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Being and Event by Alain Badiou
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Being and Event

by Alain Badiou

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A difficult and ambitious book, Being and Event will be nearly impossible to comprehend without some prior understanding of set theory and logic, and also without familiarity with some of the key figures of the Western philosophical tradition (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hegel, Heidegger; some familiarity with Russell and Godel helps too). Even then, Badiou's arguments are not always clear, and are often rephrased in language that obscures rather than clarifies.

Nevertheless, it is a "great book" of the sort that is increasingly uncommon, self-consciously written in the shadow of Heidegger's Being and Time, and similarly offering a comprehensive and coherent re-interpretation of philosophy as such. It's worth the effort, and is essential reading if you want to really "get" what's going on in Badiou's later work, like Ethics or Metapolitics.

For an actual overview of what's going on in the book, have a look at Peter Dews' review: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=12406, which I think gets pretty much everything right, except towards the end with the discussion of Wittgenstein where I think it is revealed both that Dews isn't quite right about Badiou's concept of the event (specifically, the notion of unpresented multiple and the generic are not applicable to the Wittgenstein example as Dews presents it), and also he proceeds a bit too quickly through the criticism of Badiou's privileging of certain events (i.e. without mentioning the importance of the generic and the universal); finally, he somehow interprets Badiou as claiming that events are irreversible. Other than a few things like this, though (which are partially excusable due to the fact that it's a short book review), the piece by Dews is great and lucid. ( )
3 vote lukeasrodgers | May 29, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 082649529X, Paperback)

<div><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Being and Event</i> is the centrepiece of Alain Badiou's oeuvre; it is the work that grounds his reputation as one of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">France</st1:country-region></st1:place>'s most original philosophers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Long-awaited in translation, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Being and Event</i> makes available to an English-speaking readership Badiou's groundbreaking work on set theory - the cornerstone of his whole philosophy.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>This book makes the scope and aim of Badiou's whole philosophical project clear, enabling full comprehension of Badiou's significance for contemporary philosophy. In Being and Event, Badiou anchors this project by recasting the European philosophical tradition from Plato onwards, via a series of analyses of such key figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel, Rousseau, and Lacan. He thus develops the basis for a history of philosophy rivalling those of Heidegger and Deleuze in its depth.This wide-ranging book is organised in a precise and novel manner, reflecting the philosophical rigour of Badiou's thought.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Unlike many contemporary Continental philosophers, Badiou - who is also a novelist and dramatist - writes lucidly and cogently, making his work accessible and engaging.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>This English language edition includes a new preface, written especially for this translation. <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Being and Event</i> is essential reading for Badiou's considerable following and anyone interested in contemporary Continental philosophy.</div>>

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Being and Event is the centrepiece of Alain Badiou's oeuvre; it is the work that grounds his reputation as one of France 's most original philosophers. � Long-awaited in translation, Being and Event makes available to an English-speaking readership Badiou's groundbreaking work on set theory - the cornerstone of his whole philosophy. � This book makes the scope and aim of Badiou's whole philosophical project clear, enabling full comprehension of Badiou's significance for contemporary philosophy. In Being and Event, Badiou anchors this project by recasting the European philosophical tr.… (more)

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