Peter Sloterdijk's 'In the Shadow of Mt. Sinai' and Alain Badiou's 'Our Wounds Are Not So Recent' represent distinctly different attempts to come to grips with the conflict between the West (the US, the UK, France) and the Muslim world after the September 11th attacks. Although Sloterdijk finds the source of conflict in the religious zealotry of the Abrahamic religions, while Badiou blames the multinational capitalist system for drating a disaffected underclass, the two complementary perspectives work together to make (...) this ongoing conflict intelligible, if not, finally, to stop the war on terrorism. (shrink)
In this article, I discuss Alain Badiou’s 2008 address titled “The Three Negations.” Though the text was originally presented in a symposium concerning the relationship of law to Badiou’s theory of the event, I discuss the way this brief address offers an introduction to the broad sweep of Badiou’s metaphysics, outlining his accounts of being, appearing, and transformation. To do so, Badiou calls on the resources of three paradigms of negation: from classical Aristotelian logic, from Brouwer’s intuitionist logic, and (...) in paraconsistent logics developed by DaCosta. I explain Badiou’s use of negation in the three primary areas of his metaphysics, as well as to diagnose the degrees of transformation that may have occurred in a situation. My analysis of Badiou’s use of negation in this text is aided by examples from his broader ontological oeuvre. I also explain the underlying requirement in Badiou’s work that formal considerations - mathematical or logical - get their sense by being tethered to readily-identifiable political, aesthetic, scientific, or interpersonal concerns. I conclude by addressing the foundation Badiou’s work establishes for pursuing a new metaphysics, and by discussing certain of the liabilities that remain in the wake of his account. (shrink)
This collection of essays by American philosopher Alain Locke makes readily available for the first time his important writings on cultural pluralism, value relativism, and critical relativism. As a black philosopher early in this century, Locke was a pioneer: having earned both undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Harvard, he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, studied at the University of Berlin, and chaired the Philosophy Department at Howard University for almost four decades. He was perhaps best known as a (...) leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Locke’s works in philosophy—many previously unpublished—conceptually frame the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro movement and provide an Afro-American critique of pragmatism and value absolutism, and also offer a view of identity, communicative competency, and contextualism. In addition, his major works on the nature of race, race relations, and the role of race-conscious literature are presented to demonstrate the application of his philosophy. Locke’s commentaries on the major philosophers of his day, including James, Royce, Santayana, Perry, and Ehrenfels help tell the story of his relationship to his former teachers and his theoretical affinities. In his substantial Introduction and interpretive concluding chapter, Leonard Harris describes Locke’s life, evaluates his role as an American philosopher and theoretician of the Harlem Renaissance, situates him in the pragmatist tradition, and outlines his affinities with modern deconstructionist ideas. A chronology of the philosopher’s life and bibliography of his works are also provided. Although much has been written about Alain Locke, this is the first book to focus on his philosophical contributions. (shrink)
In the late 1970s and the 1980s, a number of radical left political theorists focused their philosophical attention on the relevance of ancient atomism, revitalizing a tradition that went back to Karl Marx's work on his dissertation. This essay looks at the uses of atomism by two thinkers in particular, Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou, in order to see how their discussions of and references to ancient materialism help to shed light on their fundamental disagreements about the nature of (...) community and equality. First, this paper argues that what Badiou and Rancière most obviously share in their assessments of atomism is a negative judgment regarding the post-swerve constitution of the world, while what most obviously distinguishes their positions is their differing judgments regarding the preswerve rain of the atoms in the void. Becoming clear both about how Badiou and Rancière respond to what comes before and after the atomistic swerve helps to clarify an implicit response on Rancière’s part to what has become Badiou’s chief objection to Rancière’s political theory. Second, this paper argues that the fact that Badiou assesses both what comes before and what comes after the swerve as negative, while Rancière assesses only what comes after the swerve as negative, makes clear that their most essential point of difference concerns the status of the swerve that mediates between before and after. Working through the complexities of Badiou’s analysis of the swerve and uncovering Rancière’s extremely subtle analysis of the swerve helps to clarify a major aspect of what has become Rancière’s chief criticism of Badiou’s conception of philosophy. (shrink)
This work is an attempt to outline basic political aspects of the ethics and the ontology developed by the philosopher Alain Badiou. It seeks to present the concepts of being, event, subject and truth, in addition to other similar, drawing parallels with central authors of contemporary philosophical debate. Initially exposing Badiou’s original theoretical reasons, we try to build a conceptual reconstruction that culminates in confrontation with currently hegemonic political-philosophical perspectives. At last, it`s discussed in what practical senses Badiou maintains (...) the need for a renewed understanding of universalistic politics. (shrink)
A las conmemoraciones que hacen los hispanistas de acontecimientos y personalidades del 98, será preciso añadir en los sucesivos el recuerdo del hispanista filósofo francés Alain Guy (La Rochelle 1918 - Narbonne 1998), porque este eminente profesor de Historia de la Filosofía Española e Iberoamericana en la Universidad de Toulouse-le-Mirail, ha dedicado intensamente su vida docente y su actividad investigadora a difundir el conocimiento de los filósofos españoles de todos los tiempos y a suscitar la investigación sobre los mismos.
In its comprehensive overview of Alain Locke's pragmatist philosophy this book captures the radical implications of Locke's approach within pragmatism, the critical temper embedded in Locke's works, the central role of power and empowerment of the oppressed and the concept of broad democracy Locke employed.
El filósofo francés Alain Guy (La Rochelle, 1918 - Narbonne, 1998) dedicó por entero su vida al estudio de la filosofía española e hispanoamericana, dándola a conocer no sólo en el extranjero sino también en nuestro país.
When Alain Locke developed a philosophy of valuation that he termed “functional relativism,” he contrasted his position to “value realism,” apparently because he wanted to keep valuations free from being bound to status quo existence. This article considers Locke's philosophy of valuation in relation to the “realism” of Charles S. Peirce in order to show that there is an approach to realism that answers to requirements of dynamic, evolutionary growth and creativity. The argument begins by placing Locke's cardinal values (...) onto a compass-like diagram inspired by Black Elk's ritual acknowledgment of cardinal directions. The illustration of a hoop of valuation is used to explore the usefulness of thinking in terms of diagrams, with explicit reference to Peircean semiotics. Next the article pursues a context of valuation developed through the psychical philosophy of George Herbert Mead and recent work on Peircean realism. It shows how valuation may be viewed as an exercise in freedom, not confined to status quo existence. Sources of error are acknowledged and reviewed. In the end, Peirce's choice of realism versus nominalism is found to be consistent with Lockean commitments to shared living in communities of inquiry. A Lockean philosophy of valuation, therefore, is not necessarily antirealist. (shrink)
Reviews: William S. Lewis, Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism ; Louis Althusser, Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978—1987 ; Alain Badiou, Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return to Philosophy ; Alain Badiou, Metapolitics ; Slavoj Žižek , Lacan: The Silent Partners.
Christians have historically differed as to whether the wrongness of an act is to be located in the objective character of the act or in the intention of the agent. By blurring this distinction, Alain Epp Weaver fails to see the real principle of consistency that unites Augustine's analyses of warfare and lying. Likewise, by not appreciating the fact that Augustine analyzes the wrongness of the act in terms of intention whereas Yoder analyzes its wrongness in terms of its (...) objective character, Weaver proposes a conversation between two figures who lack the framework of shared assumptions that makes engagement in conversation possible. (shrink)
This article examines the ethical thought of the prominent French philosopher, Alain Badiou. His work is placed in the context of discussions of the sources of normativity in relation to Kant and Levinas and then the central category of the event in Badiou's work is critically discussed. The article claims that Badiou's talk of truth in relation to event is misplaced and argues that there is a residual heroism behind Badiou's political thinking.
The two books reviewed here are different efforts to embrace the vast subject called "social thought." The second edition of The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought, edited by William Outhwaite with Alain Touraine, contains numerous updates; yet it also has some disadvantages compared to the first edition. Social Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Present, edited by Alan Sica, is a bold but controversial attempt at gathering in one anthology as many social thinkers as possible. Key Words: "social" (...) • social thought/theory • William Outhwaite • Alan Sica • explanation. (shrink)
In his magnum opus Being and Event, Alain Badiou identifies ontology with mathematics and uses a mathematical formalization of ontological discourse to generate an account of extra-ontological 'truth-events'. Informed by deconstructive critiques of the metaphysical ontologies of presence, Badiou establishes an anti-phenomenological conception of ontological presentation. Presentation's internal structure is that of an anti-phenomenon: presence's necessarily empty and insubstantial contrary. But the result is that Being and Event is riven by a fundamental methodological idealism. Badiou cannot secure the connection (...) he wishes to establish between the formal discursive structure of mathematical ontology and extra-discursive reality. The decisive link between being and event, i.e. between Badiou's purely formal conception of ontological presentation and the extra-ontological reality of the event, is precluded by the very structure of the concept of presentation which is central to Badiou's argument. (shrink)
Resumen: Luego de entregar algunos breves antecedentes biobibliográficos del autor francés Alain Robbe-Grillet, se analiza con profundidad los principios esenciales de la poética de la “Nueva Novela” francesa, ante todo las rupturas del tiempo y espacio convencional, para estudiar su presencia en sus primeras dos novelas, Las gomas y El mirón, que llevan aún ciertos rasgos policiales. Este análisis literario revela su carácter híbrido y posmoderno y una creciente parodización del género policial.: The paper provides a brief bio-bibliographical background (...) of the French author Alain Robbe-Grillet and analyses in depth the basic principles of the ‘New French Novel’. It accounts for its conventional time and space breach and looks into its presence in his first two novels; The erasers and Jealousy, which still bear some traces of the detective fiction. This literary analysis exposes their hybrid and postmodern character and the growing parody being made of the police genre. (shrink)
If it is reasonable to hope that the current moment in philosophy may ultimately represent one of transition, from the divided remnants of the still enduring "split" between "analytic" and "continental" philosophy to some form (or forms) of twenty-first century philosophy that is no longer recognizably either (or is both), it seems likely as well that the thought and work of Alain Badiou can play a key role in articulating this much needed transition. One of the central innovations of (...) Badiou's work is that it uses the kind of rigorous formalism characteristic of much good analytic philosophy in its attempt to think through some of the main problems of ontology, metaphysics and political theory that have troubled continental philosophers over the course of the twentieth century. Both in Badiou's 1988 magnum opus, Being and Event and its new sequel, Logics of Worlds , the result is a kind of paradoxical formalism of the limits of formalism itself, striking a sometimes uneasy balance between the inveterate tendency of analytic thought to seek formal solutions for theoretical problems of epistemology and metaphysics, and that of continental thought to seek the solution to what are seen as more-than-theoretical problems of social and political praxis in the kinds of liberation that may occur outside the "closed" regime of all that is calculable or tractable by formal systems. (shrink)
A tension runs through the lucidly militant work of Alain Badiou. It takes various shapes, such as the tension between the rigorous ontology of mathematics and the structures of narrative, or between fiction and argument, image and formula, poem and matheme, or Anglo-American analytic rationalism and continental lyricism. However, the shape of that tension that interests me most is between the triumphant banishing of theology via mathematics and its perpetual recurrence in his thought. For all Badiou’s efforts to dismiss (...) theology as the philosophy of the ‘One’, for all his efforts to read Pascal, Kierkegaard or Paul as exemplars of the ‘event’ without buying into the belief system they purvey, for all his dismissals of the pious myth or fabulous core of Christianity, it seems as though he cannot avoid theology. The question then is whether this philosopher who is ‘rarely suspected of harbouring Christian zeal’ may actually provide an insight or two into theology. The texts on which I base my reading are Being an Event, the short book on Paul, Logiques des Mondes, especially the section on Kierkegaard, and parts of the disparate collection, Theoretical Writings. A rather formidable collection, to say the least. In what follows I begin by considering the absolute blockage of theology in Badiou’s philosophy, specifically through his banishment of the One. And yet, despite his best efforts to seal his system against theology, it has an uncanny knack of returning. I am particularly interested in the way theology has a ghostly presence in what appears for all the world like a fifth ‘procedure of truth’ (alongside the four pillars of art, science, politics and love), in his enthusiastic affirmations of Pascal and Kierkegaard, and the play between fable and truth in his engagement with the apostle Paul. (shrink)
The Heideggerian rupture in the history of philosophy in the name of a phenomenological and poetic ontology has provided an opening which many of the key figures in twentieth century continental thought have exploited. However, this opening was marked by Heidegger himself as an ambiguous one, insofar as metaphysics was perhaps integrally ‘onto-theology,’ that is, ultimately continuous with the world-historical capture of the thought of being. This piece argues that the philosophy of Alain Badiou, which departs from the recognition (...) that Heidegger is the ‘last universally recognised philosopher’, provides the means for a radical reconsideration of the philosophy-theology relationship in its specifically Heideggerian form, involving as it does further questions of science and technology, the status of the poem, and the nature of ontological thought as such. We argue that, through the deployment of mathematics as ontology, the Gordian knot of onto-theology and its legion of consequences can be cut, and a new assemblage of many of the key Heideggerian motifs can be put into play: the poem, history, and philosophy itself. (shrink)
In this article, I discuss how things go with the "Nothing" in the work of Alain Badiou, a topic which is evidently central to his thought, and which has received a great deal of attention in the commentary to date. As this problem is inaccessible outside of Badiou’s deployment of mathematics, I will suggest how accounts of Badiou’s work remain flawed insofar as they evade his mathematical demonstrations, and I attempt to clarify how mathematics operates in his system. I (...) then examine the consequences that such a use of mathematics has for Badiou’s doctrine of the nothing. I conclude with a discussion of some of the difficulties that the nothing continues to pose to Badiou, which have not (yet) been satisfactorily resolved. These difficulties devolve from the problematic of the incessantly doubling void. (shrink)
Alain Epp Weaver's analysis of the theological foundations of Augustine's proscription of all lies in all circumstances does more than improve our understanding of Augustine. In drawing a plausible and illuminating parallel between the theological logic of Augustine and the theological logic of John Howard Yoder, Weaver not only succeeds in defending the credibility of Christian pacifism but also provides support for interpreting Yoder as a biblical realist. Moreover, the divergence between Weaver and Christopher Kirwan in their critical assessments (...) of the cogency of Augustine's treatment of lying serves to throw into relief the differences between secular philosophical ethics and theological ethics, incidentally suggesting why it is often difficult for twentieth-century thinkers to understand and evaluate premodern texts. (shrink)
In his theory of the event, Alain Badiou argues that the realm of politics is particularly important. Drawing to an extent on Marx, Lenin and Mao, he argues that true politics is revolutionary, or at least 'eventmental'. Badiou's political thought places great emphasis on the role of the agent of change — the subject — but he argues controversially that subjecthood in politics as well as in other domains comes only after the event has taken place, leaving the potential (...) subject in a highly passive position before the event has taken place. He has relinquished some but not all of Marx's materialist and historical approach, in favour of a more idealist approach influenced in part by Plato, with the effect that his theory of politics is rather disjointed. Badiou's uneasy blend of idealism and materialism means that he has at times highly unorthodox things to say about the notion of democracy and has uneven positions regarding both parliamentary politics and political activism. A lonely, committed voice in contemporary France, Badiou's theory of politics nevertheless offers a rare opportunity to engage with a thinker who is attempting to offer a new philosophy of praxis. (shrink)
Alain Badioursquo;s philosophy is generally understood to be a fundamentally mathematical enterprise, his principle categories of being, appearing, and truth being themselves thought only though specific scientific events. However the event itselfmdash;which constitutes the nexal point of his so-called lsquo;materialist dialecticrsquo;mdash;is contrarily thought not through mathematics but through art. And yet despite the fundamental role art plays in his philosophy Badioursquo;s lsquo;inaestheticrsquo; writings seem unduly proscriptive, allowing room principally for the expressly lsquo;literalrsquo; arts while eschewing for the most part (...) those manifold arts which have little recourse to the letter. Badioursquo;s polemical writings on cinema are both symptomatic and serve as the most extreme example of this position, his cinema being one which wavers precariously on the border of art and non-art. This paper accordingly questions whether cinema can truly occupy a place in Badioursquo;s inaesthetics. I argue the hegemony of the letter in Badioursquo;s inaesthetics to be ultimately one of convenience and suggest that if cinematic truths are to be registered Badioursquo;s understanding of cinema as an art of dis-appearance must be rejected. I conclude by contending the oppressive literality of Badioursquo;s philosophy to be symptomatic of its mathematical basismdash;a paradoxical position insofar as the very non-mathematical nature of art allows for evental thoughtmdash;the consequence of which being that Badiou regrettably neglects by and large those manifold illiterate arts that might otherwise serve to augment his thought.br /. (shrink)
Alain Badiou: Second manifesto for philosophyTranslated by Louise BurchillCambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2011, 164 pp. Alain Badiou is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He is antipostmodernist, innovative modernist, and committed to the leftist tradition. His Second manifesto for philosophy is the English translation of the French original, Second manifeste pour la philosophie . While the book is coherent and elucidatory with regard to the issue of what it means today to be a (...) philosopher and to belong to the institution of philosophy, it is in principle best read as a continuation of Manifeste pour la philosophie , translated into English as Manifesto for philosophy . Precisely to allude to the reality that both books form a continuum, Badiou himself now refers to the first as the “First manifesto,” in many parts of the second book. Not only that Badiou describes the relationship between the two manifestoes to his two-volume work, Being and event, he sees the first manifesto and Vol. 1 of Being and event [1988 ] to be contiguous with each other. The same is true with the second manifesto and Vol. 2 of Being and event: Logic of worlds [2006 ]: they form a continuum. However, for purposes of economy, this review will simply focus on the relationship between the first and the second manifestoes, as the topic occupies a central role in the Second manifesto. (shrink)
Following the publication of his magnum opus L’être et l’événement (Being and Event) in 1988, Alain Badiou has been acclaimed as one of France’s greatest living philosophers. Since then, he has released a dozen books, including Manifesto for Philosophy, Conditions, Metapolitics and Logiques des mondes (Logics of Worlds), many of which are now available in English translation. Badiou writes on an extraordinary array of topics, and his work has already had an impact upon studies in the history of philosophy, (...) the history and philosophy of science, political philosophy, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and ontology. This volume takes up the challenge of explicating, extending and, in many places, criticising Badiou’s stunningly original theses. Above all, the essays collected here put Badiou’s concepts to the test in a confrontation with the four great headings that he himself has identified as essential to our humanity: science, love, art and politics. Many of the contributors have already been recognised as outstanding translators of and commentators on Badiou’s work; they appear here with fresh voices also destined to make a mark. (shrink)
The appearance of Wittgenstein's Antiphilosophy provides the opportunity to deepen our understanding of Alain Badiou's groundbreaking work on the obsessive Austrian. Both thinkers mix high style with logical rigor and are recognized for having proposed radically different directions for philosophy.For decades, Wittgenstein has been seen as the great exemplar of the "linguistic turn" in philosophy. Badiou has repeatedly accused Wittgenstein of initiating a century of sophistic language games that have done little for philosophy other than isolate its discourse and (...) drain it of relevance. Arguably, this was Wittgenstein's aim all along. Yet Badiou has recently undertaken a more serious consideration of Wittgenstein's .. (shrink)
It is common knowledge that Nietzsche is very critical of traditional philosophy and strongly opposes a number of philosophers, but Alain Badiou goes beyond this claim to interpret and classify Nietzsche as an “antiphilosopher.” As such, Badiou’s interpretation belongs to the vast literature focusing on Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics and truth. However, Badiou goes a bit further and develops a notion of “antiphilosophy” that not only is critical but also has a positive impact: Nietzsche is not only a critic (...) of metaphysics, but he is also an antiphilosopher like Pascal or Rousseau. Nietzsche. L’antiphilosophie I is the transcript from a seminar Badiou gave in 1992–93 and, as the title suggests, is... (shrink)
Plato famously banishes the poets from his ideal city in book X of his Republic. Yet in this banishment Plato establishes the boundaries of reason, art and poetry — boundaries that have haunted western thinkers since antiquity. In this article I will explore those Platonic boundaries, specifically the intellectual limits of poetic writing as reflected upon by self-identified Platonist Alain Badiou. That being said, I am not attempting, strictly speaking, to look at Badiou’s interpretation of Plato’s banishment of poetry. (...) Instead, I am using the banishment as a springboard for discussion of Badiou’s notion of poetry as the ‘birth of truth’ in his Handbook of Inaesthetics. I will examine the way this text interacts with Plato’s conceptual banishment. I assert that this interaction should illuminate the status of writing — especially artistic writing — in the state. (shrink)
Although not mentioning Žižek specifically, Adrian Johnston's "The Quick and the Dead: Alain Badiou and the Split Speeds of Transformation" is referred to in detail by Žižek in this Issue's opening article and so is included for the sake of completeness and as a useful resource for scholars of both Žižek and Badioiu.
This study explores new philosophical foundations for democracy in revolutions. Alain Badiou’s thought is in focus, but this essay is not just an exegesis. The thought of Alain Badiou is appraised (and adapted) in this essay in the light of the main currents of European thought on the hopes and history of European revolutions. This essay dismisses Badiou’s ultra-gauche Maoism, focusing instead on Badiou’s ways to reconcile revolutionary change, social inclusion and human freedom. These ways are important. By (...) overcoming hegemonic traditions of study, Badiou’s methods promote democratic ethics of restraint. They also help re-invigorate methods in the social sciences privileging participant perspectives. (shrink)
This paper examines Alain Badiou’s critical engagement with religion. It is argued that there are two central points at which religion enters the scene of Badiou’s philosophy. First, in his critique, the ‘motif of finitude’ Badiou repeatedly refers to religion, claiming that ‘the obsession with finitude is a remnant of the tyranny of the sacred’. Second, Badiou stages his attempt to regenerate philosophy against the proclamation of its end as a confrontation with the religion, through philosophy’s detachment from the (...) poetization of philosophy and its reattachment to mathematics. By examining these two points, the paper aims to encircle Badiou’s notion of religion and thus clarify the role it plays in his philosophical system. This paper suggests that his notion of religion is a by-product of his polemics and therefore needs to be ‘extracted’ from his writings. Hence, the ‘critique of religion’ present in Badiou’s work is not straightforward and explicit critique. Another central aspect of Badiou’s critique of religion is related to his effort to separate the concept of truth from the category of meaning, which he understands as the emblem of religion. The paper sheds light on this matter and its setting in Jacques Lacan’s considerations on religion. (shrink)
This paper argues that though Derrida is correct to bring to the fore the undecidability that is contained in his political notion of the democracy to come, his account does not extend the aporia of undecidable politics far enough. Derrida himself makes evident this gap. Though politics may be structured with undecidability, there are times when direct, decisive and definitive political interventions are required. In his campaign against capital punishment, the blitzing campaigns in Bosnia and Iraq, and in his call (...) for les villes-refuges, Derrida makes decisive appeals which somehow seem to contradict the undecidability he sees as arch-structuring. Alain Badiou’s thinking about time as a subjective, decisive intervention executed within his ontological framework of undecidability and multiplicity can serve to extend the aporia of undecidability inherent in politics, ultimately giving an account for both the undecidability that structures politics and the decisive timely interventions that would seem to contradict Derridean undecidability. (shrink)
Alain Badiou’s philosophy is an attempt to re-establish truth in modern thought. The main – and indeed sole – criterion for truth is universality, he argues in all of his works, including the one on Saint Paul on which this essay focuses. In this book, Badiou argues that most of Saint Paul’s doctrinal topics can be related to the main concerns of his own thought. Thus Paul’s belief in Christ’s resurrection illustrates his own theory of the ‘event’; Paul’s characterization (...) of the church is linked with his own theory of the subject; and, finally, Paul’s entire intervention can be seen as one of the first affirmations in history of truth’s main criterion: universality.This article demonstrates how an unarticulated assumption secretly sustains Badiou’s entire theoretical framework: his belief in universal truth is supported by a belief in being’s inherent goodness. Badiou’s ‘ontology’ thus appears not so exclusively formal as he claims. Through a confrontation between Badiou’s interpretation of Paul and a reading of chapter eleven in Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the essay shows how the universality that Paul’s text claims contains an important element that Badiou’s reading – and his entire philosophy – neglects. This element involves a distorted dialectics that has resonances with both the Derridean concept of the ‘originary supplement’ and Lacan’s notion of ‘objet petit a’. The essay closes with some critical reflections on the way Badiou connects truth with time. (shrink)
The present paper outlines some basic concepts of Alain Badiou’s philosophy of the subject, tracking down its inherent and complex philosophical implications. These implications are made explicit in the criticism directed against the philosophical sophistry which denies the pertinence of the concept of truth. Badiou’s philosophical innovation is based on three nodal concepts, namely truth, event and subject, and it must be revealed how the afore-mentioned concepts areorganized and interrelated, eventually leading to reformulating the concept of the subject. In (...) its exercise, philosophy is intimately affiliated to the four adjacent procedures of mathematics, art, love and politics that could be understood as overall conditions on the margins of which philosophical thinking takes place. Separating philosophy from ontology and charging philosophy with what exceeds being, Badiou transforms it to the general theory of the event. Consequently the concept of the subject is disconnected from that of the object, the subject being not an instance of knowledge, but always a part of generic procedures and thus definable simply as a finite fragment or an operative configuration of the traces of the event. Therefore, it could be stated that Badiou’s theory of the subject is formal and refuses all essentialist connotations. (shrink)
According to the French thinker Alain (1868-1951), Descartes' Treatise on The Passions of the Soul (1649) contains three layers. First there is the pure physiological account of the passions: the body as mechanical unity ("automaton"). In a second layer Descartes develops a more psychological account: the passions described from the point of view of the union of the soul with the body. And in a third one, he points to the existence of pure intellectual passions (as the "intellectual joy"). (...) What is the relation between these three layers? And how does our knowledge of the existence of these layers contribute to our control over the passions as such? (shrink)
George A. Olah, Alain Goeppert and G. K. Surya Prakash (eds): Beyond oil and gas: the methanol economy, 2nd updated and enlarged edition Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10698-011-9141-x Authors George B. Kauffman, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034, USA Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238.
This review essay explores Alain Badiou’s paradoxical attempt to give a philosophical account of the 20th century (in his text The Century ) which is not understood along the lines of history. As an example of Badiou’s project of ‘subtractive formalization’, The Century amounts to an essentially ahistorical treatment of a historical period.