Postmodernism – and so-called “Grand Theory” – is dead as disco…

Pomo and "Theory" is dead.

Pomo and “Theory” is dead. (Like a zombie.)

An amusing cartoon to begin:

So we’re now all living in, what’s being called the `post-truth’ era. The era where a guy like Donald Trump is the actual PRESIDENT of the actual United States.


So (apparently): The Truth don’t matter…?

Science don’t matter.

And, “climate-change is a left-wing hoax”, (or a Chinese one according to Trump.)

…and psychopathic lies and nonsense is all good, etc.

The age of lies! The age of misbeliefs. The age of: stupid.

Trump Considering Creationist Jerry Falwell Jr. For Position In Department Of Education

So: Continental Philosophy, and Postmodernism is what killed the USA.

It gave the world `PRESIDENT Donald Trump’.

(That title – with that name near it – still sounds utterly ridiculous.)

So back to reality:

Postmodernism is now dead.

So is so-called “Grand Theory”.

They don’t solve any important problems.

They create a lot. (Like say, Trump.)

Consilience is in. It solves problems.

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (E O Wilson 1998)

And, all creativity is problem-solving.

Creativity. It's not what you think!

Creativity. It’s not what you think!

Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett demolished `Postmodernism’ in 1998. See this lecture:

`Postmodernism and Truth’, World Congress of Philosophy (Dennett 1998).

and for many more resources, see:

`Postmodernism and all that‘, Critical Thinking on the web (2007, online).

(Also, from the same site, here is a list of Great Critical Thinkers… By the way, I am not so sure about David Stove, as he gets a lot of this totally wrong, mainly by taking, and/or citing things out of context, sometimes using incorrect assumptions, or interpreting phrases in the wrong way – but, at the same time, this is pretty funny.)

Here is a great Edge conversation – on human nature – with Darwinian evolutionary (feminist) philosopher, Helena Cronin. Here’s an excerpt:

EDGE: How do you deal with relativism?

CRONIN: Post-modernism and its stable-mates — they’re obviously all complete balderdash, not to be taken seriously intellectually.

But as a social scourge they have to be taken very seriously. Apart from the sciences, which have built-in immunity, they’ve taken a frightening hold on academia — on people who are influential and who are teaching future generations of influential people.

It’s the resulting attitudes to science that I most deplore — the view that there are no universal standards by which to judge truth or falsity or even logical validity; that science doesn’t make progress; that there’s nothing distinctive about scientific knowledge; and so on.

One of the reasons why so much logic-free, fact-free, statistics-free criticism of Darwinism has been able to find an audience is this attitude that science is just another view so I’m free to adopt my view, any view.

EDGE: There’s a lot of scientists and science writers out there communicating with the public and there’s no central canon of science. When you use the word science in public discourse aren’t you trying to beat somebody over the head?

CRONIN: No, absolutely not. First, there is a central canon — a very robust one. The disagreements — especially those that attract public attention — are rarely to do with core theories. They’re usually about the elaboration of those theories — healthy disagreements about a core that’s fundamentally agreed on.

But second, and more important, the canon of science, what gives it authority, is above all its method. So, when scientists have those disagreements, there are objective ways of deciding between them. Theories must be testable and then must pass the tests.

On a day-to-day basis things won’t always be clear-cut; it’s not an instant process. Neither, of course, is it infallible. But it’s by far the best we’ve got and it’s done a breath-takingly impressive job so far. As for “trying to beat somebody over the head” … It’s not individual scientists being authoritarian. It’s science being an authority — and rightly so because it is indeed authoritative.

So, once people understand that there’s a vast distinction between science and non-science, and the distinction lies in scientific method, they’ll understand the status of current disagreements and how to assess them.

(Cronin, 2000, online, bold emphasis mine)

More recently, various consilient scholars who adopt the evolutionary slant have – quite convincingly – also successfully criticized (and demolished) critical “Theory” and Continental Philosophy approaches, including: Marxism, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstructionism, semiotics, and many other schools of thought like them (see: Carroll 2004, pp. 29-39), (Gottschall 2008a, pp. 17-41), (Boyd 2009, p. 2), (Boyd, Carroll & Gottschall 2010, pp. 1-20), (Carroll et al. 2012, pp. 2-8), (Pinker 2002, pp. 415-7), and (Martindale 1990, pp. 2-3).

And many more… For example: Boyd, B. (2006). Theory is Dead – Like a Zombie. Philosophy and Literature, 30, 289-298.

As Gottschall (2008) rightly notes, perhaps one of the strongest (and most accurate and incisive) criticisms among these, comes from the brilliant evocriticism scholar, Joseph Carroll, in Evolution and Literary Theory (1995): (And – 1995 wasn’t exactly yesterday. It was: 20 years ago. But, who’s counting…? Rhetorical Answer: I am).

Carroll (1995) rightly notes:

`A very large proportion of the work in critical theory that has been done in the past twenty years will prove to be not merely obsolete but essentially void.

It cannot be regarded as an earlier phase of a developing discipline, with all of the honor due to antecedents and ancestors

It is essentially a wrong turn, a misconceived enterprise, a repository of delusions and wasted efforts.’

(Carroll 1995, p. 468)

Commercially-minded films usually stink

Postmodernism – and Grand “Theory” – was all a big (smelly) mistake…

Also – this is interesting – in the excellent Evolution and Literary Theory (Carroll 1995), it seems evident that Michel Foucault was actually a gay serial killer.

– I am not making this up. – Read it.

Carroll, J. (1995). Evolution and Literary Theory. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.

(I have no problem with Foucault being gay; it’s the serial-killer part that is a problem. – I think, Foucault was mentally ill? Much of Academia seems to have been infected with his mind-virus, namely his deeply strange and wrong ideas. But, thankfully consilience and rationality is prevailing now.)

This view – of most of `critical theory’ as a complete waste of time – also correlates with Gontier’s (2006) statement that:

`Evolutionary Epistemology (EE) is the most controversial, the most fascinating and the most difficult discipline within philosophy today. It is controversial because it declares all other philosophical disciplines bankrupt, and explains itself as part of the sciences. At the same time, it is a fascinating and difficult discipline because of its inter- and transdisciplinary character.’

(Gontier 2006, p. 1).


Another deeply problematic aspect of so-called `Grand Theory’ is the overwhelming influence of Continental Philosophy on this so-called ‘Theory’.

This line of thinking has poisoned the minds of academics. This is primarily why the Arts/Humanities are not relevant to the real world.

So-called`Theory’ is: not even wrong.

In the abstract of `What’s Wrong With Contemporary Philosophy?’ (Mulligan, Simons & Smith 2006) the authors state:

`Philosophy in the West divides into three parts: Analytic Philosophy (AP), Continental Philosophy (CP), and History of Philosophy (HP). But all three parts are in a bad way.

AP is sceptical about the claim that philosophy can be a science, and hence is uninterested in the real world.

CP is never pursued in a properly theoretical way, and its practice is tailor-made for particular political and ethical conclusions.

HP is mostly developed on a regionalist basis: what is studied is determined by the nation or culture to which a philosopher belongs, rather than by the objective value of that philosopher’s work.

Progress in philosophy can only be attained by avoiding these pitfalls.’

(Mulligan, Simons & Smith, 2006, p. 63)

As it happens there is also Systems Theory, but anyway.

Introduction to Systems Philosophy (Laszlo 1972)

Mulligan, Simons and Smith (2006) are particularly devastating in their critique of “Theory”, which are similar to the critiques of “Theory” provided by those within Evocriticism:

`Continental Philosophy metaphysics are invariably tailor-made for particular political and ethical conclusions. Heidegger’s 1927 ontology is made for his lugubrious, supernatural Protestant naturalism. The multiplicities of Deleuze and Guattari, in which difference is neither numerical nor qualitative, are made for their corresponding peculiar brand of soixanthuitard infantile leftism. Habermas’ accounts of truth and of value are made for a vision of politics in which all citizens would be obliged to sit in on the equivalent of a neverending Oberseminar on Kant, talking their way to emancipation.

Second, as with all other parts of CP, its metaphysics is never pursued in any properly theoretical way. Just as, in a good poem, content and form are inextricably entwined, so too in CP the metaphysics is inseparable from its idiosyncratic expression (“différance”).

Finally, CP’s interest in the real world is an interest in the social and political world, never in the physical or biological world. Only occasionally, when a scientific theory or, more often, a piece of scientific jargon, resonates with the CP metaphysician’s view of things does he turn his attention to science (to catastrophe theory, complexity theory, quantum gravity, Gödel’s limitation theorems) in order to play with a handful of ill-understood expressions…

Phenomenology has, in fact, served CP well as a hydra-headed pretext – Marxist phenomenology, feminist phenomenology, hermeneutics, Derrida’s foaming defilements of what he calls ‘phallologocentrism’ – but in all these cases the aspirations of the founders of phenomenology to uncover truth have been made subservient to a non-theoretical agenda, whether political or socio-cultural, and in Derrida’s case to an agenda that is shamelessly anti-theoretical.’

(Mulligan, Simons & Smith, 2006, p. 65-7)

Koestler (1967) and Garstang (1922)’s evolutionary spiral of culture – and biology -explain why this situation with “Grand Theory” has occurred, in terms of Evolutionary Epistemology, and why consilience – and Evocriticism – have now emerged.

Partly this is (thankfully!) a return to Science (consilience) – as a realist reaction against the anti-realism and deliberate contrarianism of so-called “Grand Theory”.

i.e., – The evolutionary spiral, over time:

This diagram shows how disciplines (or domains of knowledge) evolve along a direction for a time… but then, can reach a dead-end, and become extinct. At that point, scholars move back to an earlier stage in the development of that cultural domain – or discipline – and off `branches’ a new direction of evolution.

PoMo was a misguided venture in the first place, so scholars have returned to Science, and use that as a lens to understand bio-culture (i.e. knowledge, culture, information).

For much more on how knowledge grows and evolves (and some of it goes extinct or is no longer adapted to its environment and becomes falsified), see: Evolutionary Epistemology (e.g. Popper 1963, DT Campbell 1974, and also DK Simonton 2012 on BVSR processes in cultural creativity).

Notably Csikszentmihalyi’s evolutionary, (`socio-cultural’) systems model of Creativity (1988-2014) – and Sir Karl Popper’s (and, Arthur Koestler’s and DT Campbell’s) Evolutionary Epistemology are describing the same phenomenon. They are merely describing it in different words, and in different ways.

But in a nutshell, that’s How Creativity Works.

It works the same way in the Sciences, as in the Arts. i.e. Evolutionary Epistemology.

And Evolution works the same way (using the same mechanisms) in Biology as in Culture.

Anyone who is not aware of this needs bringing up to date…!

And PoMo is irrelevant to: everything. PoMo is like a dodo. It was hunted to extinction.

Similar (and/or identical) arguments to Joe Carroll’s (1995), against specific views, arguments and assertions made within `Grand Theory’ are also convincingly made in the works:

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science (Sokal & Bricmont 1998),

Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science (Gross & Levitt 1994),

After Poststructuralism: Interdisciplinarity and Literary Theory (Easterlin & Riebling 1993),

Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder (Dawkins 1998)


The Trouble With Theory: The Educational Costs of Postmodernism (Kitching 2008).

See also Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies (Bordwell & Carroll 1996).

Let’s now look at the covers of these books, as they are crucially-important books.

Just one of these books utterly destroys Po-Mo (the `Postmodernism’ movement), but by all means read them all, if you like seeing fish shot in a barrel…?

i.e. If you would like to see Postmodernism and Grand Theory and Continental Philosophy eviscerated in countless ways and from every possible direction.

In short, Continental Philosophy is “not even wrong”. It was just a form of intellectual cancer that somehow insinuated itself in amongst real, genuine knowledge for a short time – starting around May 1968, and it expanded from around the 1980s to the mid-1990s.

It is now dead as disco.

The books below are basically Obituaries for PoMo, and Grand Theory, and Continental Philosophy, and all that (thankfully, no longer fashionable) nonsense.

Fashionable Nonsense

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science (Sokal & Bricmont 1998)


The above was also published under another title in some countries (e.g. in the UK):


Intellectual Imposters

Intellectual Impostures [aka `Fashionable Nonsense’] (Sokal & Bricmont 1998)

The above books famously emerged from The Sokal Affair, aka the Sokal Hoax (1996). Which showed: Why postmodernism is nonsense.

Amusingly – here is a more recent, similar academic hoax:

‘The Conceptual Penis’: Academic Hoax Exposes Absurdity Of Gender Studies (2017)

And here are more books that eviscerate, and falsify Post-Modernism, Continental Philosophy, (Foucault, Derrida, etc etc) and the like.



After Post-Structuralism

After Poststructuralism: Interdisciplinarity and Literary Theory (Easterlin & Riebling 1993)


Unweaving The Rainbow

Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder (Dawkins 1998)


The Trouble with Theory

The Trouble With Theory: The Educational Costs of Postmodernism (Kitching 2008)


And instead of using something ridiculous – such as Po-Mo `Grand Theory’ (which was utterly demolished on the 1990s, as the books above attest), try, for example – the consilient approach, say: Evocriticism for example.

An excellent example is below:

Evolution, Literature and Film - A Reader (2010)

Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader (Eds: Boyd, Carroll, Gottschall, 2010)

And perhaps also, use this book:

And for many more excellent consilient (Science meets the Arts) books and articles, see this post.

Also, if you are a Continental Theorist, or PoMo scholar, (some kind of walking intellectual zombie, or `living fossil’?) and are outraged and offended, then – for lots of (mostly, ignorant) Invalid Criticisms (including: common misunderstandings) of consilience, please see this post… (Some PoMo folks might want to make sure they are sitting down first, before reading it. Apparently, nobody told them that PoMo was revealed as deeply silly, in the mid-1990s)?

And yes, this is all very awkward and embarrassing for both of us.

Simple solution: Please just stop being PoMo immediately. You’re embarrassing everyone.

So – if you read any – or all – of these `Po-Mo inoculation’ /antidote books, above, you too will think of PoMo as a kind of historical embarrassment for academia and scholarship – like a kind of intellectual Tuberculosis – (or maybe: intellectual syphilis?) but – the good news is – you can safely be vaccinated against it, by: Science!

And assuming you understand those books (they are all very clear) – you can’t ever – seriously – use “Grand Theory” or even Continental Philosophy again, with a clear conscience.

It is intellectual fraud to do so. i.e., Nonsense is nonsense.

(By the way – I don’t make up the facts, I just report them. And Science doesn’t care what anyone thinks – or feels – about: anything. Science is Science. It’s a beautiful thing.)

Also to be clear: Science is not “just another discourse“.

Science is: science.

Please go read everything Sir Karl Popper ever wrote, for a start.

Yet another strange problem with PoMo’s  Grand Theory’ is that a vast amount of words are still, somehow, continuously (and, unethically) being published, that do not contribute to useful, usable or genuine knowledge for scholars or practitioners. It is, primarily, verbal ballet, idle philosophical speculation, commentary on speculation, and reference to prior speculative “Theory” – all of which does not produce any results that creative practitioners (e.g. screenwriters, filmmakers, professional practitioners) can reliably use in practice.

Nor in general, does it provide reliable insights into big-c Creativity (in either the Sciences or the Arts).

And – that is what is needed.

See Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century:

`So what should we be teaching?

Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching

‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and


21 Lessons for the 21st Century,

Yuval Noah Harari, (2018), p. 262

So-called (invalid, void) “Grand Theory” is generally `commentary on commentary’, and `criticism of criticism’ with occasional random and obvious opportunistic links to `texts’, culture, and reality. It gives the outward impression of knowledge, but doesn’t actually solve any problems.

Let us examine  “Grand Theory”  in Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (2000):

`So what is Theory? Four main points have emerged:

(1) Theory is interdisciplinary – discourse with effects outside an original discipline.

(2) Theory is analytical and speculative – an attempt to work out what is involved in what we call sex or language or writing or meaning or the subject.

(3) Theory is a critique of common sense, of concepts taken as natural.

(4) Theory is reflexive, thinking about thinking, enquiry into the categories we use in making sense of things, in literature and in other discursive practices.

As a result, theory is intimidating. One of the most dismaying features of theory today is that it is endless. It is not something that you could ever master, not a particular group of texts you could learn so as to `know theory’. It is an unbounded corpus of writings which is always being augmented as the young and the restless, in critiques of the guiding conceptions of their elders, promote the contributions to theory of new thinkers and rediscover the work of older, neglected ones.’

(Culler 2000, pp. 14-5)

Notably with regard to Culler (2000)’s point (1) above, “Grand Theory” for the most part does not have a positive effect on science, nor on social science – given its denial of Human Nature, and also asserts contradictions to science, and social science (generally completely ignoring: Biology), yet, oddly, `Theory’ still calls itself, `interdisciplinary’.

This is bizarre. But, Grand Theory is nonsense, anyway.

Moving ahead: Regarding Culler’s point (2) above, the speculative (often even metaphysical) nature of “Theory” also means: it is usually not empirically-tested (and/or indeed, testable), and thus often makes claims that are not even falsifiable, or that are “not even wrong” in Wolfgang Pauli’s famous terms. This means we can safely ignore it.

Regarding point (3), a critique of “common sense” with approximation to reality would involve empirical surveys of peoples’ beliefs, and/or the examination of empirically-selected datasets, which “Theory” rarely, if ever, undertakes. PoMo scholars who use Theory often do not do any real work or research. They are “free-riders” who “cheat the system” by (unethically) taking money away from actual researchers and scholars. What is most concerning is that they are often tricky and sneaky about doing so.

Regarding point (4) above, the act of “thinking about thinking” usually results in opinions, or speculative philosophy with an infinite regress, and not facts or evidence, and certainly not solutions to `real-world’ problems. The constant generation of publications by “Theory” also clearly accords with van Peer’s (1997)’s First Law of Literary History [namely the number of literary works increases over time, see Van Peer 1994, p. 183].

One other major problem with “Theory” is it apparently does not need to be true, as long as it is somehow “interesting”, yet arguably most “Theory” is mostly only interesting to its authors. Philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky has also repeatedly convincingly criticized postmodernist “Theory” (Chomsky 1995), (Chomsky & Soper 1998), (Chomsky & Albert 2011).

Evolutionary Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has also noted the following:

“Harvey Bloom: Analytic philosophy has always been influenced by science. That seems to be true of your thought as well?

Dan Dennett: Analytic philosophy certainly aspires to the sorts of objectivity and opportunities for confirmation and refutation that science does. One of the things analytic philosophy always held against various continental schools was that they seemed to be doing something more like verbal ballet.

My view of science is very much an enlightenment view. Aside from minor disagreements, it’s pretty close to [E. O.] Wilson’s view in Consilience. That’s not an accident. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about it.

Much of what is said about science as an objective, progressive, best-ever technology for getting at the truth I simply think is right, and I believe people who think otherwise are deeply mistaken.”

(Dennett, 1998, online)

The above is from Dennett in Blume, H. (1998). `The Digital Philosopher: A Conversation with Daniel Dennett.’ The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved from:  http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/digicult/dc981209.htm 

Perhaps most importantly, one key reason that prior critical approaches – using what is commonly termed “Theory” – are viewed as problematic by scholars who adopt a consilient biocultural approach, is its denial of a universal Human Nature, as clearly summarized in the title of Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002).

Likewise, as evolutionary psychologists Tooby and Cosmides (1992) note:

`Artificial intelligence research demonstrated in a concrete, empirical form, the long-standing philosophical objections to the tabula rasa (e.g. Hume 1748; Kant 1781; Popper 1972; Quine 1960, 1969).’

(Tooby and Cosmides in Barkow, Tooby and Cosmides 1992, p. 106)

While all these alternate “Theory” approaches have certain merits and validity (though very few indeed), by ignoring Human Nature, and/or, attributing determinism to limited causal frameworks, they are certainly not holistic views. Gottschall (2008) also directly addresses the rampant reductionism and determinism inherent in many of these prior “Theory” approaches:

`The Lunacy of One Idea – As Brian Vickers (among others) has pointed out, literary analysis has been dominated by intellectual “Masters”: Marx, Freud, Jung, Saussure, Barthes, Derrida, Frye, Lyotard, Althusser, Kristeva, Butler, Lacan, Jung, Foucault, and so on.

The “master narratives” composed by these thinkers and elaborated by their devotees are typically determinist, reductionist, and highly aggressive. They suggest that all aspects of human conscious and unconscious life are determined by language, early childhood trauma, class striving, the conspiracies of patriarchs or plutocrats, or competing discourses of power.

Even post-structuralist theory – which was famously defined by Lyotard as skepticism toward grand narratives and as a “war against totality”- provides an especially aggressive, deterministic (with human beings defined not as relatively free agents but as “subjects” of cultural and linguistic forces), and reductive narrative that embraces all totality.

As Cunningham writes, while post-structuralists set their faces “against Grand Narratives and Keys to All Mythologies, as delusive and imperialist, and all that, Theorists have managed to erect the Grandest Narrative of all – Theory – the greatest intellectual colonizer of all time” (2005, 28).

A more sympathetic commentator, Madan Sarup, reaches the same conclusion, and asks: “Why is Lyotard telling us yet another grand narrative at the end of grand narrative?” (1993, p. 146)…

The alternative to some form of reductionism is, I think, well described in Darwin’s letter to Henry Fawcett: “About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorize; and I well remember someone saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel pit and count the pebbles and describe the colors. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!” (F. Darwin and Seward 1903, 194–196)’

(Gottschall 2008a, pp. 35-6)

My own view of much of “Theory” is that overall it tends towards obscurantism and `endarkenment’ rather than enlightenment, and I am reminded of Hume’s Fork in `An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding’ (Hume 1817):

`…Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.’

(Hume 1817, p. 132)

Game Over Man

With regard to certain key common misconceptions and assumptions made about the consilient biocultural approach to studying literature, movies, the arts, or bioculture in general, it is germane to further examine the (mistaken) charges of `reductionism’ and `determinism’ that are sometimes also mistakenly brought against the consilient approach.

For that, see: StoryAlity #71BInvalid criticisms of Consilience

A really great book is:

Great FLicks: Scientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics (Simonton 2011)

Great Flicks: Scientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics (DK Simonton 2011)

See also: Bordwell, D. (2012). The Viewer’s Share: Models of Mind in Explaining Film  from http://www.davidbordwell.net/essays/viewersshare.php where Bordwell notes:

`Academics praise interdisciplinarity, of the cooperation of the humanities and the sciences. Too often, though, that cooperation involves only interpretations. Humanists join with social scientists in producing readings but not explanations. The engagement of film studies with empirical psychology and cognitive science over the last three decades has come closer to providing the sort of “consilience” that Edward O. Wilson proposed: unified explanations that bring art, humanistic inquiry, and scientific inquiry together (Wilson 1998). Film researchers invoke naturalistic models and findings from psychology in order to understand more fully how cinema works, and works with our minds.’

(Bordwell 2012, online)

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (E O Wilson 1998)

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (E O Wilson 1998)

And – see this post for more on consilient film research: StoryAlity #71On Consilience in the Arts / Humanities / Communication

Comments and feedback, always welcome.

Unless you are a postmodernist or a Continental Philosopher, in which case, our ontologies and epistemologies are probably at odds.

Pomo and "Theory" is dead.

Pomo and “Theory” is dead. Also, it’s probably evil. And ethically and morally wrong. It’s a waste of time, and that time could have been used to solve actual problems. That’s what academia is actually supposed to do.

Po-Mo is dead as disco.

It’s also ethically and morally evil, as it uses resources that could be used to solve problems and create genuine knowledge.


Kitching, G. N. (2008). The Trouble With Theory: The Educational Costs of Postmodernism. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press.

So – Consilience is a better solution.

There are urgent problems to be solved!

(For example, scientists say we have about 12 years [from 2018] to solve climate change.)

See, also: Boyd, B. (2013). `What’s Your Problem? And How Might We Deepen It?’ Scientific Study of Literature, 3(1), 3-7. doi: 10.1075/ssol.3.1.02boy

And – for more detail on the evolutionary systems (or, complexity) view of narrative and bioculture in general, see, this book chapter:

StoryAlity #132The holon/parton structure of the Meme, the unit of culture – and the narreme, or unit of story – book chapter (Velikovsky 2016)

Also if you “disagree” with any of this – then, don’t forget to stay near the top, here:

Hierarchy of Disagreement

Finally, here is a big list of authors to avoid, if you don’t want to fill your head with bad thinking, and nonsense ideas: reading these you will learn nothing about creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

Michel Foucault – especially his ridiculous “What is an author?” (1969)

Roland Barthes – especially his silly “Death of the author” (1967)

Mikhail Bakhtin

Marcel Danesi

John Deely

Umberto Eco

Gottlob Frege

Algirdas Julien Greimas

Félix Guattari

Louis Hjelmslev

Vyacheslav Ivanov

Roman Jakobson

Roberta Kevelson

Kalevi Kull

Juri Lotman

Charles W. Morris

Charles S. Peirce

Susan Petrilli

Augusto Ponzio

Ferdinand de Saussure

Thomas Sebeok

Michael Silverstein

Eero Tarasti

Vladimir Toporov

Jakob von Uexküll

Victoria Lady Welby

Julia Kristeva

Christian Metz

And: avoid Continental Philosophy.

…When I see these authors’ names, I run a mile. (So should you.)

Systems Philosophy is where it’s at.

On Systems Theory and Evolution

  1. StoryAlity #70 – Key Concepts in Systems Theory, Cybernetics & Evolution
  2. StoryAlity #70A – The (StoryAlity) Systematizer
  3. StoryAlity #70B – The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (Capra & Luisi 2014)
  4. StoryAlity #70C – Systems Philosophy (Laszlo 1972)
  5. StoryAlity #70C2 – General Systems Theory: Problems, Perspectives, Practice (Skyttner 2005)
  6. StoryAlity #70D – The Evolving Self (Csikszentmihalyi 1993)
  7. StoryAlity #70E – On Human Nature – and Evolutionary Psychology

So if you ever see any Continental Philosophy, commit it to the flames via Hume’s Fork and go read some science (or, consilience) instead…!

Consilience pancake stack JTV 2018


JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Bordwell, D. (2012). The Viewer’s Share: Models of Mind in Explaining Film – Retrieved Nov 9th, 2015, from http://www.davidbordwell.net/essays/viewersshare.php

Bordwell, D., & Carroll, N. (1996). Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Boyd, B. (2013). `What’s Your Problem? And How Might We Deepen It?’ Scientific Study of Literature, 3(1), 3-7. doi: 10.1075/ssol.3.1.02boy

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15 thoughts on “StoryAlity#129 – Po-Mo `Theory’ is dead as disco

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