Thursday, May 01, 2008

Riera, Gabriel. "Review of Antonio Calcagno's BADIOU AND DERRIDA." NDPR May 2, 2008.

Calcagno, Antonio. Badiou and Derrida: Politics, Events and their Time. London: Continuum, 2008. Badiou and Derrida: Politics, Events and their Time brings together two major thinkers for whom the question of the political is the question of our century. Some common features between these two philosophers are evident: for both philosophy is an act of resistance (with all the richness and ambiguity that resonates in this term); they approach the political as a field in which to wage war against the sovereign One. For Derrida, the central question which governs the deconstruction of the political is the question of the One that produces violence and protects itself from the other, while for Alain Badiou, insofar as the One is the result of an operation of counting (the counting-as-one) of multiplicities, it closes off any possibility of thinking the event, that which suddenly comes to the impersonality of Being, that which exceeds Being qua Being and thus demands a process of subjectivation and fidelity to the event's truth. Badiou's ontology, not unlike Derrida's deconstruction of the sign and its radical re-conceptualization of writing, is a war machine against the metaphysics of the One, the only possible way to treat politics, according to Badiou, as one of the four conditions of philosophy. They both subscribe to a "militant political critique without end" [Jacques Derrida, Rogues] of normative theoretical and institutional discourses and practices. For both, Derrida and Badiou, the political cannot be simply conceived as consensus building or as simple management of the economy. Antonio Calcagno engages in a detailed examination of the relationship between politics and time through the works Derrida and Badiou. This is the first book that brings together the two leading French thinkers, and it does so in view of positing a theory of the relationship of time and politics able to account for both political undecidability (Derrida) and decidability (Badiou). Whether this theory is viable, especially since Badiou is being mobilized to achieve a certain "overcoming" of "the Derridean aporia of the double bind" [2], is a matter of debate. Contemporary philosophy has taught us to pause when coming across a desire to achieve any overcoming too hastily; Heidegger's is the case that comes to mind. . . . Read the rest here:

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