File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0110, message 147

Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 22:45:53 -0600
Subject: Re: ethics: Badiou

Glen, Steve, all:

Not much has been translated into English yet, but it appears more stuff
is on the way.  Badiou's moment may be coming. My BIG book might be
translated as "Being and the Event."  Let's hope it comes out soon. 

Here's is what is currently available in English:

1. The Manifesto of Philosophy which is very critical of Lyotard, the
end of philosophy and the end of metanarratives.  Badiou sees the
structure of philosophy in a very specific way (which is both hard to
describe and hard to comprehend).  Suffice it to say, according to
Badiou, truth exists, the one does not but only the multiple, set theory
= ontology.

What is more direct and perhaps easier to discuss is Badiou's notion of
philosophy as contained in four quadrants - the matheme, the poetic, the
political and love.  With regard to the latter, he positions Lacan as
the great philosopher of love after Plato!

At first glance, this seems somewhat arbitrary as a grouping, but Badiou
certainly has interesting things to say about each topic.

2.  The Clamor of Being - this is Badiou's book on Deleuze.  It is a
very metaphysical reading (which like Manifesto also makes a very
interesting analysis of Heidegger).  The central point seems to be a
critique of Deleuze's univocity of being concept and the virtual dynamic
that derives from it. It is also interesting because it gives as much
information about Badiou's philosophy as it does about Deleuze's.  

3. The Ethics - still unread

I think Badiou is clearly marking out a radical place for philosophy
that differentiates itself from the standard so-called
post-structuralist philosophies.  With his background in math and logic,
Badiou would appear to be closer to analytic philosophy except for the
fact that he moves logic and set theory into places it never dared to go
with the analytics.  He is certainly far more radical politically and
not afraid to talk boldly upon metaphysics and ontology.  Imagine a
weird cross-polonization between Quine and Heidegger! 

What I am interested in is evaluating Badiou in toto. I want to
understand his Ethics in relation to the rest of his philosophy.  

For a thinker who insists upon the systematic nature of philosophy, this
seems like the least that can be done. (As a sidenote, his discussion of
the Void and the Multiple seems very Epicurean/Lucretian to me!)

Anyway, so much for starters on this.



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