Tarnus's The Postmodern Mind: Meaning and Interpretation

Richard Tarnus's The Postmodern Mind is a philosophical as well as critical essay on the study of the postmodern mind. Before describing about the postmodern mind, the writer has discussed about the background for the emergence of the postmodern mind. He believes that each and every philosophical movement in the west has emerged because of the sacrifice of certain heroes.

Richard Tarnus (Born in 1950)

The sacrifice of sacred gave birth to Greek classical thinking, the trial and crucifixion of Christ gave birth to Christianity and because of the logical mind of Galileo, the modern science got birth. It is Nietzsche and his concept of nihilism gave birth to complex postmodern mind.

Nietzsche’s philosophical of nihilism suggested that the very centre of our existence is totally nihilistic or hollow because everything ends in nothingness. This concept of Zeroism has given bases for the emergence of post modernism and postmodern thinking. The postmodern mind is the complex human mind and postmodern thinking is the thinking of complexity. After the Second World War, human mind was complexly developed because of so many absurdities and so many emerging voices. Postmodern thinking is the complex thinking rejecting the modern thinking.

As a rejection over modernism post modern mind believes on decentralization, undesirability, uncertainty, ambiguity mystery and dilemma. It is against heroism and rather than dictating the single truth or reality, which is the monolithic claim of modernism, post modernism believes on the multiplicity and plurality of truth. Post modern mind is such flexible and liquid like thinking which gets probability everywhere but it does not go to certainty or finality of anything because it considers that all the truth values that are manmade are the human interpretations and non of the interpretation are final interpretation so there is no final truth. It considers that interpretations are ever coming and all interpretations are the attempts to achieve truth so truth is never one sided and opened. Therefore, post modernism is the state of confused human mind, which sees probability in everything but undecideability everywhere.

There are many doubts and questions regarding post modernism. It is asked whether post modernism is, a distinct trained or post modernism, itself is not a distinct trained itself like modernism or another philosophy. It also does not claim anything heroically but instead it is the awareness of the postmodern mind that single truth or single meaning is impossible because of the many emerging voices. In the very centre of postmodernism, there are the Radical perspectives of Kuninian philosophy. Similarly postmodern mind gives ears to all the voices of philosophical ideas such as existentialism, absurdism, deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, post structuralism, linguistic idea. Because of multiple voices given by such different philosophical, political, religious as well as linguistic movements, the concept of truth or reality has become very complex to declare. Everything has become probable and the concept of central meaning has been divested so in the post modernism the concept of single meaning has totally collapsed. Post modernism is also a great revolution and it is the suppressed voice speaking against the long dominated Euro centrism. The postmodern philosophers and thinkers say that the European white elites have dominated the non-Europeans and the non-whites since long. In the name of white skin, all the non-whites have been strongly exploited so the post modern mind revolt that there is bankruptcy in the white skin thinking. Against this Euro centrism, post modernism has revolted and suggested that new concepts and ideas should be reconstructed.

Finally, even though post modernism does not claim anything heroically it gives certain suggestion of us for being the postmodern thinker. First, it suggests that final truth or reality is impossible so we should take all the truth-values not as the final truth but as the product of interpretation. Truth, reality, or meaning is the matter of human interpretation so non-interpretation can be the final interpretation so there no final truth and no meaning is final meaning. Secondly, interpretations may come at any time because interpretations are never ending so it suggests us to make our mind flexible and liquid to accept any interpretation, Static; dogmatic or rigid mind cannot be the postmodern mind because postmodern mind accepts everything.