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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Lyotard suggests science could go either way. Art and Politics London: The libido itself, its energetics, is never representable or containable within any given system; all desires are dissimulated in these institutions, and they are never presentable as they are in themselves.

The plurality of phrase regimens is a fact, and what is unjust or wrong would be precisely using one phrase regimen to silence that of others, to introduce a localized narrative as a metanarrative that would put all others in their place and render them mute and unseen. Lyotard is clear that subjects are only such in the way that they move and are produced by moves within different language games. Therefore, language makes the expression of these facts of oppression impos sible.

Author Information Ashley Woodward Email: Examples from particular movements in art and individual artists and writers are common in his philosophical works, and in addition he wrote a number of books on individual artists, including Georges Guiffrey, Albert Ayme, Gian-franco Baruchello, Jacques Monory, Valerio Adami, Shusaku Arakawa, and Daniel Buren.

This is particularly evident in what Lyotard calls “postmodern science” – the search for instabilities [see Science and Technology]. The conclusion Lyotard comes to is that the occupation must end if the Algerian people are to prosper, but he remains ambivalent about the possibility of revolution.

These very corporate and systems-based interests vie today to seize and control these new modes of production, as Lyotard would have predicted, but out of The Postmodern Condition came new concerns that still plague the culture today. On the other hand, capitalism tends to hoard up libidinal energy into structured and regulated systems, restricting its flow. Lyotard gives us a few examples of types of utterances. In sum, he looks to any stable formations within society as libidinal fields, whether we are discussing linguistics, economics, or architecture.

Jean-François Lyotard: “Le Différend,” Part One | Art History Unstuffed

Lyotard sees Lacan’s application of Saussurean linguistics to psychoanalysis as particularly worrisome. This is differnd gives us the ability to name the unjust. This was an important moment as Lyotard lost faith in the all-encompassing philosophy of Marxism, which offered, especially in the variant of the French Communist Party, a single key to history and its end. The sense the possible meanings of the phrase The referent the thing to which the phrase refers The addressor that from which the phrase comes The addressee that to which the phrase is sent In the initial presentation of the phrase, the instances of the universe are equivocal.


In her book, Commemorating the Holocaust: Lyotard calls such claims into doubt through his thesis that events exceed representation. On closer inspection, however, the themes Lyotard works through in his reading of Augustine’s Confessions can be recognised as those already touched on in earlier works.

A silent phrase in the context of a dispute may be covering four possible states of affairs, corresponding to each of the instances in the phrase universe:. At first glance this somewhat cryptic, poetic, and quasi-religious work seems to bear little resemblance to any other piece in Lyotard’s oeuvre.

Steuerman, Emilia, The Bounds of Reason: His father, Jean-Pierre Lyotard, was a vifferend representative. He sees the subject not as primary, foundational, and central, but loytard one element among others which should be examined by thought.

He is concerned with the free proliferation of heterogenous elements in society, and for him the institutions of politics and traditional political theory limit multiplicities and differences.

Jean François Lyotard

This takes place through the deictic terms in language such as here, now, I, you, this which gain meaning by referring to temporal and spatial specificities in the world of the language-user. In the fifteen years between his first two books of philosophy, Lyotard devoted all his writing efforts to the cause of revolutionary politics.

These events can be interpreted in different ways, and no single interpretation will capture events accurately. Dissimulation is a diffferend that allows us to see the elements of the libidinal economy as duplicitous. Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology suggests that we experience the world on a pre-cognitive level as ambiguous and somewhat chaotic sense data which must be synthesized by the perceiving subject in order to structure the world in a meaningful way.

Lyotard cites thermodynamics as the beginning dlfferend performativity in terms of determinism, and suggests that quantum mechanics and atomic physics have limited the applicability of this principle. Lyotard’s writings cover a large range of topics in lytard, politics, differenx aesthetics, and experiment with a wide variety of styles.

The Differend – Wikipedia

The habit of a Marxist analysis existed as a subterranean subtext with in The Postmodern Condition: It becomes disjunctive, distinguishing this from not-this.


Williams, James,Lyotard: The end of metanarratives means that no single overarching theory can pretend to account for everything.

Within each phrase regimen, there is a certain play, since there may be ambiguities along each aspect above. The distinction between narrative and scientific knowledge is a crucial point in Lyotard’s theory of postmodernism, and one of the defining features of postmodernity, on his account, is the dominance of scientific knowledge over narrative knowledge.

Metanarratives do violence to alternative representations of events that are valid in their own right.

This libidinal energy is lyottard event, which always contains more possibilities for interpretation and exploitation than any single structure can give it. This put him at odds with the dominant structuralist and post-structuralist emphasis on language, and as the s began and disappointment set in that May gave rise to little in terms of substantive change, Lyotard, like others, looked to aesthetics and sensuous relations for their revolutionary potential.

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

To better see why the above-mentioned problems are so detrimental to Lyotar d’s project consider the following. Rather, it will be an ongoing process of learning updated technical information that will be essential for their functioning in diffeernd respective professions.

In thinking, one accepts the occurrence for what it is: This would result in Discourse, Figure In order for Lyotard’s philosophy to be both informative and effective he must abandon his conception of there being no ultimate court of appeal in cases of violence and the proposed solutions. Hardt and Negri recognize that a form of discursive liberation may be libe rating for academics but ultimately it does not free slaves, or provide food for one’s family.

Crome, Keith,Lyotard and Greek Thought: Lyotard develops the philosophy of language that underlies his work on paganism and postmodernism most fully in The Differend: A rigid theory of how the body interacts with space, as Merleau-Ponty may arguably be accused of developing, also exhibits structuralist tendencies.

Lyotard’s early political lyotwrd were to revolutionary socialism and a relatively orthodox Marxism see Biography and Early Works b Algeria. Lyotard presents various examples of the differend, the most important of which is Auschwitz. Editions Le Griffon d’argile, One who has suffered a wrong is a victim, whereas one who lotard suffered a damage is a plaintiff.