Dates: 1929-2007

Nationality: French

Jean Baudrillard (July 27, 1929 – March 6, 2007) was a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with postmodernism and post-structuralism. As he developed his work throughout the 1980s, he moved from economically-based theory to the consideration of mediation and mass communications. Although retaining his interest in Saussurean semiotics and the logic of symbolic exchange (as influenced by anthropologist Marcel Mauss) Baudrillard turned his attention to Marshall McLuhan, developing ideas about how the nature of social relations is determined by the forms of communication that a society employs. In so doing, Baudrillard progressed beyond both Saussure’s and Roland Barthes’ formal semiology to consider the implications of a historically-understood (and thus formless) version of structural semiology. The concept of Simulacra also involves a negation of the concept of reality as we usually understand it. Baudrillard argues that today there is no such thing as reality.

Wikipedia contributors, ‘Jean Baudrillard’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 November 2010, 22:22 UTC, <>

French theorist and contemporary critic of society and culture who has had a central role in French postmodern theory. As a prolific author who has written more than twenty books, Baudrillard’s reflections on art and aesthetics are an important, if not central, aspect of his work. Although his writings exhibit many twists, turns, and surprising developments as he moved from synthesizing Marxism and semiotics to a prototypical postmodern theory, interest in art remains a constant of his theoretical investigations and literary experiments.


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