Ethics
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Ethics : An Essay on the Understanding of Evil

3.88 (1,704 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 
3.88 (1,704 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Ethical questions dominate current political and academic agendas. While government think-tanks ponder the dilemmas of bio-ethics, medical ethics and professional ethics, respect for human rights and reverence for the Other have become matters of broad consensus.

Alain Badiou, one of the most powerful voices in contemporary French philosophy, explodes the facile assumptions behind this recent ethical turn. He shows how our prevailing ethical principles serve ultimately to reinforce an ideology of the status quo, and fail to provide a framework for an effective understanding of the concept of evil.

In contrast, Badiou summons up an "ethic of truths" which is designed both to sustain and inspire a disciplined, subjective adherence to a militant cause (be it political or scientific, artistic or romantic), and to discern a finely demarcated zone of application for the concept of evil. He defends an effectively super-human integrity over the respect for merely human rights, asserts a partisan universality over the negotiation of merely particular interests, and appeals to an "immortal" value beyond the protection of mortal privileges.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 132 x 198 x 18mm | 250g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1781680183
  • 9781781680186
  • 44,413

Review Text

"This is a fiery little book."-Choice

"His reasoning is powerful and surprising, making some of the best writing in current European philosophy, and his credentials are impeccable."-Amazon.com

"Badiou is at his strongest in pointing to the inconsistencies of a facile multiculturalism, the pluralism of the food court and the shopping mall, which wilts in the face of any genuine expression of cultural hostility to liberal values."-Radical Philosophy

"His lively, stimulating and sometimes completely batty book is an attempt to make us think differently about what matters to us ... it is hard not to feel some sympathy for Badiou's intuition that 'morality', 'evil' and indeed much of our standard moral vocabulary often serve as almost deliberate disguises for mediocre policy-making, social complacency and a general lack of adventurousness about life"-Times Literary Supplement
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Review quote

This is a fiery little book. * Choice * His reasoning is powerful and surprising, making some of the best writing in current European philosophy, and his credentials are impeccable. * Amazon.com * Badiou is at his strongest in pointing to the inconsistencies of a facile multiculturalism, the pluralism of the food court and the shopping mall, which wilts in the face of any genuine expression of cultural hostility to liberal values. * Radical Philosophy * His lively, stimulating and sometimes completely batty book is an attempt to make us think differently about what matters to us ... it is hard not to feel some sympathy for Badiou's intuition that 'morality', 'evil' and indeed much of our standard moral vocabulary often serve as almost deliberate disguises for mediocre policy-making, social complacency and a general lack of adventurousness about life * Times Literary Supplement *
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About Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the Ecole normale superieure and the College international de philosophie in Paris. He is the author of several seminal works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event and Manifesto for Philosophy. His recent books include The Meaning of Sarkozy, and The Communist Hypothesis.
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Rating details

1,704 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 32% (537)
4 36% (619)
3 23% (387)
2 7% (127)
1 2% (34)
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