Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou

This was a paper delivered as part of a panel at PSi#12 Performing Rights on 17 June 2006. The panel was entitled 'Needs Must?: Performance, Biopower and the Staging of Ethics' and was organised by Adrian Kear who also spoke alongside Jennifer Parker-Starbuck (Roehampton), Helen Nicholson and me (both Royal Holloway). The panel was chaired by Shannon Jackson. Despite the general title, we were all actually asked to respond to Alain Badiou recently published book Ethics. 

As someone with Kantian sympathies in moral philosophy, I was a bit of a lone voice on the panel which was generally rather well disposed towards Badiou's book. I found its call for an ethics rooted exclusively in the particularity of the event incoherent and conservative and said so, in a rather knockabout way. The paper went down quite well though the audience were largely pro-Badiou; I gather also there were some grumbling Deleuzians who found my interest in universals absurd though notably didn't stick up their hand to ask a question or try to argue the point.

You can read what I had to say here.