Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in 16 Chaptersby Alain Badiou
Alain Badiou's translation of Plato's Republic is both a work of literary transformation and, implicitly, a powerful and original commentary on Plato. Badiou stands virtually alone among major, modern-day philosophers as a self-proclaimed Platonist, the champion of what he calls a "Platonism of the multiple" rejecting anti-Platonism and most contemporary/i>… See more details below
Alain Badiou's translation of Plato's Republic is both a work of literary transformation and, implicitly, a powerful and original commentary on Plato. Badiou stands virtually alone among major, modern-day philosophers as a self-proclaimed Platonist, the champion of what he calls a "Platonism of the multiple" rejecting anti-Platonism and most contemporary accounts of the thinker. For Badiou, Plato is the first philosopher precisely because he established philosophy's foundation in mathematics and its antagonistic relationship to sophistry. He is the predominant warrior in the eternal battle of philosophy against sophistry, of truth against opinion, and is the progenitor of the living idea of communism. It is also from Plato that Badiou derives his organization of truth into four fields, or sets, of "procedures:" science, politics, art, and love.
Some readers may be scandalized by Badiou's liberties in this translation: his systematic modifications of Greek terms, occasional elimination of entire passages, pervasive anachronistic references (such as AIDS, IPods, and Euros), and other conspicuous transformations. His language (and Susan Spitzer's translation) is dramatically vivid, colloquial, colorful, and at times raw and gritty. Socrates and his interlocutors speak like Europeans or Americans of today or the recent past, and their cultural references are both classical and contemporary. Nevertheless, Badiou's remains faithful to the spirit of Plato's text and, above all, to Plato's ideas.
A must read for students of Badiou.
Badiou's translation of Plato follows the ancient habit of pre-copyright times: it freely changes the original to make it fit contemporary conditions. So instead of sophists, we get corrupted journalists; instead of soul, we get the subject; and instead of Plato's critique of democracy, we get... well, a critique of today's democracy. The result is a resounding triumph: Plato comes fully alive as our contemporary, as someone who directly addresses our issues. This, not aseptic scholarly work, is the mark of true fidelity to our past.
- Columbia University Press
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- New Edition
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- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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Meet the Author
Alain Badiou is professor emeritus at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis). One of the most well-known philosophers of our time, he is also a novelist, playwright, and political activist.
Kenneth Reinhard is associate professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the coauthor of The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology and After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis.
Susan Spitzer is a frequent translator of Badiou's works, most recently, Five Lessons on Wagner, and the play, The Incident at Antioch.
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