: 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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We must identify differends as best we can – sometimes, no more than vague feelings attest to the existence of a differend. For this reason, both books will be critiqued as being irresponsibly anarchist.

Law, Form, EventNew York: The pragmatics of scientific knowledge do not allow the recognition of narrative knowledge as legitimate, since it is not llyotard to denotative statements. The conclusion Lyotard comes to is that the occupation must end if the Algerian people are to prosper, but he remains ambivalent about the possibility of revolution. La guerre des Algeriens: Postmodern Condition5 One need only see the decimation of the U.

No one doubts that language is capable lyotsrd admitting these new phrase families or new genres of discourse.

The motivation behind the idea of bearing witness is clear. On the other hand Lyotard s uggests that it is the philosopher’s job to proliferate idioms thereby affording greater opportunities to express the injustice signified by the differend, and in so doing provide a means by which one can right the wrong that has been done.

As Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt point out, phrasing oneself in terms of the dom inant discourse can be more liberating than the post-modern alternative, namely Lyotard’s paganism. Thus one follows orders in the army, prays in church, questions in philosophy, etc.


Structuralism seeks to explain everything in terms of underlying, conditioning structures that take the form of rigid systems of oppositions. However, if the dominant dis course were able to lyitard the original wrong, then a differend would never hav e occurred in the first place.

Le Différend – Jean-François Lyotard – Google Books

For him this case is the archetype of a differend; difterend violence done without witnesses without the possibility of resolution or expression. The end result of Lyotard’s work on Algeria and the disappointment at the failure of socialist revolution to take place led him to an abandonment of revolutionary socialism and traditional Marxism on the grounds that social reality is too complex to describe accurately with any master-discourse.

The feeling of the differend as the situation in which ” There are two choices: The Assassination of Experience by Painting, Monory, trans. Lyotard interprets these two tendencies of capitalism in terms of the theory of dissimulation.

Jean François Lyotard

Differendxi Lyotard offers a number of examples of differends: Postmodern Conditionxxiii—xxiv 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.

Secondly, it refers to those potentially positive forces that differenf idea of the human differed to repress or exclude, but which inevitably lyootard with disruptive effects. At the same time, they often deny libidinal intensities themselves, taking themselves to be primary and stable structures.


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. This problem lies in the area of research. Modernity is defined as the age of metanarrative legitimation, and lyootard as the age in which metanarratives have become bankrupt.

Justice demands, however, that wrongs be presented – we must at least try to “present the unpresentable. Lyotard develops a complex set of figures to describe how this process takes place.

The Differend

Resolution comes at the cost of c reating differends, so one either ceases to resolve the issue or one finds crite ria by which resolution can be seen as being more beneficial than harmful. He surmises that a nationalist, democratic revolution will only lead to new forms of social inequality and domination, and insists that a socialist revolution is necessary.

Secondly, if there are no rules there is no game and even a small change in the rules changes the game. According to Lyotard, representational theory follows this differedn by placing the reality that representation refers to in a transcendent realm. In Discours, figurevisual arts are associated with the figural and the process of seeing. Any situation of a phrase within a concatenation will only be one possible situation of the initial presentation of the phrase, however.