Anthropology of the Name

Sylvain Lazarus

Translated by Gila Walker



6 x 9 inches, 344pp. March 2015

ISBN : 9780857422309

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Translated by Gila Walker for the first time into English, Anthropology of the Name is French thinker Sylvain Lazarus’s response to the intellectual caesura of May 1968. Taking up thought, politics, and the name, Lazarus presents an original doctrine on the nature of politics and the relationship of politics to thought. Whereas most theoreticians of politics start with their ideas on its specific empirical objects—its institutions, such as parties, or its structures, such as the state—Lazarus analyzes politics from within itself.


 Lazarus’s discussion is divided into two parts: a general methodology and a series of case studies. He fiercely argues that politics is a thought with its own field and categories, distinct from political science, economics, history, or philosophy. Politics, Lazarus drives home, is not a permanent feature of society: it is rare and sequential.
“The most radical critique of the very grounds of social science.”—Alain Badiou

Sylvain Lazarus is a French sociologist, anthropologist and political the- orist, and a professor at the Paris University. Following the student uprisings of May 1968 in France, Lazarus was a founding member of the French Com- munist Union (Marxist–Leninist). Fifteen years later, along with Alain Badiou and Natacha Michel, Lazarus founded the militant French political organiza- tion L’Organisation Politique, a post-party organization concerned with direct popular intervention in a wide range of issues (including immigration, labour and housing). 


Gila Walker is the translator of more than a hundred works in Frence, including texts by Jacques Derrida, François Julien, Hubert Damisch, Thierry de Duve, Georges Didi-Huberman and Alain Fleischer. She divides her time between her homes in New York and in the Southwest of France.

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