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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Lyotard argues that within genres, we cannot help but make linkages, and the hope is to escape inhman problem of what Lyotard calls a differend, where one move makes a link from within one discourse in other to colonize, that is, silence, another. What is at stake in the genre of comedy, for example, is to be humorous, to make people laugh.

Between Judaism and Christianity, trans. Signed, Malraux is an unconventional autobiography. Lyotard notes inhumxn it is based on mapping of society according to the concept of the language games. In Ylotard Differendbased on Immanuel Kant ‘s views on the separation of Understanding, Judgment, and Reason, Lyotard identifies the moment in which language fails as the differend, and explains it as follows: But this leaves, then, open a question that haunts other similar projects of the time: Edinburgh University Press, Lyotard then asks, ‘who will have access to them?

Lyotard claims that this is due to libidinal energy. The postmodern, then, bears witness not to the fact that there are no facts, but rather that those claiming a passkey to reality merely want to make a claim for the hegemony of one phrase regimen e. He in a sort of way reawakens our sensibility of time and images.

Lyotard uses the concepts of a phrase universe and of the difference between presentation and situation in order to show how phases can carry meanings and yet be indeterminate.

A differend occurs ijhuman a discourse does not allow the linkages which would enable the presentation of a wrong. Though this led Dummett to an anti-realist position on time, following J.

The Inhuman: Reflections on Time

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Instead, Lyotard suggests that paganism is the most appropriate response to the desire for justice. The discussion of signs recalls Lyotard’s analysis of the nihilism of semiotics in Libidinal Economywhere he refers to Augustine, and what is perhaps the main theme of this work – Augustine’s writing as a study in the phenomenology of time — is referred to in the earlier paper “The Sublime and the Avant-Garde.


State University of New York Press, 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. According to Lyotard knowledge in postmodernity has largely lost its truth-value, or rather, the production of knowledge is no longer an aspiration to produce truth.

Photo by Bracha L. Or will the State simply be one user among others?

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

Only with continual phrases, llyotard to the initial phrase, does the initial ambiguity become clearer, but of course, with these newer phrases, further ambiguities may take place, lyogard they face the same problems as the initial phrase. He proceeds to deconstruct this opposition, however, and attempts to show that discourse and figure are mutually implicated. Rather, politics is a matter of a diversity of opinions, as the non-Platonic Greeks believed, and is about nothing but this plurality of opinions.

In the initial presentation of the phrase, the instances of the universe are equivocal. This study problematises the temporal mode of the ‘now’, the present, in its relations to lyottard past and the future. Philosophy, Politics and the Sublime New York: When phrases are concatenated, they follow rules for linking called phrase regimens.

Jean François Lyotard (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Another example of the differend which commentators on Lyotard often invoke is that of indigenous peoples’ claims to land rights in colonised countries. Nevertheless there are rules followed within phrase regimens such that certain phrases are allowable while others are not.

For Lyotard, these questions cannot be answered from within these sciences themselves. Furthermore, Lyotard introduces a notion of ‘terror’ that he develops more fully in his later works, indicating the suppression of Algerian culture by the imposition of foreign French cultural forms.


In Lyotard’s postmodern philosophy, then, reason and representation are set limits by the incommensurability of language games; it is not possible for reason injuman understand everything through a representational system. This is the particular transformation of the libidinal band – or the particular dispositif on the libidinal band — that gives rise to representation and theory.

Lyotard found particularly interesting the explanation of inhumqn sublime offered by Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Judgment sometimes Critique of the Power of Judgment. Bilingual edition with trans. Adami, Arakawa, BurenParis: A Report on Knowledgethe impact of the postmodern condition was to provoke skepticism about universalizing theories. Lyotard’s interpretation of capitalism in the libidinal economy sees two possibilities inherent in capitalism, each entwined and inextricable.

Michael Glock rated it it was amazing Mar 25, For Lyotard, this is a question of both knowledge and power. Lyotard’s philosophy of language and justice is most fully developed through the concept of the differend, in the book of the same name.

Lyotard follows Friedrich Nietzsche — in arguing that there is no objective science or forms of knowledge that are not based in a desire or what Nietzsche called a will for power, a point that Lyotard will make by looking at the desire or libido behind the so-called scientific works of the later Marx.

It is essential to distinguish Lyotard’s concept of postmodern art from other ideas of postmodern art. Furthermore, Lyotard’s postmodernism draws attention to the limits of reason through its focus on the sublime. The Lyotard Reader, ed. Lyotard’s response to the nihilism of structure takes place through the concept of dissimulation, which suggests that libidinal energy must work within structures.

There is no link to be found between the genre of discourse of the Apartheid South Africa and those who were silenced and violently suffered under white hegemony.