Readings for 12 February (Lincoln’s Birthday!)

There are only two things to read for Thursday, the Heraclitus fragments and the last part of Plato’s Republic (in this transl., Book 16, Sections 592b–608b; colloquially referred to as “the Exile of the Poets”).  (You do not need to read the section entitled “The Mobile Eternity of Subjects.”)  We will use these texts to thicken the basis by which we apprehend play — ludus — and its relation to being, becoming, epistemé (knowledge) and techné (know-how).

NB that Badiou’s translation is presented in modern, colloquial American English, and that Badiou has often radically adjusted the text to his liking.  If you’re curious about the particulars of some of his changes, consider referring to Jowett; the intro to our translation includes Badiou’s explanation of his strategy, and his co-translator’s insights (she worked with him to re–translate the work from French to English, after Badiou had finished his work on moving it from ancient Greek to contemporary French.)

Alternatively, if you’re really ambitious, consider Shorey’s more scholarly effort.  In any event:  The text is meant to be comprehensible, not cryptic.  If you’re having trouble understanding where they’re headed, look for another translation, and have another go.  Philosophy that is incomprehensible should never be tolerated.

If you haven’t picked them up from the other site, here are those links:

Heraclitus, “Fragments” (transl. Burnet)

Plato, Poleteia (transl. Badiou)

"Lincoln Navigator 2015 repite el plato"

“Lincoln Navigator 2015 repite el plato.”  On an ill-advised whim, I searched for images containing the names of both our most beloved, most bearded President AND Aristotle’s teacher.  Here’s what I got. A mystery. But who am I to refuse the wisdom of Chance? Perhaps Google’s vast network of networked servers has discerned that Plato would have preferred 21″ rims. Surely Abe would have opted for the bullet-proof glass option. Philosophy! Computers! We know so much more than they used to!


A reminder:  Because context is the all and everything of knowledge, I’m providing students enrolled in CCTP628 Badiou’s translation of Plato in its entirety.  If you are not enrolled in this course, this text is not intended for you:  Please do not download it.

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