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Philosophy in the Present

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4097-6
80 pages
December 2009, Polity
Philosophy in the Present  (0745640974) cover image
Two controversial thinkers discuss a timeless but nonetheless urgent question: should philosophy interfere in the world?

Nothing less than philosophy is at stake because, according to Badiou, philosophy is nothing but interference and commitment and will not be restrained by academic discipline. Philosophy is strange and new, and yet speaks in the name of all - as Badiou shows with his theory of universality.

Similarly, Zizek believes that the philosopher must intervene, contrary to all expectations, in the key issues of the time. He can offer no direction, but this only shows that the question has been posed incorrectly: it is valid to change the terms of the debate and settle on philosophy as abnormality and excess.

At once an invitation to philosophy and an introduction to the thinking of two of the most topical and controversial philosophers writing today, this concise volume will be of great interest to students and general readers alike.

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Editor's Preface
Alain Badiou
Thinking the Event
Thesis 1: Thought is the proper medium of the universal.
Thesis 2: Every universal is singular, or is a singularity.
Thesis 3: Every universal originates in an event, and the event is intransitive to the particularity of the situation.
Thesis 4: A universal initially presents itself as a decision about an undecidable.
Thesis 5: The universal has an implicative form.
Thesis 6: The universal is univocal.
Thesis 7: Every universal singularity remains incompletable or open.
Thesis 8: Universality is nothing other than the faithful construction of an infinite generic multiple.
Slavoj i ek
‘Philosophy is not a dialogue'
Discussion
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Alain Badiou, L'École normale superieure, Paris and Slavoj Zizek, Institute of Sociology, Ljubljana in Slovenia
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• A lively and accessible discussion of the importance of philosophy by two of the most widely-read and controversial philosophers writing today
• They discuss a range of very topical issues, like the decisions by the governments of the US and UK to go to war in Iraq
• This book is an ideal introduction to the work of these two brilliant thinkers
• This will be of great interest to students and general readers alike
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"The book is an incisive critique of the role of the intellectual within the areas of violence and hunger, love and death. I am sure it will inspire many to go further into the writings of these two very radical philosophers whose intellectual polemics offer a compelling conversation on contemporary visions of resistance to arbitrary state power and violence through a revitalised view of philosophy's place in the world today."
Spectrum

"How can philosophy be restored to its true vocation as a form of ethical and political intervention? In this lively, accessible debate two of Europe's most challenging thinkers present their answers to this question - and discover how much agreement as well as discord there is between them."
Peter Dews, University of Essex

 

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