Lyotard‘s famed antipathy towards meta-narratives might well be framed as the problem of the growing chasm between knowledge on the one hand (the abode of philosophy, sociology, political theory, anthropology, history) and the sources of such knowledge, namely information and data -once we accept the “knowledge pyramid”, or the ascending steps of data, information, knowledge, and that other one. What I wish to illustrate is that the invocation of computer and machine analogies for human thought are precipitous. The philosophy of information is not just that which is practiced by Luciano Floridi. By invoking the philosophy of information, however, we are simultaneously given a route away from the impasse diagnosed by Lyotard, and a means of better appreciating and understanding Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics.
I have noted previously (“Defending Modernism and visions of the future”) that there is nothing necessarily wrong with ideals or narratives in and of themselves. The problem comes with the struggle to define coherent ideals and narratives, and accordingly just ceasing to make any effort at when the going gets intellectually tough. How much, then, was the vulgar notion of Lyotard’s thesis an excuse for laziness? Continue reading