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Badiou: A Subject To Truth Paperback – April 2, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1 edition (April 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816634610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816634613
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on April 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I followed the author's advice, to start by the Appendix "On the development of transfinite set theory", which is the key to a real understanding of Hallward's book and Badiou's philosophy. Understanding the 25 page long appendix took me as much time as the reading of the rest of the 400 pages of the book... It is a very good outline of set theory as used by Badiou, but I found it hard to understand it without the equations, that I finally found in Wikipedia. The rest of the book is much easier to read. I followed some of Peter Hallward's leads, like to read Saramago's novel "All the Names" as way of understanding Badiou's theory of love as a category of truth and event.
All in all, Peter Hallward's book is an essential key and introduction to the next step: reading Alain Badiou's complex and exciting "Being and Event".
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Hands down the best and most comprehensive book on Badiou to date, and probably for sometime to come. Covers just about everything the guy has written, a fair bit of it unpublished. The emphasis is more on Badiou's `Being and Event' (1988) and subsequent work, so one weakness here is the relative lack of detailed attention paid to `Theory of the Subject' and Badiou's other early texts. The concluding stuff on `absolutism' is maybe a little OTT. But in general this is very solid work, and not many contemporary philosophers have been given such careful treatment so early in their reception. If you're curious about Badiou, or know something about him but are looking for some extra material, then this is an excellent place to start.
And unlike the previous reviewer, I thought the mathematical and contextual dimensions of the book were mostly helpful and about as thorough as is feasible, at least for non-specialist readers. Most of Rasheed Sabar's bizarre objections don't make any sense, or suggest that he hasn't actually read this book - for instance Hallward offers around a dozen obvious reasons why Badiou is opposed to Heidegger, and Badiou himself repeatedly affirms both formalism and realism/platonism without any contradiction or confusion, etc. If you want more info I found a much more informed & reliable review by Adrian Johnston, on the Metapsychology website ([...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Rosenthal on July 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Badiou's project is definitely original. So original, in fact, that many people who come across his work dismiss it as hog-wash altogether and never give it the chance it deserves. I, by no means, believe that Badiou is our contemporary equivalent to Plato, but I respect his project a great deal, and I feel that the people who don't give Badiou a chance have never read this book. The problem with Badiou's work is that it's extremely complex in some works and perhaps too focused in his easier works, so for the new reader it is very difficult to come to terms with his philosophy using only his books. This is why this introduction is so helpful; Hallward's book does an amazing job of grasping much of Badiou's philosophy, and conveying it in a way that is extremely readable (but don't treat it like light reading, there are some difficult passages to be sure). It's extremely thorough (consequently, it is not short, with the book being around 330 (fairly word-crowded pages) with a 20+ page conceptual introduction to set theory, and around 100 pages of notes).

These are the things that I believe to be particular strengths of the book:
1. There is very little background reading needed; you should have some basic familiarity with the major philosophical figures like Kant, Heidegger, and Plato, and some Lacan wouldn't hurt either, but familiarity with these thinkers is by no means a rigid prerequisite, and if you're sufficiently interested in philosophy to be reading Badiou, you should be alright.
2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eve H. Tapscott on July 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent introduction to Badiou. Even with my limited education I was able to start really getting into his ideas and move on to start Badiou's writings, himself. It includes a layman's introduction to set theory as an appendix that is excellent and absolutely necessary to really starting to get what Badiou means by things like 'generic', 'void' and many of the other terms he uses.

Through the text the terms Badiou uses are explained in detail. I could not have asked for more - only wish that there were more books this good introducing other great contemporary philosophers.
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