Badiou: A Philosophy of the New
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Alain Badiou is one of the leading philosophers in the world today. His ground-breaking philosophy is based on a creative reading of set theory, offering a new understanding of what it means to be human by promoting an 'intelligence of change'. Badiou's philosophical system makes our capacity for revolution and novelty central to who we are, and develops an ethical position that aims to make us less anxious about this very capacity.
This book presents a comprehensive and engaging account of Badiou's philosophy, including an in-depth discussion of The Theory of the Subject, Being and Event and Logics of Worlds. In a clear and careful analysis, Ed Pluth considers exactly how Badiou's theoretical 'anti-humanism' is linked up to what is, for all intents and purposes, a practical humanism. Central to this is an account of Badiou’s theory of the subject, and his attempt to develop an 'ethic of truths'. The role of set theory, Marxism, and Lacanian psychoanalysis in Badiou's philosophy is also given close attention.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, as well as to all those keen to develop a critical understanding of one of the most controversial and important thinkers of the twentieth century.
remarkable success, especially among those who were ready to start entertaining arguments against identity politics (partly afﬁliated with the legacy of deconstruction), arguments about the nature of the multiple itself (involving Heidegger and Deleuze), and arguments against the ethical and religious turn in continental philosophy (in Levinas, phenomenology, and again deconstruction). Ethics was also one of the ﬁrst books by Badiou translated into English (in 1999), and it served for many as an
And since there are always situations and only ever situations (everything that is is in a situation) being’s essence is, Badiou says, to appear: “it is of the essence of being to appear” (TW 15). And what appearance, for its part, requires is some account of relation: the essence of being is to appear, and the essence of appearing is relation (B 162). The reason why appearing requires an account of relation is because what appears is always a being-situated, as it were. Any being, in order to
things can be said to exist more than others), mathematics (it is the study of being qua being), logic (it tells us about the consistency of worlds), and immortality (although humans are mortal creatures, their relation to truths allows them to become immortals). One might think 10 Introduction it possible to arrive at all of Badiou’s conclusions on contemporary issues without having to ground them or argue for them in the way he does. Perhaps it is. But Badiou certainly feels that his
formulae owes quite a bit to the way that Jacques Lacan wrote out the structure of four different discourses, involving things such as knowledge, truth, the subject, signiﬁers, and libidinal objects. To put something under the bar in Lacan’s formulas was to give it the status of a kind of unconscious motor-force for the discourse. In Badiou’s theory, the faithful subject structure had the split body as its unconscious, as its guiding force. The reactive subject takes on its shape through a
singular expression, of the objective reality but it is in some sense separated from this reality. The political process is not a process of expression, but a process of separation” (Po 2). The patient construction of a new present, which is how Badiou would have to describe a political truth procedure in Logics of Worlds, can accomplish what it sets out to accomplish – a supplemented situation, an alternative present – without an iota of destruction. Politics 165 The error committed by