Jean-François Lyotard quotes

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Jean-François Lyotard

Birthdate: 10. August 1924
Date of death: 21. April 1998

Jean-François Lyotard was a French philosopher, sociologist, and literary theorist. His interdisciplinary discourse spans such topics as epistemology and communication, the human body, modern art and postmodern art, literature and critical theory, music, film, time and memory, space, the city and landscape, the sublime, and the relation between aesthetics and politics. He is best known for his articulation of postmodernism after the late 1970s and the analysis of the impact of postmodernity on the human condition. He was co-founder of the International College of Philosophy with Jacques Derrida, François Châtelet, and Gilles Deleuze.

„I define postmodern as incredulity towards metanarratives.“

—  Jean-François Lyotard

Source: The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1977), p. xiv

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„While we talk, the sun is getting older. It will explode in 4.5 billion years. … In comparison everything else seems insignificant. Wars, conflicts, political tension, shifts in opinion, philosophical debates, even passions—everything’s dead already if this infinite reserve from which you now draw energy to defer answers, if in short thought as a quest, dies out with the sun. … The inevitable explosion to come, the one that’s always forgotten in your intellectual ploys, can be seen in a certain way as coming before the fact to render these ploys … futile. … In 4.5 billions years there will arrive the demise of your phenomenology and your utopian politics, and there’ll be no one there to toll the death knell or hear it. It will be too late to understand that your passionate, endless questioning always depended on a “life of the mind.” … Thought borrows a horizon and orientation, the limitless limit and the end without end it assumes, from the corporeal, sensory, emotional and cognitive experience of a quite sophisticated but definitely earthly existence. With the disappearance of the earth, thought will have stopped—leaving that disappearance absolutely unthought of. … The death of the sun is a death of mind. … There’s no sublation or deferral if nothing survives. … The sun, our earth, and your thought will have been no more than a spasmodic state of energy, an instant of established order, a smile on the surface of matter in a remote corner of the cosmos. … Human death is included in the life of the mind. Solar death implies an irreparably exclusive disjunction between death and thought: if there’s death, then there’s no thought.“

—  Jean-François Lyotard

Source: Thought Without a Body? (1994), pp. 286-289

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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