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Review
Jean Collingsworth
London Metropolitan University

Badiou, Alain (2002) Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, trans. Peter Hallward, London: Verso [first published in 1998 as L' éthique: essai sur la conscience du Mal.]

Alain Badiou is an important contemporary French philosopher, academic, playwright and novelist. Here, he interrogates well-established notions of ethics, bringing to bear on old and new questions his wide-ranging interests in mathematics, art, poetry, psychoanalysis, theatre and the history of ideas. Ultimately, he proposes a radical process-based approach which, he argues, is appropriate for the post-modern world. This he calls 'an ethic of truths'.

The result is a challenging but ultimately rewarding book. It is challenging because, in Badiou's own words [Read more]