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

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By A. J. Bartlett, Justin Clemens

Alain Badiou is the world's so much influential dwelling thinker. Few modern thinkers show his breadth of argument and reference, or his skill to intrude in debates serious to either analytic and continental philosophy. "Alain Badiou: Key ideas" offers an outline of and advent to the whole diversity of Badiou's pondering. Essays specialize in the rules of Badiou's proposal, his 'key thoughts' - fact, being, ontology, the topic, and prerequisites - and on his engagement with a number thinkers valuable to his philosophy, together with Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Heidegger and Deleuze. scholars new to Badiou will locate this paintings, written via the most important students within the box, obtainable and finished, whereas readers already conversant in Badiou will locate distinctive, targeted and leading edge discussions of Badiou's key topics, techniques and engagements.

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For a more complete exegesis of the dialectic of revolutionary knowledge see Feltham (2008), ch. 2. Note thatDe I'ideologie was also published in book form by Maspero and signed Alain Badiou and Francois Balmes. 3. The confusion into which Walter Benjamin plunged thousands of academics via a few sentences at the end of his famous essay. 4. Indeed, in a typically satirical assessment Jacques Bouveresse - as Badiou reports - accuses Badiou of being a hare with eight paws, "running topspeed in the direction of mathematical formalism and then suddenly he turns, incomprehensibly, back in the other direction and runs at same speed in order to throw himself into literature".

Badiou independently shares this ideal, and the entirety of his work betrays various attempts to think through 27 ALAIN BADIOU: KEY CONCEPTS the status of mathematics. For Lacan, mathematics is the science of the real, for it grips the real in a way unavailable to any other discourse. Part of the reason why the matheme can do this is through its reduction of signification to letters, themselves stripped of any meaning or any tie to any natural language in particular. 5 There is, however, another important aspect to Lacan's project here.

Philosophy's central task for Althusser is thus to trace an epistemological cut in a particular scientific field; in doing so it doubles the work of science itself, recalling the Platonic definition of philosophy as the thought of thought. This should already sound uncannily familiar to adepts of Badiou's doctrine of conditions, but the similarities do not stop here. 1 Kant's project, for instance, is problematic in so far as it situates philosophy as "the juridical guarantee of the rights of science, as well as its limits" (Althusser 1974: 92; see also LW 535-6).

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