Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil

( 31 )

Overview

Ethical questions dominate today's political and academic agendas. While government think-tanks ponder the dilemmas of bioethics, medical ethics and professional ethics, respect for human rights and reverence for the Other have become matters of virtually instinctive consensus.

Alain Badiou, one of the most powerful and unusual voices in contemporary French philosophy, explodes the facile assumptions behind this recent ethical turn. He shows how our prevailing ethical principles...

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Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil

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Overview

Ethical questions dominate today's political and academic agendas. While government think-tanks ponder the dilemmas of bioethics, medical ethics and professional ethics, respect for human rights and reverence for the Other have become matters of virtually instinctive consensus.

Alain Badiou, one of the most powerful and unusual voices in contemporary French philosophy, explodes the facile assumptions behind this recent ethical turn. He shows how our prevailing ethical principles serve to reinforce an ideology of the status quo and demonstrates that an ethics conceived in terms of negative human rights or tolerance of difference cannot sustain decisive and precisely situated interventions any more than they can underpin a coherent concept of evil. Our consensual ethical norms amount to nothing more than a jumbled confusion of legalistic formalism, scandalised opinion, and theological mystification.

By contrast, what Badiou calls an 'ethic of truths' is designed both to sustain and inspire a disciplined, subjective adherence to a militant cause (be it political or scientific, artistic or romantic), and to discern a finely demarcated zone of application for the concept of evil. He defends an effectively superhuman integrity over the respect for merely human rights, asserts a partisan universality over the negotiation of merely particular interests, and appeals to an 'immortal' value beyond the protection of our merely mortal privileges.

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Editorial Reviews

Slavoj Zizek
[A]ims at the very heart of politically correct 'radical' intellectuals,undermining the foundations of their very mode of life!
Times Literary Supplement
It is hard not to feel some sympathy for Badiou's intuition.
Choice

This is a fiery little book.

Radical Philosophy
“Badiou is at his strongest in pointing to the inconsistencies of a facile multiculturalism, the pluralism of the food court and the shopping mall, which wilts in the face of any genuine expression of cultural hostility to liberal values.”
Times Literary Supplement
“His lively, stimulating and sometimes completely batty book is an attempt to make us think differently about what matters to us ... it is hard not to feel some sympathy for Badiou's intuition that 'morality', 'evil' and indeed much of our standard moral vocabulary often serve as almost deliberate disguises for mediocre policy-making, social complacency and a general lack of adventurousness about life”
From the Publisher
“This is a fiery little book.”—Choice

“His reasoning is powerful and surprising, making some of the best writing in current European philosophy, and his credentials are impeccable.”—Amazon.com

“Badiou is at his strongest in pointing to the inconsistencies of a facile multiculturalism, the pluralism of the food court and the shopping mall, which wilts in the face of any genuine expression of cultural hostility to liberal values.”—Radical Philosophy

“His lively, stimulating and sometimes completely batty book is an attempt to make us think differently about what matters to us ... it is hard not to feel some sympathy for Badiou’s intuition that ‘morality’, ‘evil’ and indeed much of our standard moral vocabulary often serve as almost deliberate disguises for mediocre policy-making, social complacency and a general lack of adventurousness about life”—Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859844359
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Wo Es War Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,523,806
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the École normale supérieure and the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, and Gilles Deleuze. His recent books include The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics, Polemics, The Communist Hypothesis, Five Lessons on Wagner, and Wittgenstein’s Anti-Philosophy.

Peter Hallward teaches at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London. He is the author of several books including Absolutely Postcolonial, Badiou: A Subject to Truth, Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation, and Damming the Flood.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction
Notes on the Translation
Preface to the English Edition
Introduction 1
1 Does Man Exist? 4
2 Does the Other Exist? 18
3 Ethics as a Figure of Nihilism 30
4 The Ethic of Truths 40
5 The Problem of Evil 58
Conclusion 90
App Politics and Philosophy: An Interview with Alain Badiou 95
Bibliography 145
Index 163
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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(25)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2015

    Cat at pat

    Hi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2015

    Pat

    Hello

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2015

    Mangle bio

    Name: Mangle <br> Looks: Play fnaf2 im the broken dog that attacks from the ceiling <br> Gender: &female (i think) <br> GP: zues <br> powers: lightning, attacking the frontal lobe, only appearing o the right side... <br> Other: I would like to be friends with marionette, i attack peopl in purpe, and can't speak well

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2014

    Clarissa

    Walked in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2014

    Wes

    Walks ina then walks out then back in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    Saph

    May i ask why? *he smirks*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2014

    James

    Can i talk to you in the next res plz cris

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2014

    Cris

    Fuq

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2014

    Kila

    She looks at her waterfall sadly, stairing into the waters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    &beta

    H

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2014

    Genis to carrie

    Hey

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    Madi

    Kk

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2014

    OOOOHHH

    LOOKIE WHAT I SEE

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2014

    To carrie

    Our book. Simone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    Wes

    Ok see you there

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    <p> I have no idea.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    Ryas

    Carrie is a WH<_>ORE (with Damin)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    Dark Green eys watch

    Watching

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    To damin

    Cheater

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    Aidan

    Leave her tf alone!!!

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