Modernism is a system of thought that emerged with the Enlightenment and rises on the basis of humanism and democracy. “Modern” is a word originally derived from the Latin word “modo” (lately, right now) from the term modernus.
In its origin, it is this concept that affirms the new to the detriment of the old.
In general, modernism is the attitude of subordinating the traditional to the new, the tendency or way of thinking to adapt the established and customary to the newly emerging. In particular, the attitude that emerged in the West towards the end of the 19th century and aimed to adapt the theological teaching of the church and the theory of society to new social and political conditions, which were the result of urbanization and industrialization, the collapse of traditional authority and the rise of liberal/democratic ideas, and finally the changes in worldview under the influence of modern science. is movement.
Modernism denotes a new worldview, a cultural development, a new way of life. Modernism is the product of a reaction to the thinking and lifestyles of the Middle Ages.
modernism; It is a movement that adopts the principles of positivism, rationality, human autonomy and universality of knowledge.
The world of Western thought, which was under the rule of the church in the classical age, was able to meet with ‘modernism’ by getting rid of the influence of religion. This is seen as the most important determinant of the transition to modernism, because with modernism, all kinds of philosophical and scientific discourses that emerged under the dominance of reason and reason have been reshaped. Philosophical movements such as positivism, rationalism, empiricism and existentialism have been important philosophical discourses that determine social life and scientific approach.
In modernism, science is seen as the key to human happiness. With its practical aspect, science promises luxury and comfort to humanity, perfects man, and provides him with considerable power and power. Man becomes the master of nature through science and dominates nature. It is believed that a society based on science can only be a truly free and rational society, whose members live happily, that the more one knows about the world, the better a human life will become, and that the real cause of pain, misery and unhappiness is ignorance.
The importance that modernism gives to science and reason also forms the basis of the ideal of progress. Overconfidence in reason means that people can understand the rules of nature and rearrange their lives with their minds. People who understand nature and dominate it with science lead a happier, more civilized and more comfortable life. There is a constant progression from bad to good, which expresses the understanding of progress of modernism. As science advances cumulatively, existing problems will be solved one by one and humanity will lead a prosperous life.
According to the studies carried out within the framework of Michel Foucault’s views, it is possible to evaluate modernism from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century, starting with the Enlightenment period.
According to Robert B. Pippin, the main characteristics of modernism are listed as follows.
– General belief in progress based on scientific knowledge.
Postmodernism, on the other hand, fundamentally undermines the values of modernism, as it rejects meta-generalizations, emphasizes division, and emphasizes intersubjective interaction in social life. However, its criticism of modernism does not mean that postmodernism yearns for a return to the traditional society; because the arguments developed by postmodernism no longer fit the lifestyle and value judgments of either traditional or modern society.
Postmodernism; It is closely related to the development of capitalism at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, when globalization, consumer orientation, division of authority and commercialization of knowledge came to the fore in social life.
In this context, while the conditions that reveal modernism are the changes in the social and political structure with the industrial revolution and the dominance of ideologies such as democracy and humanism, the conditions that reveal post-modernism are the second world war, right-left competition, developing world economy, liberal democracy, capitalism. and technological developments. These changes in the twentieth century brought along a new world order. It is seen that the reflection of this new world order in the field of thought is the source of the post-modern world view.
The universality, unity and integrity of the modern mind require the view that the same rules apply everywhere. Post-modernism, on the contrary, opposes this view, arguing that every situation is different and must be understood in a special way. He sees variability as an important reason why the truth is not unique.