- The variety of postmodernism defined by its reaction against structuralism in France, and associated with writers such as Derrida, Foucault, and Kristeva . Whilst deriving from Saussure the view that words mean what they do through their relations with each other rather than through their relationship to an extra-linguistic reality, post-structuralism adds an interest in their origins in relationships of power, or in the unconscious. However, it does not share the structuralist view that the unconscious, or the forms of society, will themselves obey structural laws, waiting to be discovered. Rather, it echoes Nietzsche's hostility to the reduction of human phenomena to lawlike generalizations, associating such views with the philosophical underpinnings of determinist systems such as Marxism, and instead celebrating the formless, or the subjective and spontaneous. Leaning heavily on the psychoanalytic dissolution of the self, it provides one manifestation of the sceptical stance of postmodernism, in particular by refusing any concepts of objectivity, reality, and truth.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.