Postmodernism and beyond: Toward a pentadic meta-analysis of ethical theory
The study of ethics has suffered in the wake of poststructuralist, deconstructionist, and postmodern critiques. While the wounds are many, there are two especially problematic challenges for ethics posed by these critiques. First, the subversion of grand narratives and claims to Truth has shaken the very foundation on which traditional ethics rests. Second, the decentering and dissolution of the autonomous subject has complicated the concept of responsible and active individuals capable of making moral judgments. These challenges are grounded in a valuable, often self-reflexive, and in many ways insightful critique of the problems inherent in the modern Enlightenment project. ^ The problems have been deconstructed and the time is ripe to rebuild what an ethics for our times might look like after postmodernism. Kenneth Burke's theory and philosophy of Dramatism is posited as a framework that can work through the challenges postmodern thought has posed for ethics while it encourages ethics studies to adopt a more rhetorical, critical position. To this end, Burke's Dramatistic pentad is suggested as a means of performing a meta-analysis of ethical discourses in order to tease out the reality orientations of each. The ethical discourses of Kantian ethics, Classical utilitarianism, Marxism, Aristotle's virtue ethics, and Nietzsche's individualist ethics are analyzed pentadically with the goal of beginning a dialogue about traditional ethical theories: what they emphasize in their explanations of good human action and what they might exclude. It is argued that in extending this kind of dialogue, ethics might respond to the challenges it has faced since poststructuralism. ^
Ethics|Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Julia B Skwar,
"Postmodernism and beyond: Toward a pentadic meta-analysis of ethical theory"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).