Jacques Lacan, Past and Present: A Dialogue

Alain Badiou (Author) Elisabeth Roudinesco (Author)
& 1 more


In this dialogue, Alain Badiou shares the clearest, most detailed account to date of his profound indebtedness to Lacanian psychoanalysis. He explains in depth the tools Lacan gave him to navigate the extremes of his other two philosophical "masters," Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser. Élisabeth Roudinesco supplements Badiou's experience with her own perspective on the troubled landscape of the French analytic world since Lacan's death--critiquing, for example, the link (or lack thereof) between politics and psychoanalysis in Lacan's work. Their exchange reinvigorates how the the work of a pivotal twentieth-century thinker is perceived.

Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
May 06, 2014
5.6 X 0.5 X 7.1 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Alain Badiou (PhD, Philosophy, Ecole Normale Superieure) holds the Rene Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School; he also teaches at the Ecole Normale Superieure and the College International de Philosophie in Paris. He is the author of several successful novels and plays as well as more than a dozen philosophical works, including his masterwork, Being and Event (Continuum, 2007), and several Columbia titles, includng Plato's Republic (2013) and Jacques Lacan Past and Present (2016).


Badiou and Roudinesco each contribute an important piece to the puzzle that is the figure and thought of Jacques Lacan. Both the general reader and specialists in either Badiou or Lacan's thought will appreciate this book.--Bruno Bosteels, author of Badiou and Politics
This set of exchanges adds significantly to our appreciation of both Lacanian psychoanalysis and Badiouian philosophy. An irresistible 'must read.'--Adrian Johnston, University of New Mexico
Badiou and Roudinesco agree on the essential: the value of Lacan's thought for facing the ills of our age, whether they be the different ways both science and obscurantism are instrumentalized, the irrational cult of quantitative assessment, or the temptation to flee headlong into psychologism. So many tendencies unveiled in this dialogue as so many sides of a single 'misery of the contemporary world.'--Laurent Etre "l'Humanité "