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Badiou, political nihilism, and a small-scale solution

  • Author / Creator
    Vizeau, Brent
  • In "Badiou, Political Nihilism, and a Small-Scale Solution", I argue that Badiou’s presentation of politics, exclusively on a large scale – that of the nation-state – betrays his underlying set-theoretic ontology. The consequence of presenting politics on this scale is that political events, opportunities for genuine political engagement, are extremely rare. This leaves potential political actors with little reason to believe they will have the opportunity to engage in politics. The absence of meaningful engagement, along with Badiou’s unique conception of truth, gives rise to the problem of political nihilism. But, just as sets are both composed of sets and couched within others, situations too should be viewed as scalable. Re-presenting politics on a multiplicity of scales overcomes the worry about nihilism, while better capturing the real complexity and texture of political commitments.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3T31Q
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Philosophy
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Morin, Marie-Eve (Philosophy)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Burch, Robert (Philosophy)
    • Nichols, Robert (Philosophy/Political Science)
    • den Heyer, Kent (Education)