Indiana University Bloomington

Spring '18: Jean-François Lyotard's The Differend


How does injustice take place in the context of language? How do we conceptualize conflicting claims that offer no avenue for mediation? For guidance, the Center turns to philosopher Jean-François Lyotard’s 1983 landmark study The Differend. Lyotard defines a “differend” as a claim that lacks a language in which its demands can be formulated. His exploration of a multiplicity of language games speaks to our present situation, which is characterized by an accelerating fragmentation of the public sphere and the emergence of unbridgeable differences of perspectives. The work of the reading group culminates in a symposium, in which leading scholars help us think through and with Lyotard’s important book.

All Center events are open to the public.

“The Will in Question,” Fall 2018 Graduate Course

The course, offered by Professor Jennifer Fleissner (English), surveys writings on the will and culminates with its reappearance in the work of some contemporary theorists. At the intellectual core of the course lies the direct opposition that seems to inhere in the very idea of the will: will conceived as restraint of instinct and particularity (in writers such as Kant and Hege)l, and will understood as force or desire (in others such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche). More ->


“Object-Oriented Ontology and Aesthetics”: A Discussion with Graham Harman

The philosopher Graham Harman has shaped the field of object-oriented ontology. He discusses a chapter from his forthcoming book with members of the Theory Center on Friday, March 23, at 10:30 am. More>

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