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The term postmodernism is commonly used to refer to the ideas of writers and thinkers who react against or criticize aspects of modernity—the period beginning with the scientific revolutions of the late 16th century and lasting until now. Recently, we have been living in what some people call late modernity, or postmodernity. People impressed by postmodernism may be called postmodernists. They seldom refer to themselves in this way because, for reasons that will become clear later in this entry, they are reluctant to be thought of as having a conclusive doctrine. (Not to be confused with modernity, or with postmodernism, with which it shares some features, is modernism in art, a movement dating from the late 19th century.) This entry traces the origins of postmodernism, ...

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