June 09, 2006

Althusser and Lacan, Deleuze and Lyotard, Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou (born 1937, Rabat, Morocco) is a prominent French left-wing philosopher formerly chair of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS). Badiou was trained formally as a philosopher as a student at the ENS from 1956 to 1961, a period during which he took courses at the Sorbonne. He had a lively and constant interest in mathematics. He was politically active very early on, and was one of the founding members of the United Socialist Party (PSU), an offshoot of the French Communist Party. The PSU was particularly active in the struggle for the decolonization of Algeria. He wrote his first novel in 1964.In 1967 he joined a study group organized by Louis Althusser and grew increasingly influenced by Jacques Lacan.
The student uprisings of May 1968 had a huge impact on Badiou. While 1968 politicized many intellectuals, it served to reinforce Badiou's commitment to the far left, and he continued to organize communist and Maoist groups such as the UCFML. In 1969 he joined the faculty of University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis), which was a bastion of counter-cultural thought. There he engaged in fierce intellectual debates with fellow professors Gilles Deleuze and Jean-François Lyotard, whose leftist philosophy he considered an unhealthy deviation of more main-line Marxism. In 1988 he published what is now considered by many to be his major statement, L'être et l'événement. External links The Adventure of French Philosophy

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