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The Lacanian LeftPsychoanalysis, Theory, Politics$
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Yannis Stavrakakis

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748619801

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619801.001.0001

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Excursus on Badiou

Excursus on Badiou

(p.150) Excursus on Badiou
The Lacanian Left

Yannis Stavrakakis

Edinburgh University Press

The engagement with the work of Laclau in chapter 2 aimed at articulating an awareness of lack and of the limits of discourse (the Lacanian conceptualisation of negativity) with a more substantive dimension crucial for understanding political life: the axis of enjoyment (a more positive dimension in the Lacanian corpus). Such an articulation requires a delicate balancing act if one desires to avoid the dangers of theoretical essentialism, political voluntarism and wishful thinking. From this point of view, major figures central to the Lacanian Left like Slavoj Zizek seem to be overstressing lately this positive axis at the expense of registering the negativity which is indispensable to Lacanian theory (ch. 3). Is Badiou's work (especially the idea of ‘the event’ and its ethical implications) implicated in a similar disavowal or does he – paradoxically – remain more faithful than Zizek to the Lacanian dialectics between positive and negative?

Keywords:   Badiou, Event, Event-ness, Ethics

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