Alain Badiou: What is Philosophy? [Part 1: Philosophy and Language]

This is a very interesting lecture by Badiou, and it has a lot of relevance to Daniel Tutt’s critique of the requirement of immediate accessibility and to Bharath Vallabha’s critique of academic language. Badiou criticises the idea that “Being speaks L” for any language. The problem with “English” is the problem with any language that remains faithful to democratic materialism, and thus ideologically accessible. The problem with a particularistic language is repeated in academic language, Being does not speak academese. In both cases universality is lost in favour of abstraction.


I encourage you to check out some of my other hyper-transcriptions, including:

Today’s hyper-transcription is from the first half of a a multi-part Lecture that Alain Badiou gave at the European Graduate School in 2010 entitled “What is Philosophy?”

I should mention that hyper-transcription, as a strategy or form of thinkingseems to mature over time. Perhaps it can even mature over a very short period of time. It necessarily involves dedication and perseverance and the rewards are seldom felt. Why is it that the rewards of thinking are seldom felt? Recall that thinking involves the unification of theory and practice. We must understand practice in its more general sense; it does not always, by necessity, imply activism. I think that this…

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