Jean-Francois Lyotard
Jean-Francois Lyotard

Celebrity Profile

Name: Jean-Francois Lyotard
Occupation: Philosopher
Gender: Male
Birth Day: August 10, 1924
Death Date: Apr 21, 1998 (age 73)
Age: Aged 73
Country: France
Zodiac Sign: Leo

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Weight: in kg - N/A
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Jean-Francois Lyotard

Jean-Francois Lyotard was born on August 10, 1924 in France (73 years old). Jean-Francois Lyotard is a Philosopher, zodiac sign: Leo. Find out Jean-Francois Lyotardnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He taught at a host of different universities across the world, including Emory University, Collège International de Philosophie, University of Paris X, and Yale.

Does Jean-Francois Lyotard Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Jean-Francois Lyotard died on Apr 21, 1998 (age 73).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He attended the Sorbonne in France where he studied philosophy.

Biography Timeline


Jean François Lyotard was born on August 10, 1924 in Vincennes, France to Jean-Pierre Lyotard, a sales representative, and Madeleine Cavalli. He went to primary school at the Paris Lycée Buffon and Louis-le-Grand. As a child, Lyotard had many aspirations: to be an artist, a historian, a Dominican friar, and a writer. He later gave up the dream of becoming a writer when he finished writing an unsuccessful fictional novel at the age of 15. Ultimately, Lyotard describes the realization that he would not become any of these occupations as "fate" in his intellectual biography called Peregrinations, published in 1988.


He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in the late 1940s. His 1947 DES thesis, Indifference as an Ethical Concept (L'indifférence comme notion éthique), analyzed forms of indifference and detachment in Zen Buddhism, Stoicism, Taoism, and Epicureanism. In 1950, Lyotard took up a position teaching philosophy in Constantine in French Algeria but returned to mainland France in 1952 to teach at the Prytanée military academy in La Flèche, where he wrote a short work on Phenomenology, published in 1954. Lyotard moved to Paris in 1959 to teach at the Sorbonne: introductory lectures from this time (1964) have been posthumously published under the title Why Philosophize? Having moved to teach at the new campus of Nanterre in 1966, Lyotard participated in the events following March 22 and the tumult of May 1968. In 1971, Lyotard earned a State doctorate with his dissertation Discours, figure under Mikel Dufrenne—the work was published the same year. Lyotard joined the Philosophy department of the experimental University at Vincennes, later Paris 8, together with Gilles Deleuze, in the academic year 1970-71; it remained his academic home in France until 1987. He married his first wife, Andrée May, in 1948 with whom he had two children, Corinne and Laurence, and later married for a second time in 1993 to Dolores Djidzek, the mother of his son David (born in 1986).


In 1954, Lyotard became a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie ("Socialism or Barbarism"), a French political organisation formed in 1948 around the inadequacy of the Trotskyist analysis to explain the new forms of domination in the Soviet Union. Socialisme ou Barbarie had an objective to conduct a critique of Marxism from within during the Algerian war of liberation. His writings in this period are mostly concerned with ultra-left politics, with a focus on the Algerian situation—which he witnessed first-hand while teaching philosophy in Constantine. He wrote optimistic essays of hope and encouragement to the Algerians, which were reproduced in Political Writings. Lyotard hoped to encourage an Algerian fight for independence from France, and a social revolution. Following disputes with Cornelius Castoriadis in 1964, Lyotard left Socialisme ou Barbarie for the newly formed splinter group Pouvoir Ouvrier ("Worker Power"), from which he resigned in turn in 1966. Although Lyotard played an active part in the May 1968 uprisings, he distanced himself from revolutionary Marxism with his 1974 book Libidinal Economy. He distanced himself from Marxism because he felt that Marxism had a rigid structuralist approach and they were imposing 'systematization of desires' through strong emphasis on industrial production as the ground culture.


Lyotard taught at the Lycée of Constantine [fr], Algeria from 1950 to 1952. In 1972, Lyotard began teaching at the University of Paris VIII; he taught there until 1987 when he became Professor Emeritus. During his last eleven years he lectured outside France, notably as a Professor of Critical Theory at the University of California, Irvine and as visiting professor at universities around the world. These included: Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, Stony Brook University and the University of California, San Diego in the U.S., the Université de Montréal in Quebec (Canada), and the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He was also a founding director and council member of the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris. Before his death, he split his time between Paris and Atlanta, where he taught at Emory University as the Woodruff Professor of Philosophy and French.


In 1985, Lyotard co-curated the exhibition Les Immatériaux at the Centre de Création Industrielle at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, together with the design theorist and curator Thierry Chaput.


Lyotard is a skeptic for modern cultural thought. According to his 1979 The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, the impact of the postmodern condition was to provoke skepticism about universalizing theories. Lyotard argues that we have outgrown our needs for metanarratives (French: métarécits) due to the advancement of techniques and technologies since World War II. He argues against the possibility of justifying the narratives that bring together disciplines and social practices, such as science and culture; "the narratives we tell to justify a single set of laws and stakes are inherently unjust." A loss of faith in metanarratives has an effect on how we view science, art, and literature. Little narratives have now become the appropriate way for explaining social transformations and political problems. Lyotard argues that this is the driving force behind postmodern science. As metanarratives fade, science suffers a loss of faith in its search for truth, and therefore must find other ways of legitimating its efforts. Connected to this scientific legitimacy is the growing dominance for information machines. Lyotard argues that one day, in order for knowledge to be considered useful, it will have to be converted into computerized data. Years later, this led him into writing his book The Inhuman, published in 1988, in which he illustrates a world where technology has taken over.


Charles J. Stivale reviwed Lyotard's The Differend (in English translation) in 1990, stating:


Lyotard repeatedly returned to the notion of the Postmodern in essays gathered in English as The Postmodern Explained to Children, Toward the Postmodern, and Postmodern Fables. In 1998, while preparing for a conference on postmodernism and media theory, he died unexpectedly from a case of leukemia that had advanced rapidly. He is buried in Division 6 of Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.


The collective tribute to Lyotard following his death was organized by the Collège International de Philosophie, and chaired by Dolores Lyotard and Jean-Claude Milner, the College's director at that time. The proceedings were published by PUF in 2001 under the general title Jean-François Lyotard, l'exercice du différend.


Lyotard's work continues to be important in politics, philosophy, sociology, literature, art, and cultural studies. To mark the tenth anniversary of Lyotard's death, an international symposium about Jean-François Lyotard organized by the Collège International de Philosophie (under the direction of Dolores Lyotard, Jean-Claude Milner and Gerald Sfez) was held in Paris from January 25–27 in 2007.

Family Life

Jean-Francois's family was residing in Versailles, France, when he was born.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Jean-Francois Lyotard is 98 years, 1 months and 22 days old. Jean-Francois Lyotard will celebrate 99th birthday on a Thursday 10th of August 2023. Below we countdown to Jean-Francois Lyotard upcoming birthday.


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