Thursday, September 15, 2011, 7 pm
Preclusion, Void and Evil

Lecture by Mehdi Belhaj Kacem (Paris) as part of the series "What is Philosophy?"

The history of mankind is that of metaphysical appropriations of the void: an appropriation that goes by the name of science. This appropriation becomes possible through a regime of generalized expropriation known by the name of politics, which has reached its limits within the horizon of the planetary self-destruction of the human species. Since de Sade and Goya, modern art has been what reveals this regime of expropriation and sanctions the positive universality of science. Religion has always called this flipside of the positive sciences, its mathematized void, “evil” (the “original sin”). A modern philosophy consists in the attempt to “atheologize” the question of evil in order to understand how the metaphysical appropriation of the void appears both in the historio-planetary horror and in the arts, from de Sade to Thomas Hirschhorn by way of Charles Baudelaire, George Bataille or Pier Pasolini.

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem (b. 1973) is a philosopher, actor, and author. He lives and works in Paris. He reported about the social revolts in Tunisia for the magazine
La règle du jeu. He writes novels and philosophical essays. Selected publications: L’esprit du nihilisme, une ontologique de l’Histoire (Paris: Editions Fayard, 2009); Esthétique du chaos (Paris: Editions Tristram, 2000); Cancer (Paris: Editions Tristram, 1994).

In English language

The complete series
What is Philosophy? is documented in a DVD-set and available at n.b.k.