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Jean-François Lyotard’s work was the best of postmodernism

The school’s degeneracy into post-truth was never inevitable

By Julian Baggini  

Jean-François Lyotard, who died 20 years ago. Photo: Bracha L Ettinger

In the 20 years since Jean-François Lyotard died, on 21st April 1998, the reputation of the idea most associated with him has plummeted. Most today see postmodernism as a busted flush. Its early, left-wing proponents saw it as a form of emancipation against the hegemony of elite power. The assault on truth has led instead to the reactionary populism of Donald Trump, Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin.

As long ago as 2004, Bruno Latour even issued a…

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