In The Transparent Society Vattimo develops his own distinctive views on postmodernism and its philosophical and cultural relevance. Vattimo argues that the post--modern condition is linked to the development of the mass media and the diffusion of systems of communication. However, he disputes the belief that this development will produce a more enlightened, self--conscious and a transparenta society, maintaining instead that it leads to a diversity of viewpoints which render societies more complex, even chaotic. Vattimo suggests that aesthetics provides vital insight into the post--modern condition, and argues that the function of art is not to reinforce eternal truths concerning the human condition, but to provide an experience of dislocation and of a shocka . The multiplication of perspectives on the world disorientates us and removes the certainties we gain from our local culture. Instead, Vattimo argues, we learn the art of living in a world characterized by ambiguity and flux.