Alain Badiou (Key Concepts) by A. J. Bartlett, Justin Clemens

By A. J. Bartlett, Justin Clemens

Alain Badiou is the world's so much influential residing thinker. Few modern thinkers reveal his breadth of argument and reference, or his skill to intrude in debates serious to either analytic and continental philosophy. "Alain Badiou: Key suggestions" offers an summary of and advent to the whole variety of Badiou's considering. Essays specialise in the principles of Badiou's notion, his 'key thoughts' - fact, being, ontology, the topic, and prerequisites - and on his engagement with more than a few thinkers imperative to his philosophy, together with Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Heidegger and Deleuze. scholars new to Badiou will locate this paintings, written through the major students within the box, obtainable and complete, whereas readers already acquainted with Badiou will locate specified, centred and leading edge discussions of Badiou's key topics, techniques and engagements.

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If we accord to Badiou that "there are only three crucial philosophers, Plato, Descartes and Hegel", then the latter will have also generated an idea of their times; they will have conceptualized what is proper to their age; they will have constructed contemporaneities that allow us to grasp what the seventeenth century and the nineteeth centuries were (LW 527). In turn, the Hegelian and Cartesian contemporaneities can serve as measures for the attempt to construct a contemporaneity for the twenty-first century.

Badiou practises catachresis with the name of philosophy and yet, in order to struggle, in order to engage in conflict and face off enemies across a line, he needs those enemies to face him; he needs to construct his position as a properly philosophical position rather than pure Maoist activism, as internal to philosophy rather than external. This is the problem of inhabiting philosophy: in short, it is the renovator's problem: how do you inhabit what you want to tear down and rebuild? 17 ALAIN BADIOU: KEY CONCEPTS In Badiou's scathing critique of Anti-Oedipus, "Le Flux et le parti (dans les marges de L'Anti-Oedipe)", a text that is mainly taken up with a lesson on the correct way of thinking revolt and the ensuing relation between the state, the party and the masses, he devotes just one page to diagnosing Deleuze and Guattari's error: For a long time I wondered what exactly their "desire" was, hung up as L was on the sexual connotations and the machinic hardware shop they clothed it in just to make it materialistic.

In Logics of Worlds, for example, we see a new emphasis on the problem of contemporary logic, as well as an attempt to describe in more detail the actual appearing and disappearing of truths-in-worlds, with more fulsome examples and new categories such as those of "points" and "openings". We also see an attempt to bring the conditions "forward", as it were. 16 Yet, for Badiou, philosophy must always lag behind its conditions. We are that present, but as yet unable to know it. Notes 1. For brief accounts of the concept of "conditions, see Riera (2005) and Clemens (2006), upon which I draw here; for a more extended account, see Hallward (2003).

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