Hermeneutical Terror and the Myth of Interpretive Consensus
- ISSN: 00318213
This article examines Jean-Francois Lyotard's claim that interpretative consensus represents a powerful myth, a species of metadiscourse that partakes of the master-narrative of emancipation. By appealing to the master-narrative of emancipation, consensus-according to Lyotard-becomes a legitimate form of terror in the sense that players in a language-game may be conveniently silenced or omitted entirely if they do not conform to the consensus operating within a discourse community. Finally, consensus requires us to conform and to forget that if we wish to communicate at all, wenot only must observe the grammar inherent within a language-game, wealso must perform by "employing" the grammar of the language-game.