Excursus on Badiou

Yannis Stavrakakis

in The Lacanian Left

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619801
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672073 | DOI:
Excursus on Badiou

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The engagement with the work of Laclau in chapter 2 aimed at articulating an awareness of lack and of the limits of discourse (the Lacanian conceptualisation of negativity) with a more substantive dimension crucial for understanding political life: the axis of enjoyment (a more positive dimension in the Lacanian corpus). Such an articulation requires a delicate balancing act if one desires to avoid the dangers of theoretical essentialism, political voluntarism and wishful thinking. From this point of view, major figures central to the Lacanian Left like Slavoj Zizek seem to be overstressing lately this positive axis at the expense of registering the negativity which is indispensable to Lacanian theory (ch. 3). Is Badiou's work (especially the idea of ‘the event’ and its ethical implications) implicated in a similar disavowal or does he – paradoxically – remain more faithful than Zizek to the Lacanian dialectics between positive and negative?

Keywords: Badiou; Event; Event-ness; Ethics

Chapter.  4808 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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