Review of Jan Völker (Ed.), Badiou and the German Tradition of Philosophy, London: Bloomsbury, 2019.
“Which French philosopher does not dream of transfixing German thoughts, of capturing them?” asks Alain Badiou in his foreword to the German translation of his book Conditions. If one wishes to reflect the relationship evoked in the title of the anthology edited by Jan Völker – the link between the contemporary French philosopher Alain Badiou and the German tradition of philosophy as a whole – this question seems revealing. Firstly, on the level of affect and desire, it indicates an underlying tension animating the relationship between both terms: namely, a tension between admiration and rebellion, attraction and resistance. German philosophy is implicitly identified and recognized as a point of reference for every possible contemporary philosophical project, while it is addressed at once as a counterpart rousing an urge stimulated by every form of authority: the urge to beat it at its own game through a cunning chess move.
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