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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From Husserl to Lyotard London: That is, one genre claims the exclusive right to impose rules of concatenation from the initial phrase. But, the argument goes, since sexuality is the epitome of liberation, and since sexuality can never be absent from any society, sexuality is always at least latently embedded in any society as the potential for freedom—freedom from prejudices, power, control, and so forth.

The postmodern would be that which, in the modern, puts forward the unpresentable in presentation itself; that which denies itself the solace of good forms, the consensus of a taste which would make it possible to share collectively the nostalgia for the unattainable; that lyotarr searches for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but in order to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable. That is, the opening of the subject to forces which are deemed irrational, such as feelings and desires.

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

An example would be the way political institutions channel desires to change society away from violent, disruptive eruptions towards more moderate, less disruptive modes of action.

La Partie de peintureCannes: Because of the radical incommensurability of phrase regimes in the case of a differend, any “resolution” would only assert the legitimacy of one phrase regime at the cost of silencing the other, thus deepening the wrong. Lyotard abandoned his libidinal philosophy in the later years of the seventies, beginning a philosophy of paganism that developed, by the eighties, into his unique version of postmodernism.

The end of metanarratives means that no single overarching theory can pretend to account for everything. The anti-commodity was too general, since it was the embodiment of the idea of a basic need, whereas the capitalist commodity acquired the qualities of an unalienated, desired thing. In Lyotard’s philosophy of postmodernism and the differend, he develops an aesthetic theory of postmodern art. Oct 26, Pahail rated it really liked it. Lyotard avers that the old model of the learning of knowledge as a means for making citizens and free agents of individuals is falling away as knowledge is exteriorized from any particular individual knowers, and what is considered knowledge will only be that which can be translated into computerizable language.


Hence, we have a case of a wrong which cannot be presented as a wrong; a differend.

It becomes The Shit, and we ponder Its Shitness, and preserve it, abstract from it, worship its image, theorize it, etc. Libirinal dissertatifParis: At the same time, they often deny libidinal intensities themselves, taking themselves to be primary and stable structures.

This should not be taken to mean that linkages cannot eventually be made, that justice cannot be done in spite of a differend. Des dispositifs pulsionnelsParis: The use of economics made by Lyotard is more in lytoard and helpful than that made by Deleuze and Guattari Lyotard seems to have a pretty good working knowledge of economicsbut ultimately Lyotard’s criticism of Deleuze and Guattari is that libidinaal analysis that the capturing of the libido of the pure production of the desiring machines for the production of surfaces of inscription as the basis for the functioning of the machines of social production can’t be sustained because there are no illegitimate uses for desire.

Libidinal Economy | work by Lyotard |

Some forms of art can reinforce structured systems of meaning, but the special feature of avant-garde art is to disrupt expectations, conventions, and established orders of reception. Most true “discoveries,” Lyotard argues, are discoveries by virtue of the fact that they are so radical that they change the rules of the game – they cannot even be articulated within the rules of the “dominant” game which is dominant because it draws the consensus of opinions.

It has frequently been claimed that in this way complete and certain knowledge is possible, at least in theory. In this sense, postmodernism is the spirit of experimentation that drives modernism into ever-changing forms; it is the disruptive force that unsettles accepted rules for reception and meaning.


The differend arises on this level of genres when the phrase event gives rise to different genres, but one genre claims validity over the others. Art need not provide a political message, represent reality properly, or morally guide us.

It represents the “primary processes” of desire and libidinal intensity in which libidinal energy circulates in an aleatory fashion, not yet investing anything. Lyotrd, Lyotard draws attention to the fact that reason tends to operate with structured systems of concepts which exclude the sensual and lihidinal, but that these exclusions can never be libirinal maintained. This set of essays, most first given as lectures, are remarkable in their literary and philosophical quality, with each indirectly, as the subtitle suggests, taking up the problem of temporality, that is, our openness to the unphraseable events given in a future worthy of the name.

The mistake of structuralism is to interpret the figural in entirely discursive terms, ignoring the different ways in which these elements operate. Part of his work in The Postmodern Condition can be read as a defence of narrative knowledge from the increasing dominance of scientific knowledge.

Libidinal Economy

This means that pleasure is not epistemologically separate from necessity. To question requires that something happen that reason has not yet known.

Kollontai calls for the convergence of comradeship and political Eros, which would reconstruct the logic of individualized sexual communication. He also see pleasure in the happening of an industrial injury.

Paganism is godless politics; it is the abandonment of universal judgement for specific, plural judgements. Rather, the task is to develop an attunement to the plurality of opinions and language games. This is a paradoxical task, and arouses in the viewer the mixture of pleasure and pain that is the sublime. Aaron rated it it was ok Dec 13, Lyotard develops the philosophy of language that underlies his work on paganism and postmodernism most fully in The Differend: Boris Mikhailov, Untitled, from the series Suzi and Othersdate unkown.