I have half a Baccalaureate in Philosophy. But since it’s a joint degree, there were low breadth requirements. So I know my Aristotle, Berkeley and Carnap, but not a whole lot about continental philosophy.
Since graduation, I’ve been trying to fill in those blanks. I don’t feel that I have the interest nor the time build a foundation of orthodox modernism* and modernist critical theory, and then apply the dialectic method to learn postmodernism from that, so I read postmodern stuff without the prerequisites.
I’m particularly interested in postmodern identity theory. It has been said that late modern and postmodern philosophy is all “footnotes to Kant“. It turns out that Kant laid the foundation for what I consider postmodern identity:
Kant says that things have a phenomenal nature, which you can perceive, and a noumenal nature that is unknowable. Your noumenal self is basically your “soul” or core self, but you can only perceive your phenomenal self, which is socially constructed. Morality rests on the rational free will of noumenal selves.
But Nietzsche says that noumenal things are a meaningless fiction: since they have no properties, the world can be entirely explained in terms of phenomenal things. So we are all just bundles of constructed identities and moral relativism is king.