Alain Badiou takes on the standard bearer of the linguistic turnA in modern philosophy, and anatomizes the anti-philosophyA of Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Addressing the crucial moment where Wittgenstein argues that much has to be passed over in silence-showing what cant be said, after accepting the limits of language and meaning-Badiou argues that this mystical act reduces logic to rhetoric, truth to an effect of language games, and philosophy to a series of esoteric aphorisms. In the course of his interrogation of Wittgenstein's anti-philosophy, Badiou sets out and refines his own definitions of the universal truths that condition philosophy. Bru Bosteels' introduction shows that this encounter with Wittgenstein is central to Badiou's overall project-and that a continuing dialogue with the exemplar of anti-philosophy is crucial for contemporary philosophy.
Alain Badiou teaches Philosophy at the Aecole normale superieure and the College 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, and Logics of Worlds. His four recent books The Communist Hypothesis, The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics and Polemics are available from Verso.