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. Libidinal Economy: Jean-François Lyotard: In Libidinal Economy (), a work very much influenced by the Parisian student uprising of May , Lyotard.

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According to the performativity criterion, society is seen as a system which must aim lbiidinal efficient functioning, and this efficiency is a kind of terror which threatens to exclude inefficient elements. In the near future, he predicts, education will no longer be given “en bloc” to people in their youth as a preparation for life.

Libidinal Economy

In his writings on paganism, Lyotard analyses politics in the form of a justice of rhetoric. Lyotard rejects the claims of any discourse to be grounded in truth. In the initial presentation of the phrase, the instances of the universe are equivocal.

Under capitalism, the cessation of libidinal striving seems impossible. The libidinal philosophy begins Lyotard’s general commitment to an ontology of events, which also underlies his later postmodern philosophy.

Indeed, he says, it imposes a sentiment, if not an obligation: Situation takes place when the instances of the phrase universe are fixed through the concatenation of phrases. What is unjust, Lyotard avers, occur[s] if the pragmatics of obligation, that ilbidinal, the possibility of continuing to play the game of the just, were excluded.

The politics lyotafd the libidinal philosophy revolves around a nuanced reading of Marx and a duplicitous relation to capitalism.

Sexuality in a Non-Libidinal Economy

But these changes have another effect as well: Lyotard argues that Auschwitz offers something that is unpresentable in the presentation of history itself: Yet, like Julia Kristeva —who developed in well-known articles leading to The Revolution in Poetic Language the distinction between the semiotic the libidinal disruptiveness of bodily motility and the symbolic the structured grammar whose extreme form is mathematics that together make language possible, Lyotard was interested in what escapes discourse but yet needs it to exist, just as there is no pure semiotic or symbolic language for Kristeva.


Like any other particular kind of knowledge, e. Thus, obviously, all terror, annihilation, massacre, etc. One set of phrases is absolutely incommunicable with the other. The project of Socialisme ou Barbarie was to provide theoretical resources to contribute to socialist revolution, critiquing other existing socialist strands particularly Stalinism and the French communist party as a hindrance to revolution, and with a particular emphasis on the critique of bureaucracy.

How to cite this entry. Eventually this situation of flux crystallised into what we now refer to as poststructuralism, postmodernism and deconstruction.

Books by Lyotard Phenomenology, trans. What is the social for the sociologist? It is far from being exclusively emancipatory. Genres of discourse can bring heterogenous phrase regimens together in a concatenation, but genres themselves are heterogenous and incommensurable.

This theatricality is demonstrated in the use of what I presume to be deliberately provocative imagery. Williams, James, Lyotard and the Political London: Lyotard argues, for example, that sociology has need of a phenomenological definition of the essence of the social before it can proceed effectively as a science. Law, Form, Event New York: Lyotard describes the bar as then turning around on itself and creating an enclosed space, a theatrical volume.

Please click on this link to confirm your subscription. This leads Lyotard to a criticism of phenomenology as evonomy, on the grounds that its descriptions of the body in the world are also too libidlnal and do not account for the disruptive force of the figural.

In the midst of their exodus, the starving people treat sex as a basic necessity, in the same way they treat sleep and nourishment. The libido itself, its energetics, is never representable or containable within any given system; all desires are dissimulated in these institutions, and they are never presentable as they are in themselves.


To think is to question everything, including thought, and question, and the process. Rachel Bowlby and Ljotard Bouniort, ed. Universities, then, will soon give up their roles in providing training what the Germans call Bildunginstead preparing their students for becoming managers and creating these packets of information.

Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology suggests that we experience the world on a pre-cognitive level as ambiguous and somewhat chaotic sense data which must be synthesized by the perceiving subject in order to structure the world in a lyotwrd way.

Lyotard’s early political commitments were to revolutionary socialism and a relatively orthodox Marxism see Biography and Early Works b Algeria. That is, one genre claims the exclusive right to impose rules of concatenation from the initial phrase.

That is, it is inscribed into the more general framework, so that the elements of sexuality do not acquire any surplus value that would make them seductive in a specific way.

Libidinal Economy – Wikipedia

This, of course, sets off a differend since to have seen the gas chambers in operation would be to have been its victim, and thus silences all other genres, the various linkages of communication within the genre of history, for example, that libicinal testify to the Shoah. Great response to Anti-Oedipus, but in my opinion, this was more fun to read.

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