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More importantly these highly accessible and entertaining interviews provide a snapshot of French philosophy in the s, setting the scene for the very public and political context of philosophy in the period immediately preceding the events of May '68, where philosophy played a crucial role. The book includes a new essay by Badiou in which he reflects on the project 30 years on.

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Badiou and the Philosophers : Interrogating s French Philosophy. French industry as a whole was in poor shape at the end of the second world war, but one sector was soon reporting an export-led recovery: philosophy. Ever since the Revolution, the French state in various incarnations had promoted philosophy as the crowning glory of secular secondary education.

Under the command of the minister of education in Paris, an army of well-trained philosophy professors was deployed throughout the hexagon, and in the colonies too, to propagate a certain idea of France, based on humanistic morality, civic idealism, and the essence of European civilisation.

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France produced philosophers as Switzerland produced cuckoo clocks. After the liberation French philosophy went global. Jean-Paul Sartre had been part of the system, working as a provincial prof de philo before reinventing himself as a novelist and playwright.

In January , after a dull but productive war, he was flown to New York as a guest of the US State Department, which was keen to show the wonders of America to the top brains of the new France. Sartre annoyed his hosts by comparing American imperialism to Nazi terror, but as far as intellectual trade was concerned, he hit on a winning formula.

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I would guess that more than a hundred others have since been added to the awesome threesome, and many of them—Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Foucault for a start—are equally magnificent. But there has always been a streak of madness in the English-language reception of contemporary French philosophy.

Alain Badiou. Democracy, Politics and Philosophy 2006 1/5

Some readers have found unspeakable glamour in the wooden jargon of French classrooms, as subjects are inscribed in texts , while readings are interrogated , and discourses condemned for their aporias and lacunae. Some have discovered an intellectual heroine or hero to dedicate their lives to. You have now reached your limit of 3 free articles in the last 30 days. You can get another 7 articles absolutely free, simply by entering your email address in the box below.

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(PDF) Review of Alain Badiou, Badiou and the Philosophers | Andrew Ryder -

Thank you for your support of Prospect and we hope that you enjoy everything the site has to offer. In scripture, we find not just religious thought and theory—but a challenge to how we read. When it comes to reading religious texts, intellectual curiosity and reasoning can only On one side, a philosophy of life; on the other, a philosophy of the concept. This debate between life and concept will be absolutely central to the period that follows. At stake in any such discussion is the question of the human subject, for it is here that the two orientations coincide.

At once a living organism and a creator of concepts, the subject is interrogated both with regard to its interior, animal, organic life, and in terms of its thought, its capacity for creativity and abstraction. The relationship between body and idea, or life and concept, formulated around the question of the subject, thus structures the whole development of 20th-century French philosophy from the initial opposition between Bergson and Brunschvicg onwards.

Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy: German Philosophy: A dialogue

Thus, Althusser defines history as a process without a subject, and the subject as an ideological category; Derrida, interpreting Heidegger, regards the subject as a category of metaphysics; Lacan creates a concept of the subject; Sartre or Merleau-Ponty, of course, allotted an absolutely central role to the subject. A first definition of the French philosophical moment would therefore be in terms of the conflict over the human subject, since the fundamental issue at stake in this conflict is that of the relationship between life and concept.

Alain Badiou The Adventure of French Philosophy L et us begin these reflections on contemporary French philosophy with a paradox: that which is the most universal is also, at the same time, the most particular. Email required. Password required. Create an account Forgot your password? Subscribe for instant access to all articles since Shouldn't I have access to this article via my library?

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