The Postmodern Sublime

Bonnie Mann

in Women's Liberation and the Sublime

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195187458
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786565 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

  The Postmodern Sublime

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This chapter focuses on the notion of the postmodern sublime. It considers Lyotard's late work to illustrate what is disturbing and what might be important in feminist appropriations of the sublime. It begins by contextualizing Lyotard's treatment of the sublime in terms of his broader project of developing a “philosophical politics” of “bearing witness to the differend.” It then looks more closely at Lyotard's reading of the Kantian sublime and at his discussion of language using the famous example of “Albert.” The chapter addresses the following questions: what happens to place in Lyotard's philosophical politics? What political possibilities are opened or closed in the process? Finally, one of Lyotard's essays on feminism, or as he terms it “women's struggles,” is discussed, which paves the way for looking at how the postmodern sublime is at work in feminist thinking in the next chapters.

Keywords: Lyotard; Kantian sublime; language; philosophical politics; feminism

Chapter.  8300 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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