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Introduction

Nick Haeffner
London Metropolitan University

The origins of this edition of Subject Matters lie in a conference on Alain Badiou’s ‘Ethics and Subjectivity’ which took place at London Metropolitan University on Monday 15th November 2003. The conference was organised by the ‘Communications and Subjectivity Research Group’. The participants were Adrian Kear, Nina Power, Andrew Gibson, Jason Barker and Simon Critchley. Members of the audience (who included Peter Hallward, Ray Brassier, Alberto Toscano and other notable Badiou scholars), contributed enthusiastically to the debate, especially in the closing discussion, a transcript of which is included in this issue. Following issue 2 of Subject Matters, which was an exploratory encounter with Badiou’s important book on ethics, largely from the perspective of non-specialists whose interests lie more in the general area of media and cultural studies, this issue continues its exploration of Badiou’s thinking but this time with the aid of scholars who have more specialist knowledge of the terrain.

One of the interesting features of the conference was the clear sense that Badiou had energised and revitalised the political and intellectual commitments of an emerging cohort of young left intellectuals. His impassioned rhetoric has clearly articulated the felt need for a ‘new deal’ in philosophy which provides a stronger basis on which to articulate ethical claims. [Read more]