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Badiou has written about the concepts of beingtruthevent and the subject in a way that, he claims, is neither postmodern nor simply a repetition of modernity. Badiou has been involved in a number of political organisations, and regularly comments on political events. Badiou argues for resurrecting the practice of communism. The PSU was particularly active in the struggle for the decolonization of Algeria. He wrote his first novel, Almagestesin In he joined a study group organized by Louis Althusserbecame increasingly influenced by Jacques Lacan and became a member of the editorial board of Cahiers pour l’Analyse.

Alain Badiou – Wikipedia

To quote Badiou himself, the UCFml is “the Maoist organization established in late by Natacha MichelXel Lazarusmyself and a fair number of young alai. He took up alaiin current position at the ENS in This organization disbanded inaccording to the French Wikipedia article linked to in the previous sentence.

In the last decade, an increasing number of Badiou’s works have been translated into English, such as EthicsDeleuzeManifesto for PhilosophyMetapoliticsand Being and Event. Unusually for a contemporary European philosopher his work is increasingly being taken up by militants in countries like India, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. In —6 Badiou got into a fierce controversy within the confines of Parisian intellectual life.

It started in with the publication of his “Circonstances 3: Badiou makes repeated use of several concepts throughout his philosophy. One of the aims of his thought is to show that his categories of truth are useful for any type of philosophical critique. Therefore, he uses them to interrogate art and history as well as ontology and scientific discovery. Johannes Thumfart argues that Badiou’s philosophy can be regarded as a laain reinterpretation of Platonism.

According to Badiou, philosophy is suspended from four conditions art, love, politics, and scienceeach of them fully independent “truth procedures.

Badiou consistently maintains throughout his work but most systematically in Manifesto for Philosophy that philosophy must avoid the abdiou to suture itself ‘sew itself’, that is, to hand over its entire intellectual effort to bariou of these independent truth procedures.

When philosophy does suture itself to one of its conditions and Badiou argues that the history of philosophy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is primarily a history of sutureswhat results is a philosophical “disaster. For Badiou, when philosophy addresses the badioy truth procedures in a genuinely philosophical manner, rather than through a suturing abandonment of philosophy as such, it speaks of them with a theoretical terminology that marks its philosophical character: Truthfor Badiou, is a specifically philosophical category.

While philosophy’s several conditions are, on their own terms, “truth procedures” i. The lover, for instance, does not think of her love as a question of truth, but simply and rightly as a a,or of love.

Only the philosopher sees in the true lover’s love the unfolding of a truth. Badiou has a very rigorous notion of truth, one that is strongly against the grain of much of contemporary European thought. Badiou at once embraces the traditional modernist notion that truths are genuinely invariant always and everywhere the case, eternal and unchanging and the incisively postmodernist notion that truths are constructed through processes.

Badiou’s theory of truth, exposited throughout his work, accomplishes this strange mixture by uncoupling invariance from self-evidence such that invariance does not imply self-evidenceas well as by uncoupling constructedness from relativity such that constructedness does not lead to relativism.

The idea, here, is that a truth’s invariance makes it genuinely indiscernible: Such a rupture is what Badiou calls an event, according to a theory originally worked out in Being and Event and fleshed out in important ways in Logics of Worlds. The individual who chances to witness such an event, if he is faithful to what he has glimpsed, can then introduce the truth by naming it into worldly situations.

For Badiou, it is by positioning oneself to the truth of an event that a human animal becomes a subject ; subjectivity is not an inherent human trait. According to a process or procedure that subsequently unfolds only if those who subject themselves to the glimpsed truth continue to be faithful in the work of announcing the truth in question, genuine knowledge is produced knowledge often appears in Badiou’s work under the title of the “veridical”.


While such knowledge is produced in the process of being faithful to a truth event, it should be noted that, for Badiou, knowledge, in the figure of the encyclopedia, always remains fragile, subject to what may yet be produced as faithful subjects of the event produce further knowledge.

According to Badiou, truth procedures proceed to infinity, such that faith fidelity outstrips knowledge. Badiou, following both Lacan and Heideggerdistances truth from knowledge. The dominating ideology of the day, which Badiou terms “democratic materialism,” denies the existence of truth and only recognizes ” bodies ” and ” languages.

Art is immanent in the sense that its truth is given in its immediacy in a given work of art, and singular in that its truth is found in art and art alone—hence reviving the ancient materialist concept of “aesthesis”. His view of the link between philosophy and art is badioou into the motif of pedagogy, which he claims functions so as to “arrange the forms of knowledge in a way that some truth may come to pierce a hole in them”.

Badiou’s work is, by his own admission, [17] an attempt to break out of contemporary philosophy’s fixation upon language, which he sees almost as a straitjacket. His philosophy draws upon both ‘analytical’ and ‘continental’ zmor. In Badiou’s own opinion, this combination places him awkwardly relative to his contemporaries, meaning that his work had been only slowly taken up.

As is implied in the title of the book, two elements mark the thesis of Being and Event: This situation of being and the rupture which characterizes the event are thought in terms of set theoryand specifically Zermelo—Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choiceto which Badiou accords a fundamental role in a elgio quite distinct from the majority of either mathematicians or philosophers.

For Badiou the problem which the Greek tradition of philosophy has faced and never satisfactorily dealt with is that while beings themselves are plural, and thought in terms of multiplicity, being itself is thought to be singular; that is, it is thought in terms of the one.

He proposes as the solution to this impasse the following declaration: This is why Badiou accords set theory the axioms of which he refers to as the “ideas of the multiple” such stature, and refers to mathematics as the very place of ontology: Only set theory allows one to conceive a ‘pure doctrine of the multiple’.

Set theory does not operate in terms of definite individual elements in groupings but only functions insofar as what belongs to badiouu set is of the same relation as that set that is, another set too. What individuates a set, therefore, is not an existential positive proposition, but other multiples whose properties i. The structure of being thus secures the regime of the count-as-one. So if one is to think of a set — for instance, the set of people, or humanity — as counting as one, the multiple elements which belong to that set are secured as one consistent concept humanitybut only in terms of what does not belong to that set.

It may help to understand the concept ‘count-as-one’ if it is associated with the concept of ‘terming’: To count a set as one is to mention that set. How the being of terms such as ‘multiple’ does not contradict the non-being of the one can be understood by considering the multiple nature of terminology: The idea of a term without meaning is incoherent, the count-as-one is a structural effect or a situational operation ; it is not baxiou event of ‘truth’. Multiples which are ‘composed’ or ‘consistent’ are count-effects.

Badiou’s use of set theory in this manner is not just illustrative or gadiou. Badiou uses the axioms of Zermelo—Fraenkel set theory to identify the relationship of being to history, Nature, the State, and God.

Most significantly this use means that as with set theory there is a strict prohibition on self-belonging; a set cannot contain aalain belong to itself.

This results from the axiom of foundation — or the axiom of regularity — which enacts such a prohibition cf. This axiom states that every non-empty set A contains an element y that is disjoint from A.

Badiou’s philosophy draws two major implications from this prohibition. Firstly, it secures gadiou inexistence of the ‘one’: Badiou is therefore — against Georg Cantorfrom whom he draws heavily — staunchly atheist.

However, secondly, this prohibition prompts him to introduce the event. Because, according to Badiou, the axiom of foundation ‘founds’ all sets in badiiou void, it ties all being to the historico-social situation of the multiplicities of de-centred sets — thereby effacing the positivity of subjective action, or an entirely ‘new’ occurrence.


And whilst this is acceptable ontologically, it is unacceptable, Badiou holds, philosophically. Set theory mathematics has consequently ‘pragmatically abandoned’ an area which philosophy cannot.

And so, Badiou argues, there is therefore eloogio one possibility remaining: Several critics have questioned Badiou’s use of mathematics. Mathematician Alan Sokal and physicist Jean Bricmont write that Badiou proposes, with seemingly “utter seriousness,” a blending of psychoanalysis, politics and set theory that they contend is preposterous.

An example of a critique from a mathematician’s point of view is the essay bsdiou Number: Nirenberg and David Nirenberg, [21] which takes issue in particular with Badiou’s matheme of the Event in Being and Eventwhich has already been alluded to in respect of the ‘axiom of foundation’ above. Nirenberg and Slogio write:. Badiou again turns here to mathematics and set theory — Badiou’s language of ontology — to study the possibility of an indiscernible element existing extrinsically to the situation of ontology.

He employs the strategy of the mathematician Paul J. Cohenusing what are called the conditions of sets. These conditions are thought of in terms of domination, badioj domination being that which defines a set.

If one takes, in binary language, the set with the condition ‘items marked only with ones’, any item marked with zero negates the property of the set.

The condition which has only ones is thus dominated by any condition which has zeros in it [cf. Badiou reasons alaon these conditions that every discernible nameable or constructible set is dominated by the conditions which don’t possess the property that makes it discernible as a set.

The property ‘one’ is always dominated by ‘not one’. These sets are, in line with constructible ontology, relative to one’s being-in-the-world and one’s being in language where sets and concepts, such as the concept ‘humanity’, get their names. However, he continues, the dominations themselves are, whilst being relative concepts, not necessarily intrinsic to language and constructible thought; rather one can axiomatically define a domination — in the terms of mathematical ontology — as alaain set of conditions such that any condition outside the domination is epogio by at least one term inside the domination.

One does not necessarily need to refer to constructible language to conceive of a ‘set of dominations’, which he refers to as the indiscernible set, or bariou generic set. It is therefore, he continues, possible to think beyond the strictures of the relativistic constructible universe of language, by a process Cohen calls forcing.

And he concludes in following that while ontology can mark out a space for an inhabitant of the constructible situation to decide upon the indiscernible, it falls to the subject — about which the ontological situation cannot comment — to nominate this indiscernible, this generic wlogio and thus nominate, and give name to, the undecidable event.

Badiou thereby marks out a philosophy by which to refute the apparent relativism or apoliticism in alsin thought. Badiou’s ultimate ethical maxim is therefore one of: It is to name the indiscernible, the generic set, and thus name the event that re-casts ontology in a new light.

Alain Badiou

He identifies four domains in which a subject who, it is important to note, becomes a subject through this process can potentially witness an event: By enacting fidelity to the event within these four nadiou one performs a ‘generic procedure’, which in its undecidability is necessarily experimental, and one potentially recasts the situation in which being takes place.

Through this maintenance of fidelity, truth has the potentiality to emerge. In line with his concept of the event, Badiou maintains, politics is not about politicians, but activism based on the present situation and the evental [ sic ] his elogo neologism rupture.

So too does love have this characteristic of becoming anew. Even in science the guesswork that marks the event is prominent. He vigorously rejects the tag of ‘ decisionist ‘ the idea that once something is decided it eloglo true’but rather argues that the recasting of a truth comes prior to its veracity or verifiability. As he says of Galileo p.