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Love without risk is an impossibility, like war without death. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love today - without the key ingredient of chance - is in mortal danger. Alain Badiou proposes a vision of love as an adventure of the individual. Liberal and libertine reductions of love to instant pleasure and non-commitment bite the du Love without risk is an impossibility, like war without death. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love today - without the key ingredient of chance - is in mortal danger. Alain Badiou proposes a vision of love as an adventure of the individual. Liberal and libertine reductions of love to instant pleasure and non-commitment bite the dust as Badiou invokes a supporting cast of thinkers from Plato to Lacan via Karl Marx to create a new narrative of romance, relationships and sex - one that does not fear love.


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Love without risk is an impossibility, like war without death. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love today - without the key ingredient of chance - is in mortal danger. Alain Badiou proposes a vision of love as an adventure of the individual. Liberal and libertine reductions of love to instant pleasure and non-commitment bite the du Love without risk is an impossibility, like war without death. Caught between consumerism and casual sexual encounters devoid of passion, love today - without the key ingredient of chance - is in mortal danger. Alain Badiou proposes a vision of love as an adventure of the individual. Liberal and libertine reductions of love to instant pleasure and non-commitment bite the dust as Badiou invokes a supporting cast of thinkers from Plato to Lacan via Karl Marx to create a new narrative of romance, relationships and sex - one that does not fear love.

30 review for In Praise of Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Éloge de l'amour = In Praise of Love, Alain Badiou Alain Badiou (born 17 January 1937) is a 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 Foucault and Jean-François Lyotard. Badiou has written about the concepts of being, truth, event and the subject in a way that, he claims, is neither postmodern nor simply a repetition of modernity. In the "In Praise of L Éloge de l'amour = In Praise of Love, Alain Badiou Alain Badiou (born 17 January 1937) is a 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 Foucault and Jean-François Lyotard. Badiou has written about the concepts of being, truth, event and the subject in a way that, he claims, is neither postmodern nor simply a repetition of modernity. In the "In Praise of Love", Alain Badiou takes on contemporary 'dating agency' conceptions of love that come complete with zero-risk insurance - like US zero-casualty bombs. He develops a new take on love that sees it as an adventure, and an opportunity for re-invention, in a constant exploration of otherness and difference that leads the individual out of an obsession with identity and self. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2016میلادی عنوان: در ستایش عشق؛ نویسنده: آلن بادیو؛ مترجم: مریم عبدالرحیم کاشی؛ تهران، ققنوس، 1393، در 95ص؛ شابک 9786002780959؛ موضوع: عشق از نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 21م کتاب «در ستایش عشق» با جمله ای از: «آرتور رمبو (شاعر فرانسوی)»، آغاز میشود: «همان طور که میدانیم، عشق را باید از نو ابداع کرد.» (فصلی در جهنم، وهم ها) این جمله که «رمبو» در مناسبتی دیگر گفته، در اینروزگار بیش از هر زمان دیگری، معنی، و مصداق پیدا کرده است، و مدخل بسیار مناسبی ست، برای کتابی که قرار است، در ابتدای سده ی بیست و یکم میلادی، به موضوع عشق بپردازد نقل نمونه متن: (1. عشق در معرض تهدید: در کتاب «سارکوزی» که اخیرا مشهور شده است، شما استدلال میکنید، که «ما باید عشق را از نو ابداع کنیم، و در عین حال قاطعانه از آن دفاع کنیم، چرا که از تمامی جوانب با تهدیداتی روبروست»؛ این تهدید از چه طریق است؟ به نظر شما، چگونه ازدواجهای برنامه ریزی شده ی پیشین، در پوششهای جدید امروزی، از نو بسته بندی شده اند؟ گمان میکنم تبلیغات اخیر یک وب سایت دوستیابی، به طور خاص توجه شما را جلب کرده است...؛ - درست است، دیوارهای «پاریس»، از پوسترهای وب سایت اینترنتی دوستیابی «مِتیک» پر شده است؛ این تبلیغات، واقعا آزارم میدهند؛ به تعدادی از شعارهایی که در تبلیغات پرآب و تاب این سایت، استفاده میشود، اشاره مختصری میکنم؛ اولی به طرز ناشایستی از عنوان نمایشنامه «ماریوو»، یعنی بازی عشق و شانس، بهره میجوید و میگوید: «عشق را بدون دخالت شانس به دست آورید!»؛ تبلیغ جای دیگری میگوید: «عاشق شوید بدون اینکه در دام عشق گرفتار شوید!»؛ بدون اینکه مسحور و شیدا شوید، درست نمیگویم؟ و باز در جایی دیگر: «عشق تمام و کمال را بدون رنج کشیدن به دست آورید!»؛ و اینها همه، به لطف وب سایت متیک...؛ که مضاف بر اینها ــ تصورش نفسم را بند میآورد ــ پیشنهاد «تعلیم و آماده سازی در زمینه عشق» میدهد؛ بنابراین، آنها یک مربی، در اختیارتان میگذارند، تا برای روبرو شدن با آزمون، آماده شوید؛ من معتقدم اینگونه گزافه پردازیها، منعکس کننده ی مفهومی از عشق، هستند؛ که امنیت را، در اولویت قرار میدهد؛ و آن عشقی است، که از هر جهت در برابر تمامی مخاطرات بیمه است: طعم عشق را خواهید چشید، اما پیش از آن، رابطه احتمالی آتی خود را، کاملاً ارزیابی و شریک خود را، از طریق جستجوی آنلاین ــ طبعا به دست آوردن عکس، جزئیات سلیقه، نشان طالع بینی و تاریخ تولد و...؛ ــ انتخاب خواهید کرد؛ و با جمع بندی تمام عوامل، به خود خواهید گفت: «این گزینه ای بیخطر است!»؛ این شعار بازارگرمی آنهاست، و جالب توجه است، که کمپین تبلیغاتی باید آن را اتخاذ کند؛ یقینا تا بدانجا که عشق لذتی است، که تقریبا همه در جستجوی آنند، چیزی که به زندگی همه، شور و معنا میبخشد، به این باور رسیده ام، که عشق موهبتی نیست، که در کمال امنیت، به انسان بخشیده شود؛ رهیافت متیک شعارهای تبلیغاتی ارتش آمریکا را، به خاطرم میآورد، که زمانی ایده «بمبهای هوشمند»، و جنگهای «بدون تلفات» را، تبلیغ میکرد.)؛ پایان نقل تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 10/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    What’s Love Got to Do With It? Let me confess straight away: I am in thrall to Alain Badiou, a French philosopher who was born in 1937 and therefore in 2013 is 76. I make no pretence to objectivity in this review. I share his interests, love and politics, culture and philosophy, and his analysis accords with my predisposition. What has he done? He’s defined a worldview with which I wholeheartedly agree in 104 pages of passionate, pristine prose. Reading it has been the most amazing and life-changing What’s Love Got to Do With It? Let me confess straight away: I am in thrall to Alain Badiou, a French philosopher who was born in 1937 and therefore in 2013 is 76. I make no pretence to objectivity in this review. I share his interests, love and politics, culture and philosophy, and his analysis accords with my predisposition. What has he done? He’s defined a worldview with which I wholeheartedly agree in 104 pages of passionate, pristine prose. Reading it has been the most amazing and life-changing experience of my postgraduate, autodidactic life. Unbeknown to me, I have been searching for this man all of my life. Socrates:"Anyone who doesn’t take love as their starting-point will never discover what philosophy is about." I Think, Therefore You Don’t Exist Descartes:"I think, therefore I am." Notice anything about this sentence? The first person pronoun is used twice. There is no "you"! There is no "we". There is no "us". There is no narrative. There is no love. There is only "solitary consciousness". Boring! Philosophy, lift your game! Immanuel Kant later postulated that we could never truly “know” the Other or the exterior, objective world. And that type of approach resulted in solipsism! You don’t exist, except in my mind! When I hold you in my arms, I know intuitively that that’s not true. Half of these philosophers lacked adequate personal experience in sex, desire and love, or felt guilty about it. Help! We need a philosopher to sort this out. Better still, a French one. One from the Continent. Let’s give this gentle homme a chance… Random Encounter Let’s assume that you exist. "You think, therefore you are." See, that wasn’t that hard, was it? Now, let’s assume that it’s just the two of us on Earth. Somehow, we meet each other at a party. We enjoy our "Encounter". It’s a "Magical Moment". It’s an "Act of Randomness". Later, we will describe it as our "Random Encounter". What am I going to do with you? What are you going to do with me? How do we describe our relationship? Is This Love or Desire? I venture the word "Desire". Alain Badiou: "Desire is immediately powerful... Desire focuses on the Other, always in a somewhat fetishist manner , on particular objects, like breasts, buttocks and cock." Suddenly, you say, "I don’t like the sound of that. What about Friendship, what about Love?" Me: OK, but what is Love? Alain Badiou: "Love is a quest for truth. I mean truth in relation to something quite precise: what kind of world does One see when One experiences it from the point of view of Two and not One ? What is the world like when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of Difference and not Identity? That is what I believe Love to be." You: Can you have both Love and Desire? Alain Badiou: "If you declare your Love to each other, Love includes and embraces Desire." Me: Pardon? Alain Badiou: "Love, particularly over time, embraces all the positive aspects of Friendship, but Love relates to the totality of the Being of the Other." You: What do you mean by "the totality of the Being"? Alain Badiou: "I mean the totality of your Being. All of it, everything. All of you. You. Your heart, your soul, your mind, your body." Me: What about Sex? Alain Badiou: "The Surrender of the Body becomes the material symbol of that totality." You: "Sorry, what do I have to Surrender?" Alain Badiou: " Surrendering your body , taking your clothes off, being naked for the Other, rehearsing those hallowed gestures, renouncing all embarrassment, shouting, all this involvement of the body is evidence of a Surrender to Love . It crucially distinguishes it from Friendship. Friendship doesn’t involve bodily contact, or any resonances in pleasure of the body." Me: So, if I declare my Love, she will Surrender?? Alain Badiou: "Within the framework of a Love that declares itself, this Declaration, even if it remains latent, is what produces the effects of Desire, and not Desire itself. Love proves itself by permeating Desire." I look at you. You nod. Commitment You: Tell me you love me then. I look at Alain. I look back at you. I say, "I love you." Alain Badiou: " A declaration of "I love you" seals the act of the Encounter, is central and constitutes a Commitment." Me: What am I committing myself to here? Alain Badiou: "You’re committing to Love, which I describe as a ‘Two Scene’ ". Difference and Identity Alain Badiou: "Starting out from something that is simply an Encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of Difference and not only in terms of Identity. "In Love, at the absolute Difference that exists between two individuals, one of the biggest Differences one can imagine, given that it is an infinite Difference, yet an Encounter, a Declaration and Fidelity can transform that into a creative Existence." You: "We don’t have to be mirror images of each other. We don’t have to be identical. Like Doppelgänger." A Two Scene Me: What do you mean by a ‘Two Scene’? Alain Badiou: "Love involves a separation or disjuncture based on the simple Difference between two people and their infinite subjectivities. "This disjuncture is, in most cases, Sexual Difference. "When that isn’t the case, Love still ensures that two figures, two different interpretive stances are set in opposition. "In other words, Love contains an initial element that separates, dislocates and differentiates. You have Two. Love involves Two. A ‘Two Scene’. "Precisely because it encompasses a disjuncture, at the moment when this Two appear on stage as such and experience the world in a new way, Love can only assume a risky or contingent form. "That is what we know as "the Encounter". Love always starts with an Encounter. "Love is evidence we can encounter and experience the world other than through a solitary consciousness. "The issue of Separation is so important in Love that one can also define Love as a successful struggle against Separation." Me: "So it’s a bit like a three-legged race? We have to stick together. We can’t continually pull away or in opposite directions. We have to work out a mutually acceptable way of moving ahead, without One dragging the Other against their Will." Truth Procedure Me: "How are we supposed to deal with our Differences?" Alain Badiou: "The answer comes down to ‘Truth’". "I believe that Love is what I call a "Truth Procedure" , that is, an experience whereby a certain kind of Truth is constructed. "This Truth is quite simply the Truth about Two: the Truth that derives from Difference as such. And I think that Love - what I call the 'Two Scene' - is this Experience. "In this sense, all Love that accepts the challenge, commits to enduring, and embraces this Experience of the world from the perspective of Difference produces in its way a new Truth about Difference." Construction Alain Badiou: "Love isn’t simply about two people meeting and their inward-looking relationship: it is a Construction , a life that is being made, no longer from the perspective of One but from the perspective of Two. And that is what I have called a ‘Two Scene’." You: "So Love is more than Love at first sight?" You looked at me as you said it. Alain Badiou: "Love cannot be reduced to the first Encounter, because it is a Construction. "The enigma in thinking about Love is the duration of time necessary for it to flourish. In fact, it isn’t the ecstasy of those beginnings that is remarkable. "The latter are clearly ecstatic, but Love is above all a Construction that lasts." Me: So Real Love transcends the Randomness of the first Encounter and outlasts it. Point by Point Alain Badiou: "I go along with the miracle of the Encounter, but I think it remains confined, if we don’t channel it towards the onerous development of a Truth that is constructed Point by Point" . Me: What do you mean when you say "Point by Point"? Alain Badiou: "A 'Point' is a decision point, a point when you have to decide how you are going to deal with a situation, a particular moment around which an Event establishes itself, where it must be re-played in some way, as if it were returning in a changed, displaced form, but one forcing you 'to declare afresh'. "A Point, in effect, comes when the consequences of a Construction of a Truth, whether it be political, amorous, artistic or scientific, suddenly compels you to opt for a radical choice, as if you were back at the beginning, when you accepted and declared the event. Me: So having a made a Commitment, something might happen, a challenge, a problem, a dispute, that requires a decision, you have to negotiate and agree a resolution? You make a new Commitment or you refresh the original Commitment? Alain Badiou: "Yes. We could say that Love is a tenacious adventure. The adventurous side is necessary, but equally so is the need for tenacity . To give up at the first hurdle, the first serious disagreement, the first quarrel, is only to distort Love. "Real Love is one that triumphs lastingly, sometimes painfully, over the hurdles erected by time, space and the world." A Work of Love Me: "You say the Truth Process is ‘onerous’. It sounds like hard work. Isn’t the act of falling in Love enough?" Alain Badiou: "‘Onerous’ must be taken here as something positive. "There is a work of Love: it is not simply a miracle. "You must be in the breech, on guard: you must be at one with yourself and the Other. "You must think, act and change. And then, surely, Happiness follows, as the immanent reward for all that work. " Me: So Happiness is an Earthly reward for the effort we put into our Love. We earn our Happiness from Love’s Labours. Jealousy Me: Does being Jealous prove that you’re in Love? Or does it mean you’re just obsessive? Alain Badiou: "Good question. On this point, I disagree profoundly with all those who think that Jealousy is a constituent element of Love. "The most brilliant representative of the latter is Proust , for whom Jealousy is the real, intense, demonic content of amorous subjectivity. "Jealousy is a fake parasite that feeds on Love and doesn’t at all help to define it. Must every Love identify an external rival before it can declare itself, before it can begin? No way! The reverse is the case: the immanent difficulties of Love, the internal contradictions of the Two Scene can crystallize around a third party, a rival, imagined or real. "The difficulties Love harbours don’t stem from the existence of an enemy who has been identified. They are internal to the process: the creative play of Difference." Combative Love Alain Badiou: "Selfishness, not any rival, is love’s enemy. One could say: my Love’s main enemy, the one I must defeat, is not the other, it is myself, the 'myself' that prefers Identity to Difference, that prefers to impose its world against the world re-constructed through the filter of Difference. "We must demonstrate that Love really does have universal power, but that it is simply the opportunity we are given to enjoy a positive, creative, affirmative experience of Difference." Me: So it’s OK to have differences of opinion as long as you recognise and permit Difference and don’t seek to impose the Identity of One on the Other. Differences of opinion are actually healthy? Alain Badiou: "Christianity substitutes devout, passive, deferential Love for the Combative Love I am praising here, that earthly creation of the differentiated birth of a new world and a Happiness won Point by Point. "Love on bended knee is no Love at all as far as I am concerned, even if Love sometimes arouses Passion in us that makes us yield to the Loved One." I Believe in Miracles You: Why does falling in Love seem like such a miracle? Is Love more than a chance meeting with the Other? Alain Badiou: "Love remains powerful, subjectively powerful: it’s one of those rare Experiences where, on the basis of Chance inscribed in a moment, you attempt a Declaration of Eternity. "The moment of the miraculous Encounter promises the Eternity of Love, though what I want to suggest is a concept of Love that is less miraculous and more hard work, namely a Construction of Eternity within time, of the Experience of the Two, Point by Point." I Will Always Love You Me: Is Love forever? Alain Badiou: "If 'I love you' is always, in most respects, the heralding of 'I’ll always love you', it is in effect locking Chance into the framework of Eternity . "The Declaration of Love marks the transition from Chance to Destiny, and that’s why it is so perilous and so burdened with a kind of horrifying stage fright. " ‘Always’ means ‘eternally’. It is simply a Commitment within time." Me: For an Atheist, Love can’t endure beyond death. Alain Badiou: "There is no fabulous world of the afterlife. But Love, the essence of which is Fidelity in the meaning I give to this word, demonstrates how Eternity can exist within the time span of Life itself . "Happiness in Love is the proof that Time can accommodate Eternity.” Fidelity Me: What do you mean by 'Fidelity'? Does it mean more than the simple promise not to sleep with someone else? Alain Badiou: "The initial Declaration of 'I love you' is a Commitment requiring no particular consecration, the Commitment to construct something that will endure in order to release the Encounter from its randomness . "By Fidelity, I mean: I shall extract something else from what was mere Chance. "I’m going to extract something that will endure, something that will persist, a Commitment, a Fidelity. "And here I am using the word 'Fidelity' within my own philosophical jargon, stripped of its usual connotations. It means precisely that transition from Random Encounter to a Construction that is resilient, as if it had been necessary. "In Love, Fidelity signifies this extended victory: the randomness of an Encounter defeated day after day through the invention of what will endure, through the birth of a world." Me: So the Construction of Love gives birth to a new world comprised of and between the Two. And Fidelity is designed to ensure that that world endures. Politics Me: You talk about Politics in the same way you talk about Love. Alain Badiou: "Real politics is that which gives enthusiasm. Love and Politics are the two great figures of social engagement. "Politics is enthusiasm with a collective; with Love, two people. So Love is the minimal form of communism. "By 'communist' I understand that which makes the ‘held-in-common’ [ed: 'shared'?] prevail over selfishness, the collective achievement over private self-interest. "Love is communist in that sense, if one accepts, as I do, that the real subject of a love is the becoming of the couple and not the mere satisfaction of the individuals that are its component parts. Yet another possible definition of love: minimal communism!" Me: How do Politics and Love differ? Alain Badiou: "Politics constitutes a Truth Procedure, but one that centres on the Collective. "Political action tests out the Truth of what the Collective is capable of achieving. "What are individuals capable of when they meet, organize, think and take decisions? "In Love, it is about two people being able to handle Difference and make it creative. "In Politics, it is about finding out whether a number of people, a mass of people in fact, can create equality. "The problem Politics confronts is the control of Hatred, not of Love. And Hatred is a passion that almost inevitably poses the question of the Enemy. "In other words, in Politics, where Enemies do exist, one role of the organization, whatever that may be, is to control, indeed to destroy, the consequences of Hatred." Fraternity Alain Badiou: "What on earth is 'Fraternity'? No doubt it is related to the issue of Differences, of their friendly co-presence within the political process, the essential boundary being the confrontation with the Enemy. "And that is a notion that can be covered by internationalism, because, if the Collective can really take Equality on board, that means it can also integrate the most extensive divergences and greatly limit the power of Identity. "The theatre is a community and the aesthetic expression of Fraternity. That’s why I argue that there is, in that sense, something communist in all theatre." Art and Theatre Alain Badiou: "Only art restores the dimension of the senses to an Encounter, an insurrection or a riot. Art, in all its forms, is a great reflection on the Event as such. "Theatre is politics and love, and more generally, about the two intersecting. "The theme of Love as a Game is crucial in the Theatre, and that it’s all precisely about Declarations. It is also because this Theatre of Love, this powerful Game of Love and Chance exists, that I have this love for the Theatre. "The relationship between the Theatre and Love is also the exploration of the abyss separating individuals, and the description of the fragile nature of the bridge that Love throws between two solitudes." Harmony Me: The reconciliation of your Love and your Politics meant a lot to you. Alain Badiou: "I realised that conviction in Love and Politics is something one must never renounce. "That was really the moment when, in between Politics and Love, my life found the musical chord that ensured its harmony." Endurance Marxism has always endeavoured to construct a worldview on the foundation of Labour that fulfilled and rewarded the Worker. To achieve this goal, it had to overcome the Alienation inherent in Capitalism. Communism in practice never succeeded, because it simply replaced one oppressor with another, the State. While Badiou still claims to be a Communist, he seems to be a Communist in the Atheist sense of trying, in the absence of God and an Afterlife, to create a Heaven on Earth. An essential component of this worldview is Love, both at a personal and a political level. It’s fascinating that his philosophy attributes great value to work and effort. In Love, as in Politics, as in Employment, if we want something, we have to work for it. Success is the reward for Effort. In both Politics and Love, the reward is a Happiness that will last and endure. Epigrams The following epigrams are either the express words of Badiou or my paraphrase of his propositions. 1 Love includes and embraces Desire. 2 Love is what we construct on the foundation of our Differences. 3 Love is the birth of a new world constructed and shared by two different people. 4 We deal with our Differences, point by point, one at a time, for the duration of our Love. 5 It is our effort that makes Love endure. 6 Happiness is the reward for the effort we put into our Love.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vikas Lather

    "We must quite simply defend love because it faces threat from all sides" "We must quite simply defend love because it faces threat from all sides"

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stella K

    Read it in one go, of course. Last night -to be precise. It was an unforgettable night. The pleasures of reading about the philosophical ideas of love last longer than the pleasures of the physical expression of love, but the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. I agree with Badiou's insistence on love as a higher ideal, more than with Lacan's rational theory of love as a particle of our existence. Badiou suggests that love 'becomes' and he arrives to this conclusion by giving gravity to th Read it in one go, of course. Last night -to be precise. It was an unforgettable night. The pleasures of reading about the philosophical ideas of love last longer than the pleasures of the physical expression of love, but the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. I agree with Badiou's insistence on love as a higher ideal, more than with Lacan's rational theory of love as a particle of our existence. Badiou suggests that love 'becomes' and he arrives to this conclusion by giving gravity to the 'adventure' that precedes love. The 'adventure' is separated from the initial encounter, the warm, fuzzy feeling of being in love. 'Adventure' is when we succumb to the risks inherent to love. And love, is the product of the 'adventure'. It was refreshing to read this wise man's view that,all this trouble of protecting oneself from the side-effects of love,in essence deprives one from that which was sought in the first place: love. To try to understand love and its impact on the person is hard enough. But it is definitely worth aiming for, as the benefits are deeper and much more rewarding than what a risk-free, contractual approach of love. I would have enjoyed a discussion on the various formulations of love. Expressions of love if you like. Badiou suggests to throw love in the rocks and stick with it, but would the result be as romantic and fulfilling as we would have liked it to be? When we end up resenting the other person for what they did to love during the 'adventure' is that another formulation of love? Is there anything worth fighting for in order for love to become? Nicola Truong's questions were challenging but urged Badiou for a more philosophical and less practical approach on love. Thoroughlly enjoyed this book. Definitely worth reading, contemplating and if you can find someone you can talk this with, then you'll be really lucky.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Alain Badiou states the obvious in the Tinder era. More or less all of what he said could have been summed up in a succinct, elegant 10-page essay, but the contemporary French don't do that – they pontificate using lit Gauloises like conductors' wands (something I have a tendency to do as well, eep), invoking Lacan and Plato's Republic. I didn't need this kind of intellectual circle jerk in my life, and you don't either. Alain Badiou states the obvious in the Tinder era. More or less all of what he said could have been summed up in a succinct, elegant 10-page essay, but the contemporary French don't do that – they pontificate using lit Gauloises like conductors' wands (something I have a tendency to do as well, eep), invoking Lacan and Plato's Republic. I didn't need this kind of intellectual circle jerk in my life, and you don't either.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    Weirdly, this might be a great place to start with Badiou. More weirdly, it isn't even available in the US. It's a slight little thing, but packed with insights and beautiful meditations on the challenges of love. Awesome. Weirdly, this might be a great place to start with Badiou. More weirdly, it isn't even available in the US. It's a slight little thing, but packed with insights and beautiful meditations on the challenges of love. Awesome.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaśyap

    More than 150 years ago, Kierkegaard wrote a brilliant essay mourning the loss of passion in the world. His words are truer now for the modern world. This short work by Alain Badiou is a passionate defence of the universal phenomenon of love in the ennui of the modern world. In a world where everything including love has fallen under consumerism, where everything is calculated as an investment. He invokes other thinkers who talked about love, like Lacan, Kierkegaard and Plato. He also makes the c More than 150 years ago, Kierkegaard wrote a brilliant essay mourning the loss of passion in the world. His words are truer now for the modern world. This short work by Alain Badiou is a passionate defence of the universal phenomenon of love in the ennui of the modern world. In a world where everything including love has fallen under consumerism, where everything is calculated as an investment. He invokes other thinkers who talked about love, like Lacan, Kierkegaard and Plato. He also makes the case for his view of love as a quest for truth. Love makes you look at the world through the perspective of difference. He argues that love is not just an experience but an event in reality. It starts with an encounter and then becomes a truth-procedure that leads from subjective experience to universal value. He also challenges the romantic conception of love. He argues for love as something that takes shape over time. Love is a construction that is being made from the perspective of two. He distinguishes this with the conception of love in religion where one forgets oneself, leading to the experience of God. Love leading to transcendence. Love here takes the form of yielding to a God. As a Marxist, he wants to separate love from that. Bring it back to Earth. Love and Politics is another interesting chapter. Politics is a collective affair. Love is like politics in the sense that love has a same structure as communist politics, but in a two-fold way. “Real politics is to engage to resolve problems within a collective with enthusiasm. It's not simply to delegate problems to the professionals. Love is like politics in that it's not a professional affair. There are no professionals in love, and none in real politics.” And finally love as a struggle. ”To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    I was upstate hiding in a barn with my dying cat (she has a massive oozing tumor on her tummy). I was nursing a broken heart and dealing with a massively horrendous year. I don't believe I have ever been as cynical or as hateful. I hated the concept of love; hated the fact that I was in love; hated the idea that I couldn't be a robot or an automaton. I don't drive, so every week a friend would drive by to pick me up to buy the week's groceries, use their land line, check my email, and to take a I was upstate hiding in a barn with my dying cat (she has a massive oozing tumor on her tummy). I was nursing a broken heart and dealing with a massively horrendous year. I don't believe I have ever been as cynical or as hateful. I hated the concept of love; hated the fact that I was in love; hated the idea that I couldn't be a robot or an automaton. I don't drive, so every week a friend would drive by to pick me up to buy the week's groceries, use their land line, check my email, and to take a shower. One week, early in January, my friend took me to Barnes and Nobel. I HATE Barnes and Nobel but I did need a new book. But I didn't want to see anyone; I didn't want any human interaction and even dealing with my wonderful friend was a deep chore. I thought I'd buy some theory and picked up this book. I keep meaning to read Badiou but haven't really got around to it. When I saw the title I though, "fuck him; fuck that book." But because I was still in love I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it until I had to have it; just had to. I needed to read it, argue with it, and prove to myself that there was no "praise of love." It's a short book and more of a transcription of a dialog than a book. And nearly immediately he takes on my cynical hateful self. Nearly immediately he takes on Proust, who I was reading at the time. And although he unfairly denigrates Proust's position as cynical, he does make a relatively decent case for falling in love. I still thought it was bullshit, but now that a few months have passed, and now that I've softened a bit (although I'm still in love, for what it's worth) I still think about his arguments. I still don't know if I agree, but he makes a case. Not for becoming two, or even three, but for a destruction of the ego and a creation of another, separate from yourself. He argues for love as an Event; an Event that rewires and reinvents. Maybe... I mean, it does, but I'm still not sure if I like it... and I'm still not sure about his argument.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    A really interesting philosophical reflection, making the point that most literature about romantic love is about the event - something that only has a short duration - an eternal moment. It is never about the difficulty of sustaining that love through time in the world. The assumption with the former is that the moment links to eternity and that is enough in its pure perfection. So everybody dies, or it is over etc. It can't survive the ravages of time. Badiou argues for a practice of love whic A really interesting philosophical reflection, making the point that most literature about romantic love is about the event - something that only has a short duration - an eternal moment. It is never about the difficulty of sustaining that love through time in the world. The assumption with the former is that the moment links to eternity and that is enough in its pure perfection. So everybody dies, or it is over etc. It can't survive the ravages of time. Badiou argues for a practice of love which is embodied in the world and time and cites Samuel Beckett as one of the rare examples of this in literature. See my blog post for a more extended discussion http://inputs.wordpress.com/2012/05/2...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I like his ideas, though I wish he had gone into more depth as to why struggle in love was necessary. Or at least been more descriptive of what "struggle" means in the context of love. Unclear whether he meant day-to-day nuisances and maintenance or whether he has some unhealthy ideas about only disfunctional, fire-y loves having real passion. I like his ideas, though I wish he had gone into more depth as to why struggle in love was necessary. Or at least been more descriptive of what "struggle" means in the context of love. Unclear whether he meant day-to-day nuisances and maintenance or whether he has some unhealthy ideas about only disfunctional, fire-y loves having real passion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lukáš

    Badiou is the Barbara Cartland of philosophy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anders

    Pretty good stuff. After reading the first chapter, I was worried that the book wouldn't offer as full a treatment of the subject as I'd like or delve as deeply as I liked. However, now having finished the book I can say my worries were gravely unfounded. I'm sad to say this is my first foray into the world of Alain Badiou, whose voice I found pleasant, articulate, and stimulating. I'll certainly be reading more of his works. This book takes upon itself the mission of reinventing love (qua Rimba Pretty good stuff. After reading the first chapter, I was worried that the book wouldn't offer as full a treatment of the subject as I'd like or delve as deeply as I liked. However, now having finished the book I can say my worries were gravely unfounded. I'm sad to say this is my first foray into the world of Alain Badiou, whose voice I found pleasant, articulate, and stimulating. I'll certainly be reading more of his works. This book takes upon itself the mission of reinventing love (qua Rimbaud) in the form of an adapted interview between Badiou and Nicolas Truong. Truong asks the right questions and Badiou gives simple, coherent answers. While such a task could no doubt be left unfinished after 100 books of this size, I think this book well accomplishes what it sets out to do. Badiou approaches the issue of love from several angles- first attacking the modern capitalist/utilitarian notions of "love without consequences" epitomized by a certain French dating website (no doubt we have American analogues, if not a commonly held analogous sentiment), then moving on to deal with brief historical accounts of love by (a few) philosophers, the construction of love by two parties (Badiou's own formulation he calls a "Two Scene" which is based on the idea that "starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity"--an inspirational basis in itself), the truth in love (the truth of subjectivity), and finishing of with love's relation to politics and the arts. The last two chapters (politics and arts) were interesting in their own right and useful for casting some of the ideas he posits in more practical realms, but less appealing to me as a person partial to ideas rather than materials. So logically, I preferred the chapters on philosopher's accounts, construction, and truth in/of love. Although Badiou uses some of his technical terms, he always defines them and explains and/or gives examples which make his points rather clear. I found myself thinking of his perspective as an anti-romantic Romanticism or a pure kind of idealism. I'm not sure if those labels do a disservice to Badiou, but, without describing it as inspirational again, I can't help but characterize his optimistic focus as refreshing and yet familiar. I suppose it's also worth noting his secular lean; he addresses the use of love by Christianity and has a disdain for submitting to a transcendental love. And why not? His project involves firmly rooting love in the immanent (even if that occasionally involves submitting to a loved one). He works in his idea of love via difference into his communist sensibilities which he defines, at one point, so broadly: "by "communist" I understand that which makes the held-in-common prevail over selfishness, the collective achievement over private self-interest." The only confusing part comes with Lacan (and let's be honest when is he not opaque?), but Badiou does a nice job making it make sense while fitting it within his schema. Altogether, I would read this book again. Much of his idea of love reminded me of my own musings about intersubjectivity--the necessity of which I used to speak about at length. And I really like the book cover, so I'm happy to find it a spot on my book shelf. Here are some quotes: "My own philosophical view is attempting to say that love cannot be reduced to any of these approximations and is a quest for truth. What kind of truth? you will ask. I mean truth in relation to something quite precise: what kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the point of view of two not one? What is the world like when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be...anything from the moment our lives are challenged by the perspective of difference." "Love, particularly over time, embraces all the positive aspects of friendship but love relates to the totality of the being of the other, and the surrender of the body becomes the material symbol of that totality. People can say "That's not true! It is desire and desire alone that's at work there." I would maintain that, within the framework of a love that declares itself, this declaration, even if it remains latent, is what produces the effects of desire, and not desire itself...That is why I believe love cannot be and isn't for anyone, apart from the ideologues keen to erase it, a mere cloak for sexual desire, a sophisticated , chimerical ploy to ensure the survival of the species." "What is universal is that all love suggests a new experience of truth about what it is to be two and not one. That we can encounter and experience the world other than through a solitary consciousness: any love whatsoever gives us new evidence of this." "I don't at all deny that love is sequential, in other words, that it's not autonomous. There are points, tests, temptations and new appearances, and, each time, you must replay the "Two scene", find the terms for a new declaration. After the initial declaration, love too must also be "re-stated". And that is why love is also the source of violent existential crises. Like all processes involving the search for truth."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nuno R.

    Simply one of the most perfect books I have read in my entire life. And even this edition makes the reading experience an absolute pleasure. I've read the translation by Peter Bush, the Serpent's Tail little book is gorgeous, the format really suits the size of the text, and the paper has great quality. Alain Badiou is a brave mind, a lucid spirit and it's great to have such a nice edition to make the reading of his thoughts so clear and consequential. The French philosopher had a conversation in Simply one of the most perfect books I have read in my entire life. And even this edition makes the reading experience an absolute pleasure. I've read the translation by Peter Bush, the Serpent's Tail little book is gorgeous, the format really suits the size of the text, and the paper has great quality. Alain Badiou is a brave mind, a lucid spirit and it's great to have such a nice edition to make the reading of his thoughts so clear and consequential. The French philosopher had a conversation in the "Theatre of Ideas" series with Nicolas Truong about love. This is the book version, that respects the flow and energy of the conversation, "but is more rounded and incisive." Like happiness (which is not a topic in this book), love is often attacked or held under suspicion by philosophers and thinkers. It is even dismissed as an illusion. What Badiou does is not simply a tender defense of "the illusion" for the sake of having a more comfortable or easier life. As polemicist and true thinker, he goes all the way into exploring the reasons for why love is dismissed and how can we re-invent love, as Rimbaud has proposed, he defines love, tell us how love and politics intersect and with this, allows for the creation (as an artifact of the conversation he had with Truong) of a book that is at the same time a rational achievement and a passionate commitment.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Geof Huth

    Alain Badiou answers, in conversation, questions posed to him by Nicolas Truong, which he then translates into a book about love, and its essential nature and its transformative effects in human life. The main focus here is on the concept of romantic love, and Badiou argues against the "sceptics" who believe that love does not exist and is only a socially acceptable replacement for inexorable sexual desire. Badiou argues finally that love is a quest for truth, the truth that two people can be se Alain Badiou answers, in conversation, questions posed to him by Nicolas Truong, which he then translates into a book about love, and its essential nature and its transformative effects in human life. The main focus here is on the concept of romantic love, and Badiou argues against the "sceptics" who believe that love does not exist and is only a socially acceptable replacement for inexorable sexual desire. Badiou argues finally that love is a quest for truth, the truth that two people can be separate and entirely different and operate so as to perceive the world together, somehow, inexplicably, as one. The book could have used more expansion and support of its ideas, but it exists now as something short and accessible, a readable account of one philosopher's ideas on an issue of great human import: the existence and value of love. He ends, a few sentences from the very end of the book, with these words: “To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence.” We can only hope it is so.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    This short book compensates what it lacks in volume, with it's many contradictions. If Badiou developed some of the concepts he mentions in 'In Praise of Love' , in a more detailed book that would be useful. He refers to Christianity as a religion of love, or one that clings to the notion of love and then is used as channel to redirect love towards the church / religious institution, 'a propaganda tool.' In what context is he then referring to Christianity as a religion of love? He states that a ro This short book compensates what it lacks in volume, with it's many contradictions. If Badiou developed some of the concepts he mentions in 'In Praise of Love' , in a more detailed book that would be useful. He refers to Christianity as a religion of love, or one that clings to the notion of love and then is used as channel to redirect love towards the church / religious institution, 'a propaganda tool.' In what context is he then referring to Christianity as a religion of love? He states that a romantic/sexual rival is an external manifestation that has nothing to do with 'love', you do not need enemies to define love. This is intrinsic to selfishness and not a prerequisite for love, and yet he states that love is full of violence and there are people that have committed suicide 'because of love'. Within the context of love,he seems to find inherent virtue in struggle. I don't know if this extends to his political philosophy. I would still recommend this as reading to anyone in love or not.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    One of Badiou's more public books. As Badiou elaborates, philosophy is conditioned by truths: political, scientific, artistic, and the subject of this book, amorous truths. Here Badiou affirms that genuine love exists as the experience of the world by the Two in the aftermath of a chance encounter worked out in acts of fidelity. Remarkable commentary on other thinkers such as Lacan take place in this book. Badiou also manages to put some of his more daunting concepts into immediately accessible One of Badiou's more public books. As Badiou elaborates, philosophy is conditioned by truths: political, scientific, artistic, and the subject of this book, amorous truths. Here Badiou affirms that genuine love exists as the experience of the world by the Two in the aftermath of a chance encounter worked out in acts of fidelity. Remarkable commentary on other thinkers such as Lacan take place in this book. Badiou also manages to put some of his more daunting concepts into immediately accessible language. Worth the read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leman

    Beautiful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Love encompasses the experience of the possible transition from the pure randomness of chance to a state that has universal value. Starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sahand

    2.5 maybe :))

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jyotirmoy Gupta

    Would have appreciated it even more, if I understood the references to books, plays, and movies mentioned in the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Min Htet Swam

    Love is for Badiou a quest for truth. What truth? A truth about two: to experience the world from point of view of Two/difference and not One/Identity. It’s an existential project that has been assigned to you since '' the encounter '' which is contingent and risky in its nature but also an essential starting point of an adventure to construct the world from the perspective of Two — In this respects, love has universal implications — and no longer from the self-interested, narcissistic point of Love is for Badiou a quest for truth. What truth? A truth about two: to experience the world from point of view of Two/difference and not One/Identity. It’s an existential project that has been assigned to you since '' the encounter '' which is contingent and risky in its nature but also an essential starting point of an adventure to construct the world from the perspective of Two — In this respects, love has universal implications — and no longer from the self-interested, narcissistic point of view only to affirm your own identity. Badiou urges that love need to be declared like any other kind of truth. The act of declaration: to say that "I love you" is thought to be banal, cliche and vapid in the modern sense. But the declaration is not only necessary but also important in indicating a transition from randomness to the destiny. It's a commitment to construct what will endure so that eternity can be seen in our lifetime. ''I shall extract something else from what was mere chance. I’m going to extract something that will endure, something that will persist, a commitment, a fidelity. '' ... "If “I love you” is always, in most respects, the heralding of " I'll always love you”, it is in effect locking chance into the framework of eternity. We shouldn’t be afraid of words. The locking in of chance is an anticipation of eternity. And to an extent, every love states that it is eternal: it is assumed within the declaration..." In short, love is what encompasses both universality and eternity. Love is a disconcerting adventure which demands a confrontation to risks, a reinvention, a tenacity and a construction, enabling us to experience the world from the perspective of difference. Badiou also explores the similarity between love, politics, and art. But I left out them since my crude explanation only aims at his concept of love. Here I'm going to end my unnecessary ramblings with the last paragraph of the book which I found to be beautiful. "To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence- this world where I see for myself the fount of happiness my being with someone else brings. 'I love you' becomes: in this world there is a fount you are for my life. In the water from this fount, I see our bliss, yours first. As in Mallarme's poem, I see: In the wave you become Your naked ecstasy."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mjaballah

    Alain Badiou is an amazing philosopher and a prolific writer. This book, however, is not written by him, it is a documented conversation with Nicolas Truong. A conversation that was largely dictated by Truong's questions. Given that Badiou is answering these question, which are at times directly related to love and at others faintly so, the book flows in and out of the topics of love, history, politics, art, religion ... to mention a few, something you can not blame Badiou for, but rather his in Alain Badiou is an amazing philosopher and a prolific writer. This book, however, is not written by him, it is a documented conversation with Nicolas Truong. A conversation that was largely dictated by Truong's questions. Given that Badiou is answering these question, which are at times directly related to love and at others faintly so, the book flows in and out of the topics of love, history, politics, art, religion ... to mention a few, something you can not blame Badiou for, but rather his interviewer. Given that it is only a 100 pages long, which could have been enclosed easily within 50 pages, it really was no serious attempt at completely linking love to all the other topics. It felt like going through a bullet pointed list at times. Nonetheless, I did get some pretty amazing insights in regards to love and its meaning; three to be specific. Most important was the definition of love as the transition of the individual's experience of life from the perspective of one to two - seeing life, and appreciating it, from the perspective of the beloved and the value it brings to your own life. The second, was the significance of the moment of confession of love to the other. Prior to this point nothing existed between the two, but its enactment brings forth actions that will forever change the lives of the two, and possibly the universe. The last, and most important contention to the equation of true love, as the author repeatedly stated, is that love involves onerous work, something the literature has consistently ignored engaging with. “We could say that love is a tenacious adventure. The adventurous side is necessary, but equally so is the need for tenacity. To give up at the first hurdle, the first quarrel, is only to distort love. Real love is one that triumphs lastingly, sometimes painfully, over the hurdles erected by time, space and the world.” Although the flow was horrible, the points raised to my awareness through this "conversation" made me give the book a 4 star rating. I swear if this "booklet" was the size of a normal book I would have given it nothing higher than 2 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Frank Jude

    Wow! I've been meaning to read Badiou for some time; a bit intimidated by those I know who have read and studied him. This book seemed to my mind a good introduction. I'm a bit hooked now! In just 104 pages, this little book which is simply an edited transcription of Badiou in response to questions asked by Nicolas Truong, takes the reader through an inquiry into what Rimbaud called for: a reinvention of love. The word "love" is in deep need of recuperation as it has become so debased in our capi Wow! I've been meaning to read Badiou for some time; a bit intimidated by those I know who have read and studied him. This book seemed to my mind a good introduction. I'm a bit hooked now! In just 104 pages, this little book which is simply an edited transcription of Badiou in response to questions asked by Nicolas Truong, takes the reader through an inquiry into what Rimbaud called for: a reinvention of love. The word "love" is in deep need of recuperation as it has become so debased in our capitalist, consumerist society. Badiou uses online, risk-free promises of love as his starting off point and argues that for love to be love it must be re-invented against such 'safety and comfort.' It must "innovate" and not merely be :a defensive action to maintain the status quo." From discussing philosophers and their handling of love, from Socrates and Plato through Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard, Lacan, Derrida and other contemporary thinkers, through the nexus of "Love and Art" and "Love and Politics," this short book is a rich mine of thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis. In particular, I really love his description of love as the existential project "to construct a world from a decentered point of view other than that of my mere impulse to survive or re-affirm my own identity." In opposing "construction" to "experience," he speaks of love as constituting "the paradox of an identical difference, as the two lovers "are now incorporated into this unique Subject, the Subject of love that views the panorama of the world through the prism of our difference, so this world can be conceived, be born, and not simply represent what fills my own individual gaze." Something tells me I'll be re-reading this book for quite some time!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laçin T.

    Wow. Rather clear and flowing text, just like clean water. Nice connections why love is a political act/think/change movement (critical indeed, and quite hard to accomplish), but a politics of love is considered meaningless by the author (see p.57). Sound, confident statements on which is institutionalized/frozen (e.g. family, marriage) is low on value because it cannot entail creativity that love craves and brings; on popular love for statesmen; and, on how keywords such as resistance, commitme Wow. Rather clear and flowing text, just like clean water. Nice connections why love is a political act/think/change movement (critical indeed, and quite hard to accomplish), but a politics of love is considered meaningless by the author (see p.57). Sound, confident statements on which is institutionalized/frozen (e.g. family, marriage) is low on value because it cannot entail creativity that love craves and brings; on popular love for statesmen; and, on how keywords such as resistance, commitment, the absence of an enmity towards an other have to do with love. These keywords, in fact, remind of democracy. The text is conversational; so do not expect some deep theorisations about love. Be open and ready to think of exceptions to their statements while going with the flow of the conversation. By the way, really nice touch on France's revolutionary potential in the final comments.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aung Sett Kyaw Min

    Do I love her truly? The verdict is withheld eternally in the womb of the future, or a moment that never arrives, never passes into the present. From the other point of view, the present is stretched to infinity. So we have no choice but to live out our lives as though the sentence has already been delivered in the affirmative. Do I love her truly? Take a leap of faith with passion and a commitment to the magnitude of infinity. True love assumes in advance the mantle of the true, the authentic a Do I love her truly? The verdict is withheld eternally in the womb of the future, or a moment that never arrives, never passes into the present. From the other point of view, the present is stretched to infinity. So we have no choice but to live out our lives as though the sentence has already been delivered in the affirmative. Do I love her truly? Take a leap of faith with passion and a commitment to the magnitude of infinity. True love assumes in advance the mantle of the true, the authentic and precisely through this audacious assumption comes to be what it has already been in the order of eternal, timeless time...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Britton

    "While we're about it, we can also say that love is communist in that sense, if one accepts, as I do, that the real subject of love is the becoming of the couple and not the mere satisfaction of the individuals that are its component parts. Yet another possible definition of love: minimal communism!" "To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence." "While we're about it, we can also say that love is communist in that sense, if one accepts, as I do, that the real subject of love is the becoming of the couple and not the mere satisfaction of the individuals that are its component parts. Yet another possible definition of love: minimal communism!" "To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Myat Thura Aung

    What is love but an existential project to construct a truth based on the Difference rather than on the Identity ? Indeed, far from being a calculated profit-oriented project, love is what transforms contingency into destiny,an audacious attempt to bring about eternity within temporality and one wild spiritual adventure which demands persistance, commitment,a leap of faith and a confrontation to risks, enabling us to experience the World not as a One but as the Two.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rod Dubey

    A disappointing book. This is a very narrow and conservative view of love.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Miloš

    Nice introduction to pleasant philosophical thinkings on love. Light read and a motivation for some Lacanian research on the topic.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael Palkowski

    Derrida somewhat infamously said that he had nothing to say about love. After being asked to explore love as a general concept, he asks the interviewer to pose a question saying that he is incapable of merely discussing the "generalities of love". Badiou seeks to do exactly what Derrida was incapable of doing by focusing on the concept and exploring its meaning(s). Badiou begins by outlining his four conditions of philosophy: 1)- Savant 2)- Artist 3)- Activist 4)- Lover Showing the centrality that lo Derrida somewhat infamously said that he had nothing to say about love. After being asked to explore love as a general concept, he asks the interviewer to pose a question saying that he is incapable of merely discussing the "generalities of love". Badiou seeks to do exactly what Derrida was incapable of doing by focusing on the concept and exploring its meaning(s). Badiou begins by outlining his four conditions of philosophy: 1)- Savant 2)- Artist 3)- Activist 4)- Lover Showing the centrality that love has to philosophy as a concept by reflecting on Plato's insistence that "Anyone who doesn't take love as a starting point will never understand the nature of philosophy". The first section looks at "love under threat", which seeks to show how there are a number of risks that are posed under post industrial capitalism. Love is predicated on risk but institutions promising to coach bachelors alongside dating websites remove the element of chance by matching people up based on predetermined profiles creates a culture where we are increasingly relying on a type of arranged marriage. This is what Badiou calls the safety threat, consumerism has effectively removed risks and problems associated with love but has demystified and removed the very thing that love is actually based on. This links to the 2nd threat which is a type of hedonism which removes the "importance" of love. All these points are outlined slightly better by Bauman in his book Liquid Love where he links the fragility of romantic bonds with consumption. Badiou says rather foolishly that libertarians and liberals view love as 'futile risk" which seems unsubstantiated, it seems to echo his inability later in the book to adequately theorize or pontificate on a political concept of love or look at love and politics together, something that incidentally Michael Hardt had no problem doing. Badiou helpfully begins to delineate how philosophers have conceptualized love showing conflicts in visions. Schopenhauer was an anti love philosopher, he never forgave women for experiencing a passion for love. Kierkegaard had three levels of subjective experience 1)- Aesthetic, 2)- Ethical 3)-Absolute. The aesthetic is experiences of live that are vain, selfish repetitive, which will move into the ethical which is love that demonstrates a commitment and finally the absolute whereby that commitment is instantiated and fulfilled. Kierkegaard was then clearly a pro-love philosopher to use the antonym. This is well and good until Badiou makes the absurd claim that Lacan is one of the greatest theorists of love. When anyone seriously analyzes lacanian content on love, you realize that they were all probably thinking with their feet after-all. Lacan said there was no such thing as a sexual relationship. When you have sex, you have it with yourself as the pleasure will be your pleasure. Sex therefore separates rather than unites. The body you are touching, is an imaginary representation! My current sexual partner is a hologram then, produced by my own masculine narcissism presumably. Love emerges as a void to the lack in sex echoing the idea that sex is a passionate event that is temporal. When it finishes you begin to see the absurdity of what you just did, well so says Simone De Beauvoir. Desire focuses on the object, love is what fills the ontological. Okay. Philosophers generally according to Badiou have followed three narratives or visions. 1)- Romantic conceptualization of love- the ecstasy of the encounter 2)- Commitments, social contracts etc. 3)- Skeptical interpretations (Love is a lie etc). Badiou states that all three are in some way flawed and you cannot reduce love to either of these ideas. Love is for him, an existential quest for truth. Badiou calls love a "truth procedure" a type of union and synthesis, called the "two scene". It's an experience where a new type of truth is constructed. He uses his philosophical term event to suggest that to declare love is to move from the event onto a construction of truth. Badiou is at his best when he describes his own experience of love and his loss as evidence for his own positions but his concepts are of little value generally. The meaninglessness of a piece of rhetoric like the One and Two is quite staggering and conservative even at times. Some of his considerations just strike me as frustrating like for example when he suggests that the family could be the state of love, it's hookey babble and even worse when he says that politics doesn't really exist without the state. I find his constant usage of the term "two" interesting, it emphasizes a dimorphic definition of love that Badiou uses and he seems unable to apply it outside this kind of social construction. He seems unable to accept that love may take place in triads or other units. He therefore enacts an irony because: Surrealists intended to reinvent the entire concept of love, thus the project was a reactionary one. They didn't differentiate between existential, artistic or political means because they were part of the same discourse for them. His constant usage of the need to reinvent love is constrained by his conservative reflections on the subject, his project seems to me to be a reversion to a dyadic nuclear family unit. Staggeringly Badiou says that marriage has rarely inspired artists which is a bold claim that is actually incredibly naive of literature, of poetry and so on. It's disappointing actually to see this sort of thinking from a man who wrote The Century. Furthermore the book is quite unfocused for something short and the conclusion is remarkably bad, not summarizing much nor wrapping the discussion up properly.

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