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Alain Badiou is already regarded as one of the mostoriginal and powerful voices in contemporaryEuropean thought. Infinite Thought brings together arepresentative selection of the range of AlainBadiou's work, illustrating the power and diversity ofhis thought.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Bloomsbury Academic
(first published 1998)
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It's hard to disagree with Badiou's thesis that contemporary philosophy is deficient, as it shies away from making hard pronouncements or uncovering truths. Truth (with a capital "T") is something of an anathema in postmodern theory, or else it's rigidly proscriptive in continental (analytic) thought, or something ineffable and personal in German idealism. Badiou calls for a "return to philosophy" and with it, a new relation to truth: Truth as an event which subjects must identify and act upon f ...more
A collection of essays, punctuated by sound polemics and a series of interesting conceptions on the nature of philosophy, politics, love, and so on. I deeply enjoyed the works on terrorism and the death of communism. A little dense at some points, and it's clear that at this period he was still collecting, analyzing, and interpreting his thoughts. It's nowhere near as mature as his later works, e.g., "Second Manifesto of Philosophy".
What I liked the most about this small book is its clarity. It is carefully written to help the unsuspecting reader understand Badiou's brilliant mind. It explains with surprising simplicity, yet thoroughly the three streams of philosophy that feed his thought (Heidegger, Wittgenstein and the moderns). He spends a great deal explaining Heidegger's thought, which is always something to be thankful about because the german guy was really cryptic in his writing. He also has a bright essay on terror ...more
May 17, 2007 Jared Colley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in French philosophy
Badiou is a difficult and challenging thinker. He is attempting to re-think the whole way we do philosophy in the 21st century. This, in my opinion, is the best place to start with him. It is not his best work at all, but it is a soft place to start when approaching this unconventional thinker for the first time. I'm still trying to wrap my head around Badiou and this book has helped. One thing I like about Badiou is his resistance to postmodern, non-committal philosophy. Badiou argues for unive ...more
A great contemporary book on the turn away from Truth in modern philosophy, but why that search is still important. Badiou challenges us to turn back to the classical purpose of philosophy, in the tradition of thinkers like Plato and Socrates, but with a deep understanding of how this theory of philosophy fits in the larger tradition and context of philosophy in general. A nice primer to an alternative method of inquiry, that is much needed, and appreciated.
The translator's intro is actually a really concise and understandable summary of what Badiou's up to. The rest of the book's hit and miss, depending an what you find interesting. (I liked the chapters on desire, cinema, psychoanalysis, politics.)
Alain Badiou, Ph.D., born in Rabat, Morocco in 1937, holds the Rene Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School EGS. Alain Badiou was a student at the École Normale Supérieure in the 1950s. He taught at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis) from 1969 until 1999, when he returned to ENS as the Chair of the philosophy department. He continues to teach a popular seminar at the Coll ...moreMore about Alain Badiou...