Expressing the Inexpressible: Lyotard and the Differend Jacob M. Held Marquette University Department of Philosophy Coughlin Hall P.O. Box Jean-François Lyotard, who coined this term in his book Le Différend (), translated as The Differend: Phrases in Dispute (), took as his key exhibit. The Différend () as “The Postmodern Condition, Part One”. Part One: The Historical Context. The life path and careers of Jean-François.

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Aesthetics and Theory of Art, ed. Lyotard’s response to the nihilism of representational theory is not to propose an “other” to it which he believes is impossiblebut to inscribe theory itself into the libidinal economy. The distinction between a wrong and a damage is based on the ability of those in volved to explain their respective situations and their respective abilities to receive restitution for the injustice done to them.

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

Regarding the victim, Lyotard wants to find a palatable solution to their situation. When spea king in this vain Lyotard is recognizing the impossibility of expressing the dif ferend, the inexpressible. Paganism is godless politics; it is the abandonment of universal judgement for specific, plural judgements. The postmodern would be that idfferend, in the modern, puts forward the unpresentable in presentation itself; that which denies itself the solace of good forms, the consensus of a taste which would make it possible to share collectively the nostalgia for the unattainable; that which searches for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but in order to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable.

Polity Press and Blackwell. The “denotative” is an utterance which attempts to correctly identify the object or referent to which it refers such as “Snow is white”. Skip to main content. Any such attempt to express it thereby fails to encapsulate the original wrong. The exhibition collected works which explored connections between the media, art, space, and matter. Furthermore, Lyotard sees a danger to the future of academic research which stems from the way scientific knowledge has come to be legitimated in postmodernity as opposed to the way it was legitimated in dicferend.

This stage in the transformation of the libidinal band represents the formation of rational thought, dominated by binary logic and the law of noncontradiction. Phrase regimens fix the instances of the phrase universe within a concatenation; these regimens are syntactic types of phrases lyotxrd as the cognitive, the descriptive, the prescriptive, the interrogative, the evaluative, and so on.


La Partie de peintureCannes: Lyotard’s early political commitments were to revolutionary socialism and a relatively orthodox Marxism see Biography and Early Works b Algeria. It is written in a bewildering combination of styles at times reading more like an avant-garde novel than a philosophical texta method Lyotard uses in an attempt to overcome the limitations he sees in traditional academic theory.

Rather, it will be an ongoing process of learning updated technical information that will be essential for their functioning in their respective professions. Rather fifferend art would be that taking place of a self-enclosed event that withstands interpretation and is irreducible, as art, to any use value.

Jean François Lyotard

An example of a sublime object for Kant would be a mountain; we can have an idea of a mountain, but not a sensory intuition of it as a whole. Instead, Lyotard suggests that paganism is the most appropriate response to the desire for justice. Any proposed solution to a differend will do violen ce do some group. Rather, one can see in his writings a concern for victims of injustice and a desire to provide a means for correcting the problem.

Phrases from heterogeneous regimens cannot be translated from one into the other. Rather, the task is to develop an attunement to the plurality of opinions cifferend language games.

Lyotard, Jean-François | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

One cannot express the nature of the wrong. Lyotard’s own style of writing in Libidinal Economy is one attempt to do this: For Lyotard, there is no affirmative region, no pure outside to nihilism. Lyotard distinguishes the victim from the plaintiff. Like many other prominent French difverend of his generation such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Gilles DeleuzeLyotard develops critiques of the subject and of humanism.

His writings in this period are solely concerned with ultra-left revolutionary politics, with a sharp focus on the Algerian situation the war ylotard independence had broken out in Kilian, Monika, Modern and Postmodern Strategies: Lyotard’s misgivings about the subject as a central epistemological category can be understood diffeernd terms of his concern for difference, multiplicity, and the limits of organisational systems.

Doing this requires that a particular discourse be dominant. This means that there is no utopian society free from exploitation, either pre-capitalist or post-revolutionary. Literature Literary theory and cultural studies GO. The Confession of Augustine, trans. Lyotard’s postmodern politics involves the attempt to rethink the political after the death of metanarratives such as Marxism and liberalism. Dissimulation is a concept that allows us to see the elements of the libidinal economy as duplicitous.


Callinicos, Alex,Against Postmodernism: Rather, he sees the role of research as the production of ideas.

The Differend Lyotard develops the philosophy of language that underlies his work on paganism and postmodernism most fully in The Differend: Postmodernism Lyotard abandoned his libidinal philosophy in the later years of the seventies, beginning diffferend philosophy of paganism that developed, by the eighties, into his unique version of postmodernism. A phrase thus becomes lotard part of reality, both affecting it and being affected dkfferend it. As the revolution began inLyotard joined Socialisme ou Barbarie Socialism or Barbarismwhich also included Claude Lefort — and Cornelius Castoriadis —important political thinkers in their own right.

Linking onto phrases within an economic genre of discourse with phrases motivated by academic concerns will cause the linkage of those phra ses to be deemed inappropriate, and hence unintelligible or irrelevant. But Lyotard argues, though, that ethics cannot be first philosophy, but is but one language game among others. In the essays on Algeria, Lyotard applies this project to the French occupation, trying lyotars determine the potential for socialist revolution arising from this situation.

Lyotard introduces a distinction between opposition and difference to account for the differing ways in which the discursive and differenf figural function. Jones, Graham, Lyotard Reframed London: Art need not provide a political message, represent reality properly, or morally guide us.

If it were just a matter of having a lyoatrd knowledge or absolute set of laws to follow, then politics would be pre-programmed and there would be no judgment worthy of the name. Columbia University Press, Lyotard does not advocate a simple liberation of desire and does not attempt to set up a place beyond representation which would be immune to the effects of nihilism.