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Confrontation: A Conversation with Aude Lancelin

Confrontation: A Conversation with Aude Lancelin

Alain Badiou, Alain Finkielkraut

ISBN: 978-0-745-68571-7 October 2014 Polity 144 Pages




Everything in their respective positions divides them: Alain Badiou is the thinker of a revitalized communism and Alain Finkielkraut the mournful observer of the loss of values. The two opponents, gathered here for their first-ever debate, have irreconcilable visions. Yet neither is a stranger to controversy, and in this debate they make explicit the grounds of their personal dispute as well as addressing, in a frank and open exchange, their ideas and theories.

Guided by Aude Lancelin, the two philosophers discuss subjects as diverse as national identity, Israel and Judaism, May 1968, and renewed popularity of the idea of communism. Their passionate debate is more than just the sum total of their disagreements, however, for neither of them is satisfied with the state of our society or the direction in which its political representatives persist in taking it. They agree that there needs to be change and their confrontation in this volume shows the importance of asking difficult questions, not only of each other, but also of our political systems.

Foreword by Aude Lancelin
1. National Identity and Nations
2. Judaism, Israel, and Universalism
3. May ’68
4. Communism (Past and Future)
Translator’s Notes

"Somewhere beyond belief in the possibility of consensus and disbelief in the mutability of hostilities, these two unlikely interlocutors - powerful defenders of opposed positions - agreed to sit down and have it out. Their heated, sometimes harsh, debate may not persuade you to surrender your own leanings, but it will force you to rethink the terms in which you affirm them and the way you push back against the other side. This is a rare and enlightening interchange."
Joan Copjec, University of Buffalo

"Anyone who fears that ferocious, intelligent, philosophically informed argument about the state of the world may be a thing of the past should open this book. After reading these debates, vividly translated by Susan Spitzer, in which two of France's leading intellectuals hammer out their starkly opposed positions, they will come away enlightened and invigorated."
Peter Dews, University of Essex