Badiou: A Subject To Truth
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Alain Badiou is one of the most inventive and compelling philosophers working in France todayOCoa thinker who, in these days of cynical resignation and academic specialization, is exceptional in every sense. Guided by disciplines ranging from mathematics to psychoanalysis, inspired as much by Plato and Cantor as by Mao and Mallarm(r), BadiouOCOs work renews, in the most varied and spectacular terms, a decidedly ancient understanding of philosophyOCophilosophy as a practice conditioned by truths, understood as militant processes of emancipation or transformation.
This book is the first comprehensive introduction to BadiouOCOs thought to appear in any language. Assuming no prior knowledge of his work, it provides a thorough and searching overview of all the main components of his philosophy, from its decisive political orientation through its startling equation of ontology with mathematics to its resolute engagement with its principal competition (from Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Deleuze, among others). The book draws on all of BadiouOCOs published work and a wide sampling of his unpublished work in progress, along with six years of correspondence with the author.a
Peter Hallward pays careful attention to the aspect of BadiouOCOs work most liable to intimidate readers in continental philosophy and critical theory: its crucial reliance on certain key developments in modern mathematics. Eschewing unnecessary technicalities, Hallward provides a highly readable discussion of each of the basic features of BadiouOCOs ontology, as well as his more recent account of appearance and OC being-there.OCO
Without evading the difficulties, Peter Hallward demonstrates in detail and in depth why BadiouOCOs ongoing philosophical project should be recognized as the most resourceful and inspiring of his generation.
Mallarme's Livre, to the universal Crowd. Like a mathematical formula, a poem is "destined for everyone" (PM, 53). Just as every scientific discovery violates established and exclusive 198 / Art and Poetry customs and thereby invites a universal inspection or approval, so a poem, by punching a new way through the particularity of confirmed opinions and idioms, lays claim to the only true universality that ordinary language can achieve. In a sense, the more hermetic a poem might seem from
Mathematics and Science Scientific truth, as opposed to the body of currently accepted scientific knowledge, is not a matter of what can be verified through experimentation within assumed theoretical parameters. It concerns the invention of those parameters. Like any truth, scientific truth begins with an event or discov ery, and is proclaimed, in the face of received wisdom, by the subject of that discovery-Galileo and Einstein are the most obvious of Badiou's main examples. The site of such
the realm of whole numbers (the domain of denumerability) and the realm of real numbers (the domain of geometric or nondenumerable division). The implications of CH are so vast as to justify Badiou's distinction of the three main orientations of ontology-constructivist, transcendent, and generic-in terms of their responses to this single controversy, the nature of the disjunction of membership E and inclusion c, the measurement of this excess of parts over elements.30 Constructivists generally
individuality, that is to say, their identity with themselves and their distinction from each other:' The number three is clearly different from the number four or the square root of two, but these distinctions are internal to the operation of quantitative distinction itself, the pure presentation of multiplicity in its the ground of itself and thus of all knowledge" (296) . The axiomatic and the own right. This is why "mathematics presents, in the strict sense, nothing . . . except
Hegel's distinction of a "good" (or metaphysical) from a "spurious" (or mathematical) infinity. tour into the ontological universe opened for exploration by the undisputed Infinite by Prescription / 69 68 / Infinite by Prescription The metaphysical tradition as a whole was then thrown into question natural and rational numbers. At the same time, from our first, denumerably with Cantor's "definite solution of the difficulties" associated with the in infinite set, it is an apparently