French philosophy today

Christopher Watkin, French Philosophy Today: New Figures of the Human in Badiou, Meillassoux, Malabou, Serres and Latour (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016). 272pp., £24.99 pb., 978 1 47441 473 9 Following an earlier study of ‘post-theological thinking’ in the work of Alain Badiou, Quentin Meillassoux and Jean-Luc Nancy (2011), Christopher Watkin’s new book on several […]

The ship sails on

Davidson suggests, rediscovering his orthodoxy, by a working class that is fully conscious of itself and its mission to make a society free of the exploitation that deined the others. The party-form, he weakly insists, is fundamental to its realization. Despite the obvious Hegelian source of such an idealist story, it appears ironically that in […]

Our contemporary impotence

Our contemporary impotence Alain badiou We have, in this conference, discussed all of the crucial aspects of the situation in Europe and especially in Greece. We have, of course, analysed the great historical structures at stake: the particularly aggressive global politics of contemporary capitalism, the complicit weakness of the various states, and the reactive role […]

Politics in a Tragic Key

Politics in a tragic key Alberto toscano In memory of Joel Olson (1967–2012)In the quarter-century or so since the obscure disaster of the Soviet bloc’s collapse, two words have been pinned to that of ‘communism’ with liberal abandon: ‘tragedy’ and ‘transition’. Tragedy, to signify the magnitude of suffering, but not the greatness of the enterprise; […]

The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process

An introduction to Alain Badiou’s ‘The autonomy of the aesthetic process’ Bruno bosteels After achieving considerable critical acclaim with Almageste and Portulans – two avant-garde novels that promptly caught the attention of his long-time intellectual model Jean-Paul Sartre – Alain Badiou published ‘The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process’, his first work as a philosopher. [1] […]

Flickers

Bruno Bosteels, Marx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Psychoanalysis and Religion in Times of Terror, Verso, London and New York, 2012. 326 pp., £19.99 pb., 978 1 84467 755 9. Bruno Bosteels is probably best known to readers of Radical Philosophy as translator of and commentator on the work of Alain Badiou – most […]

The Two Names of Communism

The two names of communism John roberts Toujours avec l’espoir de rencontrer la mer, Ils voyageaient sans pain, sans batons et sans urnes, Mordant au citron d’or de l’idéal amer. Stéphane Mallarmé, 18621The recent explosion of writing on the communist idea, ideal and ‘communization’ recovers or expands a moment in the early to mid-1980s when […]

More than everything

More than everything Žižek’s Badiouian Hegel Peter osborne There are philosophical books, minor classics even, which are widely known and referred to, although no one has actually read them page by page… a nice example of interpassivity, where some figure of the Other is supposed to do the reading for us. Slavoj Žižek1 Allow me […]

176 Reviews

Reviews Grande biogBenoît Peeters, Derrida: A Biography, trans. Andrew Brown, Polity Press, Cambridge and Malden MA, 2012. 603 pp., £25.00 hb., 978 0 74565 615 1.‘What matter who’s speaking, someone said, what matter who’s speaking?’ Despite post-structuralist philosophies’ association with Beckettian questions such as these, they remain surprisingly bound to what Foucault called that ‘singular […]

Reviewing Rancière. Or, the persistence of discrepancies

Reviewing Rancière Or, the persistence of discrepancies Bruno bosteels In the nearly four decades since its original publication, Althusser’s Lesson has acquired a certain mythical aura as the dark precursor of things to come. Even with the wealth of translations of Jacques Rancière’s work that have been published at an increasingly feverish pace over the […]

Philosophy and politics

From Plato until today, there is one word which can sum up the concern of the philosopher with respect to politics. This word is ʻjusticeʼ. The philosopherʼs question to politics is the following: can there be a just political orientation? An orientation which does justice to thought? What we have to begin with is this: […]

The singular and the specific

Not so long ago, theoretical insight was usually defended in terms of its universal inclusiveness or powers of generalization. It used to be that any theory worth the name – a theory of evolution or class conflict, a theory of the unconscious or of signification – shared something of the ambition and scope associated with […]

Demanding approval

What is ethical experience for Alain Badiou? What can be said of the subject who has this experience? Let me begin by trying to pick out the formal structure of ethical experience, or what with Dieter Henrich we can call ʻthe grammar of the concept of moral insightʼ, [1] and explaining how such experience implies […]

Ethics without others

In his otherwise sympathetic survey of Badiouʼs ethics in RP 100,1 Simon Critchley advances three significant arguments against Badiouʼs rather unusual position. They are likely to be fairly typical of the sort of objections we should expect from those committed, after Levinas and Derrida, to an ethics oriented around the category of the other. All […]

103 Reviews

To see clearly requires distance, but during the last century Western intellectuals were too close to psychoanalysis to get a good view. Insider accounts, both friendly and antagonistic, predominated. The decline in analytic fortunes since the 1960s, along with the general shift in the Zeitgeist, has opened a path for historical perspective. Cassandraʼs Daughter is […]

106 Reviews

Friedrich Schlegelʼs two-hundred-year-old fragment ʻNothing is more rarely the subject of philosophy than philosophy itselfʼ shows its age. Now, its inversion seems true. Whether through recognition that philosophyʼs self-legitimating critique of the unexcavated presuppositions of other disciplines threatens to prove itself wanting; or, through various concerns for philosophyʼs apparently imminent death (which philosophers frequently seem […]

Uncategorical imperatives

Uncategorical imperatives Adorno, Badiou and the ethical turn Peter dews ethics have now generated a crossover among these various disciplines that sees and does ethics ʻotherwiseʼ. The decentering of the subject has brought about a recentering of the ethical. But the disparate contents of the volume, from John Guillory on the ethics of reading, via […]