I wonder where Foucault's general thesis of 'Part One: We "Other Victorians" ' places him in the spectrum of the rupture v. extension debate in postmodernism:
It was very interesting to see Anderson's discussion of the arc of Lyotard's work, and I felt that it helped put a few things in perspective for me. Upon going back and looking closely at his essay with the aim of comparing his ideas to those of later writers, I read a few things into his essay that I hadn't previously. Primarily, what was of interest to me this time around was his take on history, and the impact upon it of the loss of hierarchy within language games.
So on pg 25 of Origins, Anderson describes Lyotard's take on postmodernity and how it results in undermining science as equal to "other forms of knowledge to which it had pretended [superiority] in modern times." I read this statement and am worried because Anderson seems to make an interesting word choice with his usage of 'pretend'. It seems that Anderson supports the notion of science's equality with all forms of knowledge, especially when he goes on to say that the basis of science rests on "two forms of grand narrative itself" (25).
So right, the money question, "What is Postmodernism?". Once again, we see an attempt to make sense of postmodernism in its relation to the project of modernity and the enlightenment, in Lyotard's case in terms of a general failure of unity. The dialogue of "science", both physical and philosophical, becomes one of many language games, and is unable to prove its own legitimacy. With this failure the hegemony of scientific reasoning, or " scientific" knowledge, is destroyed.
This began as a response to 3NT's post regarding Lyotard's definition of state.
I think Guattari Hero's question about the convergences, or lack thereof, between Derrida and Lyotard gets at the heart of a meta-level tension that runs through much postmodern/poststructural theory. Namely, are the developments that characterize postmodernity representative of a rupture unique to that (this?) period, or, rather, have such "developments" always "been the case," and we are just now coming to realize their validity/utility? There is probably a techinical name for this distinction; in fact, it might be postmodernism v. poststructuralism. We should ask Professor Fitzpatrick.
"Knowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be consumed in order to be valorized in a new production: in both cases, the goal is exchange. Knowledge ceases to be an end in itself, it loses its 'use-value'." (Lyotard 4-5) I believe the second half of this statement to be false and the first half to be inconsequential. As long as liberal arts colleges exist, knowledge will always be an end in itself. This class offers me no material gain, any knowledge I gain will broaden my understanding of the world, but will have little effect on my career in Real Estate.
I'm curious to hear peoples' thoughts about an interesting passage from the first section of The Postmodern Condition, in which Lyotard argues, apropos of the shift in informational circulation and economic decision-making "beyond the control of the nation-states," that the questions defining our postmodern era will be along the lines of: "Who will have access to [communications satellites and data banks]? Who will determine which channels or data are forbidden? The State? Or will the State simply be one user among others?" (6).