Video: Alain Badiou and Michel Foucault — Philosophy and Psychology (1965)


A televised 1965 discussion between Alain Badiou and Michel Foucault, under the heading "Philosophy and Psychology," is available to stream in three parts below. Parts 1 and 2 include English subtitles, while Part 3 does not (Spanish subtitles are available for all three segments). 

The conversation was staged for a series called L'enseignement philosophique created by Dina Dreyfus, Inspector General of Philosophy at the Academy of Paris, and directed by Jean Fléchet for Radio-Television Scolaire, the educational branch of French public television services. "Intended for viewing in lycée classrooms under the guidance of an instructor," Tamara Chaplin writes:

the shows were nevertheless open-circuit broadcasts available to the public at large. The programs' objectives were threefold: to show students that "there is a city of philosophers" beyond the borders of the educational institution; to familiarize students with fundamental philosophical questions; and to demonstrate, through example, philosophy in action...The collection...also generated the first sustained intellectual inquiry into the problems posed by attempts to bring philosophy to television

Badiou, then a young philosophy teacher at a lycée in Reims and author of the well-received novel Almagestes, was hired by Dreyfus to serve as an interlocutor for the series' philosopher guests — who, in addition to Foucault, included Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Michel Foucault, Raymond Aron, Michel Serres, and Paul Ricoeur — in a model inspired by the Platonic dialogues. 

A full transcript of the discussion is available in Badiou and the Philosophers: Interrogating 1960s French Philosophy, edited and translated by Tzuchien Tho and Giuseppe Bianco. Tamara Chaplin's Turning on the Mind: French Philosophers on Television describes the history of L'enseignement philosophique and explores the broader effort to televise philosophy in France.