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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. Notes on the Differences Between Modern and Pre-Modern Yoga.Subhasis Chattopadhyay - manuscript
    This was a draft written in a hurry for a submission somewhere. Like all submissions done in a hurry this is not the perfected work. This paper shows how modernist Yogic praxes are totalitarian in the sense in which Hannah Arendt discusses totalitarianism. Further it attacks structuralist critiques of Yoga and comments on the state of Hindu and even, Buddhist studies today. One has to be cautious in reading this paper since the author ranges through many references which have not (...)
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  2. Trans-Genre Lyotard in Advance.Erin Graff Zivin - forthcoming - Philosophy Today.
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  3. Lyotard and the Trolls in Advance.Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz - forthcoming - Philosophy Today.
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  4. Jean-Francois Lyotard, Political Writings.D. Macey - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  5. Trans-Genre Lyotard.Erin Graff Zivin - 2022 - Philosophy Today 66 (2):345-364.
    If Lyotard is correct to acknowledge the role of commentary in guarding the kernel of misunderstanding at the heart of the ethical phrase when he exclaims, “but isn’t this exactly what commentary does with ethics! It comments upon it as though it were a misunderstanding, and it thereby conserves in itself its own requirement that there be something ununderstood,” he does not account for that which a trans-generic or transmedial “commentary” might permit, what troubling, unanswerable questions it might raise, what (...)
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  6. Lyotard and the Trolls.Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz - 2022 - Philosophy Today 66 (2):261-286.
    The present article examines the contemporary stakes and “application” of The Differend with particular attention to neo-fascist denialism, trolling, and alt-right “free speech” discourse. This entails investigating the text’s own rhetorical performance as well as the shifting attitudes towards the sophistic tradition in The Differend and its precursor text, “On the Force of the Weak.” The article thus also takes up in detail three examples of the characteristic sophistic form of the dilemma or double-bind, two of which are drawn from (...)
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  7. Jean-François Lyotard and Postmodern Technoscience.Massimiliano Simons - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-19.
    Often associated with themes in political philosophy and aesthetics, the work of Jean-François Lyotard is most known for his infamous definition of the postmodern in his best-known book, La condition postmoderne, as incredulity towards metanarratives. The claim of this article is that this famous claim of Lyotard is actually embedded in a philosophy of technology, one that is, moreover, still relevant for understanding present technoscience. The first part of the article therefore sketches Lyotard’s philosophy of technology, mainly by correcting three (...)
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  8. Non-Projects for the Uninhabitable: Lyotard's Architecture Philosophy.Ashley Woodward - 2022 - Architecture Philosophy 5 (2).
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  9. Postmodernist Visual Discourse on Lyotard's Views on Dushan's Works.Soheila Bahremani, Hossein Ardalani, Nafiseh Namadianpour & Parnaz Goodarzparvari - 2021 - Philosophical Investigations 15 (37):450-468.
    The French scholar Jan-Francoisa Lyotard deconstructs from categories such as speech and language and places the image and play against it. He places a postmodernist visual sensibility against the modernist speech sensitivity. He comes up with figural logic. Lyotard has the critical thinking and offers new ways to critique contemporary intellectual and cultural status in various political, social, and artistic fields. These new practices are facing with many challenges, but at the same time are the motivating and inspiring. The general (...)
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  10. Media mostruosi, immagini sublimi. Uno sguardo sull’arte contemporanea con Lyotard.Dario Cecchi - 2021 - Studi di Estetica 20.
    The article focuses on the possibility of reconsidering the relationship existing between monstrosity and sublime in the light of Jean-François Lyotard’s interpretation of the Kantian sublime. Sublime and monstrosity unveil a system of analogies and differences, which can depict the aesthetic experience mediated by mass media, rather than by art. The lack of form and the sometimes obscene drift, which are typical of media experience, configure indeed a sensibility that oscillates between the ascension to sublime heights and the emergence of (...)
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  11. La renaissance du jugement esthétique : de Arendt à Lyotard, du beau au sublime.Eskil Elling - 2021 - In Anne Elisabeth Sejten & Claudio Rozzoni (eds.), Revisiter le sublime. Milano, Italien: pp. 197-213.
  12. A Response to Wiebe Koopal’s Review of Inhuman Educations: Jean-François Lyotard, Pedagogy, Thought.Derek R. Ford - 2021 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 40 (5):545-547.
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  13. Psychanalyse Et Critique de la Raison modernePsychoanalysis and Critique of Modern Reason. A Comparative Reading of Adorno and Lyotard.Agnès Grivaux - 2021 - Les Cahiers Philosophiques de Strasbourg 50:53-73.
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  14. Lyotard and Kant on the State of the Sublime in Art.Adrián Kvokačka - 2021 - Con-Textos Kantianos 14:403-415.
    In this paper, I address the relationship between Lyotard’s account of the sublime in art and Kant’s own attempt at considering sublime art as a possible counterpart to fine art. Lyotard recognises the roots of modern art - and avant-garde particularly -in Kant’s account of the sublime. This is interesting, forit is generally assumed that Kant didn’t devise the notion to be applied to art as such. In the lack of any explicit consideration of artistic sublime in Kant’s text, what (...)
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  15. Philosophy as a Vanitas: Lyotard’s Exploded Sublime.Sarah Wilson - 2021 - Itinera 21.
    French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard’s changing concepts of the sublime are traced here. Overriding normative responses to Lyotard’s Artforum texts on the sublime of the later 1980s, I argue for a fulcrum moment shared with painter Jacques Monory in California in the later 1970s, and the collision of astronomy, the digitalisation of data, the microprocessor and neuroscience. Lyotard’s exhibition Les Immatériaux exemplified interdisciplinarity at the parameters of knowledge, shunning postmodern irony. Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime: Kant’s Critique of Judgement, (...)
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  16. Presenting the Unpresentable: Jean-François Lyotard’s Kantian Art-Sublime.Rachel Zuckert - 2021 - Kantian Review 26 (4):549-565.
    This article reconstructs Jean-François Lyotard’s theory of the sublime in contemporary art, focusing on his claim that such art ‘presents’ the unpresentable, and tracing its origins in Kant’s account of the sublime. I propose that Lyotard identifies a difficulty concerning Kant’s account: to understand why the disparate elements in the experience of the sublime should be synthesized to form that experience. Lyotard recasts this difficulty as a pragmatic problem for artistic practice – how to ‘testify’ to the absolute in a (...)
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  17. Review of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae: A Biography. [REVIEW]Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2020 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 125 (03):382-382.
    Bernard McGinn was a great historian of Christianity. But in this book under review he fails to do justice to the history of the Summa. He fails to understand the ontologies of the economic theories of Bernard Lonergan and the theology of Karl Rahner, for examples. The book is patchy and seems under-researched. McGinn does not do justice to the influence of the Summa as a text which forms a bridge between St. Augustine of Hippo and Hannah Arendt and Jean (...)
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  18. Disputing Critique: Lyotard's Kantian Differend.Keith Crome - 2020 - In Sorin Baiasu & Alberto Vanzo (eds.), Kant and the Continental Tradition: Sensibility, Nature, and Religion. New York: Routledge.
  19. L’Autre Scène de Jean-François Lyotard.Francis Haselden - 2020 - Nouvelle Revue D’Esthétique 1:121.
    This article rediscovers a short film directed by Jean-François Lyotard, entitled L’Autre Scène. The work underlines the originality of a philosopher who refused to separate theory from practice. First analysing the influence of Freudian theory on the production of the film, I shall then see how the work elaborates the concept of “acinema”. Finally, I will give an interpretation of Lyotard’s enigmatic silence about his first film work. -/- .
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  20. On Affective Universality: Kant, Arendt and Lyotard on Sensus Communis.Andrea Rehberg - 2020 - In Sorin Baiasu & Alberto Vanzo (eds.), Kant and the Continental Tradition: Sensibility, Nature, and Religion. New York: Routledge.
  21. Lyotard and Politics: A Critical Introduction.Stuart Sim - 2020 - Edinburgh University Press.
    Stuart Sim explores how Lyotard's brand of pragmatism can provide a focus for political theory and action in our cultural climate, especially in light of the dramatic resurgence of right-wing extremism.
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  22. Postmodern Theory and Truth: An Attempt at Reconciliation.Rein Raud - 2019 - Tandf: Comparative and Continental Philosophy 11 (1):48-60.
    Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2019, Page 48-60.
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  23. "...Lehetetlen úgy megváltoztatni a jelent, hogy ne változtassuk meg a múltat" - Losoncz Alpárral Tóth Szilárd János és Kocsis Árpád beszélget.Szilárd János Tóth, Árpád Kocsis & Alpár Losoncz - 2019 - Híd 86 (10):5-19.
    Interjú az Új Symposion örökségéről, Jugoszláviáról, a vajdasági magyarság baloldali radikális hagyományáról, az avantgárdról stb.
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  24. Ethics and Politics in the Postmodern Condition.Tommaso Valentini - 2019 - FormaMente. International Research Journal on Digital Future 14 (2):37-54.
    In this paper I analyze the postmodern condition with particular reference to the ethical and political spheres. Postmodernism attempts a radical break with all of the major strands of post-Enlightenment thought. For postmodernists as the French Jean-François Lyotard and the Italian Gianni Vattimo, the orthodox Enlightenment “meta-narrative” of progress and the “speculative” narrative of Hegel and Marx have lost their explanatory force. In particular, Lyotard speaks about five large meta-narratives of Western culture: 1) Christianity (understood also in the secularized form (...)
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  25. Pienten kertomusten etiikkaa: ideologia ja narratiivinen hermeneutiikka.Jussi Backman - 2018 - Ajatus 75 (1):361-381.
    Kirjasymposioartikkeli esittelee Hanna Meretojan teoksen The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible (Oxford University Press, 2018) keskeisimmät ajatukset ja kytkee ne laajempaan hermeneuttiseen ja jälkistrukturalistiseen ajatteluperinteeseen, etenkin Jean-François Lyotardin luonnehdintaan jälkimodernista aikakaudesta suurten modernien historiallisten metakertomusten horjumisen ja pienten paikallisten kertomusten moneuden aikakautena. Tässä valossa Meretojan hermeneuttista kertomusetiikkaa voidaan lukea ennen muuta pienten, ei-totalisoivien kertomusten etiikkana. Artikkeli esittää, että tällaiselle etiikalle löytyy hedelmällinen vertailukohta Hannah Arendtin totalitarismiteoriasta, joka sijoittaa ideologiset metakertomukset totalitaarisen hallinnan ja sen tuottaman ”banaalin pahuuden” (...)
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  26. Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof: Waarom filosofen gek zijn.Nicole des Bouvrie - 2018 - Eindhoven: Damon.
    Zijn filosofen gek? Zo ja, waarom? En ligt dat dan aan de filosoof, aan de filosofie of aan de diagnostiek? Dat zijn de vragen die in 'Diagnose van de moderne filosoof' centraal staan. Nicole des Bouvrie neemt aan de hand van het diagnostische handboek van psychiaters en psychologen (de DSM-V) de situatie van de hedendaagse denker onder de loep. Autisme, psychoses, anorexia en andere aandoeningen passeren de revue, om aan de hand van een grondige anamnese van hedendaagse denkbeelden uit de (...)
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  27. What Science Means for Postmodernist Epistemology and the Philosophy of Education.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (14):1397–1398.
    In my view, postmodernism, as a cluster of bold epistemological claims, foundered on the rocks of contemporary science. Many postmodern positions about knowledge have conflicted with views of science that are extraordinarily difficult to doubt, which in this short article (composed to honour Educational Philosophy and Theory's 50th anniversary), I point out and argue holds a lesson about how to undertake the philosophy of education.
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  28. From Ideology to Metametanarrative (Addendum to Consuming Antinatalism in Social Media).George Rossolatos - 2018 - Interdiscursive Readings in Cultural Consumer Research.
    Despite Lyotard’s proclaimed end of metanarratives in a post-modern predicament, metanarratives appear to be making a comeback. This is the case for antinatalism, a relatively recent ideological formation or moral philosophical perspective that has spawned a new social movement with an active presence in social media. The organizational and structural aspects of NSMs render them amenable to being labeled as ‘post-modern’. In this context, the emergence of ideologies as moral philosophies, such as antinatalism, loom like an outsider, or like a (...)
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  29. Give Me A Sign: An Anxious Exploration of Performance on Film.Kiff Bamford - 2017 - In Graham Jones & Ashley Woodward (eds.), Acinemas: Lyotard's Philosophy of Film. Edinburgh, UK: pp. 150-162.
    Lyotard’s references to film and video are so limited, it should be relatively easy to expand his repertoire and consider his thoughts in relation to those of my own. But I have struggled, and skirted round my chosen topic for too long; how can his ideas be brought to play productively to my own ends – to consider the relationship of performance art to film? Perhaps that is the problem: I have sought a productive return on my investment, rather than (...)
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  30. Jean-François Lyotard: Critical Lives.Kiff Bamford - 2017 - London, UK: Reaktion.
    Jean-François Lyotard is one of the most important, and complex, French thinkers of the twentieth century. Best known in the English-speaking world for his book The Postmodern Condition, the multi-faceted nature of Lyotard’s work has often been obscured by its sometimes problematic association with the postmodern. His life refuses to follow the clear trajectory common to academics in France: it stalls and hesitates, with Lyotard’s first ‘career’ consisting of fifteen years of militant Marxist political engagement. Kiff Bamford traces this circuitous (...)
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  31. Lyotard and the Sublime Unconscious of Education.Derek R. Ford & Tyson E. Lewis - 2017 - Philosophy of Education 73:488-501.
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  32. Why Philosophize? Jean-François Lyotard Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013; 123 Pp.; $12.95 Isbn: 978-0-7456-7073-7. [REVIEW]Andrew Iliadis - 2017 - Dialogue 56 (4):813-814.
  33. Wronged Beyond Words: On the Publicity and Repression of Moral Injury.Matthew Congdon - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (8):815-834.
    In this article, I discuss cases in which moral grievances, particularly assertions that a moral injury has taken place, are systematically obstructed by received linguistic and epistemic practices. I suggest a social epistemological model for theorizing such cases of moral epistemic injustice. Towards this end, I offer a reconstruction of Lyotard’s concept of the differend, comparing it with Miranda Fricker’s concept of epistemic injustice, and considering it in light of some criticisms posed by Axel Honneth. Through this reconstruction and a (...)
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  34. Was Feyerabend a Postmodernist?Ian James Kidd - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):55-68.
    ABSTRACTThis article asks whether the philosophy of Paul K. Feyerabend can be reasonably classified as postmodernist, a label applied to him by friends and foes alike. After describing some superficial similarities between the style and content of both Feyerabend’s and postmodernist writings, I offer three more robust characterisations of postmodernism in terms of relativism, ‘incredulity to metanarratives’, and ‘depthlessness’. It emerges that none of these characterisations offers a strong justification for classifying Feyerabend as ‘postmodern’ in any significant sense. Indeed, what (...)
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  35. Antyponowoczesność Alaina Badiou.Andrzej Wasilewski - 2016 - Diametros 50:97-117.
    The article analyses Alain Badiou`s philosophy from the point of view of his relation to postmodernity. Alain Badiou is a political activist, mathematician, writer, playwright and literary critic. However, above all, he is a philosopher of the totality who attempts to give a thoroughgoing explanation of the world. This is the sense in which he is an anti-postmodernist. His whole philosophy is directed against sophistry. Badiou consistently builds his own system in order to oppose it to the philosophy of the (...)
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  36. Lyotard and the Inhuman Condition: Reflections on Nihilism, Information and Art.Ashley Woodward - 2016 - Edinburgh University Press.
    Ashley Woodward demonstrates what a new generation of scholars are just discovering: that Lyotard's incisive work is essential for current debates in the humanities. Lyotard's ideas about the arts and the confrontations between humanist traditions and cutting-edge sciences and technologies are today known as 'posthumanism'. Woodward presents a series of studies to explain Lyotard's specific interventions in information theory, new media arts and the changing nature of the human. He assesses their relevance and impact in relation to a number of (...)
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  37. A Figural Education with Lyotard.Derek R. Ford - 2015 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 34 (1):89-100.
    While there was a flurry of articles throughout the 1990s in philosophy of education on Lyotard, there are still several key concepts in his oeuvre that have import for but remain largely underdeveloped or absent in the field. One of the most interesting of these absent concepts is Lyotard’s notion of the figural. In this paper, I take the figural as an educational problematic and ask what new educational insights it can generate in regard to the existing literature. As such, (...)
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  38. Lyotard and the Figural in Performance, Art and Writing.Karin Fry - 2015 - The European Legacy 20 (4):408-409.
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  39. Lyotard Und Hegel – Im Widerstreit.Andreas Herberg-Rothe - 2015 - Hegel-Jahrbuch 2015 (1).
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  40. Ética da Receptividade: Aspectos de Uma Filosofia Moral Segundo Jean-François Lyotard.Lars Leeten - 2015 - Trans/Form/Ação 38 (1):133-146.
    O presente artigo aborda a dimensão ética no pensamento de Jean-François Lyotard. Como conceito decisivo para essa relação, é aqui proposto o conceito de receptividade. Partindo dele, deseja-se mostrar que é possível reconstruir uma concepção de responsabilidade ética no pensamento do filósofo francês, a qual se coloca em sentido diametralmente oposto à concepção de autonomia: a obrigação ética se torna por conta disso afetiva, fundada e repousando na capacidade de se deixar falar. Com vistas a uma determinação mais acurada dessa (...)
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  41. Jean-Francois Lyotard, Evil, and the Turn to ‘Para/Ethics’.Victor E. Taylor - 2015 - Janus Head 14 (1):153-176.
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  42. Lyotard and the 'Figural' in Performance, Art and Writing.Kiff Bamford - 2014 - London, UK: Continuum.
    This original study offers a timely reconsideration of the work of French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard in relation to art, performance and writing. How can we write about art, whilst acknowledging the transformation that inevitably accompanies translations of both media and temporality? That is the question that persistently dogs Lyotard's own writings on art, and to which this book responds through reference to artists from the recently-formed canon of performance art history, including the myths of seminal figures Marina Abramovic and Vito (...)
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  43. Jean-François Lyotard: A Response to Jean-François Lyotard’s View of Postmodernism and the Denial of the Metanarratives.Luis Alexandre Ribeiro Branco - 2014 - Lisboa, Portugal: Verdade na Prática.
    A response to Jean-François Lyotard’s view of postmodernism and the denial of the metanarratives.
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  44. Lyotard and the Philosopher Child.Karin Fry - 2014 - Childhood and Philosophy 10 (20):233-246.
    Jean-François Lyotard’s description of the philosopher uses a metaphor comparing the philosopher to the child. This article traces the use of the child metaphor in relation to philosophy throughout Lyotard’s work. In general, the historical problem with philosophy for Lyotard is that it has been understood as involving maturity, mastery, and adulthood. While the stereotype of the wise philosopher might suggest a mature expert who knows all, Lyotard rejects this view. For Lyotard, the philosopher is the child who seeks answers, (...)
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  45. Re‐Reading Diotima: Resources for a Relational Pedagogy.Rachel Jones - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 48 (2):183-201.
    This article considers a range of responses to Plato's Symposium, paying particular attention to Diotima's speech on eros and philosophy. It argues that Diotima's teachings contain resources for a relational pedagogy, but that these resources come more sharply into focus when Plato's text is read through the lens of contemporary (20th and 21st century) thinkers. The article therefore draws on the work of David Halperin, Hannah Arendt, Jean-François Lyotard and Luce Irigaray to argue that Diotima points us towards the value (...)
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  46. Everyday Aesthetics and Photography.Thomas Leddy - 2014 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 7 (1):45-62.
    Everyday photographs as well as art photographs may be aesthetically appreciated. Although this may be most obvious in the case of advertising it is also true for amateur photographs. Non-art photographs play an important role in our everyday lives and should not be neglected by aesthetics. That these photographs draw much of their value from being associated with memories and musings does not make them non-aesthetic. I discuss these issues drawing on Clive Bell, Lyotard and Bourdieu with special emphasis placed (...)
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  47. From Consensus to Dissensus and Back Again: Habermas and Lyotard.Marianna Papastephanou - 2014 - The European Legacy 19 (6):679-697.
    The modernism-versus-postmodernism divide has to a large extent emerged from major disagreements among philosophers of both sides whose engagement with one another’s work had otherwise been rather minimal and non-thorough. Jean-François Lyotard and Jürgen Habermas’s debate has been a case in point. Despite the fact that Lyotard’s attack on Habermas’s philosophy was limited to a couple of ideas, Lyotardian followers have inflated the attack to a hasty and blanket dismissal of Habermas’s theory. As I argue in this article, this blocks (...)
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  48. A Crítica À Religião No Paganismo Pós-Moderno de Lyotard E Nos Slogans de Maio de 68.Felipe de Azevedo Ramos - 2014 - Lumen Veritatis 7:77-108.
    O presente artigo analisa duas correntes de crítica à religião em âmbito filosófico, características da segunda metade do século XX. Primeiramente, a perspectiva do filósofo francês e ex-professor da Sorbonne e de Nanterre, Jean-François Lyotard (1924-1998). Em segundo lugar, as posições inspiradas nos slogans da revolução de Maio de 68. Por fim, procura-se evidenciar as raízes, singularidades e semelhanças entre as duas posturas. /// This article analyzes two currents of religious critique in the philosophical ambit, characteristic of the second half (...)
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  49. Lyotard and the Figural in Performance, Art and Writing. [REVIEW]Ashley Woodward - 2014 - H-France Review 14 (15).
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  50. Better Lyo'tard' Than Never, I Figure. [REVIEW]Kiff Bamford - 2013 - Art History 36:4.
    Review of English translation of 'Discourse, figure' (1971) published in 2011.
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