Alterity and anti-realism
This chapter presents a general description of postmodernity and aims to engage with its substantial content, working on the assumption that the deconstruction of the modern meta-narratives of naturalism, romanticism and liberalism is grounded in the desire to reinforce individual autonomy and strengthen our freedom from external constraint. Post-modernity is frequently assumed to be thoroughly non-realistic, wedded inextricably to the kind of linguistic idealism exemplified by Baudrillard's hyper-realism. According to Kristeva the dissolution of the modern construct of selfhood creates a space in which love and freedom, emancipated from the tyranny of logo-centric thinking and linked instead to the alterity of both ourselves and those around us, have the opportunity to flourish. The twin principles of freedom and tolerance, which provide the moral backbone of modernity, flow directly from the liberal recognition of the limits of human understanding.