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J. F. Lyotard

J. F. Lyotard

Three Volume Set
Edited by:

May 2004 | 1 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The association between Lyotard and postmodernism is so strong that it threatens to eclipse his seminal contributions to aesthetics, politics, education, religion and phenomenology.

The Postmodern Condition was widely acclaimed as the bible of postmodernism and Lyotard was unwillingly elevated by his readers to a position of almost papal authority. Yet the twenty seven books published in his lifetime, to say nothing of the lectures, articles and other interventions, reveal a complex, multi-dimensional thinker who cannot be confined by the label 'postmodernist'.

Profoundly influenced by the inhumanity of the second world war, Lyotard began his career in Algeria where he fell under the influence of this historian, Pierre Sourys who introduced him to the Socialisme ou Barbarie group which included Cornelius Catroiadis, Claude Lefort and Jean Laplanche. With roots in Trotskyism, this group embarked on a

critique of the Soviet command state and, through this, of the general validity of Marxist explanation. Lyotard's sojourn in Algeria also refined his hostility to colonialism and the myth of Western superiority. It is from this moment that the beginnings of Lyotard's disillusionment with 'grand narratives' can be traced.

Lyotard broke with Socisalime ou Barbarie in 1963. However, his experiences clearly predisposed him to join the Mouvement du 22 mars in 1968 and influenced his turbulent relations with the Universisty of Nanterre concerning questions of the curriculum and student rights. Later he became a noted supporter of the various critical minority movements that developed in the wake of 'the events' of 1968.

This collection, edited by a noted expert on French social and cultural theory, reveals Lyotard's questing and clear eyed critical intelligence in all of its profound cogency. The characteristic themes of the heterogeneity of language, the tyranny of imposed authority, the future of democracy, the contradictions of justice and the virtues of the post-modern imagination which re-radicalized a generation in the 1980s and '90s are all thoroughly explored here. Lyotard's relation to Kant, Marx and a range of contemporary thinkers including Adorno. Said, Kuhn, Habermas, Foucault and Derrida is elucidated with great clarity. What emerges most forcefully is Lyotard's extraordinary generosity of thought. His approach enjoined a responsibility to scrutinize any context in which power is exercised in the name of an organization or an ideal. Lyotard redefined the meaning of intellectual dissent and in doing so, suggested an important range of political and cultural responsibilities in the postmodern world.

This collection, prepared five years after the death of its subject, allows readers to make sense of this major thinker, especially in the light of critical reassessments of his life and work.

Editor's Introduction
From Postwar to Postmodern - Lyotard's 'Interregnum' and After

Section One: Biography and Context
Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard
Born in 1925
Edouard Morot-Sir
The New Philosopher
Keith Reader
Language, Literature, Deconstruction and Politics
Julian Pefanis
Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard
Susan E Shapiro
Ecriture juda[um]ique
Where Are the Jews in Western Discourse?

Section Two: 'Taking Stock'
Robert Hurley
Introduction to Lyotard
Bertrand Poirot-Delpech
In the Wake of Structuralism
French Philosophy's New Wave

Vincent Descombes
The End of Time
Maureen Turim
Desire in Art and Politics
The Theories of Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard

Bill Readings
Introduction to Introducing Lyotard
Cecile Lindsay
Corporality, Ethics, Experimentation
Lyotard in the Eighties

Section Three: Dialogues/Debates/Interviews
Mark Poster
Postmodernity and the Politics of Multiculturalism
The Lyotard-Habermas Debate over Social Theory

Richard Rorty
Le Cosmopolitisme sans [ac]emancipation
En r[ac]eponse [gr]a Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard

Richard Rorty
Habermas and Lyotard on Postmodernity
Fredric Jameson
Foreword to The Postmodern Condition
Seyla Benhabib
Epistemologies of Postmodernism
A Rejoinder to Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard

Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard interviewed by George Van Den Abbeele
Interview with Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard
Section Four: Comparisons
Peter Dews
Power and Subjectivity in Foucault
Stephen Watson
J[um]urgen Habermas and Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard
Postmodernism and the Crisis of Rationality

Charles Altieri
Judgment and Justice under Postmodern Conditions
Or, How Lyotard Helps Us Read Rawls as a Postmodern Thinker

Peter Nicholls
Modernism, Postmodernism, Jameson and Lyotard

Seyla Benhabib
Democracy and Difference
Reflections on the Metapolitics of Lyotard and Derrida

Section One: The Phenomenon of 'Postmodernism'
Andreas Huyssen
From Counter-Culture to Neo-Conservatism and beyond
Stages of the Postmodern

Simon During
Postmodernism or Post-Colonialism Today
Linda Hutcheon
Beginning to Theorize Postmodernism
Stefano Rosso
Postmodern Italy
Notes on the 'Crisis of Reason', 'Weak Thought' and 'The Name of the Rose'

Richard Beardsworth
On the Critical 'Post'
Lyotard's Agitated Judgement

Jeff Malpas
Retrieving Truth
Modernism, Postmodernism and the Problem of Truth

Peter Wagner
Liberty and Discipline
Making Sense of Postmodernity, or, Once Again, toward a Sociohistorical Understanding of Modernity

Section Two: Politics
Todd G May
Kant the Liberal, Kant the Anarchist
Rawls and Lyotard on Kantian Justice

Koula Mellos
The Postmodern Challenge to Community
Axel Honneth
The Other of Justice
Habermas and the Ethical Challenge of Postmodernism

Fred Dallmayr
The Politics of Nonidentity
Adorno, Postmodernism - and Edward Said

Section Three: Aesthetics
John Rajchman
The Postmodern Museum
A Kibedi Varga
Narrative and Postmodernity in France
Rosalind Krauss
La Pulsion de voir
Abigail Lee Six
Breaking Rules, Making History
A Postmodern Reading of Historiography in Juan Goytisolo's Fiction

Richard Kearney
The Postmodern Imagination: Lyotard
Jean-Charles Fran[ce]cois
Writing without Representation, and Unreadable Notation
William A Gamson et al
Media Images and the Social Construction of Reality
Jannis Kallinikos
Digital Songs
Aspects of Contemporary Work and Life

Paisley Livingston
Film and the New Psychology
John Tagg
A Discourse (with Shape of Reason Missing)
Jon Wagner
Absolute Television
L Barth
Immemorial Visibilities
Seeing the City's Difference

Section Four: Philosophy
Kevin Paul Geiman
Lyotard's 'Kantian Socialism'
Eric White
Lyotard's Neo-Sophistic Philosophy of Phrases
Section Five: Philosophy of Science
Steve Fuller
Being There with Thomas Kuhn
A Parable for Postmodern Times

Section Six: Education
Michael Peters
Techno-Science, Rationality and the University
Lyotard on the 'Postmodern Condition'

Harland G Bloland
Postmodernism and Higher Education
Section Seven: Religion
William A Beardslee
Christ in the Postmodern Age
Reflections Inspired by Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard

Joy Gordon
Liberation Theology as Critical Theory
The Notion of the 'Privileged Perspective'

Section Eight: Gender and Sexuality
Nancy Fraser and Linda Nicholson
Social Criticism without Philosophy
An Encounter between Feminism and Postmodernism

Judith Roof
Lesbians and Lyotard
Legitimation and the Politics of the Name

Section Nine: Race
Vijay Mishra
Postmodern Racism
Raphael Sassower
The 'Jew' as 'Postmodern'
A Personal Report

Section Ten: Psychology and the Body
Anne Tomiche
Rephrasing the Freudian Unconscious
Lyotard's Affect-Phrase

Richard D Chessick
The Application of Postmodern Thought to the Clinical Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Section Eleven: Sociology
Mark Erickson
Jean-Fran[ce]cois Lyotard
Narrating Postmodernity

Martin Kreiswirth
Trusting the Tale
The Narrativist Turn in the Human Sciences

Section Twelve: History
Andrew P Norman
Telling It Like It Was
Historical Narratives on Their Own Terms

Section Thirteen: Organizational Analysis
John Hassard
Postmodern Organizational Analysis
Toward a Conceptual Framework