© 1993 – Routledge
Jean-Francois Lyotard introduced the term "postmodern" into current discussions within philosophy, politics, society and social theory. His "The postmodern condition" is seminal within the current debates over the relationship of theory and epistemology to history and political practice. For Lyotard, the postmodern condition is one in which the "meta- narratives of legitimation" the enlightenment, Hegelian thought, Marxism have fallen into disuse and can no longer analyze myriad labyrinthine social texts that have been forged from their ruins. Meta- narratives assume the role of privileged discourses not inflected by historical contingencies, and each situate local social and political practices within a broader totalizing and legitimizing framework. Lyotard claims that various local practices can no longer be legitimized by these meta-discourses; legitimation itself descends to the level of praxis as practitioners assume the responsibility for legitimizing their own practices.; "Political writings" is a collection of Lyotard's writings mostly published between 1956 and 1969 in "Socialisme ou Barbarie", the influential journal of the non-Communist French left. The political Motivation Implicit In Lyotard's Arguments In "The Postmodern Condition" become quite explicit in this collection. The articles outline the relevance of political struggles to contemporary debates about social and political theory; the limitations of Marxist models applied to concrete situations; and the development of the analytical categories that Lyotard himself currently uses in his critical practices.; In a rigorous examination of the strategies and passions of various groups, Lyotard demonstrates that the emancipatory models at work in specific local struggles are different from the universalist ones proposed by the Enlightenment, occurring as they do in First World and Third World Contexts In Which Specificity And Difference Are Negotiated And Determined.