The State and the Politics of Truth: Alain Badiou

Oliver Marchart

in Post-Foundational Political Thought

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780748624973
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672066 | DOI:
The State and the Politics of Truth: Alain Badiou

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This chapter traces Alain Badiou's attitude to and his role within current political philosophy. It argues that Badiou can legitimately be located within the group of post-foundational theorists whose work can be labelled the ‘Heideggerian Left’ in current political philosophy. Yet it also shows that the post-foundational effects of his theory are limited because of some foundationalist injunctions on Badiou's part, which find expression in a certain philosophism and a particular form of ethicism — a side-effect of his deliberate denigration of political philosophy. In French post-war thought, the traces of Martin Heidegger's influence on Badiou remain visible even where they are openly disavowed. This chapter explores Badiou's views about the state and the politics of truth, focusing on equality and justice. After discussing the concept of post-foundationalism and real politics, it considers contingency and foundationalism as well as the danger of ethicism.

Keywords: Alain Badiou; political philosophy; politics; Heideggerian Left; ethicism; equality; justice; post-foundationalism; contingency; foundationalism

Chapter.  10563 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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