By Alain Badiou
English-speaking readers may be stunned to profit that Alain Badiou writes fiction and performs together with his philosophical works and they are only as very important to figuring out his better highbrow undertaking. In Ahmed the thinker, Badiou's such a lot pleasing and available play, translated into English right here for the 1st time, readers are brought to Badiou's philosophy via a theatrical travel de strength that has met with a lot luck in France.
Ahmed the thinker offers its comedian hero, the "treacherous servant" Ahmed, as a seductively trenchant thinker whilst it casts philosophy itself as a comic book functionality. The comedy unfolds as a sequence of classes, with each one "short play" or cartoon illuminating a special Badiousian inspiration. but Ahmed does greater than illustrate philosophical abstractions; he embodies and vivifies the theatrical and performative facets of philosophy, mobilizing a comic book power that exposes the vacancy and pomp of the realm. via his instance, the viewers is moved to a residing engagement with philosophy, studying in it the ability to wreck in the course of the limits of way of life.
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Additional info for Ahmed the Philosopher: Thirty-Four Short Plays for Children and Everyone Else
Requests by blackmailers to be paid in unacceptable “currency” (for example, that the person being blackmailed perform an immoral or illegal act) also lie outside of blackmail in the sense that concerns us. ” We want to think about the pure case. Finally, the narrow notion of blackmail that we are considering is not limited to threatening with information (as in Q’s blackmailing Z). If, for example, you asked all shops of a certain kind to pay you a monthly sum for not carrying out the credible threat of opening a competing shop nearby, thereby running them out of business, problems may arise that fall within our area of concern (see Smilansky 1995a).
Yes, they were nearly crushed by cruel forces of nature or society – but as a result became successful agents and unusually capable masters of their own destiny. We do not have to follow Dostoevsky or Nietzsche in speaking about the ennobling features of suffering, to see that Abigail and Abraham have beneﬁted. Their lives have become better. The pendulum of arguments and intuitions goes back and forth. It seems that one wants to insist both that such people have been, and that they have not been, unfortunate.
We have to live with this absurdity. In the light of this absurdity and of its importance, an “existential paradox” emerges. This situation, in turn, yields an absurd “overpunishment” that serves no one (in the second paradox). Finally, what does all this imply about the possibility of having an effective and just system of punishment? We cannot reach deﬁnite conclusions, because in order to do so further questions need to be addressed, primarily questions that deal with the justiﬁcation and nature of desert that go beyond mitigation.