The Inhuman. Reflections on Time. J can-Francois Lyotard. Translated by Geofirey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby l] g Polity Press. Jean-François Lyotard was a French philosopher, sociologist, and literary theorist . . Years later, this led him into writing his book The Inhuman, published in. In this major study, now available in paperback, Lyotard develops his analysis of the phenomenon of postmodernity, and examines the philosophy of Kant.

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His aim is to show that inhumn ignores the figural elements at work both outside and within representational structures. In the libidinal philosophy Lyotard uses the idea of libidinal energy to describe events and the way they are interpreted or exploited, and he develops a philosophy of society and theory in terms of the economy of libidinal energies.

The silence that surrounds the phrase, Auschwitz was the extermination camp is not a state of mind, is the sign that something remains inhyman be phrased which is not. French post-structuralist philosopher, best known for his highly influential formulation of postmodernism in The Postmodern Condition.

Writings on Contemporary Art and Artists 7 volumes ed. Only with continual phrases, linked to the initial phrase, does the initial ambiguity become clearer, but of course, with these newer phrases, further ambiguities may take inhumam, since they face the same problems as the initial phrase.

Lyotard asserts that a justice of multiplicities requires a multiplicity of justices. Because of the radical incommensurability of phrase regimes in the case of a differend, any “resolution” would only assert the legitimacy of one phrase regime at the cost of silencing the other, thus deepening the wrong. Returning to Freud, Lyotard develops a theory of libidinal forces as figural, as disruptive lotard reason and representation.

Jean-François Lyotard – Wikipedia

Each coincides with a school of thought. Lyotard develops the philosophy of language that underlies his work on paganism and postmodernism most fully in The Differend: A Marxist PerspectiveCambridge: By this he means that we live among and through a variety of language games science, art, politics, and so on Just Gaming Politics, she believed, became ideological at best and totalitarian at worst if wedded to notions of truth, such as involved in the metanarratives of Marxist economic theory and its inexorable laws of history, or the racist theories of Nazism.


The libidinal philosophy engages with art on the level of its affective force: In fact, the cause of justice means that one phrase regimen e.

Yet, leaving behind any foundation for prescriptive statements does not leave us unable to speak to what is just and unjust. Linking phrases, he says, is necessary but contingent in how it is done Differend Rather, the postmodern condition is composed of fragmented language games attached to incommensurable forms of life. Whereas in the libidinal philosophy the focus was to see that a single interpretation of an event did not become hegemonic, in Lyotard’s later philosophy he is primarily concerned with the problems of justice that arise between competing interpretations of events.

Kant stresses that if we are in actual danger, our feeling of anxiety is very different from that of a sublime feeling. Philosophy, Politics and the SublimeNew York: In Discourse, FigureLyotard differentiates innuman, that is, the written text investigated by semiotics and structuralism, and the figural, that is, the visual, which he discusses through the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty.

Postmodern art has a political importance for Lyotard, since it can call attention to differends through the feeling of the sublime, showing us that a wrong has been done. Lyotard then defines reality as this complex of possible senses attached to a referent through a name.

Jean François Lyotard (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Lyotard is a skeptic for modern cultural thought. They can be linked one onto the other in accordance with an end fixed by the a genre of discourse …Genres of discourse supply rules for linking together heterogeneous phrases, rules that are proper for attaining certain goals: As a defining element with which to characterise these technical and technological advancements, Lyotard chooses computerization.

Reflections on Time, trans. Secondly, it refers to those potentially lytoard forces that the idea of the human tries to repress or exclude, but which inevitably return with disruptive effects. Writing the EventManchester: A case of differend between two knhuman takes place when the regulation of the conflict that opposes them is done in the idiom of one of the parties while the wrong suffered by the other is not signified in that idiom.

Harvey, Robert and Lawrence R. Writings on Contemporary Art and Artists vol. In AprilLyotard died of leukemia in Paris. In scientific knowledge, however, the question of legitimation always arises.

The Inhuman: Reflections on Time

Firstly, it refers to the dehumanising effects of science and technology in society. Yet this is only a possibility: That which is taken to be real and most natural is the formation of knowledge in terms understandable by capitalist economics and its modes of efficiency.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jean-Francois Lyotard. In a schism erupted in Socialisme ou Barbarie over Castoriadis’ new theoretical direction for the group. In order to characterise phrases as events which are beyond full understanding and accurate representation, Lyotard undermines the common view that the meanings of phrases can be determined by what they refer to the referent. For Lyotard, no just resolution of a differend is possible. Lyotard sees a danger in this dominance, since it follows from his view that reality cannot be captured within one genre of discourse or representation of events that science will miss aspects of events which narrative knowledge will capture.

The book itself contains numbered paragraphs, building on arguments he had been making in the years leading up to the work. What is at stake in the genre of comedy, for example, is to be humorous, to make people laugh. Lyotard found particularly interesting the explanation of the sublime offered by Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Judgment sometimes Critique of the Power of Judgment. In the terms of Freudian psychoanalysis, they are the “primary processes” of the libido, the forces that exist in the body on a more basic level than the “secondary processes” of the conscious mind.

For Nietzsche religion is nihilistic because it places the highest values as the ground for all values in a transcendent realm which cannot be accessed, thereby cutting us off from the highest values and devaluing the realm of our actual experience. Difference corresponds to figure, and the distinction between discourse and figure itself is said to be one of difference rather than opposition.

Lyotard’s interest in Malraux may be explained through the commonalities they share, in particular a problematic relation to the political and an attempted solution to this problem through art.