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Overview

Beginning with a sustained critique of the so-called 'end of philosophy', Badiou goes on to propose a new definition of philosophy, one that is tested with respect to both its origin, in Plato, and its contemporary state. The essays that follow are ordered according to what Badiou sees as the four great conditions of philosophy: philosophy and poetry, philosophy and mathematics, philosophy and politics, and philosophy and love. Conditions provides an illuminating reworking of all the major theories in Being and ...

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Overview

Beginning with a sustained critique of the so-called 'end of philosophy', Badiou goes on to propose a new definition of philosophy, one that is tested with respect to both its origin, in Plato, and its contemporary state. The essays that follow are ordered according to what Badiou sees as the four great conditions of philosophy: philosophy and poetry, philosophy and mathematics, philosophy and politics, and philosophy and love. Conditions provides an illuminating reworking of all the major theories in Being and Event. In so doing, Badiou not only develops the complexity of the concepts central to Being and Event but also adds new ones to his already formidable arsenal. The essays in Conditions reveal the extraordinary and systematic nature of Badiou's philosophical enterprise.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

In this collection of essays, French philosopher Badiou (École Normale Supérieure; Being and Event) seeks to provide a new definition of philosophy. According to Badiou, contemporary philosophy has become paralyzed because "it no longer knows if it has a proper place." This paralysis has come about because philosophers have interpreted philosophy through the confines of its own history. He explains that philosophy must be independent of its history and work with the conditions of science, art, politics, and love to inform universal truths. Each section contains a collection of essays pertaining to each condition and examines its relationship to philosophy. According to Badiou, just as Plato refuted the claims of sophists regarding universal truths, philosophy must now refute the theories of 20th-century sophists such as Wittgenstein, who tried to explain away philosophical problems by examining language and meaning rather than trying to understand philosophy itself. Badiou is a prominent and sometimes controversial voice in Continental philosophy, and this collection of essays demonstrates his highly technical and original thought. Recommended for academic libraries.
—Scott Duimstra

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826498274
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 1/7/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Alain Badiou teaches at the École Normale Supérieure and at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris, France. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works.

Steven Corcoran is a writer and translator living in Berlin. He has edited and/or translated several works by Jacques Rancière, including Dissensus (Continuum, 2010), and two works by Alain Badiou, Polemics (Verso, 2006) and Conditions (Continuum, 2008).

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Table of Contents

The Subtractive: Preface by Francois Wahl
I. Philosophy Itself
1. The (re)turn of philosophy itself
2. Definition of philosophy
3. What is a philosophical institution?
II. Philosophy and Poetry
4. The philosophical recourse to the poem
5. Mallarmé's method: subtraction and isolation6. Rimbaud's method: interruptionIII. Philosophy and Mathematics7. Philosophy and mathematics8. Conference on subtraction9. Truth: forcing and unnameable
IV. Philosophy and Politics
10. Philosophy and politics
V. Philosophy and Love
11. What is love?
VI. Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
12. Philosophy and psychoanalysis
13. Subject and infinite
14. Antiphilosophy: Lacan and Plato
VII. Writing of the Generic
15. Writing of the generic: Samuel Beckett

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