Oliver Feltham – Alain Badiou: Live Theory

CoverThis is a clear introduction to Badiou, one that is as much as one could hope for with the length and diversity of such a career. It usefully contextualizes Badiou’s previous (Marxist, Maoist) political orientation with regard to his philosophy as both thought and practice. That said, even with (or because of) this, I feel that when it comes to “mature” Badiou as is outlined here, I understand his concept of the event rather more than I do being as he conceives of it within his notorious set-theory ontology. Perhaps it is not a part of the motivating logic of this “Live Theory” series, but a programmatic engagement with some of the texts through which people encounter Badiou (Being and Event, The Logic of Worlds) might be of more help for those (such as myself) who would turn to such a book as this out of a sense of helplessness in being confronted by such monoliths. I turned to the essays (Infinite Thought, Theoretical Writings) when I trudged a hundred pages into Badiou after reading of him in ŽižekThe Ticklesh Subject, only to be brought to an ego-crushing halt. Nevertheless, this book is an achievement on the route to writing such an ideal introductory text as this review is predicated on.

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