Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou is a French philosopher. He has published a number of major philosophical works, including The Immanence of Truths, the final installment of his Being and Event trilogy, released in French in 2018.

  • Matter and Form, Self-Evidence and Surprise

    Matter and Form, Self-Evidence and Surprise

    On Jean-Luc Moulène's Objects

    Alain Badiou

    The eminent French philosopher “dialecticizes” five of the artist Jean-Luc Moulène's objects with five conceptual formations from the history of Western philosophy.

    In this unique essay, first delivered as a lecture during a panel discussion with the artist and philosopher Reza Negarestani, Alain Badiou identifies and “dialecticizes” five of the artist Jean-Luc Moulène's objects with five conceptual formations from the history of Western philosophy. Aristotle's complex of matter and form is called to mind to describe the inner logic of a hard foam sculpture. A bronze statue with holes activates Plato's notion of participation of the concrete world in the “injured Idea of the Beautiful.” A small metallic and incomplete “angel” engages Leibniz's affirmation that “everything that exists is composed of an infinity of things.” Badiou's musings go on to pair a broken and repaired plastic chair with Victor Hugo; a terrible hand made of concrete with the Freudian unconscious; and a large-scale “red and blue monster” with rudimentary mechanisms of the Cartesian cogito, the famous “I think, therefore I am,” with unexpected inversions and variations.

    Badiou refrains, of course, from claiming that Moulène thinks about any of these philosophers when making his specific works. What he points to, however, in this richly illustrated bilingual volume, is that the artist and his art are “on the side of philosophy.”

    • Hardcover $20.00 £14.99
  • German Philosophy

    German Philosophy

    A Dialogue

    Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Jan Völker

    Two eminent French philosophers discuss German philosophy—including the legacy of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Adorno, Fichte, Marx, and Heidegger—from a French perspective.

    In this book, Alain Badiou and Jean-Luc Nancy, the two most important living philosophers in France, discuss German philosophy from a French perspective. Written in the form of a dialogue, and revised and expanded from a 2016 conversation between the two philosophers at the Universität der Künste Berlin, the book offers not only Badiou's and Nancy's reinterpretations of German philosophers and philosophical concepts, but also an accessible introduction to the greatest thinkers of German philosophy. Badiou and Nancy discuss and debate such topics as the legacies of Kant, Hegel, and Marx, as well as Nietzsche, Adorno, Fichte, Schelling, and the unavoidable problem of Heidegger and Nazism. The dialogue is contentious, friendly, and often quotable, with strong—at times passionate—positions taken by both Badiou and Nancy, who find themselves disagreeing over Kant, for example, and in unexpected agreement on Marx, for another.

    What does it mean, then, to conduct a dialogue on German philosophy from a French perspective? As volume editor Jan Völker observes, “German philosophy” and “French philosophy” describe complex constellations that, despite the reference to nation-states and languages, above all encompass shared concepts and problems—although these take a range of forms. Perhaps they can reveal their essential import only in translation.

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99

Contributor

  • To Live and Think Like Pigs

    To Live and Think Like Pigs

    The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies

    Gilles Châtelet

    A startlingly prescient treatise on the cybernetic automation of society and a burlesque satire of its middle-class celebrants.

    An uproarious portrait of the evils of the market and a technical manual for its innermost ideological workings, this is the story of how the perverted legacy of liberalism sought to knead Marx's “free peasant” into a statistical “average man”—pliant raw material for the sausage-machine of postmodernity.

    Combining the incandescent wrath of the betrayed comrade with the acute discrimination of the mathematician-physicist, Châtelet scrutinizes the pseudoscientific alibis employed to naturalize “market democracy” and the “triple alliance” between politics, economics, and cybernetics.

    A bestseller in France on its publication in 1998, this book remains crucial reading for any future politics that wants to replace individualism with individuation and libertarianism with liberation, this new translation constitutes a major contribution to contemporary debate on neoliberalism, economics, and capitalist subjectivation.

    • Paperback $19.95 £12.99
  • The Agony of Eros

    The Agony of Eros

    Byung-Chul Han

    An argument that love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other.

    Byung-Chul Han is one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe today, a member of the new generation of German thinkers that includes Markus Gabriel and Armen Avanessian. In The Agony of Eros, a bestseller in Germany, Han considers the threat to love and desire in today's society. For Han, love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. In a world of fetishized individualism and technologically mediated social interaction, it is the Other that is eradicated, not the self. In today's increasingly narcissistic society, we have come to look for love and desire within the “inferno of the same.”

    Han offers a survey of the threats to Eros, drawing on a wide range of sources—Lars von Trier's film Melancholia, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Fifty Shades of Grey, Michel Foucault (providing a scathing critique of Foucault's valorization of power), Martin Buber, Hegel, Baudrillard, Flaubert, Barthes, Plato, and others. Han considers the “pornographication” of society, and shows how pornography profanes eros; addresses capitalism's leveling of essential differences; and discusses the politics of eros in today's “burnout society.” To be dead to love, Han argues, is to be dead to thought itself.

    Concise in its expression but unsparing in its insight, The Agony of Eros is an important and provocative entry in Han's ongoing analysis of contemporary society.

    This remarkable essay, an intellectual experience of the first order, affords one of the best ways to gain full awareness of and join in one of the most pressing struggles of the day: the defense, that is to say—as Rimbaud desired it—the “reinvention” of love.—from the foreword by Alain Badiou

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.50
  • Division III of Heidegger's Being and Time

    Division III of Heidegger's Being and Time

    The Unanswered Question of Being

    Lee Braver

    Leading philosophers and scholars speculate on what Heidegger's unfinished masterpiece might have said, why Heidegger didn't publish it, and what being actually means.

    Heidegger's Being and Time is one of the most influential and important books in the history of philosophy, but it was left unfinished. The parts we have of it, Divisions I and II of Part One, were meant to be merely preparatory for the unwritten Division III, which was to have formed the point of the entire book when it turned to the topic of being itself. In this book, leading Heidegger scholars and philosophers influenced by Heidegger take up the unanswered questions in Heidegger's masterpiece, speculating on what Division III would have said, and why Heidegger never published it.

    The contributors' task—to produce a secondary literature on a nonexistent primary work—seems one out of fiction by Borges or Umberto Eco. Why did Heidegger never complete Being and Time? Did he become dissatisfied with it? Did he judge it too subjectivistic, not historical enough, too individualistic, too existential? Was abandoning it part of Heidegger's “Kehre”, his supposed turning from his early work to his later work? Might Division III have offered a bridge between the two phases, if a division exists between them? And what does being mean, after all? The contributors, in search of lost Being and Time, consider these and other topics, shedding new light on Heidegger's thought.

    Contributors Alain Badiou, Lee Braver, Daniel Dahlstrom, Charles Guignon, Graham Harman, Karsten Harries, Ted Kisiel, Denis McManus, Eric S. Nelson, Richard Polt, François Raffoul, Thomas Sheehan, Iain Thomson, Kate Withy, Julian Young

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
    • Paperback $30.00 £24.00
  • Collapse, Volume 1

    Numerical Materialism

    Robin Mackay

    An investigation of the nature and philosophical uses of number.

    The first volume of Collapse investigates the nature and philosophical uses of number. The volume includes an interview with Alain Badiou on the relation between philosophy, mathematics, and science, an in-depth interview with mathematician Matthew Watkins on the strange connections between physics and the distribution of prime numbers, and contributions that demonstrate the many ways in which number intersects with philosophical thought—from the mathematics of intensity to terrorism, from occultism to information theory, and graphical works of multiplicity.

    • Paperback $18.95 £14.99