File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0111, message 28

Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2001 21:56:50 -0600
Subject: Re: Does Man Exist?


I tried to write you directly and the message wouldn't go through. 
Thanks for the info. (my computer is acting strangely tonight.)

Anyway, you write

> You are reading me incorrectly.  I meant playing God as if they were
> creating worlds.  This happens when they speak of the Immortal , the Good, the Evil etc., but they, like God, are creating a system, creating new meanings which can only be explained by themselves.

I'm not sure Badiou would agree that the event is cosmological in the
sense, even though he does tend to argue that there are as many truth as
individuals.  He doesn't tend to see truth being created ex nihilo, but
he does appear to see them emerging out of a void in the situation.

Hugh writes:
Hitler admired Catholicism becaused it enforced its authority.  Telling
others there is no authority except the one prescribed sounds
suspiciously like an imitation of the author of  the Ten Commandments.

Well, obviously authorities exist in a social and political sense. That
is something we are still attempting to overcome. When the Immortal
emerges, one characteristic this may have is saying 'no' to authority,
in the case of Nazism finding ways to resist it.  This isn't necessarily
playing God, but it isn't submitting to becoming merely an animal

Hugh writes.

When a  man says to another man "there is no man" it is as if the wind
says to the wind:  "there is no wind".

Badiou is situating himself explicitly in terms of Foucault, Althusser,
Lacan who argued that 'man' was the subject of a particular mode of
discourse whose historical period is now coming to an end. 

Certainly, even though Lyotard is coming from a different perspective,
in 'The Inhuman' and his essay of Kafka's 'Penal Colony' he makes a
similar claim.

Hugh wrote:

With  illustration of a particular :"truth", a particular
"transformation",and what is meant by "event", this might be a logical
and understandable proposition,

Hang in there. I plan to cover each chapter of the book. (It may take a
while.) The later chapters go into more detail on this.
Do you know anyone who isn't subject to rules?  Parents and teachers
make rules that children are subject to.  Other authority figures make
rules and are subject to rules or they lose their authority.  Even when
the we and the us is one and the same  person, rules are made, rules are
observed, rules are broken.

Lyotard makes the point in a number of places that we often have to
judge in situations where the rules do not apply.  Badiou doesn't really
talk in these terms, but more in the sense that a break occurs in a
situation and because of this the rules no longer apply.  The Immortal
acts by fidelity to truth and not merely according to rules.

Hugh wrote,

I interpret the Great Refusal as the resistance you mention above. 
There must be millions of kinds of Goods.  I take it the Other is not
one's self. If B is saying, to each of us choose your own Good,  resist
the Good imposed by the Other, that is a logical statement.  

This seems like a accurate statement of what I also take Badiou to be

Hugh wrote.

If this leads to being your own authority, subject to you own rules, it
would seem  you are playing philosopher.

Here I would say no for the reasons given above.



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