Lyotard’s libidinal philosophy is developed in the major work Libidinal Economy and in two sets of essays, Dérive à partir. Peter King reviews Libidinal Economy by Jean-Francois Lyotard. Desire stands for emancipation, but it is also permeated by the libidinal economy. What does this mean? Jean-François Lyotard’s research on libidinal economy.

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The components of capitalism were simultaneously its oblique subvertors. Rapport sur le savoirParis: For Lyotard phenomenology cannot properly formulate a materialist worldview and the objective nature of the relations of production; it ends up interpreting class struggle as taking place in consciousness.

Libidinal Economy

Lyotard uses the concepts of a phrase universe and of the difference between presentation and situation in order to show how phases can carry meanings and yet be indeterminate. Galerie Stevenson and Palluel, Click to start a discussion of the article above.

Similarly, there is no abstract thought without a relation to reality, to concreteness. In the essays on Algeria, Lyotard applies this project to the French occupation, trying to determine the potential for socialist revolution arising from this situation.

This is the overarching theme of the book, which also takes up the crisis of legitimation in the sciences, which often must use extra-scientific narratives to attempt to place themselves above other kinds of narration the arts, novels, philosophy, and so forth as the final arbiter of truth, and hence is one of the last metanarratives of modernity. Postmodern science is about the generation of new ideas rather than the efficient application of existing knowledge.


We might think that we can resist the logic of capitalist production, but our libidinal pulsions happen to be in tune with this economy: Lyotard describes the bar as then turning around on itself and creating an enclosed space, a theatrical volume.

The Confession of Augustine was incomplete at the time of Lyotard’s death, and has been published posthumously in partial form, with working notes appended. Only phrases carry sense i.

Postmodernist Porn | Issue 8 | Philosophy Now

It is the concept of dissimulation which makes this possible. 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.

Here is how Lyotard famously defines the postmodern more positively than being merely a disbelief in metanarratives:. Marxism, Hegelian philosophy, and Kant’s ideal of unity or totality as regulating justice are examples of master-discourses that have dominated the philosophical tradition.

All social, logical, and generalizing functions emerge later. This means that even ostensibly non-libidinal acts, such as sacrificial deeds prompted by ethical or political convictions, can be approached from the point of view of libidinal drives and can be interpreted as transgressive realizations of enjoyment.

Paperbackpages. Lyotard invokes both Kant and Nietzsche in his answer. Plokhaya Vesh —bad thing.

Postmodern Conditionxxiii—xxiv. Lyotard calls such claims into doubt through his thesis that events exceed representation.

Libiinal example, we cannot judge what ought to be the case a prescriptive from what is the case a denotative. Lyotard’s misgivings about the subject as a central epistemological category can be understood in terms of his concern for difference, multiplicity, and the limits of organisational systems.


He privileges art as the realm which is best able to provide testimony to differends libidina its sublime effects [see Reason and Representation; Politics; Art and Aesthetics]. How do we know when a differend has occurred? We should interpret Lyotard as taking this to be a good thing, since such a proliferation more accurately reflects his general ontological view of the world as composed of events which give rise to multiple interpretations, and which can never be accurately captured by a single narrative.

This is because the only way libidinal energies can exist is within structures. Other theorists such as Jean Baudrillard have also proposed aesthetic theories of postmodernism which differ from Lyotard’s understanding of postmodernism in the arts.

Sexuality in a Non-Libidinal Economy

That is what is unjust. Inhe would publish The Postmodern Conditionwhich was instantly taken as emblematic of what was underway in the West, right or wrong. This theatricality is demonstrated in the use of what I presume to be deliberately provocative imagery.

Whereas in the libidinal philosophy the focus was to see that a single interpretation of an event did not become hegemonic, in Lyotard’s later philosophy he is primarily concerned with the problems of justice that arise between competing interpretations of events.