The Politics of Jean-Francois Lyotard: Justice and Political Theory

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Lawlor - - Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 10 1 Libidinal Economy. The Lyotard Reader and Guide. Lyotard is fascinated by this admission, from one of the philosophical architects of the Enlightenment, that the mind cannot always organise the world rationally.

The Politics of Jean-Francois Lyotard: Justice and Political Theory

Some objects are simply incapable of being brought neatly under concepts. For Lyotard, in Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime , and drawing on his argument in The Differend , this is a good thing. Such generalities as 'concepts' fail to pay proper attention to the particularity of things. What happens in the sublime is a crisis where we realize the inadequacy of the imagination and reason individually.

Jean-François Lyotard - Oxford Reference

What we are witnessing, says Lyotard, is actually the differend; the straining of the mind at the edges of itself and at the edges of its conceptuality. Some argue that Lyotard's theories may seem self-contradictory because The Postmodern Condition seems to offer its own grand narrative in the story of the decline of the metanarrative. Against this it can be argued that Lyotard's narrative in The Postmodern Condition declares the decline of only a few defunct "narratives of legitimation" and not of narrative knowledge itself.

It is not logically contradictory to say that a statement about narratives is itself a narrative, just as when Lyotard states that "every utterance [in a language game] should be thought of as a 'move' in a game" [1]. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.

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Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats. The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:. Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed. Next Jean-Honore Fragonard.

Lyotard, Jean-François

Major contemporary Western philosophers. Continental European. Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. Categories : Philosophy and religion Philosophy French philosophers Social philosophy. Birth: August 10, Versailles , France. Death: April 21, Paris , France. The "postmodern condition" Collapse of the " grand narrative ".

Contents 1 Life 1.

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

Major contemporary Western philosophers [portal]. Political Writings Lyotard was at the University of Nanterre during the events of May and there are, correspondingly, three essays which deal with that time and its aftermath: "Preamble to a Charter", "Nanterre, Here, Now", and "March 23". Under the oddly styled sub-title of "Big Brothers" are subsumed a range of essays.

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This essay forecasts Lyotard's interests in the politics of aesthetics, as much as the aesthetization of politics -- a long time preoocupation with the literary and artistic avant-garde, especially surrealism. Lyotard's fable "The Wall, the Gulf, and the Sun" muses on the state of criticism in general where emancipation has become a goal of the system and the role of the critic subsumed under the task of offering appropriate means to improve the efficiency of the reform process in a kind of defensive praxis.

For Lyotard "neither the liberal nor the Marxist reading can account for the historical situation marked by both the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Gulf crisis" p. There is only the dream of the infinitely extendable open system based upon the fable of the Sun. These essays bear a certain "family resemblance" to themes addressed elsewhere: the status of philosophy, the position of the intellectual in the postmodern condition, the failure of grand narratives, the space for critique.

Under the title "More 'Jews'" there are four essays, beginning with the early essay "German Guilt" published in L'Age Nouveau in , which demonstrates Lyotard's concern for the ethical through an interrogation of Jasper's The Question of German Guilt. Lyotard's championing of the "micrological", the little narratives, rests upon his appropriation of Adorno's forceful symbolization of "Auschwitz", as a kind of "para-experience" where dialectics is impossible. For Lyotard "Auschwitz" serves as the symbolic end or "liquidation" of the project of modernity.

It symbolizes the "tragic 'incompletion' of modernity" by pointing to the moral that universal history does not move inevitably towards the better, that history does not have a universal finality.

And it refers to all those who assume this anamnesis and this witnessing as an obligation, a responsibility, or a debt, not only toward thought, but toward justice p. In two further pieces, "The Grip Mainmise " and "Europe, the Jews and the Book", written in , Lyotard pursues the differend that sets apart the Jews from the rest of Europe, and the Christian testament from the Torah.

The Politics of Jean Francois Lyotard Justice and Political Theory

Chapters 24 to 34 of the section entitled "Algerians" were originally published together in La Guerre des Algeriens in These essays, with the exception of the opening one are, as I have mentioned above, a selection from Lyotard's contributions to Socialism or Barbarism, from the time after he was assigned responsibility for the Algerian section in I shall not provide a detailed account of the contents of these chapters here -- they resist the paraphrase of the reviewer and cannot, at any rate, be properly rendered in another idiom. In the articles of this period, as Lyotard himself comments, there is already a suspicion of "depoliticization", of a political crisis which threatened to mark the end of the grand narratives of emancipation and the loss of substance and intelligibility, in particular, of radical Marxism.

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