relativism to philosophical postmodernism. Michel Foucault finally applies this lineage to formative moments in the history of modernity with subjectivity within the scope of postmodern discourse. Foucault, in his essay Nietzsche, Genealogy, History, describes the genealogical method in the study of history against itself to seek an origin. Lineage studies accidents and the possibility of meeting at crucial moments, giving rise to new times, concepts, and institutions.

What is discovered on the surface of history is not the inviolable identity of their origin. It is a clash of other things and a difference. Foucault describes history as the origin and development of identical subjects, to modernity, as fiction created by modern discourse after the fact. The vision of modernity is temporality and is the coexistence of the elements of chance and continuity. Progressives, in short, mask discontinuities and interruptions at the natural succession points of history.

The typical doctrine of postmodernism forms a model of metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical relativism. On the other hand, postmodernists deny any objective reality that any statement about reality is objectively true or false. To know such an idea, man must know certain things for sure. Objective and absolute moral values must have the nature of reality, experience, and the building value of discourse. It means that modern scientific discourse, apart from internal proof standards, buys less truth than alternative perspectives, including astrology and magic. Postmodernists usually characterize the pinnacle of scientific evidence using reason and logic as enlightenment rationality.

The Relative View of Marxism

Discourse in any society reflects the interests and values, in general, of the dominant or elite group. Postmodernists disagree about the nature of the relationship, while some seem to support the philosophical dictatorship of Karl Marx. For Marx, the ideas that rule in every age are the ideas of the ruling class. Foucault maintains a relatively nuanced view that what is considered knowledge in a given era is always influenced, in a complex way, by considerations of power. Luce Irigaray, going further than Marx, argues that solid mechanics is more developed than fluid mechanics. It is also stressed because male-dominated physical institutions associate solidity and fluidity with the male and female sex organs. In modern linguistics, paternal authority over aspects related to mother and body are aspects of language related to one another.

Looking at postmodernism frontally does seem real, but it is much more complicated. Postmodernist thinkers should have to change back, restore, and refine back about the established theories by modernism’s mindset. Attempts to re-question ideas and reconstruct all the realities of today’s society, including diversity, as well as the facts of nature. Postmodernism is relative; complementary, postmodernism in terms of cultural reality has a discipline of anthropological sciences. No culture is the same and congruent with one another, for example, America and other countries culture. The cultural values are very diverse according to historical and geographic backgrounds.


It seems that cultural values according to postmodernism are relative. Territory, culture, language, and religion determine the values and customs of each. However, these things cannot be absolute because they must consider the existing situation and conditions. It is concluded that science for postmodernism is relative; no science is fundamental. Seeing a particular event when people want to judge it must be seen from all sides, not only focused on a specific side. Modern technology in transportation and communication has also made the era of pluralism and religion more appreciated and understood by many people. The existence of cultural, religious, family, racial and social pluralism is a reality. Tolerating a diversity of thoughts, civilizations, and cultures creates heterogeneity, not homogeneity.

Religion Practicism

The roots of the concept of postmodernity must be meticulous in a book written by Jürgen Habermas entitled The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. Likewise, Habermas declared a fundamental weakness in postmodernism, considered ahistorical as if it removes historical dimensions and horizons that led to postmodernism. Similarly, Ali Maksum, the chairman of the advisory council of Nahdlatul Ulama, has stated that criticism of aesthetics is not a factor in creating literature or theories, relatively masking sentimentality from society, disregarding the rules of world life and distinguishing between phänomens and practices. For postmodernist thinkers, these errors are a double loss. Nevertheless, they are, on the one hand, an essential source of normative standards development and the ultimate objective of working in social science.


Consequently, Jean-François Lyotard was the man who introduced postmodernism to philosophy and science in the 1970s. Moreover, he defines postmodernism as any criticism of universal knowledge, esoteric tradition, foundationalism, and modernism. Nevertheless, postmodernism is an idea movement that replaces the ideas of modern times. This phenomenon has spread to various life fields, including science, a reaction to the modernism movement in which critics of literature and philosophy have failed. Modernism developed with a sign of rationalism, materialism, and capitalism, supported by science and technology, resulting in the emergence of religious, moral disorientation, especially the collapse of human dignity.

The Discourse of Postmodernism

In contrast of dignity, postmodernism makes society sensitive to the possibility of extensive positive discourses, positive ethical principles being rotated and used to oppress humans. It has a positive aspect, namely openness to society’s diversity, tolerance, resistance to monopoly, dominant religions, and certain ideologies, to the benefit of democracy. After all, postmodernism’s weakness is that it promotes short narratives with a blind nature, does not differentiate between ideologies, and demands to get rid of big stories for small stories.

Critics of postmodernism have an emphatic flaw in distinguishing whether they are theoretical or literary. Habermas feels that the arguments of the postmodernists are laden with normative sentiments. In short, the characteristic of discourse postmodernism in science is to understand a modern phenomenon called knowledge. He questioned what knowledge is, originally and archeologically, in a sense, tracing how that knowledge has developed over the years. However, conceptual about madness, sexuality, human beings, and gender are usually natural, are the production sites of science.


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