The gallery is pleased to welcome Alain Badiou on Monday, November 11th, to present a lecture titled, The Dialectic in Politics: Affirmation, Negation, and the Affirmative Part of the Negation, as part of his week-long New York city program.
The classical theory of dialectics manifests the idea of contradiction between two terms. For instance, the historical dialectic is the development of the contradiction between a dominant class and a dominated (or exploited) class. But this vision ends up bringing back the dialectical process to the only negation, to what Hegel himself calls “the work of the negative.” This is the vision present today everywhere: we must “fight against” the established order.
Badiou will argue that, so conceived, the dialectic is always a dialectic of failure. For what counts ultimately is not pure negation, but what is affirmed from within the negation itself. In the end, as shown by the victories and failures in politics, there are not two terms, but three: the affirmation (the power of the enemy), the negation (the uprising and the struggle against this power) and what the negation contains of affirmation (the Idea of an entirely new affirmation).
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Alain Badiou isa French philosopher, formerly chair of Philosophy at the École normale supérieure(ENS) and founder of the faculty of Philosophy of the Université de Paris VIII with Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucaultand Jean-François Lyotard. Badiou has written about the concepts of being, truth,eventand the subject in a way that is neither postmodern nor simply a repetition ofmodernity. Badiou has been involved in a number of political and militant organisations, and regularly comments on political events in the press and on television. Badiou argues for a return of communism as a political force. The “Immanence of Truths,” his latest major work, was published in French in 2018 (Fayard). “Matter and Form, Evidence and Surprise: On the Objects of Jean-Luc Moulène” was released by Sequence Press in May, 2019.
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