from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The French absurdist concept of a philosophy or science dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics, intended as a parody of the methods and theories of modern science and often expressed in nonsensical language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An absurdist philosophy or pseudoscience studying things "beyond" metaphysics


French pataphysique, alteration of Greek ta epi ta metaphusika, the (works) after the metaphysics (pseudo-title of a work by Aristotle modeled on ta meta ta phusika, the (works) after the Physics, Aristotle's Metaphysics) : epi, after; see epi- + metaphusika, metaphysics; see metaphysics.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French pataphysique, from Ancient Greek τά ἐπί τά μεταφυσικά, humorous alteration of the title of the work "Metaphysics" by Aristotle (Wiktionary)


  • * Jarry called it 'pataphysics, but I'm dropping his apostrophe here cause pataphysics is poncy enough in its own right without making it more so.

    Notes on Strange Fiction: The Pataphysical Quirk

  • But, going one step further with TOKYO! there is pataphysics, which is the science of imaginary solutions — something none of us can deny participating in.

    Buzzine » TOKYO!

  • On the back cover of this Davenport collection I came across the term "pataphysics" * for the first time, in a blurb describing Davenport as one of the world's foremost pataphysicians.

    Notes on Strange Fiction: The Pataphysical Quirk

  • Just wondering, though - you gave a bunch of texts using 'pataphysics' in some way, and then anticipated what I was thinking with the comment on pataphysics vs. postmodernism - what would you consider an explicitly postmodern text using pataphysics, as opposed to a modernist like Davenport?

    Notes on Strange Fiction: The Pataphysical Quirk

  • French german guest guestreader horror indian irish italian jewish joyce krampf latin american new york new zealander pataphysics peruvian playwright poet polish russian satire scandinavian scifi south american southern soviet spanish spooky student swedish women wonderful youth

    The Burning City | Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

  • Like Jarry's pataphysics, Baudrillard's universe is ruled by surprise, reversal, hallucination, blasphemy, obscenity, and a desire to shock and outrage.

    Jean Baudrillard

  • Thus, it is difficult to decide whether Baudrillard is best read as science fiction and pataphysics, or as philosophy, social theory, and cultural metaphysics, and whether his post-1970s work should be read under the sign of truth or fiction.

    Jean Baudrillard

  • In these works, Baudrillard seems to be taking his theory into the realm of metaphysics, but it is a specific type of metaphysics deeply inspired by the pataphysics developed by Alfred Jarry.

    Jean Baudrillard

  • Definition: pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments (Jarry 1963: 131).

    Jean Baudrillard

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