Revolution in Philosophy

Alain Badiou: Revolution in Philosophy
By Adam Bartlett
September 24, 2021, 12:00

This talk provided an overview of the philosophy of Alain Badiou. Badiou’s ambition has been nothing less than to reconfigure within the register of philosophy ‘what can be thought’ and 'what thought can be’. The talk suggested that Badiou’s philosophy has very rigorously taken up several of the challenges Marx put forward in his Thesis on Feuerbach: primarily, Thesis 11 - 'Hitherto philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point is to change it’.

The talk showed how Badiou has reconfigured philosophy as under condition - of art, love, science and politics - and that these conditions as acts of thought are the thought and actualisation of real change. In this, Badiou is also answering, within philosophy, another of Marx’s challenges, taking back the ’subject’ from idealism or in a more contemporary sense, returning the subject to the centre of true change - the change that can be thought despite the vicissitudes and sophistries of the ‘state’.

In addition, Badiou’s contemporary reconfiguration allows him to maintain as central to the discourse of philosophy, the categories also of being and truth. Being, truth and subject are thereby the categories for Badiou for the thought of what he calls ‘real’ or ‘true’ change, which is what each of the conditions, in the way specific to them, as distinct and irreducible forms of discourse, makes true of their world. The talk articulated this reconfiguration with close reference to the recommended reading, ‘Philosophy and Politics’.

Dr. A. J. Bartlett is the author of Badiou and Plato: An Education by Truths and with Justin Clemens and Jon Roffe, Lacan Deleuze Badiou. With Justin Clemens he is the editor of Badiou: Key Concepts, What is Education? and Badiou and His Interlocutors: Essays, Lectures, Responses. With Alex Ling he is the translator of Alain Badiou’s Metaphysics of the Transcendental and with Justin Clemens of Alain Badiou’s Happiness and The Pornography of the Present Age. He is Secretary of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy

Philosophy Workshop is a voluntary independent self-organized initiative in Palestine. PW organizes public workshops and interactive lectures on philosophical topics. The initiative focuses on introducing philosophical ways of thinking of contemporary issues. We aim to make philosophical knowledge accessible for the public.

Malak Afouneh is a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University. Malak has her MA degree in Literature and Philosophy from the University of Sussex and she is the founder of Philosophy Workshop.

This seminar was part of ‘Revolution in Philosophy’, an online seminar series curated by Malak Afouneh as part of the Philosophy Workshop in September 2021.

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