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Post-Foundational Political ThoughtPolitical Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau$
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Oliver Marchart

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624973

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624973.001.0001

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The State and the Politics of Truth: Alain Badiou

The State and the Politics of Truth: Alain Badiou

(p.109) Chapter 5 The State and the Politics of Truth: Alain Badiou
Post-Foundational Political Thought

Oliver Marchart

Edinburgh University Press

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

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