Badiou and Plato

Badiou and Plato: An Education by Truths

A. J. Bartlett
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Badiou and Plato
    Book Description:

    This book will help you to understand Badiou's central concepts, the philosophical relation between Badiou and Plato and will rethink the importance of Badiou's 'Platonic' claim that 'the only education is an education by truths'.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-4376-9
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. iv-iv)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. v-viii)
  5. Introduction: Trajectory
    (pp. 1-28)

    In a short meditation concerning the pedagogical relation between art and philosophy, Alain Badiou makes the claim that ‘the only education is an education by truths’ (HB, 15).² There are at least three key assumptions supporting this claim: the existence of truths; the existence of education; and the link between the two, a link that in fact requires that education be thought as something other than an adjunct to any institutional form. What we seek to do in this work is to enquire into the possibility of ‘an education by truths’. If, as is the case for Badiou, truths are...

  6. CHAPTER 1 State
    (pp. 29-69)

    The enquiry into the ‘state of the Athenian situation’ will follow three steps: firstly, we set out the Platonic context; secondly, we elaborate the category of the state in its Badiouean framework, making use of Platonic examples where needed; thirdly, we show how this category operates within the Platonic corpus relative to this framework. The demonstration of the ‘state of the Athenian situation’ will set up the remainder of the enquiry for it is with the category of the state both as currently constituted (for Plato, as expressed in the dialogues) and with the distinct reality of its reconstitution that...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Site
    (pp. 70-95)

    Given that the dialogues present a clear disjunction between the figure of Socrates and that of sophistry, the question of this disjunction emerges. That is to say, if Socrates is not ‘of education’ insofar as education is ‘by the state’, then what is it in the ‘Athens of the dialogues’ that this figure names? What we have seen so far is that with regard to education he is not a part of the sophistic state and yet he is convicted as a singular threat to the very constitution of this state due to the very paradoxical (non-)relation he maintains with...

  8. CHAPTER 3 Event/Intervention
    (pp. 96-128)

    We have seen that the state of the sophistic situation constitutes the normality of Plato’s Athens. Sophistry is the sole and ubiquitous figure of education. We have also established that this name ‘education’ – despite it belonging to the sophists’ discourse – marks a permanent and disavowed ambiguity there. The trial of Socrates shows both that education must not take any other form than that of sophistry but also that this very act signifies a certain anxiety the state has in regard to its own knowledge. On the basis of this we established that education in the Athens of the dialogues could...

  9. CHAPTER 4 Fidelity
    (pp. 129-160)

    In naming the event (Socrates), the intervention (of Plato) not only decides that the event (encounter) exists, that it belongs to the (Athenian) situation of its site (education), but it simultaneously initiates the trial of its consequences.

    It is illuminating to think that the Platonic corpus enacts the retrial of Socrates. With the successive enquiries of each dialogue, the questioning of those suspected of sophistry and those who bear witness to it, the determined differentiation of the knowledge of opinion from the truth of such knowledge, Plato certainly seems to be concerned to establish a new verdict. However, it is...

  10. CHAPTER 5 Subject
    (pp. 161-195)

    In this chapter we will work our way through Gregory Vlastos’ reading of the ‘Socratic problem’ in order to establish Plato’s subjective credentials. We are not arguing that Plato is the subject, but that the Platonic invention, the series of works, the faithful enquiries that result in the ‘corpus’, is precisely that which is so, subject to the Socratic event – the encounter so extensively and symptomatically played out in the Apology and ‘resolved’ by Plato in the Republic. In proceeding this way, we deal with the most determinate and active approach of analytic philosophy to the Platonic corpus and we...

  11. CHAPTER 6 Generic
    (pp. 196-228)

    A recurring theme of Plato scholarship is the relation between the Republic and the rest of the dialogues. There is a consensus that recognises the Republic to be the dialogue wherein Plato, in new ways, synthesises and restates his central ideas. This is another way of saying the Republic collects these ideas in a new form. Ferrari, commenting on the ‘history’ of such a consensus, notes, and I summarise, the Republic may not always be considered the most technically proficient or even the most philosophical of the dialogues and it may not be the most beautifully written: there may be...

  12. Epilogue
    (pp. 229-232)

    Plato’s singular difficulty in and by the constitution of the Republic is in maintaining this subversive and revolutionary ‘education of the educators’ within the configuration of the new form of the state. This difficulty results in two things: Plato attempts to design a curricular structure for maintaining this education, both in the constitution of the Republic and in that of his ‘academy’, and in so doing he makes a particular form of representation ‘not appear’. As different as they are, both Vlastos and Badiou object to these final prescriptions. For Plato, the ideal-city can admit no alteration to its constitution....

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 233-245)
  14. Index
    (pp. 246-248)