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The Introduction of Maoism into Philosophy

Professor Francois Laruelle (Universite de Paris X, Nanterre, France)



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23 March 2017
This compelling and highly original book represents a confrontation between two of the most radical thinkers at work in France today: Alain Badiou and the author, Francois Laruelle.

At face value, the two have much in common: both espouse a position of absolute immanence; both argue that philosophy is conditioned by science; and both command a pluralism of thought. Anti-Badiou relates the parallel stories of Badiou's Maoist 'ontology of the void' and Laruelle's own performative practice of 'non-philosophy' and explains why the two are in fact radically different. Badiou's entire project aims to re-educate philosophy through one science: mathematics. Laruelle carefully examines Badiou's Being and Event and shows how Badiou has created a new aristocracy that crowns his own philosophy as the master of an entire theoretical universe. In turn, Laruelle explains the contrast with his own non-philosophy as a true democracy of thought that breaks philosophy's continual enthrall with mathematics and instead opens up a myriad of 'non-standard' places where thinking can be found and practised.
By:   Professor Francois Laruelle (Universite de Paris X Nanterre France)
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   313g
ISBN:   9781350009080
ISBN 10:   1350009083
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   23 March 2017
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Francois Laruelle is Emeritus Professor at the University of Paris Ouest, Nanterre La Defense (Paris X) and lectures at the College International de Philosophie. He is the creator of the concept of 'non-philosophy', author of over twenty books, and director of L'Organisation Non-Philosophique Internationale. Robin Mackay is a philosopher and director of the UK arts organisation Urbanomic. He is an Honorary Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of Kent, UK.

Reviews for Anti-Badiou: The Introduction of Maoism into Philosophy

The two most important living French theorists finally meet head to head, Badiou the best known and Laruelle the least. What results is a true disagreement, the first in a very long time. But don't expect the usual insults: Badiou as anachronistic Maoist, or Badiou as unrepentant Platonist. Laruelle's dagger is sharper and more deadly, for his target is Badiou the philosopher! -- Alexander R. Galloway, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, USA The philosophy of Alain Badiou has been a constant source of authority for new directions in philosophy and related disciplines since the publication of his Being and Event. But in a polemic that rises to the challenge of Badiou's own, Francois Laruelle shows us why we should be wary of yet another philosopher claiming to give voice to the event. For this is but a ruse of power where philosophy, seeming to submit itself to the non philosophical, reasserts its mastery in being the only possible voice for the event. And while Badiou's Maoism is criticized here, Laruelle takes up the famous dictum of Mao and himself struggles on two fronts, critiquing Badiou the Philosopher and developing his own non-standard philosophy comparing each along the way. Bridging the critical work of Philosophies of Difference with his most recent forays into a unified theory of philosophy and science, this excellent translation of Anti-Badiou by Robin Mackay will shake the faith of the philosophers that everything is philosophizable. -- Anthony Paul Smith, Assistant Professor in Religion at La Salle University, USA In Robin MacKay's excellent translation, we see Laruelle's performative thought at work in pristine form, taking what poses today to be the philosophy of its age - Badiouism - and re-envisioning it as one part of the Real rather than its whole. Throughout, we are shown where Badiou and Laruelle, so similar in respect to vocabulary, yet worlds apart in terms of ambition, fundamentally differ: where the one embraces all human practice under its philosophical authority, the other opens this philosophy up to the myriad mutations of non-standard thinking. The stance of Anti-Badiou is not to negate or replace Badiou's picture of reality with another, but only to see it as one amongst many within a democracy of thought. -- John Mullarkey, Professor of Film and Television Studies at Kingston University, UK

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