Master of Arts
Theory and Criticism
This thesis proposes to supplement the philosophy of Alain Badiou with an existentialist account of anxiety. After identifying a “phenomenological deficit” in Badiou’s thought, I argue that Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre provide the conceptual resources for theorizing the affective emergence of subjectivity from within the confines of a determinant situation. My contention, simply, is that anxiety is a rare and unsettling experience of nothing that makes apparent the underlying contingency of all situations, thereby prompting new modes of subjective behavior. In this sense, I treat anxiety as the in-situation experience of an event that may occasion the transition from a determined-individual to a determining-subject.
Rankin, William E. IV, "Experiencing Nothing: Anxiety and the Philosophy of Alain Badiou" (2014). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 2501.