But Apart from all that, what has he done for us?

Levi Bryant has a great post up responding to the go-round on overrated philosophers. I would agree with him about Badiou. I think, just to add a point, that the Badiou boomlet hasn’t been all that long (has it?) and I don’t bump into card carrying Badiouians all that often, thus it’s tough to call him overrated. There are a lot of people influenced by his work, especially his writings on politics, and I think his writings have really led to a fruitful evaluation of politics, but unless I’ve missed it, I don’t see people making claims for him that people would do at times for Derrida or Heidegger. The part about Derrida is interesting:

Derrida definitely fits the bill of overrated philosopher in my book. I actually wrote my masters thesis on Derrida and desperately wanted to find something groundbreaking in his thought, but I could never escape the impression that Derrida is a one trick pony that created three or four concepts (differance, supplementarity, and trace) that he then monotonously repackaged with different terms in text after text from there on out. I’ve just never gotten the obsession some have with Derrida, even if I do think his deconstruction of metaphysics is valuable.

This reminded me of the Monty Python bit about the Romans… but other than that what has he given us?


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