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Education and democratization. A critical reading of Alain Badiou’s political philosophy

What is the philosopher Alain Badiou's notion of ethical-political education? How does he describe the processes of political education?

14 year old school boy in class room.

How does Alain Badiou describe processes of political education? This project is a systematic reading of the French philosopher Alain Badiou's notion of education. Photo: Shane Colvin / UiO

On the study

The questions above are explored through an in-depth and critical reading of Badiou's hyper-translation of Plato's Republic.

In Badiou's version of Plato’s seminal text on education, Socrates and his companions are in the company of figures such as Beckett, Pessoa, Freud and Hegel. These figures do not just agree with Socrates: they debate, discuss and argue. In this way, Badiou's hyper-translation demonstrates thoughts in motion.

These "thoughts in motion" are read through the eyes of Badiou's logic, which he has elaborated in his Being and Event trilogy. Moreover, this logic throws light on Badiou's claim that "the only education is an education by truths”.


While addressing foundational issues beyond the educational sciences, this philosophical project studies how Badiou’s logic helps to strengthen and further develop today's educational sciences.

The overall purpose is to make philosophy of education more relevant to the scientific and ethical-political challenges facing the educational sciences today.


The French philosopher Alain Badiou (1937–) is one of the most significant philosophers of our time, known for his meticulous work in renewing and strengthening philosophy as an academic discipline.

Badiou's philosophy seeks to conceptualize the potential for radical innovations in or transformations of any given situation. The pedagogical theme is therefore constitutive of, and ongoing throughout, his work. It is against this background this project studies his notion of education.

Published Oct. 16, 2014 10:58 AM - Last modified Nov. 1, 2022 9:34 AM