If you’re a postmodernist, this post will probably seem absurd

The august Encyclopaedia Britannica, although I don’t know if its explanation really clears up much for me, defines postmodernism in part as a Western philosophy of the late 20th century “characterized by broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; [and] a general suspicion of reason.”

To me, the key phrase is “suspicion of reason.”

I think, therefore I’m mistaken

From what I think I get about postmodernists, they view nearly everything as contingent, or dependent for its meaning, on something else altogether that has somehow slipped our mind. The doctrine seems to hold that even the things we absolutely think we know — what comes to us via our senses, like pain and beauty — may be delusions in our minds whose meaning and reality is actually something entirely different than we realize.

They’re suspicious whenever someone says something unabashedly declarative, like, say, “Love is blind,” which probably should be questioned, of course, but to what greater purpose than its poetic meaning, I don’t know.

The few postmodernists I know tend to poo-poo science and characterize “facts” as social fabrications whose meanings in some way, like chameleon salamanders, are able to match the colors, so to speak, of the social and material environments human beings construct around themselves.

I’m not sure what to make of all that other than that postmodernists think we should all give the third degree to everything, even, perhaps especially, what we think we most undeniably know. Frankly, for me, it’s exhausting just to think about. I prefer accepting science’s long-established and retested objective theories involving gravity, for instance, and accept when I trip off a curb that gravity is what makes the situation suddenly perilous, not some secret, invisible, yet-to-be-named mystery force.

I’m not closed-minded; I’ll call it by its new name when someone discovers it, although I suspect it will be a scientist.

If it’s predictable, it’s true

I don’t wonder if scientists today might be slightly wrong about this or that regarding gravity or anything else, but instead I just embrace the idea that if something’s predictable and the predicted thing happens again and again, it’s almost certainly true, despite what purer, more definitive explanations might escape us at the moment. For now, gravity in the stodgy, empirical, scientific way works just fine for me. It doesn’t “pick my pockets or break my legs,” to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, who I’m certain would be a nonpostmodernist if he reincarnated today and popped up in the little Midwest prairie town where I reside.

I’ll leave the postmodernists to head off into the swampy weeds where the DOS properties of gravity heretofore unknown may reside, like black matter in human heads, to perhaps further figure it out.