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26 October 2018


Artemy Magun will talk about the dual, subjectively authentic and historically reactionary, nature of the event.

The philosophical work of the end of the twentieth century was centered on the concept of the "event". There are several partially intersecting theories of the "event": 1) the ontological, ubiquitous self-detection (Heidegger, Deleuze): 2) the fortunate combination, encounter of things (Althusser, Deleuze): 3) the rare and revolutionary appearance of the suppressed (Badiou) and 4) the negative, catastrophic avalanche (Magun’s own work). However, all these theories count too much on the phenomenal, i.e. on the subject’s self-perception and his/her coming-into-being in the course of the event. Meanwhile time and again we see that a subjectively authentic event (e.g. perestroika in the USSR, the Arab Spring of 2011–2012, the quasi-revolution of 1968, etc.) is not only catastrophic, but also historically retrograde or provoking a political reaction with no tangible chance for long-term emancipation. That is to say that it is the unauthentic content that triumphs in the authentic disguise. How shall we perceive such contradictory experience? Is it just a misfortune? Or is it a sort of dialectics, for instance, an inevitable victory of social freedom in the state of political and economic reaction? What should then the ethics of the event be in the future?


Artemy Magun is a philosopher and a political theorist. He is Doctor in Philosophy at Université de Strasbourg and Chair of Faculty of Political Science and Sociology in The European University (Saint-Petersburg). He is the author of "Otrizatel’naya revoluziya" (The Negative Revolution) (2008), "Edinstvo I Odinochestvo" (Unity and Solitude) (2011), "Demokratiya, ili Demon I Gegemon" (Democracy. The Demon and the Hegemon) (2016). His research papers have been published in Telos, Rethinking Marxism, New German Critique and History of Political Thought.

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