My review of the English translation of Alain Badiou’s Second Manifesto for Philosophy appears in Krisis (the Dutch journal for contemporary philosophy) today. Click here to read the article and here to read the entire new volume dedicated to the theme of neoliberalism and governance as a specific form of politics.
While reading Hans Jürg Rheinberger’s already seminal Toward a History of Epistemic Things – he is becoming something of a hero to me these days – I couldn’t prevent myself from constantly highlighting the Badiouian touch of his arguments. That is, I was struck by the fact that so many of Badiou’s themes (at least those which could be consider his most important; everything between and inside the mathematics of being and the laws of appearing) come to the fore when Rheinberger discusses what he calls an ‘epistemology of time’ that is to answer the question how – in the context of scientific experimentation – we can speak of history without invoking origins and grounds. As he formulates it: ‘Are they looking at a past that is the transformation of another, foregoing past? Or are they looking at a past that is the product of a past deferred, that is, of a future present?‘ (p. 176).
Having a hard, but pleasant time writing a review of Alain Badiou’s Second Manifesto. While reading I was increasingly struck by the fact that Badiou (‘dares to’) call(s) it a Manifesto at all; it is really a provocative excerpt of Logics of Worlds, too dense and complex to count as a slogan or proclamation. But – and this thought kept on creeping in the back of my head – perhaps this is exactly what he’s after; writing a manifesto that claims to separate philosophy from opinion, thereby deeming its unfaithful opponents to be part of the latter.
While reading Adorno & Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment I was struck not merely by the complexity of their argument, but by the fact that their analysis of the achievements of Enlightenment shows so many (indirect) affiliations with recent developments in Speculative Realist or Object-Oriented ontologies. Continue reading
Yet another really interesting event organized at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht on the 27th and 28th of May. The conference is entitled ‘The Human Animal in Contemporary Philosophy, Psycho-analysis and Science’ and is part of a serieus of three events under this heading. The other two parts will follow 16 and 17 December in the KW Gallery in Berlin and Spring 2012 at the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubjana.