Transmodernism is a philosophical and cultural movement which was founded by Argentinian-Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussel. A critic of postmodernism, he instead refers to himself as a transmodernist and wrote a series of essays criticising the postmodern theory and advocating a transmodern way of thinking. Transmodernism is a development in thought following the periodisation of postmodernism; as a movement, it also develops from modernism, and, in turn, critiques modernity and postmodernity, viewing them as the end of modernism.
Basically, modernism describes a cultural movement that emerged in the decades prior to 1914. Embracing change and the present, modernism encompasses the works of artists, thinkers, writers and designers who rebelled against the traditions of the late nineteenth century, and confronted new economic, social and political aspects of the modern world.
The post-modernism, in turn, has been very controversial and difficult to define between experts, intellectuals and historians, composing item of intense debate.
In a broader sense, transmodernism can be used to describe attitudes, sometimes part of general culture, antagonistic to the critical theories generally associated with postmodernity such as relativism, nihilism, or anti-modernism, particularly with respect to opposition to rationalism, universalism, foundationalism or science.
It is also used to describe social changes that are considered to be compatible with traditional systems of ethics, religion and morals.
Transmodernism aims at a world in which technology has easy answers to all human dilemmas while invigorating the importance of traditional and humanistic values and can be characterized by the following propositions:
– The belief that all non-mathematical communication is constituted by cultural filters, myths, regional metaphors and political content.
– The statement that all meaning and non-mathematical experience can only be created by the individual and can not be objectified by any author or narrator.
– Rejection to a society dominated by the media, where originality is not only copies of what already existed.
– Emphasis on the complementarity of ratification / construction and rectification / deconstruction processes of mathematical entities.
– Globalization, a deeply pluralistic and interconnected cultural view of the world, in which the center of political power, communication and dominant intellectual production is virtual (subject to a coherent mathematical description).
– Acceptance of the evolution of mathematics as the only absolute and supreme meta-narrative that can be revealed to mankind, which can lead to the decline of international religious conflicts.
Transmodernism contains an internal contradiction that provides an ideological power: in attempting to achieve modern social values and liberal idealism, one must at the same time seek to control unwarranted repression and discord, thus allowing the development of ‘cybernetic solutions’, which lead to the integration of social control technologies and shared (non-restricted) information, ” totaling society “.
To be free in a transmodern society one should only be free enough to participate in the revision of mathematical constructs.
Transmodernism is influenced by a great deal of philosophical movements. Its emphasis on spirituality can be said to have been influenced by the many esoteric movements during the Renaissance. Transmodernism is also highly influenced by transcendentalism and idealises different figures from mid-19th century United States, most notably Ralph Waldo Emerson. Transmodernism also seems to be related to different aspects of Marxist philosophy, having much common ground with dissident Roman Catholic liberation theology.
Transmodernism’s philosophical views contain elements of both modernism and postmodernism; it has been heralded as “new modernism” and admires avant-garde styles. It bases much of its core beliefs on the Integral Theory, those of creating a synthesis of “pre-modern”, “modern” and “postmodern” realities.
In transmodernism, there is a place for both tradition and modernity, and it seeks as a movement to re-vitalise and modernise tradition rather than destroy or replace it. The honouring and reverence of antiquity and traditional lifestyles is very important in transmodernism, unlike modernism or postmodernism. Transmodernism criticises pessimism, nihilism, relativism and the counter-Enlightenment, yet embracing, all to a limited extent, optimism, absolutism, foundationalism and universalism. It has an analogical way of thinking, viewing things from the outside rather than the inside.
As a movement, transmodernism puts a strong emphasis on spirituality, alternative religions and transpersonal psychology. Unlike its postmodern counterpart, it disagrees with the secularisation of society, putting an emphasis on religion, and it criticises the rejection of worldviews as false or of no importance. Transmodernism places a strong emphasis on xenophily and globalism, promoting the importance of different cultures and cultural appreciation. It seeks for a worldview on cultural affairs, and is anti-Eurocentric and anti-imperialist.
Environmentalism, sustainability and ecology are important aspects of the transmodern theory; not only does transmodernism embrace environmental protection, yet it also stresses the importance of neighbourhood life, building communities as well as order and cleanliness. It accepts technological change, yet only when its aim is that of improving life or human conditions. Other prominent aspects of transmodernism are those of democracy and listening to the poor and suffering.
Transmodernism in addition takes strong stances on feminism, health care, family life and relationships, promoting the emancipation of women and female rights, yet also promoting several traditional moral and ethical family values; the importance of the family is particularly stressed.
Today, whilst transmodernism still remains a minor philosophical movement in comparison to postmodernism, and is relatively new to the Northern Hemisphere, it has a large set of leading figures and philosophers. Enrique Dussel, its founder, is indeed an important philosophical figure. Ken Wilber, the inventor of Integral Theory, argues from a transpersonal point of view, Paul Gilroy, a cultural theorist, has also “enthusiastically endorsed” transmodern thinking, and Ziauddin Sardar, an Islamic scholar, is a critic of postmodernism and in many cases adopts a transmodernist way of thinking.
Several essays and works arguing from a transmodernist point of view have been published throughout the years.
Relation with Technology and Artificial Intelligence
Exaggerated technology is something of the modern, not the postmodern. The technology seen as an end is limiting and it is there that we develop what we can call “pathology” associated with the tool.
The mythology that is created around technology – almost giving it its own existence – is cultivated as an irresponsible idolatry and feverishly reverberated in the media; technology already seen as a medium, simply multiplies the intelligence of man, because through interactivity, gives us access to other phenomenologies, other knowledge built collectively by the integration of intelligence and construction of a collective knowledge.
The moment we come to see technology not as an extension of our being, but as an instrument that enables the extension of our own being we are entering into a state of planetary connection, or, most probably, beyond the planetarium.
Source from Wikipedia