'Argument Against Jean-François Habermas Project Of Modernity'

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To rank Jürgen Habermas’ idea on ‘project of modernity’ against Jean-François Lyotard’s postmodern critique is a dilemma because both have convincing and substantial arguments to justify their beliefs respectively. While Habermas considered bringing together art and life imperative so that the project on modernity can continue to flourish, Lyotard reckoned the importance of change – separating art from life as the contemporary world is too diverse to be represented in art. The essence of Habermas’ argument “modernity as an incomplete project” (d'Entrèves and Benhabib 38) lies on the fact that he recognized the need to ‘preserve’ and continue the project on modernity. Habermas realized aestheticism, or ‘art for art’s sake’, had led to a situation…show more content…
He argued that modern art have to have uniqueness because the function of art is to ask questions. Art, in Lyotard’s view, does not necessarily need to speak to people. If the aim of art is to satisfy public, then art will not have its function. Lyotard says, “[artists] must question the rules of the art of paining or of narrative as they have learned and received them from their predecessors” (Lyotard 41), and that he works of a postmodern artist or writer “are not in principle governed by pre-established rules, and they cannot be judged according to a determining judgment, by applying familiar categories to the text or to the work” (Lyotard 41). Everyday life is too complicated and varied and the world is in a constant state of flux that art cannot possibly convey. Therefore, Lyotard did not see the need to preserve Habermas’ Project. In “What is Postmodernism?,” Lyotard reminded readers the avant-garde with special attention put on the concept of the sublime. For Lyotard, he believes “the power of the faculty to conceive” important (Lyotard 47). What he put forward is a new form of postmodern art which emphasizes “the powerlessness of the faculty of presentation, on the nostalgia for presence felt by the human subject” (Lyotard 41). Moreover, the fact that modern artwork is popular among the public is something that has to be overturned, in Lyotard’s view, “the postmodern would be that which puts forward the unpresentable in presentation itself; that which denies itself the solace of good forms, which searches for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but in order to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable.”

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