The translation of Lyotard's work into English in 1984 marked an important stage in the globalization of the modernity/postmodernity debate involving the central thinkers of the late 20th century, Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, and others. This collection of 10 essays brings together for the first time a number of contributions on Lyotard's work made by philosophers, educationalists, and sociologists in the English-speaking world around the special focus of education. The intent behind the essays from scholars in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is to examine Lyotard's notion of the postmodern condition and its relevance and special significance for the field of education. Lyotard's work, first published in Paris in 1979, was important in that it developed a particularly original interpretation of the state of knowledge in the most highly developed societies, reviewing and synthesizing a wide range of material on contemporary science, the sociology of postindustrial society, and studies of postmodern culture.
Lyotard brought together diverse threads and separate literatures in a prophetic analysis that signalled an epochal break with the so-called modern era.