Polemicsby Alain Badiou
Polemics is a series of brilliant metapolitical reflections, demolishing established opinion and dominant propaganda, and reorienting our understanding of events from the Kosovo and Iraq wars to the Paris Commune and the Cultural Revolution. At once witty and profound, Badiou presents a series of radical philosophical engagements with politics, and questions/i>… See more details below
Polemics is a series of brilliant metapolitical reflections, demolishing established opinion and dominant propaganda, and reorienting our understanding of events from the Kosovo and Iraq wars to the Paris Commune and the Cultural Revolution. At once witty and profound, Badiou presents a series of radical philosophical engagements with politics, and questions what constitutes political truth.
“Scarcely any other moral thinker of our day is as politically clear-sighted and courageously polemical, so prepared to put notions of truth and universality back on the agenda.”—Terry Eagleton
“In Polemics, there are withering critiques and witty demolitions of the so-called war on terror, the invasion of Iraq, the bombardment of Serbia and the pantomime of parliamentary democracy ... There is a delightful Swiftian satire on the Islamic headscarf affair and a denunciation of the racism that led to the riots in the banlieues late in 2005.”—Simon Critchley, London Review of Books
“Shaking the foundations of Western liberal democracy.”—Times Higher Education Supplement
“[Badiou’s] argumentative vigour is undeniable. There is a terrific excoriation of the French burka ban as symptomatic of the enforced display of women, a trenchant series of investigations into “Uses of the Word ‘Jew’”, and a “Manifesto of Affirmationist Art” that is a welcome anecdote to lazy anti-modernism.”—Steven Poole, Guardian
This collection of political essays by Badiou (philosophy, École Normale Supérieure; Theory of the Subject) is organized into three parts. "Philosophy and Circumstances" deals with the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, the nature of terrorism, the wars in Iraq and former Yugoslavia, parliamentary democracy as seen in the French presidential election of 2002, and the issue of the Islamic headscarf. "Uses of the Word 'Jew' " explores the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, a possible "rapprochement" between the warring constituents, and some pertinent historical background on the conflict. Finally, "Lessons of Two Revolutions" examines the Paris Commune and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Badiou has long been associated with the Far Left, and he does not hesitate to express what he feels is the correct position in each of these essays. Unfortunately, although much of this work is readable, interesting, and pertinent to today's world, Badiou's polemical orientation leans on feeling rather than on detailed, defensible argumentation throughout. An optional purchase for academic libraries.
Leon H. Brody Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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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.
Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University, is the author of Badiou and Politics, Marx and Freud in Latin America, and The Actuality of Communism. He is also the translator of several books by Alain Badiou: Theory of the Subject, Can Politics Be Thought? and What Is Antiphilosophy? Essays on Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Lacan. He currently serves as the General Editor of Diacritics.
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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