Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers)

Think Again: Alain Badiou and the Future of Philosophy (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers)

Language: English

Pages: 286

ISBN: 0826459072

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Slavoj Š ZiŠzek is not alone in thinking that Alain Badiou's recent work is "the event of contemporary philosophy." Think Again, the first publication of its kind, goes a long way towards justifying his assessment. Badiou is nothing if not polemical and the most suitable way to approach his philosophy is precisely through the controversies it creates. This book, which opens with an introduction aimed at readers new to Badiou's work, presents a range of essays which explore Badiou's most contentious claims in the fields of ontology, politics, ethics and aesthetics.

Alain Badiou has devised perhaps the only truly inventive philosophy of the subject since Sartre. Almost alone among his peers, Badiou's work promises a genuine renewal of philosophy, a subject he sees as conditioned by innovation in spheres ranging from radical politics to artistic experimentation to mathematical formalization. Slavoj Š ZiŠzek is not alone in thinking that Alain Badiou's recent work is "the event of contemporary philosophy." Think Again, the first publication of its kind, goes a long way towards justifying his assessment. Badiou is nothing if not polemical and the most suitable way to approach his philosophy is precisely through the controversies it creates. This book, which opens with an introduction aimed at readers new to Badiou's work, presents a range of essays which explore Badiou's most contentious claims in the fields of ontology, politics, ethics and aesthetics.

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involved in the contemporary encounter between metaphysics, logic or epistemology, and politics or history, and also his inscription of this solution in a tradition to which he is, as he himself puts it, trying to ‘give modern forms’, then I had to take it completely seriously and even make it the main theme of this chapter. My hypothesis will therefore be as follows: Badiou is trying, or at least has tried, to develop a conception of the history of truth (or more specifically, to construct a

opposition to the false or the pseudos)? And what relationship exists between this return – if it does occur – and the introduction of the category of the Good into the critical discussion of the problem of ethics, or in other words into the defence of an ethics of truths against an ethics of the Other or of Justice? This is not a simple question, and we must be wary of simplifying it. It arises because Badiou is trying here to trace a double line of demarcation on two edges, and using two quite

from being threatened by its ‘contradictions’, capitalism thrives on them. It is an open system, an aleatory axiomatic, continually redefining its own structural boundaries, perpetually living off its own impossible limit. Let us, for the sake of argument, risk a hazardous analogy between the role played by cosmic schizophrenia as locus of absolute unbinding (or deterritorialization) for Deleuze and Guattari and that played by the excess of the void for Badiou.12 According to Deleuze and Guattari,

words, ontology does not speak being or participate in its revelation; it articulates, on the basis of a conceptual framework indifferent to poetry or intuition, the precise way in which being is withdrawn or subtracted from articulation. (Whether this withdrawal refers to a transcendent and inaccessible presence beyond presence, to a One-beyondbeing, or instead to a pure subtraction from every category of presence, is what distinguishes philosophy proper from the religious alternative to

to an event – regulates its break with the situation not by the universality of the void, but by the close particularity of an abstract set (the ‘‘Germans’’ or the ‘‘Aryans’’)’ (E 66/74). To assess the viability of Badiou’s solution we have to ask ourselves some questions which are the opposite of those we were dealing with 128 THINK AGAIN in the case of the void: to what extent is the particularism of the Nazi discourse incompatible with any appeal to the universal (to the void)? And to what

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