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Jean-François Lyotard

Jean-François Lyotard (1924-1998) was a French philosopher and literary theorist well-known for his embracing of postmodernism after the late 1970s. Before that, he was a member of the group 'Socialisme ou Barbarie' (Socialism or Barbarism'), a group of left-wing French intellectuals formed in the wake of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising in opposition to the Stalinism of Soviet communism. Later he became a founding member of the European Graduate School.

Lyotard maintained in Le Différend (The Differend) (1983) that human discourses occur in any number of discrete and incommensurable realms, none of which is privileged to pass judgment on the success or value of any of the others. Thus, in Économie libidinale (Libidinal Economy) (1974), La Condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir (The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge) (1979), and Au juste: Conversations (Just Gaming) (1979), Lyotard attacked contemporary literary theories and encouraged experimental discourse unbounded by excessive concern for 'truth'.

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