[xmca] French philosopher Jean Baudrillard dies

From: Sonja Baumer (sbaumer@gmail.com)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2007 - 20:09:11 PST

* * * *French philosopher Jean Baudrillard dies*

The Associated Press

Published: March 6, 2007

*PARIS**:* Jean Baudrillard, a French philosopher and social theorist known
for his provocative commentaries on consumerism, excess and what he said was
the disappearance of reality, died Tuesday, his publishing house said. He
was 77.

Baudrillard died at his home in Paris after a long illness, said Michel
Delorme, of the Galilee publishing house.

The two men had worked together since 1977, when "Oublier Foucault" (Forget
Foucault) was published, one of about 30 books by Baudrillard, Delorme said
by telephone.

Among his last published books was "Cool Memories V," in 2005.

Baudrillard, a sociologist by training, is perhaps best known for his
concepts of "hyperreality" and "simulation."

Baudrillard advocated the idea that spectacle is crucial in creating our
view of events what he termed "hyperreality." Things do not happen if they
are not seen to happen.

He gained fame, and notoriety, in the English-speaking world for his 1991
book "The Gulf War Did Not Take Place." In the first Gulf War, he claimed,
nothing was as it appeared.

The public's and even the military's view of the conflict came largely
through television images; Saddam Hussein was not defeated; the
U.S.-ledcoalition scarcely battled the Iraqi military and did not
really win, since
little was changed politically in Iraq after all the carnage. All the sound
and fury signified little, he argued.

The Sept. 11 attacks, in contrast, were the hyper-real event par excellence
a fusion of history, symbolism and dark fantasy, "the mother of all

His views on the attacks sparked controversy. While terrorists had committed
the atrocity, he wrote, "It is we who have wanted it. . . . Terrorism is
immoral, and it responds to a globalization that is itself immoral."

Although many Americans were puzzled by his views, Baudrillard was a
tireless enthusiast for the United States though he once called it "the
only remaining primitive society."

"Santa Barbara is a paradise; Disneyland is a paradise; the U.S. is a
paradise," he wrote. "Paradise is just paradise. Mournful, monotonous, and
superficial though it may be, it is paradise. There is no other."

French Education Minister Gilles de Robien said "We lose a great creator."

"Jean Baudrillard was one of the great figures of French sociological

Born west of Paris in Reims on June 20, 1929, Baudrillard, the son of civil
servants, began a long teaching career instructing high school students in
German. After receiving a doctorate in sociology, he taught at the
University of Paris in Nanterre.

*Heather A Horst, Ph.D.*

*Institute for the Study of Social Change*

*University** of California**, Berkeley*

*2 South Hall #4600, School of Information*

*Berkeley**, CA 94720-4600*

*Email: hhorst@berkeley.edu*

*Homepage: http://www.annenberg.edu/research/horst/index.htm*


xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 01 2007 - 01:00:10 PST