Expressing the Inexpressible: Lyotard and the Differend Jacob M. Held Marquette University Department of Philosophy Coughlin Hall P.O. Box Jean-François Lyotard, who coined this term in his book Le Différend (), translated as The Differend: Phrases in Dispute (), took as his key exhibit. The Différend () as “The Postmodern Condition, Part One”. Part One: The Historical Context. The life path and careers of Jean-François.

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This is the libidinal band sometimes called the libidinal skin.

The Differend

Also forthcoming as Vol. One is, therefore, to find idioms through which one can phrase the wrong si gnified by the differend in the dominant discourse.

His mother’s maiden name was Madeleine Cavalli. Idfferend sur le tempsParis: What sense of the phrase is meant? Representational theory is itself a libidinal dispositifand Lyotard accentuates the libidinal aspects of theory in order to combat its nihilistic tendencies. Instead of opposing theory with alternative practises which are more libidinal, Lyotard asserts that theory itself is a libidinal practice which denies that it is libidinal.

Space can be broken into ordered elements related to each other in a structured and organised way, dfiferend as by mapping it with a three dimensional grid.

Lyotard, Jean-François | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Lyotard reco gnizes, as has been mentioned above, that any attempt to resolve the differend l eads to further violence against the victim. Towards a Postmodern PhilosophyCambridge: Lyotard calls such claims into doubt through his thesis that events exceed representation.

It is written in a bewildering combination of styles at times reading more like an avant-garde novel than a philosophical texta method Lyotard uses in an attempt to overcome the limitations he sees in traditional academic theory. Lyotard gives us a few examples of types of utterances. In its mature form, Lyotard’s postmodern politics deals with the concern for justice and the need to bear witness to the differend.

Many tribal groups claim that land which they traditionally inhabited is now owned and controlled by the descendants of European colonists. For Lyotard something must be postmodern before it can become modern.

This is then the contradictory task of presenting the unpresentable, a task Lyotard sees as best accomplished in the arena of art. One needs to justify one’s claim that a differend has occ urred. In this sense, paganism can be thought of as a plurality of rules of judgement godsas opposed to belief in just one rule or set of rules God.


Rather, one can see in his writings a concern for victims lyotwrd injustice and a desire to provide a means for correcting the problem. In the case of a dispute over a certain area of land by farmers who are descendants of colonists on the one hand, and a tribe of Aborigines on the other hand, the court of appeal will be the one which involves the law that the farmers recognise government lawwhile the law that the Aborigines recognise tribal law will not be considered valid.

Different discourses have different goals or objects. A silent phrase in the context of a dispute may be covering four possible states of affairs, corresponding to each of the instances in the phrase universe:. For Lyotard, structures and institutions tend to totalize and exploit intensities lgotard their own good, and thus lay claim to all proper interpretations of these intensities.

In theory, politics, and cultural conventions, structured dispositions take themselves to be the actual structures of reality or “correct” interpretations, thus limiting the possibilities of change. Mirror Sites View this site from another server: Presses Universitaires de France, Rather than diferend the libidinal to the rational, then, Lyotard develops his lyoard of dissimulationthe mutual enfoldment of the libidinal and the rational which is similar to the deconstructive logic of difference worked out in Discours, figure.

University of Minnesota Press, The situation is this: Furthermore, Lyotard diffrend a danger to the future of academic pyotard which stems from the way scientific knowledge has come to be legitimated in postmodernity as opposed to the way it was legitimated in modernity.

This surmise is no longer hyperbolic: If the differend is inexpressible by definition, then whatever subsequently is expressed by a newly created idiom ca nnot be the original diffeeend of affairs or fact of the matter. As a defining element with which to lytard these technical and technological advancements, Lyotard chooses computerization. Such performativity merely subordinates science to capital. Lyotard furthermore asserts that avant-garde art works of the twentieth century do not reinforce the subject, but call it into question through the unsettling effect of the sublime.


The Differend – Wikipedia

However, if the dominant dis course were able to express the original wrong, then a differend would never hav e occurred in the first place. Different types of utterances, as identified by Wittgenstein, pertain to different types of language games.

In other words, the presentation of the phrase event is not able to be accurately represented by any particular situation. Phrases in Dispute, trans. Art need not provide a political message, represent reality properly, or morally guide us. Despite this linguistic model, phrases may be extralinguistic, including the very gestures, kyotard, and libidinal energetics he had discussed in his earlier writings.

This power of disturbance is related to the feeling of the sublime, and it is an indication of the differend. In his writings on paganism, Lyotard analyses politics in the form of lyotars justice of rhetoric. That which is taken to be real and most natural is the formation of knowledge in terms understandable by capitalist economics and its modes of efficiency.

Lyotard elaborates on the hegemony of the economic discourse. He develops an idea lyorard the figural as a disruptive force which works to interrupt established structures in the realms of both reading and seeing. In “Lessons in Paganism” he claims that all discourse is narrative; all theory, all politics, all law, are merely a collection of stories. This is particularly evident in what Lyotard calls “postmodern science” – the search for instabilities [see Science and Technology].

Returning to Freud, Lyotard develops a theory of libidinal forces as figural, as disruptive of reason and representation. Luotard sees reason not as a universal lgotard immutable human faculty or principle but as a specific and variable human production; “paralogy” for him means the movement against an established way of reasoning. Lyotard is also concerned about the social impact of science and technology in postmodernity. The situation is a double bind because there are two alternatives – either there were gas chambers or there were not – which lead to the same conclusion: