This short book contains a preface, eight essays, and fifty-nine pages of notes. Earlier versions of the preface and some of the essays have already been published elsewhere. The topic is the “contemporary intellectual controversy” between those who uphold a theory dubbed traditional or classical objectivism and those described variously as progressives, relativists, deconstructionists, constructivists, or postmodernists. (In order to save space I will usually call this group relativists or postmodernists).

Objectivism affirms the possibility of truth, reason, and knowledge in philosophy, science, and history. Postmodernism denies, in one way or another, either the existence or the possibility of truth, reason, and knowledge. The author, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, sides with the postmodernists, mainly, I think, because she believes they are in the swim; thus she states that those who support postmodernism include...


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