Hugely influential in the latter decades of the 20th century, postmodernism transformed many academic disciplines and culture at large. Associated with an attack on objective truth and the uniqueness of meaning, it called into question the whole edifice of knowledge which Western culture had previously glorified. But it left many lost, and in the wake of a polarising post-truth world there is a widespread recognition that we need to move on. Feminist and post-colonial critics though claim there is a danger that instead we risk retreating to the questionable certainties of the past. Alongside defenders of objective truth like Richard Dawkins and Noam Chomsky, figures like Jordan Peterson argue for a return to moral certainties and belief in the existence of God.  

Are there viable alternatives to postmodernism that are not simply a return to belief in universal truth? Are metamodernism or model theoretic realism possible ways forward? Or is the chaos initiated by postmodernism so profound that the only credible approach is to return to the Enlightenment notion that we can arrive at the objective truth?

Philosopher and author of Closure Hilary Lawson, metamodernist Robin Van den Akker, and LSE political economist Abby Innes, debate what lies beyond postmodernism.

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