Badiou by Badiou
Cultural Memory in the Present
Published by: Stanford University Press
96 pages, 127.00 x 203.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781503631762
- Published: May 2022
An accessible introduction to Badiou's key ideas
In this short and accessible book, the French philosopher Alain Badiou provides readers with a unique introduction to his system of thought, summed up in the trilogy of Being and Event, Logics of Worlds, and The Immanence of Truths. Taking the form of an interview and two talks and keeping in mind a broad audience without any prior knowledge of his work, the book touches upon the central concepts and major preoccupations of Badiou's philosophy: fundamental ontology, mathematics, politics, poetry, and love. Well-chosen examples illuminate his thinking in regards to being and universality, worlds and singularity, and the infinite and the absolute, among other topics.
A veritable tour de force of pedagogical clarity, this new student-friendly work is perhaps the single best general introduction to the work of this prolific and committed thinker. If, for Badiou, the task of philosophy consists in thinking through the truths of our time, the texts collected in this small volume could not be timelier.
Badiou explains the basic premises behind his philosophy: being as multiple, truths originating from an event, subjects as fidelity to the consequences of such an event. He summarizes how he came to philosophy, after reading the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, and insists on the function of philosophy to change the world and influence the youth.
Badiou situates philosophy between the formal rigor of the letters and symbols of mathematics and the seductive power of the language of poetry. He tracing the sources of the quarrel between poetry and philosophy to Plato; and explains the role of mathematics in his own philosophy of being, appearing, events, and truths.
Badiou situates his thesis "mathematics = ontology" in the context of the history of different philosophical positions with regard to the possibility or impossibility of ontology as the discourse of being qua being. He then sums up the treatment of this question in each of his major books in the trilogy of Being and Event, Logics of Worlds, and The Immanence of Truths.
"Badiou by Badiou synthesizes Badiou's key ideas with a personal touch, inviting readers into his presentation of what philosophy is and his highly original way of philosophizing. Badiou is brilliant at making anyone want to engage with philosophical questions." ~Emily Apter, author of Unexceptional Politics
"This book captures the latest developments in Alain Badiou's thought, while providing an excellent introduction for new readers. Badiou by Badiou, his most legible work, is a riveting tour of the domains of art, love, politics, and science." ~Héctor Hoyos, author of Things with a History
"Badiou proves himself again to be, like Socrates, a corrupter of the youth. With this clear entry point into his metaphysical project, Badiou demonstrates the dangerously transformative character of philosophy." ~Jodi Dean, author of Comrade
"As the 21st century shapes up to be all about ends, Badiou challenges us to think ab novo. This latest installment of his firebrand philosophy will ignite youth even among those who think its time has passed." ~Joan Copjec, author of Imagine There's No Woman