Badiou's 'Being and Event': A Reader's Guide (Continuum by Christopher Norris

By Christopher Norris

Alain Badiou's Being and Event is the main unique and critical paintings of French philosophy to have seemed in contemporary many years. it's the magnum opus of a philosopher who's commonly thought of to have re-shaped the nature and set new phrases for the long run improvement of philosophy in France and in other places. This e-book has been written greatly that allows you to clarifying Badiou's complicated and important paintings for non-specialist readers. It bargains assistance on philosophical and highbrow context, key subject matters, interpreting the textual content, reception and impression; and extra analyzing.

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Badiou's 'Being and Event': A Reader's Guide (Continuum Reader's Guides)

Alain Badiou's Being and occasion is the main unique and critical paintings of French philosophy to have seemed in fresh a long time. it's the magnum opus of a philosopher who's largely thought of to have re-shaped the nature and set new phrases for the longer term improvement of philosophy in France and somewhere else.

Extra resources for Badiou's 'Being and Event': A Reader's Guide (Continuum Reader's Guides)

Sample text

After all, ‘[o]ne would thus count it [the multiple] as one and being would be lost again’, insofar as being is equated by Badiou with whatever eludes our best-present powers of cognitive grasp precisely on account of its having no place in the conceptual order laid down by the currently prevailing count-as-one. This is why, for set-theoretical purposes, ‘the prescription is . . totally implicit . . it operates such that it is only ever a matter of pure multiples, yet there is no defined concept of the multiple to be encountered anywhere’ (p.

From which it follows – on Badiou’s account – that events of this momentous character will also produce a radical change in the domain of the subject, this latter construed not so much (or not at all) in phenomenological or first-person experiential terms but rather as the locus wherein those events must be thought to occur and to exert their transformative power. Thus the subject exists only in relation to certain epochal events whose import can itself be known only in retrospect – in light of 32 OVERVIEW OF THEMES developments that will bear out its truth through subsequent stages or more advanced procedures of investigation – and whose truth-content has to do either with mathematics, logic and the formal sciences or else with one of the four conditions that jointly compose its enabling element.

This passage will give some idea of the extent to which Badiou’s thinking goes against the current grain, at least as defined by majority opinion on the so-called ‘cultural left’. That is to say, it is unlikely to go down well with those for whom any talk of truth – let alone any talk of universally applicable standards by which certain cultures or sub-cultures might be found decidedly wanting – must be the product of a deeply conservative, authoritarian or neo-imperialist mindset. For Badiou, conversely, it is they – the cultural-linguistic relativists and adepts of this fashionable turn against truth – who have opened the way to a situation where values such as freedom, democracy and justice can be so far corrupted by false or mendacious usage as to signify just the opposite of what they could (and should) properly mean.

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