Slavoj Žižek is not alone in thinking that Alain Badiou’s recent work is “the event of contemporary philosophy.” Think Again, the first publication of its kind, goes a long way towards justifying his assessment. Badiou is nothing if not polemical and the most suitable way to approach his philosophy is precisely through the controversies it creates. This book, which opens with an introduction aimed at readers new to Badiou’s work, presents a range of essays which explore Badiou’s most contentious claims in the fields of ontology, politics, ethics and aesthetics.
Alain Badiou has devised perhaps the only truly inventive philosophy of the subject since Sartre. Almost alone among his peers, Badiou’s work promises a genuine renewal of philosophy, a subject he sees as conditioned by innovation in spheres ranging from radical politics to artistic experimentation to mathematical formalization.
With contributions by Peter Hallward, Étienne Balibar, Jean-Luc Nancy, Ray Brassier, Jean-Toussaint Desanti, Todd May, Daniel W. Smith, Daniel Bensaïd, Peter Dews, Ernesto Laclau, Alberto Toscano, Bruno Bosteels, Ed Pluth, Dominiek Hoens, Alenka Zupančič, Aexander García Düttmann, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek.
Peter Hallward teaches Philosophy at Kingston University and has written books on Alain Badiou, Gilles Deleuze, postcolonial literature, and contemporary Haitian politics. His books The Will of the People and Blanqui and Political Will are forthcoming.
Alain Badiou is a French Marxist philosopher, novelist and playwright. Born in Rabat, Morocco, Badiou completed high school in Toulouse before moving to Paris for undergraduate studies at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure (ENS), where he worked closely with Louis Althusser, but was never one of the select group of disciples who came to be known as Althusserians. After completing his obligatory military service, Badiou taught in Reims, first at a lycée, then at the university. In 1968 he was invited by Michel Foucault to join the department of philosophy at Vincennes (University of Paris VIII), where his colleagues included Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze, and Jean-François Lyotard. After spending 30 years at Vincennes, Badiou left in 1998 to return to his alma mater ENS. The primary philosophical system developed by Alain Badiou is constructed in Being and Event, Logics of Worlds: Being and Event II, and the forthcoming Immanence of Truths: Being and Event III. Badiou’s model of praxis is usually described as subtractive because it operates on the premise that political action can only work if it subtracts itself from the power and processes of the state. Throughout his career, Badiou has been actively involved in politics. During the events of May ’68 he was a member of highly vocal Maoist groups. In more recent times he has been involved with L’Organisation Politique, a politicized group he helped found. Because of its powerfully political texture, Badiou’s philosophy is increasingly widely read today, a measure both of the volatility of the times and the lucidity of his thought.