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Jean-François Lyotard

Edited by Ashley Woodward (Dundee University, Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy)
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Summary Jean-François Lyotard was a French poststructuralist philosopher, best known for his highly influential formulation of the postmodern in The Postmodern Condition. Despite its popularity, however, this book is in fact one of his more minor works. Lyotard’s writings cover a large range of topics in philosophy, politics, and aesthetics, and experiment with a wide variety of styles. The majority of his work, however, is unified by a consistent view that reality consists of singular events which cannot be represented accurately by rational theory. Lyotard’s philosophy exhibits many of the major themes common to poststructuralist and postmodernist thought. He examines the limits of reason, asserts the importance of nonrational forces such as sensations and emotions, rejects the image of the human as the centralizing category, champions heterogeneity and difference, and suggests that the Enlightenment understanding of society in terms of “progress” has been made obsolete by the scientific, technological, political and cultural changes of the Twentieth Century. Lyotard deals with these common themes in a highly original way, and his work exceeds many popular conceptions of the postmodern in its depth, imagination, and rigor. His thought remains highly relevant to contemporary debates in philosophy, politics, social theory, and cultural studies, and has recently been gaining renewed attention, especially around his extensive writings on art and aesthetics.
Key works Lyotard's major philosophy books, in English translation, are Discourse, Figure (Lyotard 1971), Libidinal Economy (Lyotard 1993), and The Differend (Lyotard 1988). Most of his commentaries on artists and many of his works on aesthetics are collected in the six-volume, bi-lingual (English and French) Writings on Contemporary Art and Artists (Lyotard 2009 -).
Introductions Bill Readings, Introducing Lyotard (Readings 1991) Geoffrey Bennington, Lyotard: Writing the Event (Bennington 1988) James Williams, Lyotard: Towards a Postmodern Philosophy (Williams 1998) Simon Malpas, Jean-Francois Lyotard (Malpas 2003)Keith Crome and James Williams (eds.), The Lyotard Reader and Guide 
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  1. André Akoun (1999). Hommage à : Jean-François LYOTARD (1924-1998). Hermès 23:349.
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  2. Gary E. Aylesworth (2002). Lyotard, Gadamer, and the Relation Between Ethics and Aesthetics. In Hugh J. Silverman (ed.), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime. Routledge. 8--84.
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  3. A. Badiou (2003). Guarding the Morning (Philosophy of Lyotard). Filozofski Vestnik 24 (1):81-89.
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  4. William Bain (1995). The Loss of Innocence: Lyotard, Foucault, and the Challenge of Postmodern Education. In Michael Peters (ed.), Education and the Postmodern Condition. Bergin & Garvey. 1--20.
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  5. Gary Banham (1997). The Terror of the Law: Judaism and International Institutions. Angelaki 2 (3):163 – 171.
    This article addresses Jacques Derrida's consideration of Judaism relating it to a need to understand international institutions and the notion of the universal in a new way. It also discusses Lyotard's and Hegel's accounts of Judaism.
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  6. Anne Barron (1992). Lyotard and the Problem of Justice. In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge. 26--42.
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  7. Richard Beardsworth (1992). On the Critical'post': Lyotard's Agitated Judgement. In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge. 43--80.
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  8. Seyla Benhabib (1994). Democracy and Difference: Reflections on the Metapolitics of Lyotard and Derrida. Journal of Political Philosophy 2 (1):1–23.
  9. Andrew Benjamin (2010). Colouring Philosophy: Appel, Lyotard and Art's Work. Critical Horizons 11 (3):379-395.
    Colour plays a fundamental role in the philosophical treatments of painting. Colour while it is an essential part of the work of art cannot be divorced from the account of painting within which it is articulated. This paper begins with a discussion of the role of colour in Schelling's conception of art. Nonetheless its primary concern is to develop a critical encounter with Jean-François Lyotard's analysis of the Dutch painter Karel Appel. The limits of Lyotard's writings on painting, which this (...)
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  10. Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.) (1992). Judging Lyotard. Routledge.
    Best known for his book The Postmodern Condition , Jean-Francois Lyotard is one of the leading figures in contemporary French philosophy. This is the first collection of articles to offer an estimation and critique of his work, with particular focus on the importance to Lyotard of the question of judgement. Lyotard's interest in judgement is evident in his continuing engagement with the work of Kant. Lyotard's own essay, Sensus Communis , which opens the volume, investigates through Kant the presuppositions of (...)
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  11. Geoffrey Bennington (1992). Ces Petits Differends': Lyotard and Horace. In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge.
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  12. Geoffrey Bennington (1988). Lyotard: Writing the Event. Columbia University Press.
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  13. Steven Benson (1996). What's the Problem?: Jean-François Lyotard and Politics. Res Publica 2 (1):129-146.
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  14. Han Bertens (2002). Jean-Francois Lyotard. In Johannes Willem Bertens & Joseph P. Natoli (eds.), Postmodernism: The Key Figures. Blackwell Publishers. 244--248.
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  15. Barbara Bolt (ed.) (2007). Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life. Cambridge Scholars Pub..
    This book presents a timely reconfiguration of the relations between art, philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. Through connection with a range of contemporary social and philosophical issues and movements, this collection of essays highlights the imperative of sensorial aesthetics. The book focuses on the radical philosophical approach to aesthetics enabled by the works of Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. From these philosophers an older meaning of aesthetic has been recalled. Before it indicated primarily the theory of art and beauty, “aesthetic” referred (...)
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  16. Roy Boyne (1989). Reviews : Geoffrey Bennington, Lyotard: Writing the Event, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988, $27.50, Ix + 189 Pp. Jean-François Lyotard, Peregrinations: Law, Form, Event, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988, $20.00, 112 Pp. [REVIEW] History of the Human Sciences 2 (3):389-392.
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  17. H. R. Brons (1995). Philosophy Under Fire: J.F. Lyotard Transcending the Trenches of Postmodernity. History of European Ideas 20 (4-6):785-790.
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  18. Gary K. Browning (2003). Lyotard and Hegel: What is Wrong with Modernity and What is Right with the Philosophy of Right. History of European Ideas 29 (2):223-239.
    While Hegel's absolutist rhetoric disguises the contestability of his theorizing, his subtle, nuanced reading of modernity and social theory offers a more constructive and powerful approach to the continuing problems of modernity and the contemporary world than is acknowledged by Lyotard. (edited).
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  19. Gary K. Browning (2000). Lyotard and the End of Grand Narratives. University of Wales Press.
  20. Luigi Buonaiuto (2013). Il Dissidio Trascendentale: La Capitolazione Del Soggetto. Nóema 4 (4-1).
    The essay analyses the notion of the subject in Kant, starting from the lyotardian reading of the Analytic of Sublime . The dismantling of the architectural critics, carried out by the French philosopher in the name of the sentimental a priori, which opposes to a priori of the categorical logic, will cause a review of the ontological value of the “I think”, implying its capitulation as a basis.
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  21. Nicholas C. Burbules (2000). Lyotard on Wittgenstein: The Differend, Language Games, and Education. In Pradeep Ajit Dhillon & Paul Standish (eds.), Lyotard: Just Education. Routledge. 36--53.
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  22. H. C. (1996). The Game of Science: As Played by Jean-Francois Lyotard. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (3):367-380.
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  23. Antonio Calcagno (1995). Interface: Modernity and Post-Modernity: The Possibility of Enthusiasm According to Immanuel Kant and Jean-Francois Lyotard. Philosophy Today 4 (4):358-370.
  24. David Carroll (1987). Paraesthetics: Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida. Methuen.
    Paraesthetics' is a neologism invented by David Carroll to unlock the extra-aesthetic relationship between art and literature in the work of Michel Foucault, ...
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  25. Peter Caws (2010). The Fading of the Postmodern: Jean François Lyotard's Moralites Postmoderrnes. Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 6 (3):34-42.
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  26. R. Clausjurgens (1988). Language Games and Faculty of Judgment-the Lyotard, Jean, Francois Discourse on Narrative Pragmatics. Philosophisches Jahrbuch 95 (1):107-120.
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  27. Keith Crome (2006). Lyotard and the Greeks. Angelaki 11 (3):93 – 105.
    I read Kant or Adorno or Aristotle not in order to detect the request they themselves tried to answer by writing, but in order to hear what they are requesting from me while I write or so that I write. J.-F. Lyotard.
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  28. Keith Crome (2004). Lyotard and Greek Thought: Sophistry. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this original study, Keith Crome argues for the importance of Lyotard's analysis of sophistry. In the first section, the author examines the accounts of sophistry given in the works of Plato, Hegel and Heidegger. Sensitive to the important differences between them Keith Crome nevertheless establishes their fundamental identity. In the second section, the book shows the radicality of Lyotard's analysis in contrast to such traditional views. It examines Lyotard's complex and original readings of sophistical arguments, and offers a new (...)
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  29. Keith J. Crome (2003). Retorsion: Jean-Francois Lyotard's Reading of Sophistry. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):29-44.
    Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published [following peer-review] in Southern Journal of Philosophy, published by and copyright University of Memphis.
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  30. Keith Crome & James Williams (eds.) (2006). The Lyotard Reader and Guide. Edinburgh University Press.
    The Lyotard Reader and Guide is a one-stop companion to Lyotard's thought. It covers the full range of his works, from his three main books ( Discours, figure; Libidinal Economy; and The Differend) and up to his influential essays in The Inhuman and Postmodern Fables. -/- The readings are organized into sections on philosophy, politics, art, and literature. Several have never before been translated into English. Detailed introductions to each section by two leading Lyotard scholars explain the philosopher's key ideas (...)
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  31. Paul Crowther (1992). Les Immatériaux and the Postmodern Sublime. In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge. 192--205.
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  32. Neal Curtis (2003). `I' Was Here: Lyotard Signs Off. Theory, Culture and Society 20 (5):123-140.
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  33. Stuart Dalton (1994). Lyotard's Peregrination. Philosophy Today 38 (3):227-242.
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  34. Anthony David (1997). Lyotard on the Kantian Sublime. International Studies in Philosophy 29 (4):1-9.
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  35. Georges de Schrijver (2010). The Political Ethics of Jean-François Lyotard and Jacques Derrida. Peeters.
    Jean-François Lyotard. First acquaintance with Lyotard -- Kant's notion of the sublime and its appropriation by Lyotard -- Transposing Kant to the key of the postmodern -- The role of feelings in Lyotard's political judgment -- Universality revisited -- Jacques Derrida. The Nietzschean influence -- Derrida and phenomenology -- Derrida's exploration of exteriority and anteriority -- Derrida's political ethics : foundations -- Derrida's political ethics : further elaborations : the international scene.
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  36. Hent De Vries (1998). On Obligation: Lyotard and Levinas. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 20 (2/1):83-112.
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  37. Olivier Dekens (2000). L'enfance de la philosophie. Symposium 4 (1):33-53.
    Cet article a pour objet d’élucider la disposition philosophique que Lyotard paraît placer au principe de son travail et qu’il appelle signijicativement probité. Cette disposition consiste tout d’abord à offrir à tout ce qui se présente une sensibilité à la singularité du cas, aux différends et aux différences. Mais elle réside également dans un mouvement inverse, dans l’effort d’invention des règles de l’enchaînement entre chacune des occurrences qui auront été respecté en leur spécificite. Dans un premier temps, il s’agira d’analyser (...)
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  38. Jean-Louis Deotte & Roxanne Lapidus (2004). The Differences Between Ranciere's Mesentente (Political Disagreement) and Lyotard's Differend. Substance 33 (1):77-90.
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  39. Pradeep Ajit Dhillon & Paul Standish (eds.) (2000). Lyotard: Just Education. Routledge.
    Following Lyotard's death in 1998, this book provides an exploration of the recurrent theme of education in his work. It brings to a wider audience the significance of a body of thought about education that is subtle, profound and still largely unexplored. This book also makes an important contribution to contemporary debates on postmodernism and education.
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  40. John S. Drummond (2001). Petits Differends: A Reflection on Aspects of Lyotard's Philosophy for Quality of Care. Nursing Philosophy 2 (3):224-233.
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  41. Denis Dumas (1992). Die Grenzen der Verständigung. Ein Geistergespräch zwischen Lyotard und Habermas Manfred Frank Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 1988, 103 p. [REVIEW] Dialogue 31 (01):168-.
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  42. Jean-Michel Durafour (2009). Jean-François Lyotard, Questions au Cinéma: Ce Que le Cinéma Se Figure. Presses Universitaires de France.
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  43. The Editors (1991). Jean-François Lyotard, Heidegger and "the Jews". Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 3 (1):55.
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  44. Fred J. Evans (1994). Judging Lyotard. Radical Philosophy Review of Books 9 (9):16-21.
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  45. Thomas R. Flynn (2002). Lyotard and History Without Witnesses. In Hugh J. Silverman (ed.), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime. Routledge. 8--151.
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  46. Roger S. Foster (1999). Strategies of Justice: The Project of Philosophy in Lyotard and Habermas. Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (2):87-113.
    This paper presents the philosophies of J.-F. Lyotard and J. Habermas as motivated by the common goal of conceiving a credible theory of social justice whilst avoiding the aporias of the philosophy of subjectivity. It is argued that each constructs a conception of social justice through conceiving domination within the philosophical framework furnished by the linguistic turn. This argument will involve an examination of the divergent readings given by these thinkers of the relation between injustice and language use. Lyotard's critique (...)
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  47. Mark Freed (2005). Latour, Lyotard, and the Problematics of Legitimation. Angelaki 10 (3):99 – 114.
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  48. François Frimat & Jean-Michel Durafour (2011). Peinture Et Désir. Jean-François Lyotard. Conférence Inédite Prononcée à la Sorbonne, le 9 Décembre 1972. Cités 45 (1):117.
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  49. J. M. Fritzman (1990). Lyotard's Paralogy and Rorty's Pluralism: Their Differences and Pedagogical Implications. Educational Theory 40 (3):371-380.
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  50. Wayne Froman (2002). The Suspense. In Hugh J. Silverman (ed.), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime. Routledge. 213--221.
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