Human thought can not be recreated, or can it? Lyotard's essay is a very in depth, and philosophical piece about the process that actually makes up human thought, and if it is possible to recreate it in a nonbiological medium. It is a very interesting premise, however in my opinion Lyotard makes this piece overcomplicated with big words, overwhelming sentences, and irregular grammar patterns.
As stated before, Lyotard asks if it is possible to program human thought, or recreate the human mind in a machine. As I also said before, the whole paper is written in philosophical mumbo-jumbo makes the piece a struggle to understand. It is peppered with oxymorons such as "limitless limits" (9), fancy language, and is overall just a mess to try and read through, let alone understand. A section I had trouble dissecting went like this:
"It is thought itself resolving to be irresolute, deciding to be patient, wanting
not to want, wanting, precisely, not to produce a meaning in place of what
must be signified. This is a tip of the hat to a duty that hasn't yet been
named. Maybe that duty isn't a debt. Maybe it's just the mode
according to which what doesn't yet exist, a word, a phrase, a colour
will emerge. So that the suffering of thinking is a suffering of time, of
what happens" (19).
These five sentences almost made me go cross-eyed the first time I read them. I don't know if it was all the commas, or maybe it was the italicized words that I didn't understand the point of the italics, but I had trouble. I started by breaking this section down sentence by sentence, and by making the pauses that the commas signified. So I read the first sentence back more slowly. First I had to define irresolute (not sure how to act, indecisive). I then tried to translate the sentence into words I could comprehend easily and came up with, "Thought tries to be indecisive, it wants to be patient, and maybe it isn't necessarily a part of human nature to have to try and make sense of what we don't understand."
When I was satisfied that was the intended message of the first sentence, the second sentence came along and I struggled again to figure out what it meant. "This is the tip of the hat to a duty that hasn't yet been named." I tried to have the sentence agree with what I thought the first sentence was saying, and again I translated it into my own words: "Thought is an overwhelmingly complex subject, and nobody can truely answer why human thought is as complicated as it is." Lyotard then goes on to say, "Maybe that duty isn't a debt.", and what I thought he meant by this was that humans seem to put a lot of emphasis on trying to make sense of things we may not be meant to understand. This pressure almost seems like a debt in that we try harder and harder to answer every question, but maybe we shouldn't. Maybe thought was not intended to become what it has in modern times, with science and technology replacing many facets of human life.
"Maybe it's just a mode according to which what doesn't yet exist, a word, a phrase, a colour, will emerge." I still have trouble with this, because to me, this sentence doesn't seem like a complete thought. It almost seems like the sentence is missing a subject. I think it means that thought can't be described because there is nothing that exists to do so. Finally, the section ends in saying, "So that the suffering of thinking is a suffering of time, of what happens." I felt this last sentence summed up the point I said before. That thinking just leads to more questions, which need more answers. It becomes a never ending process that all human kind has fallen victim to. We suffer from the fact that we can't be happy without proof to answer the questions we have.
The entire piece was written in this fashion. I realize that I am not a scholar in philosophy so maybe it should've been a little harder for me to understand, but this was a little overkill in my opinion. Wouldn't a writer want a larger audience to be able to comprehend the message?
I guess because the premise of the paper was incredibly complex, Lyotard needs to sound intelligent to sound credible to the intended audience of philosophers and science geniuses. For me, I couldn't get much out of it and had no motivation to dissect every sentence as I did above.