Theory of the Subject

Author(s): Alain Badiou


Theory of the Subject, first published in France in 1982, is without doubt one of Alain Badiou's most important works, laying many of the foundations for his magnum opus, Being and Event. Here Badiou seeks to provide a theory of the subject for Marxism through a study of Lacanian psychoanalysis, offering a major contribution to Marxism, as well as to the larger debate regarding the relationship between psychoanalysis and philosophy. The book also provides a history and theory of structuralism and poststructuralism, a unique evaluation of the achievements of French Maoism during the 1970s and the significance of the events of May 1968, and breathtaking analyses of art and literature. As a theoretical synthesis, the book is extraordinary in terms of its originality, breadth and clarity. This is arguably Badiou's most creative and passionate book, encompassing the entire battlefield of contemporary theory, philosophy and psychoanalysis. Available for the first time in English and now in paperback, this is a must-read for anyone interested in this lively and highly original thinker.


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Badiou is widely considered to be France's most important and exciting contemporary thinker. Theory of the Subject is one of his most important and influential works.

A rare achievement, a true philosophical classic, comparable to only two or three books in the twentieth century, such as Heidegger's Being and Time. The difference is that, if Being and Time left its mark on twentieth-century thought, Theory of the Subject announces the thought of the twenty-first century. It opens up the path that Badiou followed in his two later classics, Being and Event and Logics of Worlds, but it enforces this opening with a violent freshness which far surpasses its later developments. So beware, reader: when you open this book, you hold in your hands proof that philosophers of the status of Plato, Hegel and Heidegger are still walking around today! -- Slavoj eiuek Theory of the Subject is the first of Badiou's three great philosophical works, along with Being and Event and Logics of Worlds. It is his most passionate, most uncompromising and most revolutionary book. Bruno Bosteels has long been its most ardent and eloquent reader, and he is the ideal person to present and translate this challenging text. -- Peter Hallward, Centre For Research In Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, UK Theory of the Subject, impeccably translated by Bruno Bosteels, stands as one of the most successful attempts to integrate a psychoanalytic appreciation of subjectivity with the demands of revolutionary politics, and for that alone, and for its signal importance in the broader sweep of Badiou's philosophical project, it remains necessary reading. -- Tom Eyers, Centre For Research In Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University. Reviewed In Marx & Philosophy Review Of Books, October 2010. Theory of the Subject is a fulminant, challenging and intellectually rewarding book well worth reading for the sake of its rich language and philosophical references. -- Tomas Marttila, Department Of Sociology, University Of Bamberg, Germany. Reviewed In Foucault Studies, No. 10, November 2010 Reviewed in The European Legacy, Vol. 16, No. 4

Alain Badiou teaches at the Ecole Normale Superieure and at the College International de Philosophie in Paris, France. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works. Bruno Bosteels is Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Comparative Literature at Cornell University, USA, and author of Badiou and Politics (Forthcoming, Duke University Press).

Translator's Introduction \ Author's Preface to the English translation \ Preface to the French edition \ 1. The Place of the Subjective \ 2. The Subject under the Signifiers of Exception \ 3. Lack and Destruction \ 4. A Materialist Reversal of Materialism \ 5. Subjectivation and Subjective Proces \ 6. Topologies of Ethics \ Thematic Index \ Name Index

General Fields

  • : 9781441159595
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : January 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Alain Badiou
  • : Paperback
  • : 416