: Differend: Phrases in Dispute (Theory and History of Literature) ( ): Jean-Francois Lyotard: Books. This original study examines Jean-François Lyotard’s philosophical concept of the differend and details its unexplored implications for literature. it provides a. Expressing the Inexpressible: Lyotard and the Differend Jacob M. Held Marquette University Department of Philosophy Coughlin Hall P.O. Box

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However, as will be seen such a solution will require that some aspect of Lyotard’s philosophy be a bandoned. Throughout, Lyotard is concerned with phenomenology’s attempt to find a “third way” between subjectivism and objectivism, avoiding the problems of each. Through the idea of the differend, Lyotard has drawn particular attention to the problems of the presentability of the referent when the parties in dispute cannot agree on a common discourse, or rule of judgement i.

Presses Universitaires de France, There is a differend in this case because Aboriginal land rights are established by tribal law, and evidence for such rights may not be presentable in the law of the Australian government.

Lyotard describes the wholly impersonal as well as the personal in terms of feelings and desires, and paints a picture of the world that moves and is moved in the ways that feelings move people. In the lyotagd s Lyotard developed a philosophy based around Sigmund Freud’s theory of the libido.

Finally the bar stops and forms a stable disjunction.

It was during the industrial revolution, Lyotard suggests, that knowledge entered into the economic equation and became a force for production, but it is in postmodernity that knowledge is becoming the central force for production. His writings in this period are solely concerned with ultra-left revolutionary politics, with a sharp focus on the Algerian situation the war of independence had broken out in Lyotard gives us a few examples of types of utterances.

A postmodern artist or writer is in the position of a philosopher: Indeed, he says, it imposes a sentiment, if not an obligation: After his break with Marxism and rejection of totalising theory, he sought to develop a theory that will take account of multiple and different forces and desires at work in any political or social situation, from the writing of theory to revolutionary politics to global economics.


In fact, the cause of justice means that one phrase regimen e.

The motivation behind the idea of bearing witness is clear. Differendxi Lyotard offers a number of examples of differends: According to Lyotard, representational theory follows this model by placing the reality that representation refers to in a transcendent realm.

They claim that the land was taken from them wrongfully, and that it should be given back to them. In the postmodern philosophy events are analyzed as phrases, and again Lyotard asserts that events exceed representation in that no representational system can account for all phrases.

For Lyotard, there is no possible society that is not open to the desire to exploit and hoard libidinal energy in the way the capitalist does. Difference is a disruptive force at the limits of discourse, indicating that no rational system of representation can ever be closed or complete, but is always opened up to forces sensual, emotional, figural that it cannot enclose within itself. The libido itself, its energetics, is never representable or containable within any given system; all desires are dissimulated in these institutions, and they are never presentable as they are in themselves.

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

This position addresses the inherent elitism of discursive libera tion and the ineffectual nature of this perceived liberation. Today students no longer ask if something is true, but what differed it is to them. From his early work on phenomenology through Discourse, FigureLibidinal Economyand The Postmodern ConditionLyotard argued that events occur always in the face of what is not presentable to a phenomenology, discourse, language game, or phrase regimen.

This is not to say that links within regimens are not without conflict: Legitimation by performativity lends itself to what Lyotard calls “terror” – the exclusion of players from language games or the exclusion of certain games entirely. Lyotard’s response to the nihilism of structure takes place through the concept of dissimulation, which suggests that libidinal energy must work within structures.


Saussure’s linguistics suggests that our understanding of the world is given as a structure to begin with, while Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology suggests that we first encounter an unstructured world, which we must work to lyotadr.

Rather, the postmodern condition is composed of fragmented language games attached to incommensurable forms of life. When phrases are concatenated, they follow rules for linking called phrase regimens.

The Differend — University of Minnesota Press

Since wrongs are inexpressible they cannot be addressed or resolved. This concern for difference, multiplicity and pluralism is related to Lyotard’s basic commitment to an ontology of singular events: Crome, Keith, Lyotard and Greek Thought: In the near future, he predicts, education will no longer be given “en bloc” to people in their lytard as a preparation for life. Systems and affects dissimulate each other. Modernity is defined as the age of metanarrative legitimation, and postmodernity as the age in which metanarratives have become bankrupt.

Differend: Phrases in Dispute

That is what is unjust. We must identify differends as best we can – sometimes, no more than vague feelings attest to the existence lyotqrd a differend. Paganism rejects any universal criteria for judgement, yet Lyotard claims that we must judge, that justice demands this of us.

Thus the sublime is situated at the differend between language games and phrase regimes; we feel a pyotard of pleasure and pain in the frustration of not knowing how to follow on from a phrase but feeling that there is something important that must be put into words.