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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However this only reinforces the premise that this is a book belonging to a fairly specific period and again begs the question as to why it has now appeared in translation. What sense of the phrase is meant? Lyotard proposes that a better form of legitimation would be legitimation by paralogy.


The figural is what exceeds rational representation; it appeals to sensual experience, emotions and desires. It becomes The Shit, and we ponder Its Shitness, and preserve it, abstract from it, worship its image, theorize it, etc.

This logic is diametrically opposed to the logic of libidinal economy that characterizes capitalist society. Lyotard develops the notion of paganism in “Lessons in Paganism” reprinted in The Lyotard ReaderJust Gaming and various other short works of libidinl late seventies. Published October 1st by Continuum first published May 1st Lyotard asserts that a justice of multiplicities requires a multiplicity of justices. Many tribal groups claim that land which they traditionally inhabited is now owned and controlled by the descendants of European colonists.

Art need not provide a political message, represent reality properly, or morally guide us. You can read four articles free per month.

Sexuality in a Non-Libidinal Economy – Journal #54 April – e-flux

This asceticism was not predesigned ideologically. For Lyotard, this is a question of both knowledge and power. Against this notion of the inhuman, akin to what Lyotard years earlier had called the figural, is the inventiveness of another form of the inhuman, what would get us beyond the human of humanism and its grand narratives. Lyotard calls such claims into doubt through his thesis that events exceed representation. For this reason, Lyotard valorizes the eye and its modes of seeing figures—shadings of meanings—that cannot be reduced to a single meaning or representation.


Columbia University Press, Lyotard uses the metaphors of flatness and depth to refer to discourse and figure, respectively.

Jean-François Lyotard (1924—1998)

This means presenting the fact that a wrong has been done which cannot itself be presented. At first glance this somewhat cryptic, poetic, and quasi-religious work seems to bear little resemblance to any other piece in Lyotard’s oeuvre. At the same time, they often deny libidinal intensities themselves, taking themselves to be primary and stable structures.

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Postmodernist Porn | Issue 8 | Philosophy Now

The postmodern, then, bears witness not to the fact that there are no facts, but rather that those claiming economg passkey to reality merely want to make a claim for the hegemony of one phrase regimen e. Perversions and sexuality can be ascribed to the child only if they unfold via the linguistic articulation and registration of them—which the child, at least in the pre-oedipal or even oedipal stage, is not able to do.

Other theorists such as Jean Baudrillard have also proposed aesthetic theories of postmodernism which differ from Lyotard’s understanding of postmodernism in the arts. The use of economics made by Lyotard lihidinal more lyltard depth and helpful than that made by Deleuze and Guattari Lyotard seems to have a pretty good working knowledge of economicsbut ultimately Lyo This book always seems to get overlooked in favour of other texts from the period like Anti-Oedipus, Of Grammatology, Writing and Difference which is a shame because it launches pretty convincing critiques of both Derrida’s deconstruction and Deleuze and Lyotars project.

Let us take Australian Aborigines as an example. Indeed, he says, it imposes a sentiment, if not an obligation: In examining the status of knowledge in postmodernity, Lyotard is examining the political as well as epistemological aspects of knowledge legitimationand he sees the lyottard social bond – the minimum relation required for society to exist – as moves within language games.

Rather, all of his works attempt to testify to that which escapes language, though we never stop attempting to articulate this excess. Lyotard’s description of the transformations of the libidinal band is a theoretical fiction which provides an account of how the world works through the interplay of intense, excited libidinal energies and the stable structures which exploit them and dampen their intensity. Anyways, totally recommend it.


Within the framework of such a teleology, individual pleasure, desire, and its satisfaction are complements to the broader demands of the social, even at a very early stage. This form of the inhuman, against those who would think of Lyotard as a celebrant of the s death of man and the end of humanism, stands as a testament to the inventiveness of the human and its irreducibility to the machinic—to the point where it can transcend what we thought the human was to be.

Through his theory of the end of metanarratives, Lyotard develops his own version of what tends to be a consensus among theorists of the postmodern libixinal postmodernity as an age of fragmentation and pluralism. Thus, obviously, all terror, annihilation, massacre, etc. Libidinal Economy is not an easy read, not least since it does not wish to set itself up as merely another philosophical theory hiding its own desires, with a truth easily representable to others Libidinal Intensive “exchanges” are ignorant of the constitutive negation of both political economy and natural theology since the libido invests unconditionally.

Mimi Ch F rated it it was amazing Aug 25, Econlmy has motivated much of liberal thought since Kant and is seen most recently in the work of Rawls and Rorty. This quality was manifested in a number of works by Moscow Conceptualists. Tenderness, unburdened sentiments, and freedom are rarely found in the cinematographic spectrum of the s. Bilingual edition with trans.

Sexuality in a Non-Libidinal Economy

Lyotard instead takes Malraux as a set of heterogenous elements texts, political activities, personal relationships, etcwhich he, as author, consciously unifies through the creation of a fictional character.

Freud, they argue, ignored the social, whilst Marx downplays the role of the unconscious. Libdiinal takes place through the deictic terms in language such as here, now, I, you, this which gain meaning by referring to temporal and spatial specificities in the world of the language-user.

For Ecinomy, no just resolution of a differend is possible.