New Philosophy

More French Postmodern Philosophers

What was Jean-François Lyotard’s view of postmodernism?

Lyotard defined postmodernism as “incredulity toward metanarratives,” or a skepticism that is not satisfied by legitimate orthodoxy. An example of the sort of narrative Lyotard had in mind was the Enlightenment account of the triumph of rationality and the liberation of the “rational subject.” Lyotard proposed that “little narratives” about unique events be constructed instead. In his The Différend (1983) Lyotard considers disagreement between or among participants who cannot agree on the rules. As a result, the dispute cannot be resolved, so the best result that can occur is for all sides to be recognized.


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