Lyotard's work challenges the presumption and orientation of modern political philosophy. In particular, he repudiates attempts to justify knowledge and society in terms of "grand" narratives of, for example, the liberation of mankind or the immanence of science. He argues that the totalising perspective of these meta-narratives is superseded by a post-modern acceptance of difference and variety and a scepticism towards unifying meta-theories. This study considers Lyotard's notion of a "grand" narraative and analyzes his critique of modernity. In the light of Lyotard's views, it goes on to examine the work of seven political thinkers whose ideas represent different stands of a distinctively modern perspective. The author concludes that, while their theories conform to Lyotard's conept of a metanarrative, they generate insights into the modern world which cannot be dismissed as lightly as their universalistic assumptions. Finally he comments on the plausibility and viability of Lyotard's repudiation of modernity.
Publisher: University of Wales Press