The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory and the Art Center College of Design present
Three Lectures by Alain Badiou
Dec. 2 “In Search of the Lost Real” (7:30PM, Art Center College of Design; at THE WIND TUNNEL 950 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena)
Dec. 3 “What is a Truth?” (5:00PM, UCLA, Young Research Library 11348)
Dec. 4 “How Can We Change the World?” (5:00PM, UCLA, Young Research Library 11348)
Co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies
Alain Badiou is widely considered to be one of the most important Continental philosophers alive today, and one of the greatest thinkers of our time. He was born in Morocco in 1937 and came of age in France in the 1960s, when he began publishing novels, plays, works of philosophy, political theory, and literary and aesthetic criticism. Since then he has written dozens of books and hundreds of essays, which have been read not only by scholars and students all over the world, but by artists, writers, political organizers, and many other people who have been inspired by his strikingly original and powerful ideas, his eloquent writing and teaching, and the example of his personal optimism and commitment. Unlike many of his peers, Badiou does not regard the idea of truth to be intrinsically suspect; nor does he agree with the frequent claim of post-structuralist criticism that the project of Western philosophy has exhausted itself. The central question addressed by Badiou’s work is how does fundamental change occur? How does something really new emerge in the world? In some ways similar to the historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, whose work explores the “structure of scientific revolutions,” Badiou asks how one world changes into a new one – not only, however, in the realm of science, but also in those of art, politics, and even in the human experience of love. According to Badiou, a new world emerges through the patient work of developing what he calls “truth procedures” in the aftermath of an “event,” an historical irruption within a field of knowledge and existence (such as the experiments of Galileo, the French revolution, the musical innovations of Schoenberg, or the love of Abelard and Heloise).
Badiou’s major books of philosophy are Theory of the Subject (1982; English translation 2009), Being and Event (1988; English translation 2005), its sequel, Logics of Worlds (2006; English translation 2009), and a third major volume in this series, The Immanence of Truths, is now in preparation. In addition he has written dozens of books on politics, film, literature, music, ethics, Saint Paul, mathematics, and many other topics. He has also published six plays (which are frequently staged in Europe), three well-received novels, and innumerable occasional pieces.