Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil

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Verso Books, 2012 - Philosophy - 166 pages
"Ethical questions dominate today's 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 virtually instinctive consensus." "Alain Badiou, one of the most powerful and unusual voices in contemporary French philosophy, explodes the facile assumptions behind this recent ethical turn. He shows how our prevailing ethical principles serve to reinforce an ideology of the status quo and demonstrates that an ethics conceived in terms of negative human rights or tolerance of difference cannot sustain decisive and precisely situated interventions any more than they can underpin a coherent concept of evil. Our consensual ethical norms amount to nothing more than a jumbled confusion of legalistic formalism, scandalised opinion, and theological mystification."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

Translators Introduction
vii
Notes on the Translation
xlix
Introduction
1
The Problem of Evil
59
Politics and Philosophy
95
Bibliography
145
Index
163
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the École normale supérieure and the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, and Gilles Deleuze. His recent books include The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics, Polemics, The Communist Hypothesis, Five Lessons on Wagner, and Wittgenstein's Anti-Philosophy.

Peter Hallward teaches at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London. He is the author of several books including Absolutely Postcolonial, Badiou: A Subject to Truth, Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation, and Damming the Flood.

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