Title

Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou: Is There a Relation between Politics and Time?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2004

Journal

Philosophy & Social Criticism

Volume

30

Issue

7

First Page

799

URL with Digital Object Identifier

10.1177/0191453704047009

Last Page

815

Abstract

This paper argues that though Derrida is correct to bring to the fore the undecidability that is contained in his political notion of the democracy to come, his account does not extend the aporia of undecidable politics far enough. Derrida himself makes evident this gap. Though politics may be structured with undecidability, there are times when direct, decisive and definitive political interventions are required. In his campaign against capital punishment, the blitzing campaigns in Bosnia and Iraq, and in his call for les villes-refuges, Derrida makes decisive appeals which somehow seem to contradict the undecidability he sees as arch-structuring. Alain Badiou’s thinking about time as a subjective, decisive intervention executed within his ontological framework of undecidability and multiplicity can serve to extend the aporia of undecidability inherent in politics, ultimately giving an account for both the undecidability that structures politics and the decisive timely interventions that would seem to contradict Derridean undecidability.

Notes

Dr. Antonio Calcagno is currently a faculty member at King's University College of The University of Western Ontario.