Pocket Pantheon (Alain Badiou)

Since graduating from the Ph.D. programme, I haven't read many theory books — when you work in academia you find yourself often reading sections of books, or single essays, much more often than you find yourself completing full books, a real shame. Pocket Pantheon is not a proper “theory book” but a series of philosophical snippets, funeral orations in which Badiou pays homage to major French philosophers while also parsing major concepts and delineating Badiou's own position. In some places, as in the chapter on Jean Hyppolite, Badiou is less analytical and more anecdotal. An excellent and readable, even entertaining series of intellectual snapshots from one of the most important philosophers working today, a dirty overview of French philosophy since the 1960s, enlightening and enjoyable.

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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