From the Philosophy of Theatre to Performance Philosophy: Laruelle, Badiou and the Equality of Thought

Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca


This article draws from François Laruelle's non-standard philosophy to locate gestures of philosophical "authority" or 'sufficiency" within recent work in the philosophy of theatre - including material from contemporary Anglo-American philosophical aesthetics, and texts by Alain Badiou, such as In Praise of Theatre (2015). Whilst Badiou initially appears magnanimous in relation to theatre's own thinking - famously describing theatre as "an event of thought" that "directly produces ideas" (Badiou 2005: 72) - I argue that this very benevolence, from a Laruellean perspective, constitutes another form of philosophical authoritarianism. In contrast, I indicate some affinities between Laruelle's non-standard aesthetics and the emerging field of Performance Philosophy - one aim of which, as distinct from the philosophy of theatre, would be to allow performance to qualitatively extend our concepts of thinking and/or to be attentive to the ways in which performance has already provided new forms of philosophy.


Laruelle, Badiou, theatre, performance, performance philosophy

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