Tuesday, 10 November 2009

An argument against Jean Francis Lyotard's postmodernist argument on Grand Narratives

The collapse of the "Grand Narrative"

Most famously, in La Condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir (The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge) (1979), he proposes what he calls an extreme simplification of the "postmodern" as an 'incredulity towards meta-narratives'. These meta-narratives - sometimes 'grand narratives' - are grand, large-scale theories and philosophies of the world, such as the progress of history, the knowability of everything by science, and the possibility of absolute freedom. Lyotard argues that we have ceased to believe that narratives of this kind are adequate to represent and contain us all. We have become alert to difference, diversity, the incompatibility of our aspirations, beliefs and desires, and for that reason postmodernity is characterised by an abundance of micronarratives.  From Wikipedia

One of the old, modernist grand narrative was, and for some still is, that science will solve nearly all our problems. Of course, apart from religious narratives, there are a number of other "grand narratives", too. Hollwood draw on most of the'grand' narratives listed below. One major flaw in Lyotard's argument is that postmodernism, itself, offers its own "grand narrative".

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