Quote of the Day 9-1-16 (Emmett Velten)

Posted: September 1, 2016 in Philosophy, Quotations
Tags: , ,

(My friend Emmett Velten was murdered five years ago. The police never found his killer. As a small way of keeping his memory alive, here’s a paragraph from his essay, “Postmortem for Postmodernism.” It provides a good taste of the man and his work. The world is a poorer place for his loss.)

 * * *

Postmodern constructionism’s proponents modestly see it as a paradigm shift away from the Great Satan of the modern-era therapies. It arose when the philosophical movement, postmodernism, oozed from humanities departments into the psychotherapy and counseling realm. Various dates are said to mark the start of the modern era of Western culture, with 1900–1920 or so receiving the most votes. The modern era in which science supposedly reigned supreme, began to falter in 1976—or so postmodernists like to think—when Jacques Derrida, the godfather of postmodernism, published his incomprehensible magnum opus, Of Grammatology. Partly due to long-term resentment against logic, science, and reality, and partly because the kindred sicknesses of political correctness and multiculturalism were just beginning to incubate in premorbid professorial body cavities, humanities departments of American and European universities and colleges contracted postmodernism. Pretentious dissertations, learned papers and books, all of them unhinged and anti-science, drew attention to postmodernism and frightened normal people both in and outside the groves of academe.

  1. Peter says:

    Wonderful quote from an unfettered mind! Please share more, if he left writings for posterity.


    • Unfortunately, Emmett’s writings were almost exclusively about psychology and substance abuse, so there’s not much else that would be of interest to a general audience.

      He was a longtime board member of the Albert Ellis Institute, was a former vice-president of SMART Recovery (the rational alternative to AA), and was the author of several psychology books for both professionals and a popular audience. His best known book is probably “When AA Doesn’t Work for You,” which he co-authored with Albert Ellis.

      I was fortunate enough to know him for the last 20 years of his life, and he was every bit as funny and intellectually stimulating in person as he was in his writing.


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