Badiou by Badiou
Alain Badiou, Translated by Bruno Bosteels



The present book is the result of a considerable effort on the part of a few Flemish friends, who touched me deeply by wanting my work to become a clear and constant reference for contemporary youth. By “my work,” they obviously meant first and foremost the metaphysical trilogy comprised of Being and Event (1988), Logics of Worlds (2006), and The Immanence of Truths (2018). But these are dense and systematic works, and if one seeks to address young people or, generally speaking, as large an audience as possible, it is no doubt necessary to prepare the reading of those works with some preliminary explanations. With this aim in mind and to provide a point of entry into the trilogy, the friends in question, who are also exemplary teachers, opted for more didactic and accessible means of communication: the lecture and the interview. In the vast corpus of such materials, they have, without making the least concession to demagoguery, privileged those texts that in their eyes combine conceptual clarity with the power of synthetic vision. Thus, they were able to do justice to the central questions of my philosophical project—being and universality, worlds and singularity, the event, the subject and truths, the infinite and the absolute—while at the same time attending to the continuity between these notions and the essential creative practices of which the human animal has proven capable: the sciences, and especially mathematics; the arts, especially poetry; politics, especially communism; and, finally, love as the unique concern for the being of the other.

The combination of the texts chosen by the authors of this montage represents an orderly kind of journey across my entire philosophical endeavor. I do not think there exists anything comparable today, and I can say that by reading the ensemble, by re-reading it, I learned a great deal about myself. This goes to show that a genuine concern for the other, for the transmission of thought to the other, is indispensable for entering into any body of thought. This is also why I have a vivid memory of the encounter that took place in Brussels, organized by those same friends responsible for the present book, with a group of high school students who made me understand by their gaze, their attention, and their questions that they were in the process of giving me, as author, a lively existence both in their consciousness and in their own projects.

Many thanks are therefore due to my friends for offering me and everyone else this unexpected and persuasive composite picture of the project to which I have devoted an essential part of my thought, my lectures, and my writings.

Alain Badiou