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Volume 15, Issue 2, Fall/Automne 2011

Peter Milne
Pages 95-119

Sensibility and the Law
On Rancière’s Reading of Lyotard

This paper responds to Rancière’s reading of Lyotard’s analysis of the sublime by attempting to articulate what Lyotard would call a “differend” between the two. Sketching out Rancière’s criticisms, I show that Lyotard’s analysis of the Kantian sublime is more defensible than Rancière claims. I then provide an alternative reading, one that frees Lyotard’s sublime from Rancière’s central accusation that it signals nothing more than the mind’s perpetual enslavement to the law of the Other. Reading the sublime through the figure of the “event,” I end by suggesting that it may have certain affinities with what Rancière calls “politics.”

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