Read Infinite Thought by Alain Badiou Free Online
Book Title: Infinite Thought|
The author of the book: Alain Badiou
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.67 MB
Edition: Bloomsbury Academic
Date of issue: May 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9780826479297
Read full description of the books Infinite Thought:This short collection was my introduction to Alain Badiou. Unfortunately, I did not find it fully convincing. The preface promised a correlative between Set Theory and ontology, which would stabilize the fashionable problematic of subject-ontology dualism. Apart from Badiou, every French theorist I'm aware of is still scattering the cogito subject-position (a preoccupation since Anti-Oedipus and Structure, Sign and Play), so I was interested to read a counterpoint. Well, not here--after the introduction, Set Theory is never mentioned again. I'm skeptical about mathematics as ontology anyway, and it will take more than a couple sentences in the preface to win me over.
As far as I could gather from this (very limited) reading, Badiou believes in a conditional subjectivity, where the self-authoring subject can emerge from fidelity to an 'event', his main theme--an event can be a political revolt, a scientific discovery or falling in love. Again, the event idea is only briefly sketched here, and I didn't fully grasp what he meant. I imagine his magnum opus, 'Being and Event' is where this argument would be given flesh. I don't want to disavow the concept from an ancillary reading, but I am troubled by conditional subjectivity, which might hypostatize into elitism. It's easy to imagine, anyway.
The book isn't a theoretical heavyweight, but there are some good readings in here; I was very interested in his interpretation of the analytic / deconstructivist / hermeneutical teleologies, still very alive in philosophy and theory today. And the penultimate essay, which uses Deleuze's idea of 'the disjunctive synthesis of two nihilisms' to discuss the War on Terror is extremely insightful. The other essays were hit and miss--I did not at all care for his views on art and cinema. Perhaps they would be emboldened by a more comprehensive reading of his work, but there is scattershot synthesis of oppositional theories (including some very dodgy use of psychoanalysis) that I didn't like at all.
I don't know if this is a good introduction to Badiou, but it's brief and highly readable. Which is probably close enough.
Read information about the authorAlain Badiou, Ph.D., born in Rabat, Morocco in 1937, holds the Rene Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School EGS. Alain Badiou was a student at the École Normale Supérieure in the 1950s. He taught at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis) from 1969 until 1999, when he returned to ENS as the Chair of the philosophy department. He continues to teach a popular seminar at the Collège International de Philosophie, on topics ranging from the great 'antiphilosophers' (Saint-Paul, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Lacan) to the major conceptual innovations of the twentieth century. Much of Badiou's life has been shaped by his dedication to the consequences of the May 1968 revolt in Paris. Long a leading member of Union des jeunesses communistes de France (marxistes-léninistes), he remains with Sylvain Lazarus and Natacha Michel at the center of L'Organisation Politique, a post-party organization concerned with direct popular intervention in a wide range of issues (including immigration, labor, and housing). He is the author of several successful novels and plays as well as more than a dozen philosophical works.
Trained as a mathematician, Alain Badiou is one of the most original French philosophers today. Influenced by Plato, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Jacques Lacan and Gilles Deleuze, he is an outspoken critic of both the analytic as well as the postmodern schools of thoughts. His philosophy seeks to expose and make sense of the potential of radical innovation (revolution, invention, transfiguration) in every situation.
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