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The Triumph of Finitude After Hegel and the (Re)turn of a Philosophy of the Infinite through Badiou

Kelly Louise Rexzy Agra


In his first Manifesto for Philosophy, Alain Badiou alludes to the idea of sutures occurring between philosophy and the more dominant disciplines like science, politics, art, and psychoanalysis after Hegel. This phenomenon is inextricably linked to discourses about the end of philosophy and the linguistic turn in hermeneutic, analytic, and postmodern philosophies. In Badiou’s analysis one finds that in so far as these traditions are concerned, systematic philosophy is henceforth impossible.

In this work, I take Badiou’s said allusion seriously and argue that after totalitarianism and the two world wars, an antipathy towards systematic philosophy has led to what I call the triumph of finitude after Hegel in which the philosophical orientation not only shifted from truth to meaning, but also from the metaphysical to the finite. 

However, in the eyes of Badiou, a philosophy of finitude is unable to confront the challenges to thinking posed by the contemporary world. He thus proposes the return to a philosophy of truth. Taking note of this, I argue that Badiou seeks to replicate in philosophy what Hegel did in metaphysics after Kant.


Alain Badiou; (re)turn of philosophy; contemporary philosophy; end of philosophy; linguistic turn

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