Since the book's first publication in 1988, Alain Badiou's Being and Event has established itself of one of the most important and controversial works in contemporary philosophy and its author as one of the most influential thinkers of our time. Being and Event is a comprehensive statement of Badiou's philosophical project and sees him recast the European philosophical tradition from Plato onwards, via a series of analyses of such key figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel, Rousseau, and Lacan. He thus (...) develops the basis for a history of philosophy rivalling those of Heidegger and Deleuze in its depth. Now publishing in the Bloomsbury Revelations series to mark 25 years since the book's first publication in French, Being and Event is an essential read for anyone interested in contemporary thought. (shrink)
The works of Gilles Deleuze -- on cinema, literature, painting, and philosophy -- have made him one of the most widely read thinkers of his generation. This compact critical volume is not only a powerful reappraisal of Deleuze's thought, but also the first major work by Alain Badiou available in English. Badiou compellingly redefines "Deleuzian, " throwing down the gauntlet in the battle over the very meaning of Deleuze's legacy. For those who view Deleuze as the apostle of desire, flu, (...) and multiplicity, Badiou's book is a deliberate provocation. Through a deep philosophical engagement with his writings, Badiou contends that Deleuze is not the Dionysian thinker of becoming he took himself to be; on the contrary, he is an ascetic philosopher of Being and Oneness. Deleuze's self-declared anti-Platonism fails -- and that, in Badiou's view, may ultimately be to his credit. "Perhaps it is not Platonism that has to be overturned, " Badiou writes, "but the anti-Platonism taken as evident throughout this entire century." This volume draws on a five-year correspondence undertaken by Badiou and Deleuze near the end of Deleuze's life, when the two put aside long-standing political and philosophical differences to exchange ideas about similar problems in their work. Badiou's incomparably attentive readings of key Deleuzian concepts radically revise reigning interpretations, offering new insights to even the veteran Deleuze reader and serving as an entree to the controversial notion of a "restoration" of Plato advocated by Badiou -- in his own right one of the most original figures in postwar French philosophy. The result is a critical tour de force that repositions Deleuze, one of the mostimportant thinkers of our time, and introduces Badiou to English-speaking readers. (shrink)
Against "political philosophy" -- Politics as thought -- Althusser -- Politics unbound -- A speculative disquisition on the concept of democracy -- Truths and justice -- Rancière and the community of equals -- Rancière and apolitics -- What is a thermidorean? -- Politics as truth procedure.
In the uprisings of the Arab world, Alain Badiou discerns echoes of the European revolutions of 1848. In both cases, the object was to overthrow despotic regimes maintained by the great powers—regimes designed to impose the will of financial oligarchies. Both events occurred after what was commonly thought to be the end of a revolutionary epoch: in 1815, the final defeat of Napoleon; and in 1989, the fall of the Soviet Union. But the revolutions of 1848 proclaimed for a century (...) and a half the return of revolutionary thought and action. Likewise, the uprisings underway today herald a worldwide resurgence in the liberating force of the masses—despite the attempts of the ‘international community’ to neutralize its power. Badiou’s book salutes this reawakening of history, weaving examples from the Arab Spring and elsewhere into a global analysis of the return of emancipatory universalism. (shrink)
The subtractive : preface by Francois Wahl -- Philosophy itself -- The (re)turn of philosophy itself -- Definition of philosophy -- What is a philosophical institution? -- Philosophy and poetry -- The philosophical recourse to the poem -- Mallarm's method : subtraction and isolation -- Rimbaud's method : interruption -- Philosophy and mathematics -- Conference on subtraction -- Truth : forcing and unnameable -- Philosophy and politics -- Philosophy and love -- What is love? -- Philosophy and psychoanalysis -- Subject (...) and infinite -- Antiphilosophy : Lacan and Plato -- Writing of the generic -- Writing of the generic : Samuel beckett. (shrink)
The place of the subjective -- Everything that is of a whole constitutes an obstacle to it insofar as it is included in it -- Action, manor of the subject -- The real is the impasse of formalization : formalization is the locus of the passing-into-force of the real -- Hegel : "the activity of force is essentially activity reacting against itself" -- Subjective and objective -- The subject under the signifiers of the exception -- Of force as disappearance, whose (...) effect is the whole from which it has disappeared -- Deduction of the splitting -- A la nue accablante tu? -- Any subject is a forced exception, which comes in second place -- Jewelry for the sacred of any subtraction of existence -- Lack and destruction -- The new one forbids the new one and presupposes it -- On the side of the true -- There are no class relations -- Every subject crosses a lack of being and a destruction -- The subjects antecedence to itself -- Torsion -- Theory of the subject according to Sophocles, theory of the subject according to Eeschylus -- Of the strands of the knot, knowing only the color -- A materialist reversal of materialism -- The Black sheep of materialism -- The indissoluble salt of truth -- Answering to the sphinx demands from the subject not to have to answer or the sphinx -- Algebra and topology -- Neigborhoods -- Consistency, second name of the real after the cause -- So little ontology -- Subjectivization and subjective process -- The topological opposite of the knot is not the cut-dispersion but the destruction-recomposition -- Subjectivizing anticipation, retroaction of the subjective process -- Hurry! hurry! word of the living! -- The inexistent -- Logic of the excess -- Topics of ethics -- Where? -- The subjective twist : and -- Diagonals of the imaginary -- Schema -- Ethics as the dissipation of the paradoxes of partisanship -- Classical detour -- Love what you will never believe twice. (shrink)
Everywhere, the twentieth century has been judged and condemned: the century of totalitarian terror, of utopian and criminal ideologies, of empty illusions, of genocides, of false avant-gardes, of democratic realism everywhere replaced by abstraction. It is not Badiou's wish to plead for an accused that is perfectly capable of defending itself without the authors aid. Nor does he seek to proclaim, like Frantz, the hero of Sartre's Prisoners of Altona, 'I have taken the century on my shoulders and I have (...) said: I will answer for it!' The Century simply aims to examine what this accursed century, from within its own unfolding, said that it was. Badiou's proposal is to reopen the dossier on the century - not from the angle of those wise and sated judges we too often claim to be, but from the standpoint of the century itself. (shrink)
Didacticism, romanticism, and classicism are the possible schemata for the knotting of art and philosophy, the third term in this knot being the education of subjects, youth in particular. What characterizes the century that has just come to a close is that, while it underwent the saturation of these three schemata, it failed to introduce a new one. Today, this predicament tends to produce a kind of unknotting of terms, a desperate dis-relation between art and philosophy, together with the pure (...) and simple collapse of what circulated between them: the theme of education. Whence the thesis of which this book is nothing but a series of variations: faced with such a situation of saturation and closure, we must attempt to propose a new schema, a fourth type of knot between philosophy and art. Among these “inaesthetic” variations, the reader will encounter a sustained debate with contemporary philosophical uses of the poem, bold articulations of the specificity and prospects of theater, cinema, and dance, along with subtle and provocative readings of Fernando Pessoa, Ste;phane Mallarme;, and Samuel Beckett. (shrink)
"Logiques des mondes, auquel Alain Badiou travaille depuis une quinzaine d'années, est conçu comme une suite de son précédent "grand" livre de philosophie, L'être et l'évènement, paru aux Editions du Seuil en 1988".
Twenty years ago, Alain Badiou's first Manifesto for Philosophy rose up against the all-pervasive proclamation of the "end" of philosophy. In lieu of this problematic of the end, he put forward the watchword: "one more step". The situation has considerably changed since then. Philosophy was threatened with obliteration at the time, whereas today it finds itself under threat for the diametrically opposed reason: it is endowed with an excessive, artificial existence. "Philosophy" is everywhere. It serves as a trademark for various (...) media pundits. It livens up cafés and health clubs. It has its magazines and its gurus. It is universally called upon, by everything from banks to major state commissions, to pronounce on ethics, law and duty. In essence, "philosophy" has now come to stand for nothing other than its most ancient enemy: conservative ethics. Badiou's second manifesto therefore seeks to demoralize philosophy and to separate it from all those "philosophies" that are as servile as they are ubiquitous. It demonstrates the power of certain eternal truths to illuminate action and, as such, to transport philosophy far beyond the figure of "the human" and its "rights". There, well beyond all moralism, in the clear expanse of the idea, life becomes something radically other than survival. (shrink)
Badiou explores the exponentially rich and varied world of French philosophy in a number of groundbreaking essays, published her for the first time in English or in a revised translation. Included are the often-quoted review of Louis Althussers's canonical works For Marks and Reading Capital and the scathing critique of 'potato fascism' in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guttari's A Thousand Plateus. There are also talks on Michel Foucault and Jean-Luc Nancy, and reviews of the work of Jean-François Lyotard and Barbara (...) Cassin, notable points of interest on an expansive tour of modern French thought.Guided by a small set of fundamental questions concerning the nature of being, the event, the subject, and truth, Badiou pushes to an extreme the polemical force of his thinking. Against the formless continuum of life, he posits the need for radical discontinuity; against the false modesty of finitude, he pleads for the mathematical infinity of everyday situations; against the various returns to Kant, the argues for the persistence of Hegelian dialectic; and against the lure of ultraleftism, his texts from the 1970s vindicate the role of Maoism as a driving force behind the communist Idea. (shrink)
Two controversial thinkers discuss a timeless but nonetheless urgent question: should philosophy interfere in the world? Nothing less than philosophy is at stake because, according to Badiou, philosophy is nothing but interference and commitment and will not be restrained by academic discipline. Philosophy is strange and new, and yet speaks in the name of all - as Badiou shows with his theory of universality. Similarly, Zizek believes that the philosopher must intervene, contrary to all expectations, in the key issues of (...) the time. He can offer no direction, but this only shows that the question has been posed incorrectly: it is valid to change the terms of the debate and settle on philosophy as abnormality and excess. At once an invitation to philosophy and an introduction to the thinking of two of the most topical and controversial philosophers writing today, this concise volume will be of great interest to students and general readers alike. (shrink)
A leading continental philosopher from France and author of Theory of the Subject interrogates the "anti-philosophy" of Ludwig Wittgenstein in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, arguing that his beliefs compromise truth and logic while rendering philosophy a practice of esoteric aphorisms.
Badiou goes through the most important innovations in the 19th-century theory of numbers, covering Frege, Dedekind, Peano and Cantor, and presents his own theory of numbers, one that has broader implications for social and political philosophy.
Le propos fondamental du livre d'Alain Badiou est d'établir que le noyau de toute philosophie compatible avec le marxisme est une théorie du sujet. Mais laquelle? Ni le sujet comme conscience (thèse de Sartre), ni l'hypothèse du sujet " naturel ", désirant ou substantiel, ne peuvent convenir. C'est du côté du sujet clivé tel que Lacan - notre Hegel - en fait théorie, qu'il faut chercher une issue. Alain Badiou trouve là de quoi refondre, non pas le thème, forclos, d'un (...) sujet de l'Histoire, mais celui des sujets politiques. L'opération ne se peut faire sans étendre le concept lacanien du sujet, lié dès l'abord à deux types d'effets: l'occupation d'une place vide d'un côté, l'excès sur cette place vide de l'autre. Instrument de cette distinction : le couple algèbre/topologie. Il en résulte que le réel, pensable - comme le fait Lacan - sous le concept algébrique de l'objet cause, doit également être reçu sous celui, topologique, de consistance: ontologie en partie double. Le cœur de la question est atteint quand entre en dialectique avec la notion lacanienne du manque, la catégorie nouvelle de destruction. Qu'on ne s'attende pas à ne trouver ici qu'une discussion de théories. Mallarmé y voisine abondamment avec Mao Tsé-toung, Hilderlin avec Hegel, et le théorème de Gödel avec la situation des ouvriers immigrés. (shrink)
Notre temps est sans aucun doute celui de la disparition sans retour des dieux. Mais cette disparition relève de trois processus distincts, puisqu'il y a eu trois dieux capitaux : celui des religions, celui de la métaphysique et celui des poètes. Du dieu des religions, il faut seulement déclarer la mort. Le problème, qui est en dernière instance politique, est de parer aux effets désastreux qu'entraîne toute subjectivation obscure de cette mort. Du dieu de la métaphysique, il faut achever le (...) parcours par une pensée de l'infini qui en dissémine la ressource sur l'étendue entière des multiplicités quelconques. Du dieu de la poésie, il faut que le poème désencombre la langue, en y césurant le dispositif de la perte et du retour. Engagés dans la triple destitution des dieux, nous pouvons déjà dire, nous, habitants du séjour infini de la Terre, que tout est ici, toujours ici, et que la ressource de la pensée est dans la platitude égalitaire fermement avertie, fermement déclarée, de ce qui nous advient, ici. A. B. Prologue. Dieu est mort 1. La question de l'être aujourd'hui 2. La mathématique est une pensée 3. L'événement comme trans-être 4. L'ontologie vitaliste de Deleuze 5. L'ontologie fermée de Spinoza 6. Platonisme et ontologie mathématique 7. L'orientation aristotélicienne et la logique 8. Logique, philosophie, « tournant langagier » 9. Premières remarques sur le concept de topos 10. Premières thèses provisoires sur la logique 11. L'être du nombre 12. L'ontologie soustractive de Kant 13. Groupe, catégorie, sujet 14. L'être et l'apparaître Annexe. Textes publiés utilisés comme matériau dans lacomposition de ce livre. (shrink)
PT. 1. PHILOSOPHY AND CIRCUMSTANCES: Introduction -- Philosophy and the question of war today: 1. On September 11 2001: philosophy and the 'War against terrorism' -- 2. Fragments of a public journal on the American war against Iraq -- 3. On the war against Serbia: who strikes whom in the world today? -- The 'democratic' fetish and racism: 4. On parliamentary 'democracy': the French presidential elections of 2002 -- 5. The law on the Islamic headscarf -- 6. Daily humiliation -- (...) Openings/Affirmations: 7. The power of the open: A discourse on the necessity of fusing Germany and France -- 8. Third sketch of a manifesto of affirmationist art -- Notes to part one -- PT. 2. USES OF THE WORD 'JEW': Introduction -- 1. Israel: the country in the world where there are the fewest Jews? -- 2. The destruction of the European Jews and the question of evil (fragments from Ethics: an essay on the understanding of evil, translated by Peter Hallward) -- 3. A dialogue between a Jew from Darzia and an Arab from Epirus -- 4. Saint Paul and the Jews (excerpt from Saint Paul: the foundation of universalism, translated by Ray Brassier) -- 5. Against negationism -- 6. Local angel -- 7. Intervew at the Daily Haaretz -- 8. The master-signifier of the New Aryans (by Cécile Winter) -- 9. The word 'Jew' and the sycophant -- Notes to part two -- PT. 3. HISTORICITY OF POLITICS: LESSONS OF TWO REVOLUTIONS. 1. The Paris commune: a political declaration on politics -- 2. The cultural revolution: the last revolution? -- A brief chronology of the cultural revolution (translated by Bruno Bosteels) -- Notes to part three. (shrink)
DOMINIC WILLSDON. — Nous accueillons Alain Badiou, un des philosophes importants en France depuis plusieurs décennies, de plus en plus connu maintenant que ses œuvres sont traduites en anglais, et que la littérature secondaire sur sa philosophie se développe aussi en anglais. Parmi ses livres traduits ces dernières années, on trouve Deleuze. La..
Overture -- Jacques Lacan -- Georges Canguilhem and Jean Cavaillès -- Jean-Paul Sartre -- Jean Hyppolite -- Louis Althusser -- Jean-François Lyotard -- Gilles Deleuze -- Michel Foucault -- Jacques Derrida -- Jean Borreil -- Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe -- Gilles Châtelet -- Françoise Proust -- A note on the texts.
Penser la politique, c'est d'abord réfuter le politique : le dénoncer comme illusion (imaginaire) du " faire un ", des identifications (le parti, le syndicat, la société sans classe), du fait cernable, de la prévision assurée. La politique naît, elle, de l'événement, par où 1'on entend ici le surgissement des dominés rompant l'ordre du politique et l'unité de celui-ci : un surgissement toujours précaire, dont la mise en œuvre suppose un pari et un calcul chaque fois risqués : en bref, (...) il y a la politique quand - et seulement si - une dé-liaison de la réalité propose un point de réel. Alain Badiou part de la décomposition du marxisme où il voit l'effet de ce que Marx, tout en montrant l'irruption du réel dans la réalité du politique, a continué de penser dans le politique. Et il avance un essai de recomposition centré sur l'interprétation de ce qui fait événement, dès lors que les dominés ont prononcé, au défaut de l'ordre, leur existence, et qu'il est possible de parier sur cette prononciation. (shrink)
Plato's Republic is one of the most well-known and widely discussed texts in the history of philosophy, but how might we get to the heart of this work today, 2500 years after it was originally composed? Alain Badiou invents a new genre in order to breathe fresh life into Plato's text and restore its universality. Rather than producing yet another critical commentary, he has retranslated the work from the original Greek and, by making various changes, adapted it for our times. (...) In this innovative reimagining of a classic text, Badiou has removed all references specific to ancient Greek society, from the endless exchanges about the moral courage of poets to those political considerations that were only of interest to the aristocratic elite. On the other hand, Badiou has expanded the range of cultural references: here philosophy is firing on all cylinders, and Socrates and his companions are joined by Beckett, Pessoa, Freud and Hegel. They demonstrate the enduring nature of true philosophy, always ready to move with the times. Moreover, Badiou the dramatist has made the Socratic dialogue a true oratorial contest: in his version of the Republic, the interlocutors have more in mind than merely agreeing with the Master. They stand up to him, put him on the spot and thereby show thought in motion. Through this work of writing, scholarship and philosophy, we are able, for the first time, to read a version of Plato's text which is alive, stimulating and directly relevant to our world today. (shrink)
The notion of ‘the end’ has long occupied philosophical thought. In light of the horrors of the twentieth century, some writers have gone so far as to declare the end of philosophy itself, emphasizing the impossibility of thinking after Auschwitz. In this book the distinguished philosopher Alain Badiou, in dialogue with Giovanbattista Tusa, argues that we must renounce ‘the pathos of completion’ and continue to think philosophically. To accept the atrocities of the twentieth century as marking the end of philosophy (...) is intolerable precisely because it buys into the totalizing doctrines of the perpetrators. Badiou contends that philosophical thinking is needed now more than ever to counter the totalizing effects of globalized capitalism, which prescribes no objective for human life other than integration into its system, giving rise to a widespread sense of hopelessness and nihilism. (shrink)
Pourquoi saint Paul? Pourquoi requérir cet «apôtre», d’autant plus suspect qu’il s’est, de toute évidence, auto-proclamé tel, et que son nom est couramment associé aux dimensions les plus institutionnelles et les moins ouvertes du christianisme? Et quel usage prétendons-nous faire du dispositif de la foi chrétienne, dont il semble proprement impossible de dissocier la figure et les textes de Paul? Pourquoi invoquer et analyser cette fable? Ce qui va nous retenir, quant à nous, dans l’oeuvre de Paul est cette connexion (...) paradoxale, dont il est l’inventeur, entre un sujet sans identité et une loi sans support, qui fonde la possibilité dans l’histoire d’une prédication universelle. Le geste inouï de Paul est de soustraire la vérité à l’emprise communautaire, qu’il s’agisse d’un peuple, d’une cité, d’un Empire, d’un territoire, ou d’une classe sociale. Repenser ce geste et sa force instituante, en déplier les chicanes, est à coup sûr une nécessité contemporaine. (shrink)
Une exigence fondamentale de la pensée contemporaine est d'en finir avec la " philosophie politique ". Qu'est-ce que la philosophie politique? Son opération centrale est de ramener la politique à l'exercice du " libre jugement " et de la " discussion ", dans un espace public où ne comptent en définitive que les opinions. On sait que, bien avant d'être arendtien, ou kantien, le thème de l'opposition irréductible de la vérité et de l'opinion est platonicien. Ce qui, en revanche, n'est (...) pas platonicien est l'idée que la politique serait ainsi éternellement vouée à l'opinion, éternellement disjointe de toute vérité. Sauf pour qui pense que le commentaire de bistrot, ou la conversation entre amis, constitue " l'essence même de la vie politique ", il est en effet clair que le conflit des opinions n'est politique qu'autant qu'il se cristallise dans une décision. La question d'une possible vérité politique doit alors être examinée non du seul point de la " discussion ", mais dans le processus complexe qui noue la discussion à la décision. (shrink)
Alain Badiou is arguably the most significant philosopher in Europe today. Badiou’s seminars, given annually on major conceptual and historical topics, constitute an enormously important part of his work. They served as laboratories for his thought and public illuminations of his complex ideas yet remain little known. This book, the transcript of Badiou’s year-long seminar on the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan, is the first volume of his seminars to be published in English, opening up a new and vital aspect (...) of his thinking. In a highly original and compelling account of Lacan’s theory and therapeutic practice, Badiou considers the challenge that Lacan poses to fundamental philosophical topics such as being, the subject, and truth. Badiou argues that Lacan is a singular figure of the “anti-philosopher,” a series of thinkers stretching back to Saint Paul and including Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, with Lacan as the last great anti-philosopher of modernity. The book offers a forceful reading of an enigmatic yet foundational thinker and sheds light on the crucial role that Lacan plays in Badiou’s own thought. This seminar, more accessible than some of Badiou’s more difficult works, will be profoundly valuable for the many readers across academic disciplines, art and literature, and political activism who find his thought essential. (shrink)
This concise and accessible book is the perfect introduction to Badiou’s thought. Responding to Tarby’s questions, Badiou takes us on a journey that interrogates and explores the four conditions of philosophy: politics, love, art and science. In all these domains, events occur that bring to light possibilities that were invisible or even unthinkable; they propose something to us. Everything then depends on how the possibility opened up by the event is grasped, elaborated and embedded in the world – this is (...) what Badiou calls a ‘truth procedure’. The event creates a possibility but there then has to be an effort – a group effort in the case of politics, an individual effort in the case of love or art – for this possibility to become real and inscribed in the world. As he explains his thinking on politics, love, art and science, Badiou takes stock of his major works, reflects on their central themes and arguments and looks forward to the questions he plans to address in his future writings. The book concludes with a short introduction to Badiou’s philosophy by Fabien Tarby. For anyone wishing to understand the work of one of the most widely read and influential philosophers writing today, this small book will be an indispensable guide. (shrink)
Published in 1973, "L'Etourdit" was one of the French philosopher Jacques Lacan's most important works. The book posed questions that traversed the entire body of Lacan's psychoanalytical explorations, including his famous idea that "there is no such thing as a sexual relationship," which seeks to undermine our certainties about intimacy and reality. In There's No Such Thing as a Sexual Relationship, Alain Badiou and Barbara Cassin take possession of Lacan's short text, thinking "with" Lacan about his propositions and what kinds (...) of questions they raise in relation to knowledge. Cassin considers the relationship of the real to language through a Sophist lens, while the Platonist Badiou unpacks philosophical claims about truth. Each of their contributions echoes back to one another, offering new ways of thinking about Lacan, his seminal ideas, and his role in advancing philosophical thought. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger was an ordinary Nazi and a loyal member of the provincial petty bourgeoisie. He was also a seminal thinker of the Continental tradition and one of the twentieth century's most important philosophers. How are we to make sense of this dual life? Should we factor Heidegger's domestic and political associations into our understanding of his thought, or should we treat his intellectual work independently of his abhorrent politics? How does any thinker reconcile the mundane with the ideal or (...) the pursuit of philosophical inquiry with the demands of civic engagement? In Heidegger, Alain Badiou and Barbara Cassin immerse themselves in the philosopher's correspondence with his wife Elfride to answer these questions as they relate to Heidegger and all thinkers vulnerable to the politics of their times. They focus on Heidegger's tormented relationship with his wife, with Hannah Arendt, and with numerous other women, bringing an unusual level of intimacy to his personal and intellectual worlds. (shrink)
"French philosopher Alain Badiou (b. 1937) introduces the concept of democratic materialism to refer to the belief that there are only bodies and languages, then employs a fair amount of science in what he calls a somewhat fastidious examine of it. He covers formal theory on the subject (meta-physics); the greater logics: the transcendental, the object, and relation; the four forms of change; the theory of points; what a body is; and what it is to live."--Provided by publisher.