Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Does Jean-Francois Lyotard in his 1974 text Libidinal Economy address a Nietzschean account of nihilism through the overturning of Platonic Discourse?

I will explain how Lyotard in his text Libidinal Economy (Économie Libidinale 1974) approaches the Platonic tradition, which is understood in this case through the structures which govern reality. In doing so, I believe that Lyotard is positioning an account of nihilism which correlates to Nietzsche’s concerns.
In Libidinal Economy, there is a distinct upturning of the Platonic tradition in which Lyotard will tell us that libidinal intensities or energy is dissipated by the signification of rational thought which stems from Plato. My intention is to show how this correlates with Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy (Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik 1872), Twilight of the Idols (Götzen-Dämmerung, Oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer Philosophirt 1888) and Ecce Homo (Ecce homo: Wie man wird, was man ist 1888) whereby the intelligible order under the Platonic tradition, which extends throughout Western metaphysics quells the individuation of a pure primordial energy.
Section I, Nietzsche’s Reading of Plato:
I will initially address the consideration of the deintensification of energy which drives the art impulse in The Birth of Tragedy, in which Nietzsche recognises the death of poetry in the Greeks through Socrates pursuit for a knowable truth, and the influence the Socratic-Platonic tradition has on Western metaphysics. The intention of this correlates to Lyotard’s libidinal intensity which in a similar turn is the slowing of an energetic intensity which creates rational, static and homogenous structures of reality.
The Birth of Tragedy, briefly put, focuses on two Greek deities; Apollo and Dionysus. Apollo presented as the god of individuation and Dionysus the god of intoxication. These two poles operate as essential drives of art when Nietzsche brings them together; when divorced from one and other, as Ullrich Haase writes:
 Apollo represents a knowledge without truth, Dionysus presents the idea of a truth without knowledge[1].
Nietzsche considers that it is in Nature where the energy that drives art is ‘longing for release’[2], and it is through the transformation from Nature into the personal and collective unconscious.
Nietzsche turns towards a metaphysical account, telling us of the ‘Primal Unity’, which he regards as eternal suffering. This is contrary to individuation, which he considers as ‘a perpetual becoming in time, space and causality’[3]. The implication holds that the world in general is a manifestation of the Primal Unity; the underlying energy can only be represented.
I maintain that in Nietzsche’s text we see the drive of creation which correlates to the will, and its affect (sadness), together (the primal and the eternal) is ‘the sole basis of the world’[4].
Nietzsche is outlining the notion of an undercurrent of energy which drives the creation of art. For example, Nietzsche tells us that the Dionysian artist, who is identified with the Primal Unity, which he considers as being in this case ‘pain and contradiction’[5], recasts or imitates the Primal Unity through the medium of music. Nietzsche refines this stance by suggesting that without the symbolism, images or representation which is inherent to the empirical world, the Dionysian artist is ‘pure primordial pain’[6]; which I understand as a flow of energy which emerges from Nature.
However, following the text we see how Nietzsche considers the suppression of these energies which drive the art impulse under the Platonic tradition. I will further discuss the implication of the Primal Unity after addressing some key issues which I highlight in Book VI & VII of Plato’s Republic. However, it is important to highlight Nietzsche’s criticism of Plato and Socrates in The Birth of Tragedy.
Nietzsche tells us that Plato appears in the shadow of Socrates, and that Plato ‘first of all burned his poems’ in order that ‘he might become a student of Socrates’[7]. This is followed by suggesting that Plato’s condemnation of tragic art, which is considered lower than the ‘empiric world’[8] follows behind his ‘master’, referring to Socrates.
Nietzsche discusses Socrates as the destroyer of Greek tragedy, regarding Socrates as the ‘Cyclops eye […] fixed on tragedy, an eye in which the fine frenzy of artistic enthusiasm had never glowed’[9]. Nietzsche tells us that Socrates did not think that the tragic arts was able to “tell the truth”[10], that the tragic arts are not useful, and require complete separation from the philosophical. However, Nietzsche makes claims towards artistic truth and Natures impulse, explaining that even ‘the dumb man […] is the image of Nature and her strongest impulses’[11], and in the heart of Nature can account for the proclamation of truth. That is, the expression of Nature is the expression of truth, it is not as we will see, signified or symbolised through appearances. Hereon, I will refer to the tragic arts in light of the ‘pure primordial’ energy, which could better be thought of as the seed of which the tragic arts are born (hence the title The Birth of Tragedy).
In section 13-15 of the text, Nietzsche begins discussing Socrates as the opponent to tragic art[12]. Nietzsche tells us that Socrates calls upon ‘the greatest statesmen, orators, poets and artists’ and accuses that they were ‘without proper insight’ to their professions, relying on instinct without knowledge[13], Nietzsche writes:
“Only by instinct”: with this phrase we touch upon the heart and core of the Socratic tendency. With it Socratism condemns existing art as well as existing ethics. Wherever Socratism turns its searching eyes it sees lack of insight, it sees the force of illusion.[14]
Nietzsche’s reads Socrates as a negative and destructive energy which empowers knowledge above the tragic arts or the energy of instinct. I maintain that Plato/Socrates calls for the intelligibility of all things; that knowledge is the height of all human endeavour which disempowers the impulse of the tragic arts. In this text, Nietzsche is opening the problem of the Socratic notion of the ‘theoretical man’[15] in regard to the dissolution of the Dionysian tragedy, which following an interpretation by Catherine Zuckert; leaves poetry in the tragic age of the Greeks subservient to philosophy[16].
It is in section 15 where Nietzsche talks of the influence of Socrates extends to the present moment ‘like an ever-increasing shadow in the evening sun’[17]. One which Nietzsche considers all cultures at some stage to have become constrained by the Greeks ‘restricted institutions’, as he writes:
‘And so one feels ashamed and afraid in the presence of the Greeks, unless one prizes truth above all things’[18].
What Nietzsche recognises is the very notion that Socrates was more concerned with the search for truth than truth itself. Maintaining the power of knowledge above all things and ensuring that existence seem intelligible, giving man a justified reason to live.
These implications, which are apparent in the Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche calls upon the Primal Unity or an energy which gains momentum or is charged in Nature and is released in the form of artistic representation. The issue that Nietzsche raises, I maintain from the above discussion, is that the Platonic-Socratic tradition devalues artistic impulse and its pure intensity in search of an absolute, knowable truth. If we consider this consideration of individuation to be the birth of the tragic arts, then Socrates and Plato bring about its death.
In Twilight of the Idols Nietzsche makes further and direct criticisms of the Platonic tradition. At this point, I will outline the problems that Nietzsche found in Plato’s division of the sensible world and the intelligible world. This will lead me to further interpret the consideration of the Primal Unity or the primal flux and its relation to the apparent world.
In the chapter; How the ‘Real World’ at last became a myth which is found in Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche gives us six fragments which recount the story of Western metaphysics beginning at Plato. In these six steps, Nietzsche addresses nineteenth-century scepticism, and following his own philosophical anticipations, as Haase recognises in the text, Nietzsche in the ‘overturning of Platonism, then, means to become the inheritor of this metaphysics, and, at the same time, its end’[19].
Nietzsche’s initial fragment which will be the consideration of this essay, is as such:
1.       The real world, attainable to the wise, the pious, the virtuous man – he dwells in it, he is it.
(Oldest form of the idea, relatively sensible, simple, convincing. Transcription of the proposition ‘I, Plato, am the truth’)[20]
Following an interpretation by Zuckert, Nietzsche is accusing Plato of dissimulation[21].
To fully understand Nietzsche’s claim it would be worth recognising how the ‘visible world’ and the ‘intelligible world’ appears in Plato. To seek this, I will apply this inquiry into Book VI and Book VII of Plato’s Republic, in which we have the Analogy of the Sun, Analogy of the Divided Line and the Analogy of the Cave to interpret what is meant by the two levels of reality[22].
In the Divided Line, Plato begins by suggesting two powers, which can be thought of as the Form of the Good and the Sun, which seeks to divide the world from the visible and the intelligible. The Form of the Good, following a discussion by Richard Kraut in response to this feature in Republic, tells us that Plato regards the Forms not as an ‘aggregate of abstract objects’, rather they are ‘connected to each other’. This notion follows that, in Republic, there is one Form that is central to the knowledge of everything; the form of the Good[23]. The implication of the Forms suggests a structured unity which stems from the idea of the Good, as Kraut writes ‘the goodness of a complex group of objects consists in their unification’[24]. To recognise the Forms, as we will see with the Analogy of the Cave, is to have the knowledge and ability to compare the particular sensible instantiations of an object or property to a Form[25].
The Analogy of the Sun takes the Form of the Good and the Form of the Sun and sets out a comparison. For example, the visible world is illuminated by the Sun and thus endows the eye with power of seeing the objects of sense etc., the Form of the Good gives intelligibility, reality and truth to objects of thought and power of knowing to the mind[26], in which Socrates is wrote to have said to Glaucon:
And we go on to speak of beauty-in-itself, and goodness-in-itself, and so on for all the sets of particular things we have regarded as many; and we proceed to posit by contrast a single form, which is unique.[27]
To summarise the Analogy of the Sun, Plato writes that to perceive an object under starlight dulls the vision; the object is obscured. However, when the sunlight hits the object our vision is clear. That is the position of the visible world, the Sun makes the objects appear to us, otherwise when an object is obscured in the dark we can only have opinions, we ‘seem to lack intelligence’. The intelligible world ensures that the objects perceived are illuminated by truth and reality, Plato writes that we ‘understand and know them, and its possession of intelligence is evident’. What Plato holds is that what ensures truth in the perceived object is the Form- in this case, it is the Form of the Good[28]. The Form of the Good, in this case, correlates to be ‘being’ and ‘reality’[29].
However, the Divided Line which follows from the Analogy of the Sun, seeks to demonstrate how we apprehend the two orders. The divisions made, as we will encounter, are on the one hand between all things contained in the sensible world (objects and their images illuminated by the Sun) and on the other hand the intelligible world presided over the idea of the Good[30].
Socrates begins by returning to the two powers (form of the Good and the Sun), and tells us of a further division whereby the line is divided into two unequal parts, and divided again in the same ratio to ‘represent the visible and intelligible orders’. Socrates, as Plato writes, holds that the visible order in the sub-section of the images which are said to be reflections in water or shadows represent the foundations of opinion (doxa)[31].
However, the further division holds knowledge (épistēme) over the order of conjecture, whereby the mind uses the images to base its inquiries and assumptions on. Plato gives an example of students of geometry drawing figures to base assumptions and calculations. The example holds that the students make use of the visible figures, however it is not in these imitations that they are drawing their conclusions upon but ‘about the originals which they resemble’. The example is used to discuss how the actual figures (which are the lower level visible things such as reflections or shadows) are treat as images only, and the real objects that they resemble are only visible to the ‘eye of reason’. The notion of apprehending the intelligible realm (to noēton) is described through a succession of corresponding levels beginning at the level of opinion. The levels as we can see in the metaphor of the mathematicians, draws itself up from the ‘illusion’ (eikasia), to ‘belief’ (pistis), to mathematical reason (dianoia) and finally ‘intelligence’ (nóēsis)[32], Plato writes:
The whole procedure involves nothing in the sensible world, but moves solely through forms to forms, and finishes with forms.[33]
The Analogy of the Cave presents the idea with a more gradual or continuous movement from the sensible realm to the intelligible rather than the strong division which is made in the Analogy of the Divided Line, it could be said that the Analogy of the Cave is a graphic representation of the Analogy of the Divided Line, which draws a narrative upon the distinction made of belief and illusion to the ascent towards pure philosophy or the intelligible realm.
The analogy begins by presenting a cave; the cave has a fire burning which illuminates a far wall ‘like the screen at a puppet show’. The cave contains a group of prisoners who are bound to the wall and floor of the cave, facing an adjacent wall which is illuminated. The narrative tells us that the men have been prisoners since they were children[34].
Plato continues to write that behind the prisoners are men carrying shapes which project silhouettes onto the wall, the shadows of which are apparent to the prisoners (but the artefact bearers are not visible to them). The leading assumption here follows that the shadows cast on the cave wall are ‘real things’ to the prisoners. That is, the objects mentioned are to the prisoners the truth, they cannot know anything outside of the cave or the mechanics which construct the images on the cave wall[35].
The analogy goes on to hypothesise a prisoner who escapes the bonds, and looks toward the fire. The prisoner now sees the objects which cast the shadows onto the cave wall, beginning to adapt and gradually witnessing the truth of objects and learn of the mechanics that construct the visible order. The gradual ascent towards the world above the cave correlates to a liberation of human knowledge, demonstrating how the prisoner comes to learn of the Forms, Plato writes:
Later he would come to the conclusion that it is the sun that produces the changing seasons and […] everything in the visible world[36]
The analogy corresponds to the analogy of the Divided Line in so far as the narrative can be transposed on to it, and blends the more definite distinctions with a continuity of progress, Plato writes:
The realm revealed by sight corresponds to the prison, and the light of the fire in the prison to the power of the sun. And you won’t go wrong if you connect the ascent into the upper world and the sight of the objects there with the upward progress of the mind into the intelligible region[37].
However, the analogy touches upon the image of the human condition; it supposes that humans who are untouched by philosophy are likened to the prisoners, who take the shadows caused by the artificial light as truth. The suggestion follows that reality to the prisoners is so limited that they do not regard their confines as anything other than their reality. The prisoners, as Plato writes, are the uneducated and have no knowledge of the truth. The proposition holds that the images of the cave are less real than the realm of objects, which are more real than anything that they saw in the cave. Plato writes that this is the ascent to the vision of the Good, which is the ‘highest form of knowledge’[38]. The Platonic distinction, to summarise, distinguishes between the sensible and the intelligible, the intelligible satisfies the term metaphysics, as it institutes sense beyond the physical world[39].
As Nietzsche wrote in the History of Error, the real world is only attainable to the wise. It is in the Platonic tradition, and following the discussion of the distinction made between the sensible and the intelligible, where the seeds of nihilism can be found. Nietzsche makes a clear development of this point in Ecce Homo of his ‘craft’ of overthrowing idols, in which he contends that the Platonic tradition or metaphysics has deprived reality of its value, meaning and truthfulness[40]. Nietzsche writes echoing what I have discussed in the Twilight of the Idols:
The “true world” and the “apparent world” – that means: the mendaciously invented world and reality.[41]
The result of the Platonic tradition accordingly follows that the ideal has been a ‘curse on reality’, the suggestion of nihilism is evident in Nietzsche’s proposition that mankind has become false to the point of worshiping ‘the opposite values of those which alone would guarantee its health […and] the lofty right to its future’[42]. Where the value lies for Plato in the readability of the intelligible world and the human becomes nothing more than a unit to be understood.
The notion of the pure primordial force or the Primal Unity opens the concern of nihilism as a result of Plato’s downgrading of the sensible world. Nietzsche acknowledges that the language of the arts is observable unlike the energy which it grows from. He tells us that Schiller, for example, in the creative process did not have a series of images of creation or any ordered thoughts, rather he was in ‘a musical mood’[43], and goes on to suppose that the ‘artist has already surrendered his subjectivity in the Dionysian process’[44], that is, the artist recognises the world of symbols and language and thus the flow of energy ‘produces a copy of this Primal Unity’[45]. The implication here, which follows Nietzsche’s criticism of the Platonic tradition points towards the deintensification of the Primal Unity, or this underlying force which is born and shaped in the tragic arts. As I understand it, the sensible world is one whereby the energy is charged and then exhausted in empirical reality, which opens up the void of nihilism inherent to the known world.
Section II, Libidinal Intensity in Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy:
In this section, I will satisfy my question by suggesting that Lyotard in his text Libidinal Economy is in agreement with Nietzsche and invokes a Nietzschean rhetoric. It is in Lyotard’s distinction of libidinal intensities which exemplifies the energy beneath the surface of representation whereby the correlation of Nietzschean nihilism is positioned. This will be outlined in Lyotard’s illustration of the cooling of libidinal intensities which transforms them into regulative structures of reality.
The expression which Lyotard addresses follows the psychoanalytic tradition which takes form in Freud and Lacan; thinking back to Nietzsche whereby Western metaphysics continues from the ‘mendaciously invented world’, it is as if the Platonic torch of intelligibility has extended up to Lacan[46]. In Libidinal Economy, Lyotard defines this Platonic inheritance in the philosophic tradition succinctly, writing;
[…] that of the philosophers, meaning Plato[47].
Before engaging with Lyotard’s text, I will explain the position of ‘jouissance’, which appears in Lacanian terminology as an extension or repositioning of the Freudian notion of desire-wish into an antinomic polarity[48]. The purpose of which will elucidate the position Lyotard takes towards a ‘true philosophy’, whereby the emphasis of a ‘theoretical fiction’ is used to bypass the limitations of traditional academic theory[49] and inform us of the unobservable condition of intensities.  
As mentioned, the polarity of jouissance exists between the conventional use of desire (desire is lack, which I understand as meaning only what is lacking can be wanted[50]), and in respect to pleasure. As Néstor A. Braunstein writes in Desire and Jouissance in the Teachings of Lacan (whose interpretation I will follow):
If desire is fundamentally lack, lack in being, jouissance is positivity, it is a “something” lived by a body when pleasure stops being pleasure. It is a plus, a sensation that is beyond pleasure.[51]
Jouissance is an ineffable or undefinable intensity; following the above use of desire as fundamentally lack, the drive of desire as the experience of despair and helplessness is followed by an ideal. This ideal which Braunstein describes as being alien to speech, or the inscription of a mythical satisfaction; is the foundation of the unconscious which Freud would call the ‘primal repression’ (Verdrängung)[52]. This endows jouissance with an indescribable intensity, one which is beyond the pleasure principle. Lacan tells us that jouissance is not centralised, it has all the characteristics of ‘inaccessibility, obscurity and opacity’. It is presented as the ‘satisfaction of a need’, but Lacan insists that it is in fact the ‘satisfaction of a drive’[53]. Jouissance as the cornerstone of Lacan’s thought leads him to consider the concept to be ‘the only ontic to which we may confess’[54].
Lyotard acknowledges jouissance in his libidinal philosophy. In his short text On a Figure of Discourse Lyotard tells us that jouissance is the unthinkable condensation of the strongest and weakest intensity. He goes onto say that jouissance is the model of the ‘anaphora’, and that it transgresses or breaks past the regulation of language and the regulation of the instituted body[55].
However, for Lyotard the language of psychoanalysis exposes ‘the exclusion of intensities’. He writes that desire as an intensive force does not enter the structural account of language, the fundamental issue for Lyotard is that its object has to ‘relate to a system or be a system’[56].
Lyotard, I maintain, is presupposing the energy of desire which takes place before it is signified, that although in jouissance there is a certain formlessness about the term, Lacan still formulates it. Lyotard suggests in Libidinal Economy that jouissance is unrecognizable and yet immediately recognized[57]. For Lyotard, the notion of desire or the libidinal transforms from the incommunicable to the communicable; it becomes absorbed in language through individuation, Lyotard writes:
The desire that energy be dissolved into language inevitably leads analysis to assume that the unconscious is structured like a language.[58]
Lyotard call’s the text Libidinal Economy a ‘theoretical fiction’, as we will see, terms such as ‘libidinal band’ are posed as fictions. The notion of this, as Bennington distinguishes, follows Freud’s use of ‘theoretical fiction’ to illustrate his account of the ‘primary process’, in virtue of it never being observable (similar to the interpretation of jouissance)[59]. Likewise, Lyotard exercises theoretical fiction to escape the subjective notion that these intensities can and should never be a formal representation as such, and therefore leads Lyotard to be consistent towards maintaining the indistinguishability of the primal energy prior to its manifestation into a readable subject. These terms, which stem from the psychoanalytic are used metaphorically, Lyotard divorces the terms from the human subject and repositions them onto the workings of reality[60].
I will firstly distinguish the theatrical-representation set-up which is discussed throughout the first chapter of Libidinal Economy, which is titled The Great Ephemeral Skin.
Following Geoffrey Bennington’s interpretation, the consideration of the theatre for Lyotard suggests an inside and an outside; reality exists external to the theatre. The interior of the theatre divides the act and the audience. This division marks the place observed from the area which it is observed[61]. There is also a backstage or areas essential to the production of the theatre that is not exposed to the observers etc. Behind the scenes, which Lyotard places the ‘underside of politics’[62] which are considered the mechanics which structure the represented act. The notion of the stage and its contents are ‘out of reach’ to the audience, therefore, we can consider this the absence or lack[63]. The stage is the prioritised space for these acts to take place, we can see in the essay Des Dispositifs Pulsionnels (1973) which Bennington draws us towards; Lyotard makes the claim that the force of desire seeking fulfilment, or libidinal intensities cannot be discharged in a specific action relative to reality and are themselves represented on a stage opened ‘inside’ the psychical apparatus – and opened by […] lack’[64]
Lyotard writes that the theatrical-representative set-up results from the labour of the ‘Moebian band’. This band correlates to the opening of the text whereby the ‘libidinal body’, which accordingly is made up of heterogenous parts that are joined to form a ‘Moebius skin’. The parts of the band are made up of ‘bone, epithelium, sheets to write on, charged atmospheres, swords, glass cases, peoples, grasses, canvases to paint’[65]. The result of which lies in an attempt to think of a system which is ‘more true’ and more powerful, which takes the form of the libidinal energy[66].
If we consider the notion of jouissance being ontic, we can agree with Lyotard that libidinal intensities provide for a real experience or real events which cannot be bound to any formal structures nor be observed. Lyotard presupposes an underlying intensity which takes the fictional form of the libidinal band.
Returning then to the distinction of the theatre, Lyotard tells us that the theatrical space and its exterior is brought together by the cooling of libidinal energy, and writes:
The representative chamber is an energetic dispositif.[67]
The term dispositif is quite broad, however, to give a brief example of the term we can look to an interview between Alain Grosrichard and Michel Foucault titled Confessions of the Flesh, Grosrichard asks Foucault about the methodological function of the term dispositif (apparatus) of sexuality. Foucault responds with the suggestion that the term relies of a heterogenous ensemble of ‘discourses, institutions, architectural forms, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral and philanthropic propositions’[68]. Foucault tells us that it is the dispositif or apparatus themselves which is the ‘system of relations that can be established’ between these knowledge structures[69]. Lyotard repositions the term in Libidinal Economy, its function is designed to suggest that libidinal intensities are drawn towards particular dispositifs.
Lyotard considers the moebius skin of heterogenous parts to circulate on one surface, he writes that the ‘more quickly it turns on itself, the more energy it employs and expends and heats the travelled zone’[70]. Libidinal intensity is what drives the rapid rotation of the libidinal band[71].
The Moebian skin that Lyotard constructs has no interior or exterior due to it circulating only on one surface, and leads him to acknowledge that it can never be imprisoned in the ‘volume of the stage/auditorium’[72].
Following this narrative, the band leaves behind ice in proportion to the energy ‘sucked up’[73], its cooling forms what Lyotard calls ‘the disjunctive bar’, which separates ‘this from the not-this[74]). The cooling of these libidinal intensities and its transformation into the disjunctive bar represents the formulation of dominant rational thought[75], Lyotard writes:
A libidinal dispositif, considered, precisely, as a stabilization and even a stasis or group of energetic stases is, examined formally, a structure.[76]
Lyotard is claiming that the deintensification of libidinal energy which is generated on the fast rotation of the libidinal band produces a dispostif. To correlate this with Nietzsche, the cooling of intensification could be the emergence of the energy into art, which is subservient under the shadow of the Platonic-Socratic tradition. Likewise, the libidinal intensity when cooled is knowable to the audience in the theatrical-representative set-up.
In conclusion, following this complex set of fictions which occur in Libidinal Economy, the overturning of Platonism exists in the theatre-representation set-up. The theatre which Lyotard discusses places emphasis on the division of truth and its appearance[77]. The theatre analogy follows the Analogy of the Cave, both of which hold that representation is always the representation of absence, due to the notion that something is always at work operating the figuration of what appears[78]. This distinction satisfies the Nietzschean nihilism, following that the knowable world gives weight to the underlying momentum which then dissipates.
The distinction calls upon the Nietzschean concern which reads nihilism into the Plantonic tradition; Lyotard writes that the closure of representation should not be confused by thinkers who come and tell us ‘what is outside is really inside’, such as the Platonic notion that our sensible world is informed by the intelligible[79]. He goes on to tell us that the artefact-bearers who project creatures onto the wall for the prisoners ‘do not even exist’, but that ‘they themselves are only shadows in the cave of the sunlit world’[80]. I take this to place weight on the notion of the energy which is inherent to Nature or the sunlit world, which supposes that these institutions are assemblages which are structured from the disempowerment of intensities.
Lyotard is Nietzschean, not insofar as he provides a commentary on Nietzsche, but through the puncturing of discourse systemic to the Platonic tradition.


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[1] Haase, U. (2008). Starting with Nietzsche p 105-6
[2] Nietzsche, F. and Fadiman, C. (1995). The Birth of Tragedy. 1st ed. New York: Dover Publications, Inc p 10
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid. p 11
[5] Ibid. p 14
[6] Ibid. p 15
[7] Ibid. p 49
[8] Ibid.
[9] ibid. p 48
[10] Nietzsche, F. and Fadiman, C. (1995). The Birth of Tragedy. p 48
[11] Ibid. p 28
[12] Ibid. p 46
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid. p 51
[16] Zuckert, C. (1985). Nietzsche's Rereading of Plato. Political Theory, 13(2), p 214
[17] Nietzsche, F. and Fadiman, C. (1995). The Birth of Tragedy p 51
[18] Nietzsche, F. and Fadiman, C. (1995). The Birth of Tragedy p 52
[19] Haase, U. (2008). Starting with Nietzsche p 116
[20] Nietzsche, F., Hollingdale, R. and Tanner, M. (1990). Twilight of the idols and The Antichrist. 1st ed. London: Penguin Classics p 50
[21] Zuckert, C. (1985). Nietzsche's Rereading of Plato. p 229
[22] Lee, D. and Lane, M. (2007). Plato, The Republic. 5th ed. London: Penguin Group p 194
[23] Kraut, R. (1992). The Cambridge Companion to Plato. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p 13-14
[24] Ibid. p 14
[25] Brickhouse, T. and Smith, N. (2017). Plato | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2017].
[26] Lee, D. and Lane, M. (2007). Plato, The Republic. P 231
[27] Ibid. p 232
[28] Ibid. p 234
[29] Ibid.
[30] Kraut, R. (1992). The Cambridge Companion to Plato. p 184
[31] Lee, D. and Lane, M. (2007). Plato, The Republic. p 238
[32] Ibid. p 236
[33] Ibid. p 239
[34] Ibid. p 241
[35] Ibid.
[36] Lee, D. and Lane, M. (2007). Plato, The Republic. p 243
[37] Ibid. p 244
[38] Ibid.
[39] Lyotard, J., Chrome, K. and Williams, J. (2006). The Lyotard reader and guide. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press p 24
[40] Nietzsche, F., Kaufmann, W. and Hollingdale, R. (1989). On the Genealogy of Morals & Ecce Homo. 1st ed. New York: Vintage p 218
[41] Ibid.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Nietzsche, F. and Fadiman, C. (1995). The Birth of Tragedy. p 14
[44] Ibid.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Bennington, G. (1988). Lyotard Writing the Event. 1st ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p 14
[47] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 7
[48] Rabate, J. (2013). Cambridge companion to Lacan. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p 103
[49] Woodward, A. (2017). Lyotard, Jean-François | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2017].
[50] Lyotard, J., Chrome, K. and Williams, J. (2006). The Lyotard reader and guide. p 28
[51] Rabate, J. (2013). Cambridge companion to Lacan. p 104
[52] ibid. p 109
[53] Ibid. p 104
[54] Ibid. p 102
[55] Lyotard, J., Harvey, R. and Roberts, M. (1993). Towards the Postmodern. 1st ed. London: Humanities Press International, Inc p 14
[56] ibid p 14
[57] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 20
[58] Lyotard, J., Harvey, R. and Roberts, M. (1993). Towards the Postmodern. p 21
[59] Bennington, G. (1988). Lyotard Writing the Event. p 23
[60] Woodward, A. (2017). Lyotard, Jean-François | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online]
[61] Bennington, G. (1988). Lyotard Writing the Event. p 10
[62] ibid. p 13
[63] Ibid. p 14
[64] Ibid. p 15
[65] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 2
[66] Bennington, G. (1988). Lyotard Writing the Event. p 15
[67] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 3
[68] Foucault, M., Gordon, C., Mepham, J. and Soper, K. (1980). Power/Knowledge, Selected Interviews and Other Writings (1972-1977). 1st ed. London: The Harvester Press p 194
[69] Foucault, M., Gordon, C., Mepham, J. and Soper, K. (1980). Power/Knowledge, Selected Interviews and Other Writings (1972-1977) p 194
[70] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 15
[71] Bennington, G. (1988). Lyotard Writing the Event.  p 44
[72] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 3
[73] ibid. p 15
[74] Ibid.
[75] Woodward, A. (2017). Lyotard, Jean-François | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online]
[76] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 26
[77] Lyotard, J., Chrome, K. and Williams, J. (2006). The Lyotard reader and guide. p 28
[78] Ibid.
[79] Lyotard, J. and Grant, I. (1993). Libidinal Economy. p 4
[80] Ibid.