David Kolb

Who Are We

The Particular Logic of Modernity

A friend once said to me that he would be glad to discuss postmodemity if only he knew what modernity meant. There are so many descriptions. We’re all modern: Modern society, modern art, modern philosophy, modern science, modern technologies.

Fragmentation and the Formless Center

Centers have been out of intellectual and political fashion, because they have been often oppressive. We both celebrate and worry about postmodern fragmentation as we enact it in our technology, while fearing hidden centralization.

Haughty and Humble Irony

A study of different kinds of modern and postmodern irony, showing how irony has many shades and different implications, and cannot provide a final attitude.

Postmodern Sophistications: Philosophy, Architecture, and Tradition

Essays that challenge the purity of modern self-conceptions and the idea that we can float free above history as sovereign choosers or ironic observers. But they also challenge the fixity of tradition, and Plato’s idea that we must choose either to search for absolute foundations or be overwhelmed by a swirl of competing powers and persuasions.

Life in a Balloon

An argument against any easy contrast between fixed ancestors and floating moderns: being modern means living with more explicit internal splits and distances, but our ancestors too had their internal spacings and distances.