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Grand narratives

Page history last edited by David Shutkin 9 years, 6 months ago

Lyotard, Jean-François    ( 1924 – ). An exponent of post-modernism ’, […] whose arguments may be summarized briefly as follows. Our epoch has witnessed the collapse of all those grand ‘metanarrative’ schemas (Kantian, Hegelian, Marxist, or whatever) that once promised truth or justice at the end of inquiry. What we are left with is an open multiplicity of ‘heterogeneous’ or strictly incommensurable language-games , each disposing of its own immanent criteria. This requires that we should not presume to judge any one such discourse according to the standards, values, or truth-conditions of any other, but should instead seek to maximize the current range of ‘first-order natural pragmatic’ narratives. Moreover, anyone who rejects these premisses—who seeks […] to uphold the values of enlightenment, critique, and rational consensus as against Lyotard's ill-defined notion of ‘dissensus’ as the touchstone of democratic freedom—must ipso facto be arguing from a ‘totalitarian’ or rigidly doctrinaire standpoint. What this amounts to, in short, is a mélange of Wittgensteinian, post-structuralist, and kindred ideas presented in an oracular style that raises bafflement to a high point of principle. -- Prof. Christopher Norris



Jean-François Lyotard , The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, tr. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, 1983 ).



Prof. Christopher Norris  "Lyotard, Jean-François"  The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  John Carroll University.  10 February 2011  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t116.e1484>

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