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In Praise Of Love Paperback – 12 Apr 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846687799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687792
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 0.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Scarcely any other moral philosopher of our day is as politically clear-sighted and courageously polemical, so prepared to put notions of truth and universality back on the agenda (Terry Eagleton)

One of the most important philosophers writing today (Joan Copjec)

A philosopher who is far from willing to abandon humanity to the vicissitudes of so-called global capitalism (Mark Fisher)

Book Description

French philosopher Alain Badiou turns his attention to love

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
A divertimento for Badiou connoisseurs, who will see the key concepts of his philosophy explained in astoundingly simple terms, as well as for lovers of Continental philosophy in search for a lighter read. Wonderful, particularly his view of love as mini-communism.
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exploring this just before marriage of my sister, i realised how apt this book is - how much our knowing each other is a matter of the moment we meet, and the confluence of space and time, and perception of there being someone else apart from ourself out there ... i ended up reading a portion at her wedding! accessible and allusive writing, it is not dry philosophy by any means but gets across several essential ideas of this important philosopher - one of the most important of our time
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Loved it, Badiou can be difficult to read but the interview form here worked very well. I love his ideas particularly his thoughts on risk in love and that internet dating sites falsely try to make us feel that there can be love without risk.

The notion of love being a value that we take build and take forward from a first significant encounter or moment was surprising as I wouldn't have expected him to hold up romantic love as a starting point.
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This short book (104pp in fact, not the 256pp advertised in the Amazon product description) takes the form of a Q and A on love and associated topics (politics, art) between a French journalist and a French philosopher.

The jacket promises that 'a figure like Plato walks here among us'. But this is not much like Plato (who manages to tell us both an exciting myth about love and develop a theory that can still inspire exciting modern commentary, for example in the short book Love and Death by Patrick Suskind).

Badiou does have a theory: love is the product of chance (he is scornful about doing research to prepare for love through dating agencies), which is then however harnessed through an 'event' into a 'Two Scene' in which we become aware of the otherness of another person. The enemy of this process being the selfishness inherent within ourselves. Love is intrinsically eternal refocussed from time to time through 'points' in our lives, as for instance if we have children with someone we love. Love isn't that much like politics, which is all about enemies (people you wouldn't be prepared to cede power to following a democratic election) nor yet religions, which try to harness the emotions of love for their own ends. Beckett is a great writer about love and its survival into old age.

While it's possible to summarise this theory - and I would say it's worth thinking about (a bit) - I'm not sure it's worth working through this text to get at the ideas. It's written in a highly abstruse style, a long way from empirical experience, and a work that clearly lies in the French rather than the Anglo-Saxon philosophical tradition. I'd say: try Plato's Symposium - or Suskind's book - for preference!
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