J. F. Lyotard Derek Robbins

ISBN: 9780761949282

Published: May 1st 2004

Hardcover

1272 pages


Description

J. F. Lyotard  by  Derek Robbins

J. F. Lyotard by Derek Robbins
May 1st 2004 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 1272 pages | ISBN: 9780761949282 | 9.62 Mb

The association between Lyotard and postmodernism is so strong that it threatens to eclipse his seminal contributions to aesthetics, politics, education, religion and phenomenology. The Postmodern Condition was widely acclaimed as the bible ofMoreThe association between Lyotard and postmodernism is so strong that it threatens to eclipse his seminal contributions to aesthetics, politics, education, religion and phenomenology. The Postmodern Condition was widely acclaimed as the bible of postmodernism and Lyotard was unwillingly elevated by his readers to a position of almost papal authority.

Yet the twenty seven books published in his lifetime, to say nothing of the lectures, articles and other interventions, reveal a complex, multi-dimensional thinker who cannot be confined by the label postmodernist.Profoundly influenced by the inhumanity of the second world war, Lyotard began his career in Algeria where he fell under the influence of this historian, Pierre Sourys who introduced him to the Socialisme ou Barbarie group which included Cornelius Catroiadis, Claude Lefort and Jean Laplanche. With roots in Trotskyism, this group embarked on acritique of the Soviet command state and, through this, of the general validity of Marxist explanation.

Lyotards sojourn in Algeria also refined his hostility to colonialism and the myth of Western superiority. It is from this moment that the beginnings of Lyotards disillusionment with grand narratives can be traced.Lyotard broke with Socisalime ou Barbarie in 1963.

However, his experiences clearly predisposed him to join the Mouvement du 22 mars in 1968 and influenced his turbulent relations with the Universisty of Nanterre concerning questions of the curriculum and student rights. Later he became a noted supporter of the various critical minority movements that developed in the wake of the events of 1968.This collection, edited by a noted expert on French social and cultural theory, reveals Lyotards questing and clear eyed critical intelligence in all of its profound cogency.

The characteristic themes of the heterogeneity of language, the tyranny of imposed authority, the future of democracy, the contradictions of justice and the virtues of the post-modern imagination which re-radicalized a generation in the 1980s and 90s are all thoroughly explored here. Lyotards relation to Kant, Marx and a range of contemporary thinkers including Adorno.

Said, Kuhn, Habermas, Foucault and Derrida is elucidated with great clarity. What emerges most forcefully is Lyotards extraordinary generosity of thought. His approach enjoined a responsibility to scrutinize any context in which power is exercised in the name of an organization or an ideal. Lyotard redefined the meaning of intellectual dissent and in doing so, suggested an important range of political and cultural responsibilities in the postmodern world.This collection, prepared five years after the death of its subject, allows readers to make sense of this major thinker, especially in the light of critical reassessments of his life and work.



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