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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. J. - (1998). F Lyotard (1924-1998). W obronie jego Kondycji ponowoczesnej. Principia.
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  2. Ross Abbinnett (1998). Truth and Social Science: From Hegel to Deconstruction. Sage Publications.
    The noble aim of sociologists to "tell the truth" has sometimes involved ignoble assumptions about human beings. In this major discussion of truth in the social science, Ross Abbinnett traces the debate on truth from the "objectifying powers" of Kant through more than 200 years of critique and reformulation to the unraveling of truth by Lyotard, Foucault, and Derrida. Truth and Social Science gives students an exciting and accessible guide to the main sociological treatments of truth and can also be (...)
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  3. André Akoun (1999). Hommage À : Jean-François LYOTARD (1924-1998). Hermes 23:349.
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  4. Philippe Fossati Allilaire, Frédérique de Vignemont, Tiziana Zalla, Andrés Posada, Anne Louvegnez, Olivier Koenig, Nicolas Georgieff, Nicolas Franck, Arnaud DÕArgembeau & Martial Van der Linden (2006). Cédric Lemogne, Pascale Piolino, Stéphanie Friszer, Astrid Claret, Nathalie Girault, Roland Jouvent, Jean-François. Consciousness and Cognition 15:232-233.
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  5. Lilian Alweiss (1999). Jean François Lyotard, Postmodern Fables Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 19 (2):118-119.
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  6. Lilian Alweiss (1999). Jean François Lyotard, Postmodern Fables. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 19:118-119.
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  7. Jason Arndt, Bruno G. Bara, Tim Bayne, Cristina Becchio, Cordula Becker, Derek Besner, Mark Blagrove, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Stephan G. Boehm & Francesca Marina Bosco (2006). Adenzato, Mauro, 64 Allilaire, Jean-François, 258 Alonso, Diego, 386 Andrade, Jackie, 1, 28. Consciousness and Cognition 15:767-768.
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  8. 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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  9. Gary E. Aylesworth (2002). Richard Brons. In Hugh J. Silverman (ed.), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime. Routledge. 8--281.
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  10. A. Badiou (2003). Guarding the Morning (Philosophy of Lyotard). Filozofski Vestnik 24 (1):81-89.
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Anne Barron (1992). Lyotard and the Problem of Justice. In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge. 26--42.
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  14. Christine Battersby & Kimberly Hutchings (2008). The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference. Radical Philosophy 148:43.
    Christine Battersby is a leading thinker in the field of philosophy, gender studies and visual and literary aesthetics. In this important new work, she undertakes an exploration of the nature of the sublime, one of the most important topics in contemporary debates about modernity, politics and art. Through a compelling examination of terror, transcendence and the ‘other’ in key European philosophers and writers, Battersby articulates a radical ‘female sublime’. A central feature of The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is its (...)
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  15. Jean Baudrillard (2004). Fragments: Conversations with François L'yvonnet. Routledge.
    Fragments presents a set of brilliantly intriguing interviews with Jean Baudrillard whose work today occupies center stage in the analysis of consumerism, terrorism, and contemporary culture. In these frank discussions with François L'Yvonnet, Baudrillard reveals for the first time in detail the thinkers who have been the dominant influences on his work during his career. Instead of examining his work as a project of intellectual accumulation, he challenges all the major interpretations of his work by suggesting he has always adopted (...)
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  16. Richard Beardsworth (2006). Modernity in French Thought: Excess in Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-François Lyotard. Telos 2006 (137):67-95.
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  17. 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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  18. Olivier Beaud (2012). Remarques sur le livre de Jean-François Kervégan. Philosophiques 39 (2):463.
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  19. Jocelyn R. Beausoleil (1985). Jean Morange, Libertés Publiques Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 5 (10):467-469.
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  20. F. De Beer (1990). L'augustinisme de St François d'Assise. Revista Agustiniana 31 (95):417-504.
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  21. Michel Bellefeuille (1994). Jean-François Malherbe, Pour Une Éthique de la Médecine, Bruxelles, Éditions Ciaco, 1990, 207 P.Jean-François Malherbe, Pour Une Éthique de la Médecine, Bruxelles, Éditions Ciaco, 1990, 207 P. [REVIEW] Horizons Philosophiques 4 (2):154-156.
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  22. Pierre Bellemare (1986). François Fédier, Interprétations Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 6 (3):104-106.
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  23. Marc Benamou, Todd Berliner, Margaret A. Boden, Shahar Bram, Jean Francois Lyotard, Max Paddison, Irene Deliege, Joel Rudinow & Cain Todd (2011). ANKER, STEVE, GERITZ, KATHY and SEID, STEVE (Eds). Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000.(Berkeley: University of California Press). 2010. Pp. 351.£ 20.95 (Pbk). [REVIEW] British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1):115.
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  24. Seyla Benhabib (1994). Democracy and Difference: Reflections on the Metapolitics of Lyotard and Derrida. Journal of Political Philosophy 2 (1):1–23.
  25. 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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  26. Andrew Benjamin (ed.) (1991). The Lyotard Reader. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  27. 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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  28. Geoffrey Bennington (2001). Time After Time (Jean-Francois Lyotard). Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 32 (3):300-311.
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  29. Geoffrey Bennington (1992). Ces Petits Differends': Lyotard and Horace. In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge.
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  30. Geoffrey Bennington (1988). Lyotard: Writing the Event. Columbia University Press.
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  31. Steven Benson (1996). What's the Problem?: Jean-François Lyotard and Politics. Res Publica 2 (1):129-146.
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  32. Debra B. Bergoffen (2002). Gary E. Ayle8worth. In Hugh J. Silverman (ed.), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime. Routledge. 8--281.
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  33. Philippa Berry & Andrew Wernick (eds.) (1992). Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion. Routledge.
    By illuminating the striking affinity between the most innovative aspects of postmodern thought and religious mystical discourse, Shadow of Spirit challenges the long established assumption that western thought is committed to nihilism. This collection of essays by internationally recognized scholars explores the implications of the fascination with the "sacred," "divine" or "infinite" which characterizes much contemporary thought. It shows how these concerns have surfaced in the work of Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Irigaray and others. Examining the connection between this postmodern (...)
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  34. 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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  35. Tilman Beyrich (2002). Zeichen aus Asche. Lyotard und Derrida zum Holocaust. Neue Zeitschrift Für Systematische Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 44 (2):218-236.
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  36. I. Birchall (2007). On Jean-Francois Fayet's Karl Radek (1885-1939). Historical Materialism 14 (3):259.
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  37. Lieven Boeve (1997). Critical Consciousness in the Postmodern Condition. Philosophy and Theology 10 (2):449-468.
    In an attempt to clarify our present-day postmodern context and to ascertain the critical consciousness of our time, I study a number of main lines of thought in the work of the postmodernist thinkers Wolfgang Welsch, Jean-François Lyotard and Richard Rorty. Afterwards, I elaborate on the position of Jürgen Habermas in the postmodern debate. In the second section I present a schematic overview of this postmodern panorama, pointing out the main similarities and differences of the theorists under consideration. A critical (...)
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  38. Lieven Boeve (1994). Theologie na het christelijke Grote verhaal: In het spoor Van Jean-François Lyotard. Bijdragen 55 (3):269-295.
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  39. G. Bohme (1998). Lyotard's Reading of the Sublime. Kant-Studien 89 (2):205-218.
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  40. Gernot Böhme (1998). Lyotards Lektüre des Erhabenen. Kant-Studien 2 (2):198-214.
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  41. 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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  42. Susan Bordo (1992). Postmodern Subjects, Postmodern Bodies. Feminist Studies 18 (1):159.
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  43. R. Bourgarel, François Mauriac & Maurice Blondel (1934). Séance du 13 Mai 1933. La Conception de la Vie Dans l'Œuvre de François Mauriac. Les Etudes Philosophiques 8 (1/2):1 - 6.
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  44. Michael Boylan, Denise Inge, Frederic Jameson, Scott Barry Kaufman, James C. Kaufman, Dominic Mciver Lopes, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Adrian Pabst, Angus Paddison & Fiona Price (2010). BENTON, MICHAEL. Literary Biography An Introduction.(London: Wiley-Blackwell). 2009. Pp. 280.£ 60.00 (Hbk). BERGMANN, SIGURD. In the Beginning is the Icon: A Liberative Theology of Images, Visual Arts and Culture.(London: Equinox Publishing Limited). 2009. Pp. 256.£ 50.00 (Hbk). [REVIEW] British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1):119.
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  45. 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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  46. Deborah Bradley (2011). In the Space Between the Rock and the Hard Place: State Teacher Certification Guidelines and Music Education for Social Justice. Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (4):79-96.
    Différend: A case of conflict between (at least) two parties, that cannot be equitably resolved for lack of a rule of judgment applicable to both arguments. . . . A wrong results from the fact that the rules of the genre of discourse by which one judges are not those of the judged genre or genres of discourse. This paper looks at the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Guidelines for Music Teacher Education, a governmentally defined technology of (...)
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  47. Pierre Brodin (1951). Notes on Mauriac. Renascence 3 (2):138-144.
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  48. 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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  49. Gary K. Browning (2004). Rethinking R. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Rethinking R.G. Collingwood reviews Collingwood's thought via his own rethinking of Hegel. It establishes the revisionary character of Collingwood's defence of liberal civilization in theory and practice. Collingwood is seen as avoiding the pitfalls of Hegel's teleological historicism by developing an open and contestable reading of the rationality of liberal civilization, which neither reduces practice to theory nor philosophy to history. The contemporary relevance of Collingwood's standpoint is demonstrated by comparing it with those of recent defenders and critics of liberalism (...)
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  50. Gary K. Browning (2004). Rethinking R.G. Collingwood: Philosophy, Politics, and the Unity of Theory and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Rethinking R.G. Collingwood reviews Collingwood's thought via his own rethinking of Hegel. It establishes the revisionary character of Collingwood's defence of liberal civilization in theory and practice. Collingwood is seen as avoiding the pitfalls of Hegel's teleological historicism by developing an open and contestable reading of the rationality of liberal civilization, which neither reduces practice to theory nor philosophy to history. The contemporary relevance of Collingwood's standpoint is demonstrated by comparing it with those of recent defenders and critics of liberalism (...)
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