Lyotard’s earliest major work, available in English for the first time. Jean-François Lyotard is recognized as one of the most significant French philosophers of the twentieth century. Although nearly all of his major writing has been translated into English, one important work has until now been unavailable. Discourse, Figure is Lyotard’s thesis. Provoked in part by Lacan’s influential seminars in Paris, Discourse, Figure distinguishes between the meaningfulness of linguistic signs and the meaningfulness of plastic arts such as painting and sculpture. (...) Lyotard argues that because rational thought is discursive and works of art are inherently opaque signs, certain aspects of artistic meaning such as symbols and the pictorial richness of painting will always be beyond reason’s grasp. A wide-ranging and highly unusual work, Discourse, Figure proceeds from an attentive consideration of the phenomenology of experience to an ambitious meditation on the psychoanalytic account of the subject of experience, structured by the confrontation between phenomenology and psychoanalysis as contending frames within which to think the materialism of consciousness. In addition to prefiguring many of Lyotard’s later concerns, Discourse, Figure captures Lyotard’s passionate engagement with topics beyond phenomenology and psychoanalysis to structuralism, semiotics, poetry, art, and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
Lyotard is considered one of the most brilliant and influential of French post-structuralist thinkers. Published in 1974 by Minuit, Économie libidinale is, of all his work to date, the most creative in its mode of writing and in its theorizing: a stunning, dense, brilliant piece in which Lyotard, ranging from Marxist and Freudian theory to contemporary arts, argues that political economy is charged with passions and, reciprocally, that passions are infused with the political.
This translation of Lyotard's first book, La phenomenologie (first publication in 1954; the translation is from the 10th edition of 1986, Presses Universitaires de France) supplies an important link to Lyotard's more recent work.
Philosophical aesthetics have seen an amazing revival over the past decade, as a radical questioning of the very grounds of Western epistemology has revealed that descriptions of what used to be seen as specific to aesthetic experience can instead be viewed as a general model for human cognition. In this revival, no text in the classical corpus of Western philosophy has been more frequently discussed and debated than the dense, complex paragraphs inserted into Kant's Critique of Judgment as sections 23-29: (...) the Analytic of the Sublime. This book is a rigorous explication de texte, a close reading of these sections. The Analytic of the Sublime, he points out, tries to argue that human thought is always constituted through a similar incompatibility between different intellectual and affective faculties. These lessons thus try to isolate the analysis of a differend of feeling in Kant's text, which is also the analysis of a feeling of differend, and to connect this feeling with the transport that leads all thought (critical thought included) to its limits. (shrink)
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 wide-ranging as film, painting, psychoanlaysis, Judaism and politics. The originality of Lyotard's work means that it cannot be readily situated within any one philosophical tradition. Instead he returns philosophy itself to debates across a range of areas and, in so doing, redefines the philosophical enterprise.
Brings together previously unpublished essays by one of the most important philosophers of the last three decades of the 20th century. This authorized compilation of 13 essays reflect the main stages of Lyotard's thought—the libidinal, the pagan, and the intractable—leading toward his account of the postmodern in contemporary thought and culture.
Brings together previously unpublished essays by one of the most important philosophers of the last three decades of the 20th century. This authorized compilation of 13 essays reflect the main stages of Lyotard's thought-the libidinal, the pagan, and the intractable-leading toward his account of the postmodern in contemporary thought and culture.
As a rational discourse philosophy can not be reduced to any cultural concern. Culture we call that civilization which became aware of its own mortality and henceforth cultivates the aesthetic pleasure of representing its ruined ideals. It is the responsibility of philosophy to think through to the end the project of modern philosophical aesthetics, thus accomplishing it. The description of the aesthetic condition shows that aisthesis does not have to provide the fake peace of consentment with the sensible but on (...) the contrary should question and discredit the aistheton that confronts us with a double bind experience. This experience stirs to life the 'minimal soul' in its pure affectibility, and at the same time threatens it with slavery and death. Therefore art has to consist in the achievement of a work, not in disguising nihilism but in carrying it out. Should philosophy accomplish a work of art? The activity of reflexivity in writing which caracterizes philosophy persists in interrogating its own singularity, thereby incessantly dispossessing itself. (shrink)
This brilliant and engaging critical encounter between Jean-Francois Lyotard and Eberhard Gruber has as its focus a single punctuation mark-the hyphen connecting "Jew" and "Christian" in the expression "Judeo-Christian." While focusing on the nature, meaning, and function of this hyphen, the authors are able to analyze many of the essential differences between Judaism and Christianity, as well as the most significant historical and political consequences of these differences from the Roman Empire to the Shoah. Beginning with a reading of the (...) Letters of Paul, they contrast the Jewish and Christian positions on a variety of issues ranging from emancipation, history, sacrifice, incarnation, faith, law, and sexual difference to the value that is accorded reading, writing, and interpretation within these two traditions. (shrink)
In his “Marxism and the Post-Modern Condition” Raulet examines the relation between modernity, post-modernity, and the aesthetics of the sublime. I would like to make a modest clarification. Raulet argues that I counterpose the Kantian sublime, which is based on incommensurability of powers [Vermögen], to the Hegelian dialectic which totalizes them. Thus I place myself in a position of being able to oppose totalitarianism only by means of a politics of terror. Both equations (speculative discourse = totalitarianism; and philosophy of (...) the sublime = terrorism) need to be dissolved. Let us briefly recall the objections to these equations. (shrink)
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