About this topic
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 
Related categories

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  1. F Lyotard (1924-1998). W obronie jego Kondycji ponowoczesnej.J. - - 1998 - Principia.
  2. Truth and Social Science: From Hegel to Deconstruction.Ross Abbinnett - 1998 - 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 (...)
  3. The Ethics of Heterogeneity : A Speculative Critique of Jean-François Lyotard's "The Differend".Ross Abbinnett - unknown
    The thesis is an attempt to develop a speculative (Hegelian) critique of the ethical and political questions raised by Jean-Francois Lyotard's book The Differend. I have argued that these questions are dependent upon the reading of Kant's three Critiques, and his political essays, which Lyotard develops in The Differend's four `notices' on Kant, and that it is this reading which opens up his concept of difference (`heterogeneity') to the possibility of a speculative critique. Chapter one comprises an examination of Lyotard's (...)
  4. Georgette de Montenay and the Device of the Dordrecht Printer, François Bosselaer.Alison Adams - 2001 - Bibliothèque d'Humanisme Et Renaissance 63 (1):63-72.
  5. Hommage À : Jean-François LYOTARD.André Akoun - 1999 - Hermes 23:349.
  6. Jean François Lyotard, Postmodern Fables Reviewed By.Lilian Alweiss - 1999 - Philosophy in Review 19 (2):118-119.
  7. Jean François Lyotard, Postmodern Fables. [REVIEW]Lilian Alweiss - 1999 - Philosophy in Review 19:118-119.
  8. The End of Everything Postmodernism and the Vanishing of the Human : Lyotard, Haraway, Plato, Heidegger, Habermas, Mcluhan.Richard Appignanesi - 2003
  9. Adenzato, Mauro, 64 Allilaire, Jean-François, 258 Alonso, Diego, 386 Andrade, Jackie, 1, 28.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 - Consciousness and Cognition 15:767-768.
  10. Lyotard, Gadamer, and the Relation Between Ethics and Aesthetics.Gary E. Aylesworth - 2002 - In Hugh J. Silverman (ed.), Lyotard: Philosophy, Politics, and the Sublime. Routledge. pp. 8--84.
  11. Guarding the Morning (Philosophy of Lyotard).A. Badiou - 2003 - Filozofski Vestnik 24 (1):81-89.
  12. Globalization, Information Revolution, and Their Relations to Education: Emphasizing J. F. Lyotard's View.Khosrow Bagheri - 2008 - JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL INNOVATIONS 22:145-158.
    Globalization is regarded as a process or a project or a process/project which is most rapidly developing. Globalization, in case of occurrence, will put its impacts on all dimensions of human life including knowledge and practice. Particularly, its impact on epistemology and education would be remarkable. Given that the appearance and development of informational revolution is the most important background for globalization, the first challenge of globalization relates to the nature of knowledge. According to the information revolution, the most important (...)
  13. The Loss of Innocence: Lyotard, Foucault, and the Challenge of Postmodern Education.William Bain - 1995 - In Michael Peters (ed.), Education and the Postmodern Condition. Bergin & Garvey. pp. 1--20.
  14. Witness to the Ineffable: The Ethical Sublime and Meta-Levels of Performance. An Investigation of the Sublime in William Wordsworth's "the Prelude", Examined Through the Aesthetics of Jean-Francois Lyotard.Andrew Christopher Baker - 1993 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
    Sublime experience robs criticism of its object. The sublime is ineffable, indeterminate, unavailable to cognition. This is the case for performance as for literary criticism. Yet, for Lyotard, the sublime presents possibilities for aesthetic criticism to discuss ethics, which is of increasing importance to postmodern critical theory across disciplines, including performance studies, rhetorical theory and communication. ;This dissertation examines the sublime as an aesthetic category in Lyotard's philosophy, and presents the ironies, in language and in form, which develop from sublime (...)
  15. The Terror of the Law: Judaism and International Institutions.Gary Banham - 1997 - 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.
  16. Lyotard and the Problem of Justice.Anne Barron - 1992 - In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge. pp. 26--42.
  17. The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference.Christine Battersby - 2013 - Routledge.
    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 (...)
  18. The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference.Christine Battersby - 2007 - Routledge.
    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 (...)
  19. The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference.Christine Battersby & Kimberly Hutchings - 2008 - 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 (...)
  20. Modernity in French Thought: Excess in Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-François Lyotard.Richard Beardsworth - 2006 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2006 (137):67-95.
  21. On the Critical'post': Lyotard's Agitated Judgement.Richard Beardsworth - 1992 - In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge. pp. 43--80.
  22. Toward Being a Theologian of Postmodern Culture.Tom Beaudoin - 2004 - Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture 8 (1 & 2):137-158.
  23. Jean Morange, Libertés Publiques Reviewed By.Jocelyn R. Beausoleil - 1985 - Philosophy in Review 5 (10):467-469.
  24. L'augustinisme de St François d'Assise.F. De Beer - 1990 - Revista Agustiniana 31 (95):417-504.
  25. Socialism: Modern Hopes, Postmodern Shadows.Peter Beilharz - 2001 - In Barry Smart & George Ritzer (eds.), Handbook of Social Theory. Sage Publications.
  26. François Fédier, Interprétations Reviewed By.Pierre Bellemare - 1986 - Philosophy in Review 6 (3):104-106.
  27. The Crying Game : Lyotard, Derrida, Levinas and Thought After Auschwitz.Michael Ben-Naftali - 1997
  28. 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]Marc Benamou, Todd Berliner, Margaret A. Boden, Shahar Bram, Jean Francois Lyotard, Max Paddison, Irene Deliege, Joel Rudinow & Cain Todd - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1):115.
  29. Democracy and Difference: Reflections on the Metapolitics of Lyotard and Derrida.Seyla Benhabib - 1994 - Journal of Political Philosophy 2 (1):1–23.
  30. Colouring Philosophy: Appel, Lyotard and Art's Work.Andrew Benjamin - 2010 - 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 (...)
  31. Judging Lyotard.Andrew Benjamin (ed.) - 1992 - Routledge.
    The work of Jean-Francois Lyotard signals the return of judgement to the centre of philosophical concerns. This collection of papers is the first devoted to his work and provides an estimation and critique of his writings, and included Lyotard's important essay on _Sensus Communis_.
  32. The Lyotard Reader.Andrew Benjamin (ed.) - 1991 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    Jean-Francois Lyotard was one of the founding members of the College Internationale de philosophie. Ha has taught at Vincennes, Saint Denis and is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Irvine. Several of his books have appeared in English, notable The Postmodern Condition, Just Gaming and The Dirrerend. The Lyotard Reader is a collection of Jean-Francois Lyotard's most important and significant papers to date. While they are all written from within philosophy, they seek to address subjects as (...)
  33. Time After Time (Jean-Francois Lyotard).Geoffrey Bennington - 2001 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 32 (3):300-311.
  34. Ces Petits Differends': Lyotard and Horace.Geoffrey Bennington - 1992 - In Andrew E. Benjamin (ed.), Judging Lyotard. Routledge.
  35. Lyotard: Writing the Event.Geoffrey Bennington - 1988 - Columbia University Press.
  36. What's the Problem?: Jean-François Lyotard and Politics.Steven Benson - 1996 - Res Publica 2 (1):129-146.
  37. Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion.Philippa Berry & Andrew Wernick (eds.) - 1992 - 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 (...)
  38. Jean-Francois Lyotard.Han Bertens - 2002 - In Johannes Willem Bertens & Joseph P. Natoli (eds.), Postmodernism: The Key Figures. Blackwell. pp. 244--248.
  39. Debord and the Postmodern Turn: New Stages of the Spectacle.Steven Best & Douglas Kellner - unknown
    "But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence, ... illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness,".
  40. Zeichen aus Asche. Lyotard und Derrida zum Holocaust.Tilman Beyrich - 2002 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 44 (2):218-236.
  41. Rereading Jean-François Lyotard: Essays on His Later Work,.Heidi Bickis & Rob Shields (eds.) - 2013 - Ashgate.
  42. L'estetica Della Temporalità: In Dialogo Con J.-F. Lyotard.Ermenegildo Bidese - unknown
    In the contemporary anthropological discourse, the general subjects of temporality and aesthetics, as form of cognition, turn out to be the neuralgic points through which the question of the human existence is considered in many approaches to human being (cognitive, ethical, on-tological or theological). In the philosophical system of the French post-modern thinker Jean-François Lyotard (1924-1998) these two issues are deeply interlaced leading to new and original solutions of the above-mentioned question. The aim of the contribution is to reconstruct the (...)
  43. A Postmodernism Worth Bothering About: A Rejoinder to Cole, Hill and Rikowski.Nigel Blake - 1997 - British Journal of Educational Studies 45 (3):293-305.
    This paper is a response to one published in the June 1997 edition of the BJES (Cole, Hill & Rikowski, 1997) which criticises the author's claims about the utility of postmodern analysis for studies in education (Blake, 1997).
  44. Critical Consciousness in the Postmodern Condition.Lieven Boeve - 1997 - 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 (...)
  45. Theologie na het christelijke Grote verhaal: In het spoor Van Jean-François Lyotard.Lieven Boeve - 1994 - Bijdragen 55 (3):269-295.
  46. Lyotard's Reading of the Sublime.G. Bohme - 1998 - Kant-Studien 89 (2):205-218.
  47. Lyotards Lektüre des Erhabenen.Gernot Böhme - 1998 - Kant-Studien 2 (2):198-214.
  48. Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life.Barbara Bolt (ed.) - 2007 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    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 (...)
  49. Ecological Peril, Modern Technology and the Postmodern Sublime.Jonathan Bordo - 1992 - In Philippa Berry & Andrew Wernick (eds.), Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion. Routledge. pp. 165--78.
  50. Postmodern Subjects, Postmodern Bodies.Susan Bordo - 1992 - Feminist Studies 18 (1):159.
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