Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2015

Abstract

In lieu of an abstract, here are the article's first two paragraphs:

In Issue 107, Philosophy Now published James Alexander’s ‘A Refutation of Snails by Roast Beef', an article decrying con temporary French philosopher Alain Badiou (b.l937). Alexander’s jumping-off point was Roger Scruton’s unfavorable review of Badiou’s The Adventure of French Philosophy (2012). He acknowledges that Scruton “obviously dislikes everything Badiou stands for” but takes Scruton to task for being too polite; he writes that “Badiou deserves derision.” A few sentences later, he claims that “a lot of Badiou is rubbish. There is nothing to Badiou be done with it except laugh.” Not even Badiou’s students escape Alexander’s comments: he scoffs that instead of taking notes in Badiou’s lectures, surely the students “just stand and cheer.”

Although I might get much enjoyment from indulging in a similarly dismissive attitude toward Alexander’s largely ad hominem attacks against Badiou, I have chosen a different path in defending him. I honor the dialectical process of Socrates’ philosophical approach; therefore I offer a counterargument to expose the inaccuracy of Alexander’s underestimation of Badiou. I will not advance uninformed opinions based on insufficient familiarity (Alexander confesses a lack of knowledge of Badiou’s oeuvre). Instead, I offer a perspective based on an engagement with and a deep reverence for Badiou’s philosophy.

Comments

This article was originally published in the the August/September 2015 issue of Philosophy Now. The article can also be viewed on the journal's website: https://philosophynow.org/issues/109/In_Defense_of_Alain_Badiou

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