The Event Divides into Two or the Parallax of Change: Badiou, Žižek, Bosteels, and Johnston


Authors
Kelly Louise Agra
University of Santo Tomas
Abstract
This paper takes off from a growing preoccupation in Western political-social philosophy on the thinkability of the materiality of change, that became most pronounced in Alain Badiou's philosophy of the event. It traces the development of the discourse of radical change tied to a materialist theory of subjectivity beginning from Badiou, down to the strong criticism posed against it by Slavoj Žižek. This is then followed by the discussion of Bruno Bosteels' potent defense of Badiou's philosophy. Finally, the last part takes off from this debate and highlights how this tension in Badiou's philosophy was possible in the first place. Using Adrian Johnston's key insight on pre-evental and post-evental time, this paper argues that Žižek and Bosteels respectively employ pre-evental and post-evental lenses in reading the relation of event to being. Furthermore, these two lenses are themselves the effect of the split readability of the event at the moment of its rupture: the parallax-effect that divides the event into two. This paper asserts that neither of the two is sufficient. Both are fundamental in outlining what sort of sustained disciplines are necessary before and after events take place.
Keywords Adrian Johnston  Alain Badiou  Bruno Bosteels  Change  Event  Ontology  Slavoj Zizek  Theory of Subjectivity
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