Jean-Claude Milner

Jean-Claude Milner is a French authority on linguistics who has combined his influential work on syntax and grammar with a longstanding engagement with political questions. Currently Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at University of Paris VII, Milner was active in French Maoist circles in the 1960s, and was deeply influenced in his early thought by the psychoanalytic ideas of Jacques Lacan. Inspired by elements of the thought of both Lacan and Noam Chomsky, Milner proceeded to develop a general theory of linguistics based on a total separation between syntax and sense. Over the years he has departed from his early Marxism, a trajectory which has brought him into robust dialogue with philosopher and former comrade Alain Badiou. This intriguing intellectual joust was brought to life in the 2014 Polity book Controversies: A Dialogue on the Politics and Philosophy of Our Times, which takes the form of a dialogue between the two thinkers.