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Badiou and Politics (Post-Contemporary Interventions)by Bruno Bosteels
Synopses & Reviews
Badiou and Politics offers a much-anticipated interpretation of the work of the influential French philosopher Alain Badiou. Countering ideas of the philosopher as a dogmatic, absolutist, or even mystical thinker enthralled by the force of the event as a radical break, Bruno Bosteels reveals Badiou’s deep and ongoing investment in the dialectic. Bosteels draws on all of Badiou’s writings, from the philosopher’s student days in the 1960s to the present, as well as on Badiou’s exchanges with other thinkers, from his avowed “masters” Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan, to interlocutors including Gilles Deleuze, Slavoj Žižek, Daniel Bensaïd, Jacques Derrida, Ernesto Laclau, and Judith Butler. Bosteels tracks the philosopher’s political activities from the events of May 1968 through his embrace of Maoism and the work he has done since the 1980s, helping to mobilize France’s illegal immigrants or sans-papiers. Ultimately, Bosteels argues for understanding Badiou’s thought as a revival of dialectical materialism, and he illuminates the philosopher’s understanding of the task of theory: to define a conceptual space for thinking emancipatory politics in the present.
Examines the political thinking of French philosopher of Alain Badiou, whose theories of ontology and mathematics have set him apart from many of his post-structuralist contemporaries.
About the Author
Bruno Bosteels is Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of several books, including Alain Badiou, une trajectoire polémique and The Actuality of Communism, and the translator of Theory of the Subject and Wittgenstein’s Antiphilosophy, both by Alain Badiou.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Elements of Dialectical Materialism 1
1. The Absent Cause 45
2. Lack and Destruction 77
3. One Divides into Two 110
4. The Ontological Impasse 157
5. Forcing the Truth 174
6. Logics of Change 197
7. From Potentiality to Inexistence 226
8. For Lack of Politics 250
Conclusion. The Speculative Left 273
In Dialogue with Alain Badiou
Appendix 1. Can Change Be Thought? 289
Appendix 2. Beyond Formalism 318
Selected Bibliography 407
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