Modern Languages Research Seminar Series
Restoration : Alain Badiou and the Meaning of 'the Century'
As part of the School of Arts and Humanities Modern Languages Research Seminar Series, Dr Neil Turnbull, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy at Nottingham Trent University presents : Restoration: Alain Badiou and the Meaning of ‘the Century’.
- From: Monday 7 December 2015, 1 pm
- To: Wednesday 7 December 2016, 2 pm
- Location: 007, Mary Ann Evans building, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS
As part of the School of Arts and Humanities Modern Languages Research Seminar Series, Dr Neil Turnbull, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy and Nottingham Trent University, presents : Restoration: Alain Badiou and the Meaning of ‘the Century'.
According to the English poet Philip Larkin ‘days are where we live’ – and to inquire why this might be so is to risk ‘the priest and the doctor, in their long coats, running over fields’. However, although days might be the temporal locale where life happens in the quotidian sense, they are not the location of thought. The intellect just does not live in days but rather in the historical: in eras, periods, epochs, ages and, especially, in centuries. The latter is, we might say, the cognitive universal of human temporality, the category that allows for the thought of time and makes possible a time of thought. The real of history, as that which links the particularity of the mundane with the grand sweep of the era/epoch, can only be thought in terms of the century. But what is ‘our’ century, ‘our’ time? This paper will examine this question in the light of Alain Badiou's reflections on the nature and significance of the 20th Century, especially through his suggestion that the 20th Century was essentially the century determined by the logic of restoration. It will conclude with a discussion of what this idea means for our nascent understanding of the 21st Century – a century that we might say is yet to commence, as it struggles to escape for the ‘restorative logic’ of the 20th Century.