Jean Baudrillard was a world famous French philosopher, theorist, and political commentator who subscribed to the idea of postmodern thought. Born in Reims, France on July 29, 1929, Baudrillard’s parents were civil servants. In 1966, he got an assistantship at the University of Paris, Nanterre, where he broadened his studies into different disciplines, including languages, sociology, and philosophy. At the University, he began publishing reviews whilst teaching. Influenced by Mauss, Bataille, Dostoyevsky, Satee, Nietzsche, and Surrealism, he spent a big part of his life writing essays and books, commenting on contemporary culture. Baudrillard passed away in 2007, at the age of 77.
Baudrillard’s own philosophies draw inspiration from the concepts of “hyperreality” and “simulation” – the unreal nature of contemporary culture in today’s world where everyone operates under a system of mass consumption and mass communication. He believed that the world is so dominated by fake experiences and feelings that people have lost the capacity to understand reality. One of his most famous works, Simulacra and Simulation, was a philosophical treatise that expressed his beliefs about how symbols and society react with reality.
In 1991, he published three essays he had written in a book entitled The Gulf War Did Not Take Place. In it, he expressed his view that the Gulf War never occurred. He theorized that the standards of warfare that existed during these times were too different than what actual hand-to-hand combat would be, and therefore, it could not be real. Baudrillard argued that the number of US war casualties in the war would be too low for it to be classified as a “war.” Most of his works was published in the Libération, a French daily newspaper.
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