Philosophie im Spiegel der Geschichte - Theorie des Subjekts, Alain Badlou

Antonia Birnbaum
Art Sciences and Art Education, Philosophy
2023W, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04863

Description

Seminar: Antonia Birnbaum/ Alexi Kukuljevic

Theory of the Subject/ Alain Badiou

The seminar is a close reading of this book, with an accent, not on any results, but on the problems it raises.

The crisis of modernity within which we remain entangled is also a crisis of subjectivity. This crisis and rupture of modernity, at least philosophically speaking, is often located with Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy and its foregrounding of the problem of the Subject – Descartes’ infamous ego cogito (I think). Much of 20th century thinking was dominated by calls to overcome the Subject and the metaphysics of subjectivity. Heidegger’s radicalization of Husserlian phenomenology, Derrida’s deconstruction of the metaphysics of presence, Althusser’s structuralist approach to Marx, and Deleuze’s and Foucault’s Nietzscheanism share the orientation that the task of philosophy in the present demands not just of a Kritik of the Subject, but its consummate demolition. We continue to be inundated with proclamations of the Subject’s end, announcements of its death, or declarations of its obsolescence. The rather feeble summons of Object Oriented Ontology has been only the most recent effort to renew the question – what comes after the subject?

However, one of the few thinkers, and certainly most consequent, to deviate from this consensus is Jacques Lacan who situated the Freudian legacy as a radical renewal, rather than challenge, to the Cartesian meditation.  “Radical” here means a return to the root. The Freudian unconscious is thus, according to Lacan, a radicalization of the rupture marked by the advent of the modern Subject. The Subject is and has already been essentially divided. The immense import of the intervention of Alain Badiou’s Theory of the Subject, published in 1982, concerns the originality of its effort to take Lacan’s radicalization of the Subject into account and to unfold its theoretical implications. The book establishes the immense consequences that a theory of the split Subject has for an approach to ontology, art, and, perhaps most important of all for this book, politics, which Badiou defines here as “the art of the impossible.”  

Theory of the Subject is thus not only a challenge to the theoretical consensus concerning the status and legacy of the Subject, but also a creative synthesis of philosophy, art, and politics. This is evidenced in both the experiment of its form, and the singularity of its tone (polemical, bombastic, and often quite funny: rare for a book aspiring to philosophical rigour).

Examination Modalities

A five page paper on one of the sections of the book.

Comments

"Theorie des Subjekts" von  Alain Badiou (deutsche Ausgabe) steht im Handapparat zur Verfügung bis zum 13.2.2024. 

Dates

16 October 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22 (preliminary discussion)
23 October 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
30 October 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
06 November 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
13 November 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
20 November 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
04 December 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
11 December 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
18 December 2023, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
08 January 2024, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
15 January 2024, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22
29 January 2024, 16:00–18:00 Seminar Room 22

Course Enrolment

From 27 July 2023, 07:40 to 15 November 2023, 23:55
Via online registration

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