Postmodern journeys 06

Walk on  06

By Joseph Natoli

Translated by Springhero

      What is needed in the end is a jump from one paradigm to another, one social/cultural/personal lifeworld to another, one way of perceiving, knowing, and therefore producing the world to another. William Blake writes of such epistemological alterations that have ontological effects, of moving across paradigms, or what he calls ‘ visionary modes,” from one-fold to four-fold perceptions.


       I have no trouble with this ; as a postmodernist I first want to know what “ reality frame” someone is in, or some society, or how many reality frames does this culture now express, and so on. What reality am I dealing with here at this time and in this place? What are the special circumstances of “ being” in this world at this time? Into what are we here thrown, and how does this produce a state of throwness which we mistake for stable being, for the ineluctable conditions of human nature and existence.


        But only a person who already has made the jump perceives the necessity of making the jump, or, perceives where one is jumping to and from where. If you already believe that reason and all its foundational artifacts are transpersonal ( it’s the faculty by which humans communicate and get to know themselves and the world, although they possess it to varying degrees), and transcultural ( it travels even to cultures “ steeped in superstitions” and irrationalities), then it certainly is transparadigm( it works within whatever theoretical frame you construct).


       If you take Kuhn’s original notion that paradigms are not merely discursive, theoretical frames but cognitive/perceptual/affective frames that societies and cultures adopt at various times and then proceed to reality make and reality test within the parameters of those frames, and that, further, paradigms can follow each other in time but remain incommensurable, then the idea of a special faculty lying outside the influence of the paradigm becomes very moot.



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