The Evental Subject: The Concept of the Human Person in Alain Badiou’s Event Metaphysics

Kenneth C. Masong



An individual is not a subject. What constitutes the subject as subject is thehappening of event and the way this happening transforms the insularityof the individual into the “eventality” of the subject. For Alain Badiou (b.1937), a true subject is one that is subjectivized by the happening of theevent and the subject’s continuous fidelity to this same event. This essayexplores the concept of the human person in Alain Badiou’s philosophy.In order to achieve this, a broad overview of Badiou’s Ontology of theEvent is necessary in order to locate his philosophical anthropology. Whatfollows is a discussion of Badiou’s dynamic conception of an individualas a becoming-subject in relation to an event, a relation characterized byfidelity to the event. This unique philosophy of the human person finds itssingular exemplar in the New Testament figure of St. Paul of Tarsus. Theconclusion of the essay brings Badiou’s philosophy of the event, subjectand truth into the domain of religious discourse where, interestingly, hisphilosophy finds a genial fertile ground for further exploration.

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