“One of Britain's best political writers” – Guardian
Élisabeth Roudinesco isResearch Director in the History Department of the Université de Paris...
Justin McGuirkis a writer and curator and has worked as theGuardian’s design columnist and editor...
October 04, 2014
October 16, 2014
New York, NY
September 26, 2014
Jersey, United Kingdom
The Trafalgar Pub
A debate has long been raging between France’s public intellectuals regarding Israel/Palestine and the question of anti-Semitism. From Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1946 Anti-Semite and Jew to Jacques Derrida’s “Interpretations at War” to Blanchot’s The Writing of the Disaster, France—the country with the largest population of Jews and Arabs in Europe—has been fertile ground for these public debates. Even amongst philosophical allies positions have been fragmented; Deleuze expressed his support for the Palestinian cause, while Foucault held a strong pro-Israel stance.
Today, however, the debate has turned personal as well as ideological as attacks have been levelled against Alain Badiou, whose outspoken pro-Palestinian position and advocacy of a single state, along with his thoughts on anti-Semitism, have aroused much debate. Leading the charge is Éric Marty, a professor of contemporary literature at the University of Paris-7 and the author of Une querelle avec Alain Badiou, philosophe (2007). Marty had begun his querelle with Badiou as early as 2000 when he criticized Badiou for his enthusiasm for the ideas of the Cultural Revolution in China. By 2006 Marty published a full on attack with an article titled ‘Alain Badiou: the Future of a Negation’ in Les temps modernes. The ‘querelle’ continued with Badiou’s response to Marty titled ‘The Word “Jew” and the Sycophant’, in his book POLEMICS. Reflections on Anti-Semitism, a book co-authored with Eric Hazan and Ivan Segré, set out to definitively dispel all accusations of anti-Semitism against Badiou.
Still, in July, the debate heated up once more with the publication of Gérard Bensussan’s article in Libération titled, ‘The far Left has done what the far Right only dreamed of.’ There Bensussan, a professor of philosophy at the Université Marc Bloch in Strasbourg, charges Badiou and the far left critics of Israel with helping to restore anti-Semitic sentiments in France.
Below are several responses to Bensussan’s article. The first is Badiou’s retort followed by a response by Cécile Winter, the author of the essay 'The Master-Signifier of the New Aryans', which is published in Polemics. The final response comes from Ivan Segré, a Talmudic scholar and co-author with Badiou of Reflections on Anti-Semitism.
In 1981, Andrew Feenberg published Lukács, Marx and the Sources of Critical Theory, a book that positioned Hungarian philosopher György Lukács at the forefront of Western Marxism. Feenberg cited Lukács’s 1923 History and Class Consciousness as the pivotal text of the what he named “the philosophy of praxis”: a tradition that seeks the realization of philosophy through revolution.
This week, Verso releases Feenberg’s timely update to the canonical text, The Philosophy of Praxis: Marx, Lukács, and the Frankfurt School, with a new introduction and insight into how the philosophy of praxis relates to the unfolding critical response to technology. We bring you the introduciton to the new edition in full.