Talk:Jean Baudrillard

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Correct meaning of "precession"[edit]

In the section on Simulation and Simulacra, the article badly misrepresents Baudrillard on the meaning of "precession" as "succession". The following quote from the second paragraph of Simulation and Simulacra confirms the correct meaning as related to the word "precede": the simulacral precedes the real. This is available online here [1]:

The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory - precession of simulacra - it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire, but our own. The desert of the real itself.

I thought I'd mention it first for discussion before making changes. I haven't read the Baudrillard essay cited at the start of the section; perhaps he develops the succession meaning there, but I kind of doubt it. It's spelled out quite clearly above. --Kramer J (talk) 18:44, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and modified this section; added some quotes and expanded a little on the orders of simulacra. --Kramer J (talk) 16:59, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Why is "a professor of philosophy of culture and media criticism at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee in Switzerland" an advertisement? Alter Ego 20:34, 22 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Because is certainly not a permanent professor and the contributor seems to spam wikipedia with links to EGS website. see User: contributions. Ericd 20:14, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

This issue was resolved by concensus and administrative support on Talk:European Graduate School in 2006. User:Trialanderrors made excellent points at that time, and these were reiterated also by User:Metamagician3000 in discussion of similar points on this Talk page (see below). 14:57, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

The last sentence of the second paragraph in the 'Introduction to work' section -- "The first Gulf War served as a crisis point determining whether or not war was still possible in the post-industrial age." -- stands a little too much on it's own. How so was it a crisis point, and how does that relate to the previous sentences in the paragraph? Perhaps an expansion of the reasoning would be appropriate. lennarth, around lunchtime, 02 May 2005 (UTC)


I have a complaint about this word. My complaint is that it's not a word. "Quotidian" is an esoteric word in itself, and it's really not a good idea to morph the word into an even more esoteric variant (let alone the fact that most lexicographers would tell you it's not a word). How about changing this to "mediocrity"? That's a good solid word that most people understand... (08 Sept 2007) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Author-Subject Hostility?[edit]

I'm not sure who's done the lion's share of the editing here, but the "auteur" seems to be passively hostile to the subject. The writing is fine quality, but doesn't give a fully neutral presentation. Several of Baudrillard's arguments are couched in a somewhat dismissive and minimizing language, and criticisms are mixed in with neutral commentary in many presentations of his ideas here. As someone below pointed out "there seems to be volumnious critique of his work." This is also the impression I had on reading the article; a reader simply trying to get an overview of Baudrillard's philosophy and work comes away with the impression that he was somewhat disregarded as a thinker. The effect is subtle but substantial. I'm not familiar with Baudrillard at all and so can't repair this, but I believe that the criticisms should identify themselves as such rather than being integrated into the presentation of his thinking and work, and the slightly dismissive tone should be eliminated - criticisms are essential but have their own place and Baudrillard deserves a genuine "pro" presentation as well as the "con." Maybe someone who has studied his work can attempt to rectify this? (4/27/2007)

I think the person who's done the 'lion's share' of the editing is probably myself, so I'd better respond. I'm sorry that you think that's how the article comes aross at present, but please be assured that, personally, I'm not hostile at all. Quite the contrary, I'm a persistent defender of Baudrillard's work (even in published print at times), and I think he's widely misunderstood. The problem, I think, is that wikipedia aims to be verifiable (that is, related to published material), and there aren't a great many vocal defenders of his work - save a small band of not vary accessible academics (check out the international journal of Baudrillard studies for who they might be). In contrast to that there's a huge amount of publications that refer to a kind of stereotyped version of him (i.e. loopy Gallic reality denier). This makes it hard to put his positions across in both an unbiased and 'wikipedian' manner. Ayway, I'll try and have a bit of a tweak with the article and see what I can do.

The Baudrillard article errs I think in citing Dennis Dutton as a critical voice illuminating Baudrillard's work. First of all, Dutton's remarks are ad hominem. Secondly, Dutton has been known to make nearly identical criticisms of a great many postmodernist thinkers.

Baudrillard's thought is worth thinking about critically, but this quote and others like it simply make it seem that Baudrillard's thought is worth ridiculing. It is not Baudrillard, but a stereotypical 'Baudrillard' that is being discussed. Appian way (talk) 17:00, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

British spelling[edit]

Note: globalisation is a perfectly valid British spelling. Buffyg 21:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

fair enough, but "globaltisation" or something - which was what was there before - isn't :) --csloat 22:00, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Indeed it was "globalsitation." "Globaltisation," however, would have had a certain irony to the mispelling. ;-> Buffyg 22:06, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Baudrillard article errs I think in citing Dennis Dutton as a critical voice illuminating Baudrillard's work. First of all, Dutton's remarks are ad hominem. Secondly, he has been known to make similar criticisms of a great many postmodernist thinkers.

Baudrillard's thought is worth thinking about critically, but this quote and others like it simply make it seem that Baudrillard's thought is worth ridiculing. It is not Baudrillard, but a stereotypical 'Baudrillard' that is being discussed.Appian way (talk) 16:58, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Baudrillard and anti-Americanism[edit]

"Recently, many have criticized Baudrillard's comments following the September 11th attacks on the United States, in which he seemed to approve or legitimate them: "In the end it was they who did it but we who wished it." These critics have pointed to the consistent anti-American tone of his previous works ("America") as proof of anti-Americanism."

I'm not sure why we're talking about "many" here as though this is a prevalent opinion among people who've spent any time with Baudrillard's work. Baudrillard has been quoted as offering the following clarification:

I do not praise murderous attacks — that would be idiotic. Terrorism is not a contemporary form of revolution against oppression and capitalism. No ideology, no struggle for an objective, not even Islamic fundamentalism, can explain it. …I have glorified nothing, accused nobody, justified nothing. One should not confuse the messenger with his message. I have endeavored to analyze the process through which the unbounded expansion of globalization creates the conditions for its own destruction.

One has to ask about the extent to which the same quote was turned over several times in the same rush that created "Freedom Fries" and remarks that most of the gears in French tanks are those used in retreat. One might as easily remark that Baudrillard's remarks were so received in a time of occasionally blind Francophobia, but that would still only bring us a small part of the way toward clarity. I do not accept the attribution of this remark as adequate, nor do I believe that one can carelessly remark on "the consistent (consistently?) anti-American tone of his previous works". In any case, it is a violation of NPOV to make this remark without noting contrary opinions, including Baudrillard's remark. This isn't a clear case of sympathy for the devil or Whit Stillman's AFL-CIA. Buffyg 02:38, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Baudrillard's critique of the US is rather consistent, and this is not just a position taken by American right but by recent French criticism. "Americans may have no identitiy, but they certainly have great teeth", or to paraphrase, Disneyland's purpose is to promote the illusion that the rest of America is 'real'. He's come up in such works as Phillipe Roger's "L'enemie americain". Moreover, what an author says about their own work or remarks can never be considered "authoritative" -- you should know that! Baudrillard considers terrorism to be the result of globalization. Many consider this "Anti-globalism" a type of anti-American critique. (No one in France was anti-global when French was the lingua franca, for instance.) He may be right, or he may be wrong, and we can't really know his intentions, but the controversy remains. Censoring out the controversy is not an ideal solution. Why not include the countercriticism? I'm going to reinsert the remarks and include his defense Hopefully we can compromise. 08:28, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
This is kind of silly. If anything, Baudrillard has been criticized for being too pro-American, or at least of appearing to celebrate American consumerism and of being supportive of the 1991 war in the gulf (see Christopher Norris, e.g.). Both readings are ridiculous. Have you actually read his book America? Don't tell me he's "come up" in Roger's book -- is he actually accused there of being "anti-American"? Can we have evidence of this claim on the article itself, especially if we're pretending it is some kind of frequently made claim about Baudrillard? I'm not really aware that it's even something people talk about -- the idea of criticizing someone for being "anti-American" is really not an important part of philosophical discussions like this, IMHO.--csloat 00:05, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Pro-American? Who views him that way? Yes, indeed, Philippe Roger includes him in a long list of anti-US intellectuals, and cites several caustic remarks from him. I feel that you do not know the current discussion in France itself, which has belatedly acknowledged anti-Americanism as a discourse. Le Monde and others praised Roger's book, by the way. So it may not be important to "Commoder Sloat", but many others, like BHL, include it as intellectually important. Baudrillard himself obviously felt the topic of America was important enough to title a book and repeatedly broach the topic. (And if you can find *any* source that believes him to be too "pro-American", please do.)

This is from the prestiges Sciences-Po: Denis Lacorne - Anti-Americanism and Americanophobia : A French Perspective - March 2005 In its most extreme form, Americanophobia today expresses itself in a morbid desire for the military defeat of America, or even for the destruction of America. To sweeten his deadly pill, Dr Baudrillard thus claimed, a few days after the trauma of 9/11 that each of us, French, secretly wished the death of America. This was our schadenfreude, our secret joy at the suffering of others – a suffering that is necessary and justified because Americans well deserved it! Our jubilation, according to Baudrillard, was proportional to our “terrorist imagination,” supposedly shared by all well-meaning men and women. The “sacrificial” nature of the attack was beyond description. It displayed violence at its best – a strange mixture of “the white magic of cinema, and the black magic of terrorism.” The destruction of the twin towers ultimately fulfilled the dream of the West: “our aversion to any final or permanent world order.”

  • Jean Baudrillard, “L’esprit du terrorisme,” my italics, Le Monde, 2 November 2001. For François Guery, there is

an obvious and direct connection between Duhamel and Baudrillard. When young students read the Scènes de la vie future, writes Guery, they think “it’s Baudrillard talking about America. They haven’t heard of Duhamel. But Duhamel is nothing but Baudrillard.” F. Guery, “L’Amérique impensable?,” Philosophie Politique, n° 7, December 1995, p. 14-15.

Roger, Guery, Lacorne ... it seems that I am not alone in citing systematic anti-Americanism from M. Baudrillard. Willowx 09:07, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't suppose you've seen the article "Holy Europe" in the latest New Left Review, where Baudrillard discusses the defeat of the constitutional referendum in France under a logic remarkably like what is discussed in terms of American hegemony over globalism? The diagnosis of hegemony and its auto-immune failure is strikingly familiar — are you prepared to claim that an argument of this form is evidence of Baudrillard being anti-European, anti-EU, or anti-EU constitution?
As for Lacorne... seriously, how does one support the claim that it is the French who wished "the death of America" (I don't see any evidence available that Baudrillard is talking about this fantasy or that "we" are the French). You can claim if you like that "we" did not harbour any fantasies of such an event, but I don't suppose you saw Fight Club, with its fantasy of the simultaneous destruction of so many towers of unmistakeably American financial power to remake the world in the leveling of so many credits and debts? I do believe that David Fincher, Jim Uhls, and Chuck Palahniuk are counted among "us", but I wouldn't confuse the shocking realisation of a fantasy (as film or as 9/11) for just deserts. If there was anything like Schadenfreude, it was before the fact and not after. Sitting in front of a TV in Midtown Manhattan and watching the towers collapse, I didn't think at the time or since that this was a case of "violence at its best" (nor do I believe anyone can produce any textual support indicating that Baudrillard did) but, as someone who spent a lot of time in meetings in the preceeding year talking about how to recover from large office buildings being blown up, I thought quite a lot about Fight Club as our fantasy of such a shock and recognised in the real event some mixture of “the white magic of cinema, and the black magic of terrorism.”
Perhaps the French are asking some questions about why they believe what they do about America. I see increasing evidence of utter misdiagnosis in the case of Baudrillard, while I find even less compelling a footnoted reference to an observation that students misrecognise a novel from 1930 as Baudrillard's work (maybe that's enough for François Guery; unfortunately I don't have access to a library that would allow me to consult that source, although I would assume you've checked it if it's on your list). What would be helpful would be someone who manages a competent or otherwise supportable reading of Baudrillard rather than an annexation of poorly interpreted quotations to arguments that may find more compelling evidence in the work of other authors. Buffyg 01:52, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify (and to agree with Buffyg's comments above) -- I did not say that Baudrillard did not have something to say about America, but to read his book America as some kind of anti-American manifesto is just bizarre. Have you read the book? Can you cite what is anti-American about it? It has been many years since I read it when it was first translated into English, but "anti-American" does not at all appear fair. You're right I am not closely watching the discourse in France about this issue but I am aware that some public intellectuals are speaking of France's "anti-American" problem though I am not aware that Philippe Roger and Jean-Francois Revel (hardly philosophers of the political mainstream) have much acceptance in philosophical circles about this notion. I was not aware that this discourse targeted Baudrillard specifically, though I should not be surprised, and I stand corrected there. But as Buffy points out above, Baudrillard's notion that we have fantasized about this event (9-11) is not that controversial at all once you understand "we" to be the audience of the American mediascape of which Baudrillard very much considers himself a part, rather than something like "the french."
You asked me to cite sources where Baudrillard is portrayed as too American - perhaps that is too strong a characterization but read Norris' critique of his Gulf War essays, which I have already cited, or Kellner's critique of Baudrillard in his book Jean Baudrillard from Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond, both of which portray Baudrillard (unfairly imho) as a postmodern apologist for American imperialism and relentless capitalist expansion. I think Callinicos could fit into this frame as well. Of course these critiques appear in the Anglo-American context, rather than the French. --csloat 05:10, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

We've already indicated that Lacorne's reading of Baudrillard seems inept at best. Perhaps Willowx might provide further argument on the account of Baudrillard as seen by Roger, Guery, and Revel so that we might decide whether their views are well-represented here and distinguished one from the other, particularly given the concerns already expressed about correcting the imprecision of attribution? Buffyg 01:07, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

It has been more than a month since I posted the above. I have in good faith attempted to contact Willowx to express my concerns and ask for further clarification on other sources named and claims made without further citation or reference, but there has been no reply in a little more than two weeks. It is my belief that the section on anti-Americanism represents the views of a negligible minority and that the scholarship produced thus far to substantiate both the significance and validity of these views is risible and, needless to say, does not merit inclusion here (see, for example, WP:NPOV#Undue_Weight). Not having any reply that would allow discussion to determine if improvements are possible based on other sources, I am deleting the entire section on these criticisms. Buffyg 13:15, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure why these were deleted. The point of Wikipedia is not to engage in original research over the merits of Baudrillard or his critics, but to summarize what he and other people say. Since Baudrillard himself thought it necessary to respond to critics who accused him of supporting terrorism, it seems that those accusations reach the level of notability (were they just random non-notable people, presumably he would not have bothered to respond). --Delirium 05:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)


How do you pronounce his last name (don't tell me in IPA, I can't read it). 20:34, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Baudrillard Journal

See for International Journal of Baudrillard Studies (On The Internet)

Apparently "bō-drē-yär". If someone can convert that to IPA, it'd be a nice thing to note. Sarge Baldy 23:54, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
don't know IPA, but you'd say it bored-ree-are, give or take -- 10:44, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Bored-we-are? After studying the guy for a semester that kind of seems accurate. :-) --Jim (Talk) 12:56, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Incomparable Baudrillard??[edit]

Can someone explain why in this article there is a section called 'Incomparable Baudrillard' which contains links to sundry pages. The name of the heading also sounds like an endorsement and none-too NPOV. These links could surely be placed in External links, because they are worthwhile links. For instance, one could write about his objurgation of Sontag's visit to Sarajevo 1994 and his intellectual disagreement with her, then use the article as a reference.--Knucmo2 11:28, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Gulf war[edit]

I put in a quote at the end of the first paragraph of the Gulf War bit that I think sums up his views quite well. If anyone wants to footnote it (because I'm unsure of how to) I got it from Introducing Postmodernism by Richard Appignanesi and Chris Garratt. However I'm sure it could be referenced better from somewhere else. --Horses In The Sky 20:02, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


The article on 'pataphysics says: "Philosopher Jean Baudrillard is often described as a pataphysician and did consider himself as such for some part of his life.". I don't see any mention of that here; if true, it seems like it'd be useful to include some information on that in his biography. --Delirium 04:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

There is a source for this too - The article on the Stanford page speaks of Baudrillard's pataphysical elements in his work. Baudrillard has mentioned Jarry in his works, too. --Knucmo2 14:30, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
He also wrote an essay 'The pataphysics of the year 2000'. Any reference to his Pataphysics might usefully point out that the stated purpose of the College de 'Pataphysique is to do 'learned and inutilious research', with 'inutilious' seemingly being a word in pataphysical English which translates the French word 'inutile', which in 'vulgar' pre-pataphysical English means 'useless'. This suggests that Pataphysics is just a monumental and sometimes funny joke, and Baudrillard just a monumental and useless bore trying to be funny, but succeeding in making lots of money in spite of failing to be funny, which would presumably itself be telling us something unflattering about Western society. But Wikipedia rules presumably prevent us from saying this as it would violate rules banning original research, requiring neutral point of view, etc. Plus it would presumably be a kind of politically incorrect ('disrespectful', 'bigoted', etc) quasi-blasphemy that would earn the undying enmity and contempt of devotees of the quasi-religion of Baudrillardolatry, and of those with vested interests in things like selling more of his books, or their books about him, etc... Of course 'logically' they should be perfectly happy that we dismiss him - after all, Baudrillard never existed, by the same 'logic' that he would have used to tell us that the Gulf War never happened, if he had in fact existed. And we should thus presumably 'logically' delete this entire article on the grounds that it's a work of fiction about somebody who never existed :) Tlhslobus (talk) 03:18, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Critiques of Baudrillard - Citation[edit]

Could we get a citation for Mark Poster's (rather lengthy) comment from the section entitiled "Critiques of Baudrillard"? I would suspect that it comes from Poster's edited volume of Baudrillard's works, but the article does not indicated if this is the case.


the post-marxism article was pointing to neo-communism, i split it out, but it will need much work to get it up to a basic level. if people are interested, please contribute what you know, edit my starter drivel :), and help build that article too. --Buridan 13:05, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

editorial changes[edit]

Anyone who's been browsing this page fairly recently might have noticed I've made some fairly radical changes, mainly because I don't think the article got to grips with the fundamentals of Baudrillard's thought - and the concepts weren't ordered chronologically either, which is significant in a thinker whose work is so ofen characterised as 'early' (consumerism) and 'late' (media). In parts I think there were elements that were just incorrect (particularly the fallacy that Baudrillard literally thinks the Gulf War didn't exist, which is just not true), which I've tried to rectify while remaining faithful to the form of the article. In other parts I thought the references (such as 'Baudrillard believes we somehow reached the end of history') were just a little, as it were, undergraduate Baudrillard. I've expanded some of the references too.

Generally, I've tried to introduce the fundamental (structural) underpinning to his work in the introduction, but it may be that it comes across a little complex, because I wanted to keep it short. Similarly I've tried to show how the semiotic/symbolic elements run through the entirety of his oevre.

Anyone's welcome to try and add to/improve it (I really need to get back to the work I'm supposed to be doing!), the spelling hops a bit between US and UK spelling, and the references are just brackets rather then footnotes. I think in particular a section specifically on Seduction (the book) and its relation to essentialist feminism (Luce Irigaray) and anti-essentialist feminism (Judith Butler) might be useful - not to mention the role of the principle of seduction generically.

And one last thing: whilst editing's all well and good, I can't help thnking the standard of critical theory, sociology, contemporary philosophy pages (the liked of Badiou, Latour, Butler and so on) on Wikipedia can be a little (or very) poor in comparison to the historical, mathematical or scientific ones. So while this ain't mine to edit, please don't fall into the trap of treating this stuff like you might if you were writing about Transformers or something, cos I know a fair old amount of Uni students who rely on it (and it doesn't do my career as a sociologist any good when it keeps getting the fashionable nonsense tag attached either!). Ta!

hyperrealism critique[edit]

I am fascinated by his concept of hyperrealism, and was wondering, since there seems to be volumnious critique of his work, whether or not there are any critiques of this particular idea.

outdated opinion? how?[edit]

His argument can be summarised as being an attempted subversion of the (now rather outdated) thesis of Francis Fukuyama how does this passage have any sense - what does it mean that Fukuyama's thesis is outdated? And why is it 'rather' outdated, and not simply outdated? And by this logic, would this mean that each philosopher discussin Plato or Aristotle should be prefaced with warnings that they are talking about 'outdated' positions? I think this is a nonsensical claim and will remove it. -- 13:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Quick reply: Woa! No need to get too het up about it! I noted that it's a somewhat dated position purely and simply because Fukuyama himself has distanced himself from it to an extent, apropos of various events that have taken place since the mid 90s. And if we're being pedants, by the way, I think its fair to say some (if by means all) of Aristotle's thought is outdated: does anyone living today hold on to the idea that there are four main elements to earthly existence, for example? It is, I think, dependent on the argument; and Fukuyama's argument in this case was very much an argument situated in the capricious world of current affairs.

Ambiguity, etc.[edit]

The first paragraph of the Criticisms of Baudrillard section:

Baudrillard's writing, and his uncompromising positions, have led to criticism the force of which can only be compared to, in contemporary social scholarship, Jacques Lacan. Only one of the two major confrontational book-length critiques — Christopher Norris's Uncritical Theory: Postmodernism, Intellectuals and the Gulf War (ISBN 0-87023-817-5) — however seeks to reject his media theory and position on 'the real' out of hand. The other — Douglas Kellner's Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond (ISBN 0-8047-1757-5) — seeks rather to analyse Baudrillard's relation to postmodernism (a concept with which Baudrillard has had a continued, if uneasy and rarely explicit relationship) and to present a Marxist counter. Regarding the former, William Merrin (as discussed above) has published more than one denunciation of Norris's position. The latter Baudrillard himself has characterised as reductive (in Nicholas Zurbrugg's Jean Baudrillard: Art and Artefact). (emphasis added)

Re the first sentence, is that really right? And does that refer to Lacan's writings or writings of others on Lacan? Re the last sentence, does that refer to postmodernism or (probably more likely, but no citation is given) Keller's analysis of "Baudrillard's relation to" it? --zenohockey 02:11, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Quick reply: sorry if that sounded ambiguous; Lacan had no position whatsoever on Baudrillard himself, if that's what your wondering, having died a bit too early. (Baudrillard does have some Lacanian influence in his work mind, but that's by the by.) What I meant to say was: both Baudrillard and Lacan persistently attract scabrous (and for my money a wee bit misinformed) critique that claims they write 'Fashionable Nonsense'(cf. the book of the same name, among others). If anyone wants to elaborate on who exactly is contiually bashing him feel free (I could certainly list a few - even, for instance, Brian Turner gives him very short shrift in his book Orientalism, Postmodernism and Globalism), but I don't really have time. I think it's certainly not too far from the truth, mind.

On the last sentence, I agree, it needs more elaboration. Baudrillard was talking about (in the Zurbrugg book here) Kellner's treatment of his 'system' of thought. That is, Kellner's interpretation of the (quasi idolatrous) power, if you will, of simulacra. What he actually said went something like: "perhaps my system is reversible and can and should be reversed, but in Kellner's case my system was reduced and therefore I had to defend myself." If that seems unclear, it's because it's very hard to get across exactly what he's getting at in less than 1000 words! The best way I can think to sum it up is that Baudrillard's notion of simulation refers less to technological simulation as normally understood (and therefore to a virtual unreality) and more to a premature understanding of reality; a belief the world can be fully comprehended. So consequently Baudrillard's position is that Kellner takes his writings about virtual reality a little too literally: Kellner's version of Baudrillard seems to allude to everyone living in a Matrix-esque techno-universe, which isn't really what Baudrillard is getting at.

(starting a new idea here--by a reader) As a layman, I feel there is a confusion in the Object Value section. Did the writer take these from the philosopher himself, or did the writer create them? Functional and Exchange, these make sense to me. It would seem that the next two are problematic. In most systems of philosophy, a sign is concrete, while a symbol represents the ineffable. If that is NOT the case with Baudrillard, please, pardon me. To that end, the pen is literally a graduation gift--there's no symbolism here. It CAN symbolize the love and pride the giver feels for the recipient. If this is the case, then state that. The diamond symbolism makes sense. And regarding sign: that same pen would only become a sign of prestige via the process of the later mentioned commodity exchange. Owning a pen that belonged to Napoleon would be a sign of prestige--it's a concrete thing. I see that you do state that here, but it could be spelled out. This is a sentence I will edit. I think your diamond example would be better served by saying the larger diamond is a sign of greater wealth, and the gargantuan diamond is a sign of being nouveau riche (just kidding on the latter). And finally, the argument can be made that you should speak of either the diamond or the refrigerator in all four sections. The shift in the middle is disorienting. It would seem that the fridge would be the way to go--and it's easy to see how a fridge can be a sign of something. Its symbolism is tougher. Maybe: replacing a small fridge with a larger one symbolizes a couples desire to have children? It's a tough one. The reason I am NOT changing this further is because I don't know if I'm way off base re: this philosopher's thinking. I'm just looking at this from a laymen's sense of logic.Francis Smith (talk) 02:10, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

On the use of a philosopher's death to make money : STOP SPAMS ![edit]

User:Europeangraduateschool, who, with some friends or paid employees of him, have repeatedly spammed Wikipedia in various international languages (including Afrikaans and Chinese - they are looking for wealthy customers everywhere) is taking advantage of the daily visitors to Baudrillard's page, on this sad day, to make profit. He is not ashamed of, under his own name, taking the pretense of GFDL photos which he has uploaded, and claimed that were made at his school (the "truth" of that claim is not relevant, especially for an analyst of the "disparition of reality" such as Baudrillard), to make propaganda for his private and unrecognized school. See his contributions, see the debate on Talk:European Graduate School. See his recent contributions on [2]. See his suspicious contributions, under an anonym account, spamming the French Wiki here. Abou didee

See attempts to censor this talk page and others users comments. Abou didee 04:55, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I’m of the opinion that the current level of debate (if you can even call it that) on this and opther language pages for Baudrillard is neither beneficial to the users, contributors nor the general image of Wikipedia. Firstly, I’m sure we all agree that having an image of Baudrillard is more beneficial than not having one. Secondly, an image of Baurdillard has been provided under license for our use. Thirdly, I do not believe that citing the source and location of an image can reasonably be considered spam. Should this be the case, many other images on wiki will need to be removed, and the long history on the spamming debate for the school seems to indicate that wiki users do not consider it spam. I also believe it is a bit crude to assume that the “spamming” is lead by one user, who has, under his/her command multiple wiki users to distribute the image. Perhaps the images and links are merely being distributed because wiki users find it ads to the Baudrillard and other pages?

However the subsequent reaction to the initial claims of spamming etc I find just as disturbing. Deleting text or images, when you think it violates any wiki rules, especially on talk pages should be considered more carefully, and I would like to request our various heated users to sit back and relax for a while, in the spirit of WP:DR. I agree with the opinions of the French fr:user:Theirry Caro on the french Baudrillard page fr:Discuter:Jean_Baudrillard#Des_photos_publicitaires where he concluded that the image should stay, with citations, as long as EGS isn’t mentioned excessively in the article; that seems to me a level headed approach to the issue. I would like to request that other independent users consider the recent discussions on this and other pages. Lastly, I would like to make the following suggestions before I make any edits, in an effort to find consensus,

  • We restore the criticism of all parties in full, except where a (noble) user delete their own criticism
  • We keep the image on the site
  • We restore the image citation to the correct citation as required by the license.
  • If we do not restore the citation, the image should be removed as it infringes on the rights of the owner
  • We restore the connection to the EGS faculty page, because it is rich in information on Baudrillard, something other wiki users would like to see, especially the videos.

I’ll appreciate considered comments on the above… Goodlucca 14:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Seconded.Skomorokh 14:19, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the above, Goodlucca, and with Theirry. I also believe that libelous statements (false and or unverifyable written/ published statements that defame or otherwise injure the character of a person or corporate entity .. such as those above made by Abou Dibee) should be removed from the current version of the wiki. This (and that these same statements violate WP:Point as well as bring up issues which were previously resolved on two separate occassions concerning AfD violations with regard to EGS and Europeangraduateschool) are my only reasons for removing modifications by Abou Didee. That user's statements are available as part of the wiki history if anyone is so interested. Substantive debate about methods of image citations is important to the nature of Wikipedia. I certainly agree the manner chosen by Europeangraduateschool was ill considered. However, libel not only hurts the character of Wikipedia, it is in fact illegal in many places. I would appreciate further comments on this matter as well. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:00, 12 March 2007 (UTC).
Seconded. I also agree with the above. 07:00, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you all for the responses so far. Regarding the issue of libel, I think that has to be referred to other users, and then yes, if the statements are found to be in violation of WP:CIVIL and/or WP:ATTACK, they should be removed from the page, but it seems that consensus on this has not been reached. Goodlucca 06:44, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

It may also be useful to see administrator Metamagician3000 and Trialsanderrors comments about Abou Didee's statements on the TAlk:European_Graduate_School page. 13:09, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
This is ridiculous, excuse-me. First, EGS lovers who accuse me of "libel" and such better keep underlow. Second, claiming that it is not respecting copyright if we do not list "EGS" on the caption, although User:Europeangraduateschool (see WP:NAME for the guidelines about such a name) insists on downloading on GFDL his photos is obviously a misunderstanding of GFDL. It's like WIki: when you put text here, it's not your own anymore. Same goes for the photos. Finally, EGS is a diploma mill which has no relevancy at all, and you clearly are not aware of the amount of spamming this guy does on a variety of Wikipedias. I wouldn't take the trouble else of denouncing this spamming, if I wasn't bewildered by such unashamed behaviour, which even manages to uses Baudrillard's death & suddent surge to his Wiki page (2nd on the BBC most popular a few days ago) for his propaganda. Abou didee 17:22, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Regarding EGS as a 'diploma mill' .. I did some investigation and discovered that EGS is recognized as a 'Private Institute' | Instituts de formation privés by the Swiss Canton of Valais on their official government website [3] - just as is claimed on the university website and reported by the WP article European Graduate School 05:10, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
This statement sounds suspiciously like a threat: "First, EGS lovers who accuse me of "libel" and such better keep underlow." 03:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm certainly not a fan of the spamming that occurs on the EGS page from time to time, but I don't have any problems with the image in the article here, as long as the attribution stays on the image page. We always have to weigh between the usefulness of the contribution and the attempt to promote an outside cause. Every time we link to a NY Times story we promote their cause (and their advertisers), but the weight of the contribution in most cases outweigh the spam concerns. We have to be more critical when the contribution comes from the direct beneficiary, which is why we have WP:SPAM and WP:COI, but as long as the inclusion benefits Wikipedia we can accept that the attribution benefits others as well. This doesn't mean we have to let EGS get off scotch-free when they add advertorial or remove critical information anywhere, but we should encourage useful and neutral contributions rather than drive off the editor. And I also recommend to follow WP:AGF on all sides. ~ trialsanderrors 04:39, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with trialsanderrors -- Metamagician3000 05:16, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with both trialsanderrors and Metamagician3000. In response to Abou didee, I am certainly no copyright expert, thank you and trialsanderrors for clarifying the issue. Some WP:AGF might be more needed by me than some of the other more experienced editors and will certainly create a welcome change in tone.
Although I understand everyones concerns regarding spamming, I still think the faculty page on egs’s website is a good source of information on Baudrillard (and I say this because I use the website myself as a source of info for many of the other philosophers, such as Agamben and Nancy… not because I’m paid or in love with egs). The bibliography and article links are more extensive than most of the other external links, and the video of course… Is there a way to restore the page link that will be acceptable or is everyone in agreement with Abou didee's edit on the external links? I noted that the external links already require cleanup so it is really just a question...Goodlucca 10:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
First of all, editors in good standing can add anything that is informative and reliable. I've ruled out EGS as a reliable source on themselves for their attempts to embellish their status, but I don't see a reason why their Baudrillard CV should be considered unreliable. And if it's the most extensive on the web it might be a good source. On "in good standing", spamming requires crossposting, so if I see you add EGS links all over Wikipedia I would probably remove them, but if you're an editor working to improve the Baudrillard article I don't have reason to doubt your judgment that the EGS CV is the best source for this kind of information. That is, unless I know a better one. ~ trialsanderrors 18:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
EGS's page might be relevant to Baudrillard (although, as Trialsanderrors I see no reason to include it in the caption except advertisement). The problem, however, is that when I first stumbled unto EGS spamming (Trialsanderrors remembers that), it was precisely because EGS had been spammed both in an inadmissible internal way (such as putting in Agamben first line: "teachs at EGS", before teaching at any Italian university which he does all year long) and external links. If this has occurred again, as this debate seems to show, than that might give motives for arguing in favour of registering EGS on the spamming blacklist. There is absolutely no comparison between the NYT, which has no need of Wikipedia's advertisement, and EGS which is confined to a very small group of privileged connoisseurs. Lapaz 02:51, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree in terms of preventing EGS from spamming, however, I’m not convinced on the spamming black list ...partly because, who will we blacklist? [User:Europeangraduateschool] edits? ( he/she hasn’t done much), all links to egs’s website? As far as I’m concerned, links on wiki pages should be evaluated, each one, on their separate merits, despite the historical actions of certain users…However, having said this, you would have noticed, that I did not restore the link, although I think it should be there… I’m waiting for consensus, unlike some of our more “diligent deletionist” users. The problem for me is that, the history of "EGS’s spamming” is clouding the value of some of the links that EGS has to offer. There seems to be a bit of animosity growing here beyond normal editing value. Let’s say I would like to provide, for example, the most complete bibliography, and if that happens to be on an egs page, I would appreciate not being associated in the manner generally associated to current users linking to egs... Still I’m not sure how to mitigate the spamming/contribution issue. I would genuinely appreciate comments on this issue. Goodlucca 21:05, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Category nihilism[edit]

If he is on category::nihilism then we should have at least one sentence about it. Or is it someone's way to push POV? --Magabund 10:21, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The Nihilism article contains the following paragraph on the subject if you wish to integrate it here.
"Jean Baudrillard On Nihilism
Baudrillard wrote briefly of nihilism from the postmodern viewpoint in Simulacra and Simulation. He stuck mainly to topics of interpretations of the real-world over the simulations that the real world is composed of. The uses of meaning was an important subject when Baudrillard discussed nihilism:
"The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral, of forms of the neutral and of indifference...all that remains, is the fascination for desertlike and indifferent forms, for the very operation of the system that annihilates us. Now, fascination (in contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning) is a nihilistic passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of disappearance. We are fascinated by all forms of disappearance, of our disappearance. Melancholic and fascinated, such is our general situation in an era of involuntary transparency." (Simulacra and Simulation, On Nihilism trans. 1995)
The role of fascination over seduction removed the need for a moral high-ground over the issue of meaning. By being reduced to an observation of dialectics, or the appearance of the indifferent forms of the world, the presence of meaning disappears from the context of Baudrillard's philosophy in favor of one which may cover all the transparencies of meaning that a concept can contain." Skomorokh 12:25, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


"But Baudrillard supplemented this argument by contending that, although this 'dropping out' may have taken place, the global world (which in Baudrillard's writing is sharply distinct from a universal humanity) is, in accordance with its spectacular understanding of itself, condemned to 'play out' this illusory ending in a hyper-teleological way — acting out the end of the end of the end, ad infinitum. Thus Baudrillard argues that — in a manner similar to Giorgio Agamben's book Means without Ends — Western society is subject to the political restriction of means that are justified by ends that do not exist."

What does any of this mean? Wikipedia should strive for clarity. We need better writing than this. Misodoctakleidist 14:40, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

What is this, an essay? It's terribly long-winded, florid, and written in the first person! It needs to be truncated and should assume an 'encyclopaedic' tone.

Jeez! Ditto the above! The article was far from perfect as it was, but someone seems to have just lumped in an essay on Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Frederic Jameson! Sorry to whoever wrote it but I've just deleted it.

Just for the record, I removed these gibberish sentences someone copied from the "postmodern essay generator," to deface the introductory section:

"If one examines Lyotardist narrative, one is faced with a choice: either accept postsemantic constructivist theory or conclude that sexual identity, somewhat ironically, has objective value. The without/within distinction which is a central theme of Gaiman’s Sandman emerges again in The Books of Magic, although in a more mythopoetical sense. It could be said that Baudrillard uses the term ’subsemanticist textual theory’ to denote the economy, and hence the absurdity, of preconstructivist sexuality.

Debord uses the term ’socialism’ to denote the futility, and some would say the dialectic, of constructivist class. But Baudrillard suggests the use of postsemantic constructivist theory to attack and analyse society. Many materialisms concerning neocapitalist narrative exist. Therefore, the characteristic theme of Reicher’s critique of subtextual discourse is the bridge between truth and society. Lyotard uses the term ‘postsemantic constructivist theory’ to denote the role of the reader as observer. It could be said that if socialism holds, the works of Burroughs are postmodern." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

S&S Merge[edit]

The article on Simulacron and Simulation contains approximately as much info as the section here does, but most of it is different. The two should be merged into that article, and, assuming that article is to be kept, a brief summary should be included here in the S&S section. The Jade Knight 05:01, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Oppose. It's essential that this be kept in this article, and the the S&S article be expanded. This section is relatively short anyway, and removing it would be like removing the Trial of Socrates from the Plato article. I count only 18 lines of text on my screen for that section -- for one of this philosopher's greatest and most well-known contributions, this section may actually be too short. Leave this section be, and put some work into the S&S article itself: it's a pretty sad article. Cutting the spleen out of this one to try to make that one look prettier is a bad way to go about building a better Wikipedia. TeamZissou 19:06, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Support The Simulacra and Simulation article is sadly sparse, and needs to be added to, and this a good section to add to it. We aren't cutting the spleen out of the Baudrillard article, someone can just write a quick paragraph on S&S, and all will be fine.

I'd do it, but I'm lazy. Potatoes9000 (talk) 11:11, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Delete references in German and Spanish?[edit]

May I politely suggest that this is not the space for links in German and Spanish? There are, after all, Wikipedias in both of those languages. I feel that the Wikipedia English community is better served with links in English. For a scholar of Baudrillard's stature, most of the vital commentary gets translated into English anyway. I think such links are a waste of space, better allocated to English commentary.--Dylanfly 14:05, 19 June 2007 (UTC)


May I suggest a link to Derrida's concept of differance in the second paragraph of the "introduction to his work"?Auctor Ignotus 15:16, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

missing book?[edit]

I may be wrong but in Amazon there's a book intitled 'Simulations (Foreign Agents)' which doesn't appear here.


What does this word mean? Lot 49atalk 07:47, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Under "The object value system" the distinction between 3 and 4 is not at all clear[edit]

The difference between points 3 and 4 under the heading "The object value system" introduced by "He wrote that there are four ways of an object obtaining value. The four value-making processes are as follows:[12]" is not clear:

3. The third is the symbolic value of an object; a value that a subject assigns to an object in relation to another subject. A pen might symbolize a student's school graduation gift or a commencement speaker's gift; or a diamond may be a symbol of publicly declared marital love.

4. The last is the sign value of an object; its value within a system of objects. A particular pen may, whilst having no functional benefit, signify prestige relative to another pen; a diamond ring may have no function at all, but may suggest particular social values, such as taste or class.

To me it seems as if 4 is another way of saying 3. What's the difference? If there is one it's not clear (to me at least). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Oh boy. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 13:59, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

This is very funny! I have added it to my favorite diffs. The Sound and the Fury (talk) 17:59, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Marx and Baudrillard[edit]

The passages on Marx and use value showed a poor grasp of Marxian categories, which might be inherited form Baudrillard's texts. Marx's concept of use value is not a normative concept. As clearly stated in the opening passages of Capital, it refers to the fact that using (or consuming) a commodity fulfills a need of whichever kind. It doesn't distinguish genuine from non-genuine needs, or physical needs from symbolic needs. Accordingly, a nuclear bomb has a use value, and so has a fashionable, branded piece of clothing. From a Marxian standpoint, the distinction between use value and sign value doesn't make sense, and the assumption that needs are never just physical, but always already socially 'constructed' needs is fully compatible with Marx's Critique of Political Economy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

That's completely incorrect, to my understanding. This is p 126 of the Ben Fowkes translation: "The usefulness of a thing makes it a use-value. But this usefulness does not dangle in mid-air. It is conditioned by the physical properties of the commodity, and has no existence apart from the latter. It is therefore the physical body of the commodity itself, for instance iron, corn, a diamond, which is the use-value or useful thing." Pretty clearly establishes physical properties as a delimitation on what can be considered a use-value. csloat (talk) 23:45, 19 January 2011 (UTC) Update I didn't change your edit though, the sentence you deleted was also wrong. Baudrillard does not establish a separate category of "functional value" that is distinct from Marxian "use value." He refers specifically to Marx's "use value." So it's not "like" use value; it is use-value. csloat (talk) 23:49, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


Should be something on his writings about sexuality. seduction, etc... AnonMoos (talk) 15:05, 11 December 2011 (UTC) Sources? The Sound and the Fury (talk) 20:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)


His grandparents were pheasants? Is this a joke? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 24 February 2012 (UTC)


I get the sense that a decent chunk of this article is someone trying to pull a cruel joke on serious readers and editors. (talk) 04:41, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Or Baudrillard and/or others trying to play a joke on the rest of the world - read the discussion on Pataphysics above ( ) Tlhslobus (talk) 06:36, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

the intelligence of evil or the lucidity pact[edit]

For me there seems to be a huge chunk of Baudrillard's theory missing from the article which is found in the intelligence of evil... When the media replaces the event. The gulf war stopped being a war when it was replaced by the media spectacular. 9/11 stopped being a terrorist attack when it started being reported by the media. Hostages in Lebanon stopped being the event of hostage taking when the journalists took the centre stage and the story became more about the journalists and less about the hostages. I think this is Baudrillard's most important contribution and it is completely absent from the article. Let's just apply this concept to 9/11 as an example... the event only happened for those people who were present... for everybody else what happened was a media show... camera angles were chosen, clips were edited and replayed, so-called 'experts' were consulted, journalists added their opinions, editors chose to add video footage from various countries in the Middle East appearing to celebrate the attack... and so forth. The actual event of the attack became lost in the multitude of interpretations that presented the event to the world as a media spectacular... it stopped being 9/11 and became a completely different story. In this way, I think Baudrillard has took an idea first expressed clearly by Nietzsche and then again by Levi-Strauss. To miss this important part of his work is to completely miss the whole concept of the gulf war did not happen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Almost everything on this page is a total misrepresentation of Baudrillards work[edit]

That is putting it very gernerously! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:06, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Best wishes Vieque! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:24, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Simulacra and Simulation[edit]

I have commented out most of the section on Simulacra and Simulation because, quite simply, it doesn't make sense.

First of all the terms "Simulacra" and "Simulation" are not defined, and yet they appear to be used in technical ways that are different from the ordinary use of these terms.

Secondly, it is not clear how these concepts fit into or emerge out of Baudrillard's previous work on semiology and economics.

Finally, a set of three examples is given, which are alleged to come from Baudrillard's writing, though no citation is given, and each of these examples is weirder than the last, and seems to make even less sense. How, for instance, is a ménage à trois with a set of identical twins, in any sense a paradigmatic example of a concept Baudrillard would claim illustrates a general phenomenon of consumer-capitalist culture worldwide? (talk) 22:06, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Core ideas section[edit]

Chas. Caltrop, if you want to change the wording of the "core ideas" section, then you need to discuss the issue on the talk page and try to gain consensus for your changes. I do not consider the changes you made here an improvement in any way, and you should not have restored them without discussion, as you did here (you should also not have marked the edit as minor). FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:25, 19 July 2016 (UTC)