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Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction to the English Edition of the Seminars of Alain Badiou
Author's General Preface to the English Edition of the Seminars of Alain Badiou
Introduction to the Seminar on Malebranche: Malebranche's "Political Ontology"
(Jason E. Smith)
About the 1986 Seminar on Malebranche
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7

About the Author

Alain Badiou is emeritus professor of philosophy at the Ecole normale superieure in Paris. His Columbia University Press books include Plato's Republic: A Dialogue in Sixteen Chapters (2015) and Lacan: Anti-Philosophy 3 (2018).

Jason E. Smith is chair of the Graduate Art department at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. He has written widely on contemporary philosophy and translated Alain Badiou and Elisabeth Roudinesco's Jacques Lacan, Past and Present: A Dialogue (Columbia, 2014). He is currently writing a book on automation and work.

Susan Spitzer is a frequent translator of Badiou's works.


I devoured this magnificent work in an evening. It blends Badiou's usual systematic approach with a nuanced account of seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century philosophy that draws skillful contrasts between Malebranche's system and those of Arnauld, Bossuet, Leibniz, Pascal, and the Jesuits. Hovering over the scene is the unlikely but finally compelling specter of Jacques Lacan. -- Graham Harman, author of Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything
Malebranche emerges from this seminar as an author divided between an asphyxiating theological doctrine and an exhilarating theory of the subject, which anticipates many ideas about desire, fantasy, finitude, and grace that will appear much later, from Hegel to Lacan. Even though Badiou claims that nothing productive came from his effort, we can appreciate in this new installment of his seminar a crucial stepping stone between Theory of the Subject and Being and Event. -- Bruno Bosteels, author of Badiou and Politics
This book tackles Malebranche through Alain Badiou's unique perspective. Badiou nicely translates questions of theology into questions of politics, bringing Malebranche a contemporary resonance that he doesn't have in any other account. -- Todd McGowan, author of Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution
The book reads very well, and the translation is as excellent as one would expect from this team. . . . Anyone curious about Malebranche, or wishing to recall things they used to know about him, should enjoy Badiou's presentation; and anyone who appreciates solid philosophical exegeses and a bit of intellectual flair should be very entertained and provoked by this seminar as well. -- Ed Pluth * Notre Dame Philosophical Review *
Malebranche is a must-read for Marxists, Philosophers, Theologians, and anyone interested in the Philosophy of Alain Badiou. -- Dalton Winfree * Marx and Philosophy Review of Books *

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