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SubStance, Issue 120 (Volume 38, Number 3), 2009, pp. 92-112 (Article)
Published by University of Wisconsin Press DOI: 10.1353/sub.0.0057
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The Ethics of Truth: Ethical Criticism in the Wake of Badiou’s Philosophy
1. Badiou and the “Ethical Turn” The ethical turn in literary criticism took place in response to the supposed pitfalls of three dominant paradigms in the Humanities: positivism, neo-humanism and Marxism. Inspired mostly by the works of Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida and Jean-François Lyotard, it took the form of a reading practice that privileged heterogeneity, radical difference and, above all, the thought of an experience incommensurable to consciousness and language. The ethical turn was also in part invigorated by feminist criticism, gender studies and cultural studies, in their attempt to specify gender, racial, and cultural differences suppressed by more conventional approaches. The new century saw the most radical insights of ethical criticism being absorbed and neutralized by a bland “ethical ideology” that showed its true face after 9/11. Ethical ideology gave way to a discourse defending freedom and the spread of democracy by way of military intervention. What followed is well known: the renewal and re-implementation of the doctrine of National Security the US employed during the peak of the Cold War. This time, however there was no Latin American dictator as facilitator, but rather some European states—even if their collaboration went against the letter of the European Constitution—and the complicity of some Arab states that took matters into their own hands. These practices went along with a proliferation of legitimizing discourses in American academia, and with a media obsession with security. This situation made any discussion on alterity suspicious, and the Levinasian metaphor of the self as hostage to the other difficult to swallow. It might seem that we have passed beyond ethical criticism, that it has been neutralized and appropriated by current discourses. However, a cursory look at the reviews of the different strands of ethical criticism shows one crucial omission: Alain Badiou.1 I would like to propose that Badiou’s philosophy can help us inflect a different torsion to the ethical turn by moving away from some of the ideas that became domesticated by the “ethical ideology” and by asserting that the inventive act, art in general, and literature in particular, produces truths. 92
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SubStance #120, Vol. 38, no. 3, 2009
Vol.” makes its belated appearance. the event. since it is implicitly ruled by the prescription of the One. and unlike Gilles Deleuze. Insofar as it “touches” the real. 3.2 Moreover. Badiou does not privilege invention. Mathematical writing is not a trace of the real. and this. Nevertheless. If mathematics—and set theory in particular—provides the laws to approach the teeming and inconsistent multiplicity of being (which enables Badiou to prove the existence of an abnormal or illegal multiple). the philosopher must pass through language. any other type of writing becomes impure. the event can be named neither in terms of a preexisting lexicon. Badiou affirms. moreover the event subtracts itself from the order of meaning and. the absolute radical character of the event and its heterogeneous relation to the order of language. but rather. There is something of an archi-poiesis that from Being and the Event up to Logiques des mondes governs the fidelity to the event. On the one hand. the subject. What distinguishes Badiou from most of his contemporaries is that for him. therefore. it is a pure writing because it does not maintain a rapport to the real. Mathematical writing is the real itself. it is the real that is a fleeting trace of this writing. This formal operator bears witness to the impossible: the ontological status of the event that transgresses the very laws of being insofar as it belongs to itself. It proceeds from a decision and under the modality of the event. Ordinary language cannot provide an effective description of multiplicity. an operator of this sudden “irruption. demands an act of nomination (Being and the Event). and in the poem in particular) that functions as the trace of its vanishing passage. As “poetic invention. a figure that is in excess to the codes in question in the case of art in general. The event requires a name (or an image. a scandal for the dire bien. He conceives philosophy as a process of rigorous deduction inflected by mathematics.3 There where the event arises. The advent of an event therefore becomes a question SubStance #120. seem at odds with the question explored in this special issue. The event is lawless and appears as a supplement to a given situation. and as having a subordinated function. for two reasons that.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 93 The focus of this essay is Badiou’s thinking. cannot be described in terms of those very rules. with the same force. or ethics of truth. no. is something impossible to say. 2009 . with reference. Truth has nothing to do with an object of knowledge. 38. at first. on the other hand. but only to displace it each time by the throw of the dice of a non-deductible nomination. it subtracts itself from any type of relation. or a deduction of a protocol of fidelity to its consequences (Logiques des mondes). For Badiou the matheme is the writing of the real. nor be included in a dire bien insofar as it always affirms established and accepted significations. Badiou conceives of a dimension that escapes the grasp of language. Language can access the multiple only by being forced—that is.” the event’s name is an improper saying. a domain exists in which language has to be considered as something secondary.
but that also have a universal scope (generic). a decision. that “any attempt to make of ethics the fundament of thought and action is essentially religious” (Badiou. as well as its varieties in the Anglo-Saxon world: cultural relativism and identity politics. at best. this does not mean that his thinking is unreceptive to any reflection on art and literature—that is. however. in turn. Ethics. therefore. and a “love of the unnamable” able to acknowledge that there are limits to the power of a truth and the work of naming. and at worst in skipping a series of theoretical difficulties that reduced or SubStance #120. and isolate what escapes the established descriptions. the inventive act broadly defined. since the subject must discriminate the new with the language of the old.6 Unlike the ethics of respect for alterity and difference in which the other takes precedence over the same. Fidelity. Badiou has been adamant in his attack on what he calls the ethical ideology promoted in France by the Nouveaux Philosophes. This attack also targets the two dominant paradigms that have inspired the ethical turn of literary criticism: those of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. from the perspective of the event that comes to supplement the situation. It thus involves a process of inquiry (enquête).”5 In both cases ethics involves a break with doxa. 23). Although at first Badiou does not privilege invention in his philosophical system. Badiou’s untimely and strange Platonism values art precisely for producing truths that are proper to it (immanent).94 Gabriel Riera of an intervention. a new regime for thinking the question of art beyond the closure of traditional aesthetics and modernist conceptions of its role. 2009 . Finally. if some strands of ethical criticism—especially in its AngloSaxon version that ended up. Unlike the Nietzschean postmodernist legacy that posits the value of art against the dreadfulness of truth. Fidelity is the central feature of Badiou’s ethics. a process of fidelity to the consequences of the event. 3. Badiou’s subtractive ontology provides a rigorous elaboration of the consequences that an event brings into play—an ethics of truth. which in his most recent Logiques des mondes becomes an ethics of “living with an Idea. in a sort of neo-humanism. formalizes in its effort to think the present. The former reminds us. Badiou’s critique of ethical ideology. 38. according to Badiou. Vol. On the other hand. It is a process of continuing with a singular and concrete situation from the point of view of what is yet unknown—that is.4 Badiou has gone as far as to develop an inesthetics—that is. Badiou’s ethics is organized around the rare emergence of the same from the banal infinity of difference. compels the subject to think a world according to an unavailable principle (what has come to change it). and fidelity. art produces immanent truths that philosophy. finds its correlate in his positing of an ethics of truth. no. Far from it: Badiou is a thinker for whom art is one of the four conditions of philosophy.
but rather shows the precedence of the former over the latter. should not be understood as a barrier. There where Levinas finds the idea of alterity in “the situation described by Descartes in which the ‘I think’ maintains with the Infinite it can nowise contain and from which it is separated a relation called ‘idea of Infinity’” (Totality. On the other side are those like Emmanuel Levinas and. but the latter also privileges undecidibility as the necessary frame to instantiate a process of fidelity to the event and its truth. and consequently does not ground infinity in finitude. 2009 . 48). 3. A brief discussion of this ontology is necessary in order to frame Badiou’s ethics of truth and the way he stipulates its functioning in the sphere of art.7 Badiou’s thinking not only subscribes to a radical form of anti-Humanism (he declares himself to be the most faithful follower of both Lacan and Foucault).Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 95 plainly ignored the legacy of literary theory. who criticized the idea of identity and developed a discourse of separation and alterity. Vol. the consequence of undecidability is that decisions become imperative. 38. On one side stand the philosophers of immanence. The crux of Badiou’s philosophy is to propose an ethics of truth whose main prescription is a non-dogmatic imperative: “Decide from the point of view of what is undecidable”—a decision whose final goal is to stipulate the effects that the new brings upon a given structure. therefore. the French philosophical scene characterized itself by a virulent anti-Hegelianism. Being can only be said as a consistent multiplicity. Ontologies of difference were dominant during the twentieth century in Continental philosophy. or difference between Being and entities. no. These approaches took issue with Hegel’s thesis according to which difference. opposition and contradiction are the different facets of the Absolute. According to Heidegger. Maurice Blanchot. who rejected the idea of a dépassement of contradictions and of absolute knowledge. Badiou’s critique of ethical ideology yields an ethics of truth rooted in a subtractive ontology. but as a necessary path to encounter the new. For Gilles Deleuze this amounts to “the final and most powerful homage ever made to the venerable principle of identity” (Difference. up to a certain point.8 Further. Derrida and Badiou both cipher the ethical moment in aporia and undecidibility. Badiou thinks actual infinity through Cantor. In the end. During the second half of the last century. 87). Undecidability. The philosophers of difference who have inspired the ethical turn took a stand against Hegel’s integration of difference as an inner moment of identity—as an identity conceived no longer as static but in constant movement. the ontological SubStance #120. the French “Nietzscheans” like Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. and consistencies are founded on decisions. the philosophers of difference took as their point of departure—and as their target—Heidegger’s ontological difference. For Badiou. but also manages to provide a series of answers to difficult issues.
in turn. is mathematics. Heidegger’s conception of the ontological difference reinforces the presence of Being. Badiou can be included neither in the anti-Hegelian genealogy. understood in the Nietzschean sense of world-play. is the very root of human existence insofar as it entails. in turn. play. but rather one of Being. 3. Math- SubStance #120. This explains. no. following Heidegger who writes Being “under erasure” (sous rature). 79). It is Jacques Derrida who radicalizes Heidegger’s quest and who. but also as a supplement in the sense of a representation. unlike Derrida’s.10 For Badiou. a signifier. insofar as it occupies the place of a signification that lacks. It is possible to say that insofar as Heidegger envisions difference as an effect of Being. Signification becomes a movement of supplementarity: it happens in substitution of signification’s lack of fundament.” which he calls différance. at the same time. By playing Nietzsche against Heidegger. Derrida questions any idea of full presence and now. c’est à dire comme ébranlement de l’onto-théologie et de la métaphysique de la presence” (Grammatologie.” the very onto-theology Heidegger wishes to dispense with in the first place. Ontological difference. ontology. results from the absence of a transcendental signifier.96 Gabriel Riera difference is metaphysics’ unthought. This takes Derrida to sift Heidegger’s philosophy through Nietzsche’s filter and particularly through the idea that Being is a play of forces. Derrida states that. which leads Heidegger to equate metaphysics with an onto-theology. a thinking of difference. that should not be confused with a system of transcription. speaks in terms of a simultaneous process of tracing and erasing that constitutes the trace. Derrida posits the idea of a difference older than “ontological difference. The arrival of the archi-trace is also the advent of play: “On pourrait appeler jeu l’absence de signifié transcendental comme illimitation du jeu. its need to posit the idea of a Supreme Being as a way of explaining the entities. when there is a void that makes any deployment possible. a pre-comprehension of Being and an attitude toward entities. his is not. claims Heidegger. Derrida’s play implies the transformation of a passive or reactive nihilism (negation of life) into an active nihilism that is invention and creation. at the same time. a discourse in which both terms collapse. in the end. The notion that Being is written “under erasure” implies that there is no transcendental signifier and that its effacement amounts to the advent of an archi-trace. This limitless play requires a field of infinite substitutions in which each signified can become. systematically shows that Heidegger remains caught in a “metaphysics of presence. the science of being as such. 38. or archi-writing—a writing without any antecedent.9 For Derrida. Instead Badiou privileges the multiple. 2009 . There is play when a center is lacking. Vol. nor in the lineage of difference.
A consistent presentation of what is otherwise sheer inconsistent multiplicity unfolds only at the ontical level. explains why for Badiou it becomes the proper name of Being. in the Manifesto for Philosophy. Badiou emphatically contests all affirmations concerning the “end of philosophy” and instead declares that philosophy operates in terms of the concepts of truth. in turn. event and subjectivity. Badiou’s Ontology and the “Ethics of Truth”11 Badiou responds to an age dominated by cultural relativism and skepticism by positing the existence of universal truths. Nevertheless. While for Hegel the negative is a hole—the void that the concept introduces in the real—for Badiou there is an irresoluble disjunction between the real and the concept. no. He establishes a new relation between discourse and mathematical deduction by equating ontology and mathematics as the thinking that operates in the proximity of the disseminated nature of Being. his differend revolves precisely around the status of the void.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 97 ematics. The void enables one to say the presentation. as well as the “vulgar” positivist version that sees philosophy superseded by the developments in the natural and human sciences. Insofar as it resists unification. 3. 2009 . The void that the concept introduces in the real does not become. The void is the conceptual feature most faithful to what is. truth and the subject. Badiou takes issue with Hegel. for this reason. The pure multiple “in-consists” and. Against the partisans of philosophy’s demise Badiou argues that philosophy is possible and necessary. 38. Vol. Badiou rethinks the question of the ontological difference. or unified. Badiou responds by stressing a classical aspect of philosophy: its systematicity. but it does not present itself as such. is unpresentable. In fact. embracing the real such as it presents itself. it reveals itself as the void. or the pure multiple that is inconsistent from the viewpoint of any structure since it cannot be counted-as-one. where a stable and normative conception tends to prevail. which means that Being makes room for singularities –the event. itself real: it remains forever ideal. in its post-Cantorean inflection. However. 2. SubStance #120. inconsistent multiplicity underlies all presentation and is the condition of freedom. Nature’s precariousness results from its being founded on the void.12 He specifically rejects the two inflections that the “end of philosophy” has taken in contemporary discourses: the Heideggerian version regarding the exhaustion of metaphysics. Faced with this situation. knows only the multiple of multiples. and not unlike the philosophers of difference. Concerning Heidegger. The void is what makes it possible to “attach” a situation to its being and. consequently. but this precariousness is of ontological character.
desacralizes any truth. Inasmuch as it is not a number that one can arrive at by counting. Vol. But what is the meaning of set theory once it is treated philosophically? A set is a presentation that allows us to see a structured multiple.15 The axiom of infinity constitutes Badiou’s point of departure. the infinite is unattainable. de-substantiates. 3. no. This One. what we have instead is the paradoxical advent of meaning from what is a-significant As a configuration of thought. In this sense. Badiou seeks to replace the Hegelian and Romantic interpretations of potential infinity and human finitude with the concepts of actual infinity and the event. 38. Badiou contests the two traditional forms of understanding infinity (or the infinite under the regime of the One): as a boundless exteriority (Aristotle) and as a temporal ecstasy (the Romantic legacy). Being is a pure inconsistent multiplicity composed. 2009 . Set theory establishes that the infinite is itself multiple and can neither be conceived as the One. provides for Badiou the only rigorous articulation of such a pure multiplicity. the SubStance #120. or counted-as-one. and it does so by means of an analytic procedure that equates mathematics with ontology. especially post-Cantorean set theory. and once thus seized. and event to the dimension of non-being: the real that becomes possible when forced by means of a “discipline of time” and a “fidelity” to its incalculable “irruption. Fundamentally. but rather what he believes is left unthought by that theory. of multiple elements. The consequence of Badiou’s move is that the concept of the finite is secondary. in turn. where being refers to the order of the presentation of the pure multiple. insofar as it is retroactively produced by the infinite. Badiou develops his systematic ontology in Being and Event. must organize them as what interrupts the regime of signification. Philosophy is not the truth: philosophy is what subtracts from any identity and plenitude. politics. Badiou posits that meaning is not the gift of Being. philosophy derives a series of directives with which to approach the teeming of things.14 Contemporary mathematics. philosophy must subtract truths from the labyrinth of meaning. in Badiou’s ontology being is no longer an enigma but an underlying void attached to any entity. Philosophy.98 Gabriel Riera Philosophy is neither a constructive nor a deconstructive practice for Badiou but the site where thinking seizes the truths or generic procedures of an epoch. nor as the Whole. in the end. Against Heidegger and any form of hermeneutics. it asserts a radical infinity beyond all possible proofs of construction. art and love) that enable philosophy to accomplish its act: to provide those truths with an articulation so as to exhibit their epochal compossibility. These truths unfold in the conditions (science. All beings in their being are infinite by prescription—infinite in the secularized sense introduced by Cantor’s revolution. It should be clear that Badiou’s ontology is not the application of set theory.”13 Unlike Heidegger’s.
but cannot provide a global.” between “structure and meta-structure”(EE 149). a limitation of an infinite multiplicity. the being of this presentation is empty and subtracts itself from the dialectic of the one and the multiple. It is the contingent. The state (of the situation) prohibits the presentation of the void. Badiou calls situation any multiplicity structured by a particular count or by a particular criteria of belonging and inclusion (two founding relations of the multiple).Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 99 structure. at the same time. The event called “French Revolution. Signification therefore entails an impoverishment of the infinities. unpredictable dimension of the event that interrupts the order of knowledge by attaching itself to the void of every situation. 2009 . It is the truth of the Ancien Régime.” which for Badiou functions as an archi-event. Signification is. but refers to a certain state of the presentation.16 but without being included (counted or represented) in it. is. L’être et l’événement. The objective order that the state of the situation thus guarantees accomplishes a violent inclusion whose effect is “the disjunction between presentation and representation. The void is the “founding” principle of the world. The void is a universally included set that belongs to no one in particular. 38. Vol. a kind of Urszene. This means that the world is without totality and without God because no set of sets is available— remember Russell’s paradox and Borges’ fictions based upon it. has no being in itself. no. If it is true that presentation supposes a level of unity. Ontology must describe the conditions that will allow moving beyond the state of a presentation toward a situation of pure presentation. 3. Although ontology presents the multiple. enabling unity to these arrangements. The result of counting is a meta-structure that designates the situation as One. as well as what bears witness that any situation goes from itself to a-beyond-itself. which is the fundamental element for any particularization. but a truth that cannot be named by the state of the SubStance #120. to establish the set of the parts or subsets of a set. However. it is a limiting act that severs meaning from the inhuman prodigality of the multiple. or as the state of a situation. Badiou plays with the political connotation of the word “state. the act of presentation splits itself into representations. what serves to display the void and the chaos. 68-71). Badiou subscribes to a radical and materialist infinitism for which there is no real difference between an element of the set and the set that contains it. It is precisely because of this splitting that signification unfolds. The axiom of the void thus plays a crucial role in Badiou’s ontology. The void is “that from which there is presentation” (Badiou. for example.” since it is the principle that intervenes to control excess. the occurrence that allows us to read the inconsistencies of the Ancien Régime. Knowledge or the language of the situation furnishes virtually infinite ways of arranging a situation’s part.
rather. Further. an event arises as the inconsistency of Being that shatters the consistencies of presentation. the (un)veiling of Being (alêtheia). “October Revolution.100 Gabriel Riera situation called Ancien Régime. no. Vol. For Badiou. consequently. Because the event is always fleeting. Badiou’s system has gone through important modifications. a truth emerges as the outcome of a process in which a “generic subset” of a situation coalesces and is then sustained by a subjective fidelity to the event. The event thus releases the virtual potentials of a given situation (EE 274). “atonal music” is a series of chaotic sounds. 38. And since the truth of the event is indiscernible from within a given situation (for classical music. A truth is what results from the subjective process once the name of the event is put into circulation in a given situation. 3. An event is not a fact. the event is what makes possible a process of subjectivization. For Badiou a truth is clearly neither the correspondence between a subject and an object (homôiosis. those having a direct import for his ethics of truth. I will summarily review the most significant shifts in Badiou’s system and. In what follows. it demands an act of nomination (“Christ’s Resurrection. What must be stressed here is that the subject does not pre-exist the event but. only a subject of each of the generic procedures or conditions and.” in the case of Saint Paul. and a new focus on the question of consistent presentations instead of the question of being in general. nor the result of different productions of practices and discourses at a given time in history (Foucault). there is no subject in general. an operator able to establish an effective mechanism of connection must exist. truths are also proper to the four conditions. in particular.17 The event is the supernumerary excess of the order of being that makes the production of a truth possible. A truth is produced by the excessive arrival of an event of whose passage only a name remains. adæquatio).” for Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries) from its operator or belated supplement: the subject. it is a non-empirical. Further. part two of Being and Event. Being the expression of the void SubStance #120. for the Greek philosopher. These modifications also had an impact on how Badiou conceives the event. 2009 . The latter consists in seizing the name of the event in order to make it intervene in a given situation.18 There has been a shift from ontology (set theory) to logic (category theory). With the publication of Logiques des mondes. It is through this intervention that consensual and validated knowledge can encounter the real of a given situation. It is through the intervention of a subject (who is the after-effect of the event) on behalf of this truth that an event can be discerned and named as such. the subject and the process of truth. “Christ’s resurrection” is a fable) the language of the situation is unable to name it. In other words. ephemeral and insubstantial passage that cannot be assigned to any stable element of the situation in which it takes place.
no. Because of its intrinsic feature. therefore. at the same time. It produces an interruption since it opens a perspective from which to discern what a situation cannot know or grasp: that which is left unaccounted for by the situation’s meta-structure. and therefore it lacks existence. points to the void or inconsistency out of which a situation holds together. the axiomatic of set theory defines the site of the inexistence that produces truths—the event.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 101 within the particular situation at hand. In Badiou. The event is an exceptional multiple that is added to a given situation by tracing the passage of an interruption. A site is thus always in the position of internal exclusion in regard to the situation within which it is presented. Badiou defines the event as an “extraordinary multiple” or “ultra-One”. 2009 . therefore. and although it is a requisite for an event to appear. but its idiosyncratic condition. Badiou calls evental site (site événémentiel) the singular multiple whose elements do not present themselves in a situation. What is excessive regarding the classes the state counts is neither one (the retroactive result of a structural operation) nor consistent: it is a nothing (rien). a site is precarious and ephemeral. A site is thus unclassifiable since its excess exceeds what the state designates as being a legitimate part of a situation. its dazzling passage SubStance #120.19 Ultimately. The event is destined to a given situation and it confers a local extension to it (EE 196). The event. The state of the situation cannot count the terms that make up this singular and abnormal multiple (for example. and is thus indiscernible from this very axiomatic. it is. the situation of the multiples of its own site and its own situation. it is from the latter that the excessive type of multiples originate. given that the event belongs to itself. The axiomatic of set theory isolates two types of relations among multiplicities: belonging and inclusion. which means that the defining feature of the event is its self-belonging. insofar as the site belongs to the situation without being included in it. 38. Vol. However. 3. The event then is an unfounded and autonomous set or situation that subtracts itself from the axiom of foundation. The event’s modality of manifestation is that of the eclipse: it is a fading and fragile appearing that produces the dispersion of the site’s elements. What is decisive for the subject is to inscribe the event within a situation to which it does not belong. the event is unfounded and autonomous in terms of the situation within which it arrives. Moreover. In Being and Event Badiou’s typology of being reveals the existence of a type of multiplicity that transgresses the laws of the axiomatic that were set to formalize it. the event thus functions as a radical supplement to the indifferent multiplicity of Being. it is not the event’s cause. a family of illegal immigrants whose members are unregistered and thus lack public status). given that the event only belongs to itself.
The name does not allow for the event’s disappearance to give way to a discourse whose grammar and syntax is grounded in the encyclopedic and classifying language of the state. of its singularity. the regime of truth produces the reconstruction of the whole set of rules by which things appear (by taking into account that something or someone that previously did not appear must appear now). the event is a hybrid. whose value in a given world was null or weak. Although it maintains its generic characteristic.102 Gabriel Riera leaves a remainder: a name.20 In Being and Event the event as Ultra-One was a problematic construction for the corresponding conception of a subject understood as fragment of the event. 2009 . In Logiques des mondes.” that it was its effect and its source. the event modifies the rules of appearing. 3. If in Being and Event the event’s “irruption” shattered the consistency of a presentation. there was a need to supplement the ontological description of the event with a logical description able to elucidate the temporality proper to the event. suddenly acquires a strong or maximum existential intensity. 38. the only element by means of which it can survive its own disappearance. Further. the event conserves its ontological character as a surging forth of the site in a moment of selfbelonging and. The site is now conceived as a “reflexive multiple” and thus. it produces a brutal transformation of a given regime of intensity. insofar as it transgresses the laws of being. the thinking of the event is neither ontological nor transcendental. This entails the regime of truth acquiring a double status too. at the same time. must redouble the ontological delimitation proposed in Being and Event with a logical characterization. it is a multiple that belongs to itself. Therefore. so as to allow that which was inexistent to come into existence. If in Being and Event supplementation was the only term that accounted for the rearrangement of transcendental correlations. Badiou’s logical characterization of the event takes the existential intensity with which real change endows a multiplicity as its point of departure. a site is the fleeting revelation SubStance #120. a mix of pure being and appearing and. This modification can be seen in any genuine event: something or someone. no. Between the site and the event. In other words. which explains why the specification of the site. Therefore. Logiques des mondes reintroduces a term that used to play a more decisive role in his Théorie du Sujet— destruction: something must disappear in order for an inexistent element to appear in the world. The supernumerary character of the event and its subjective naming implied that the subject was something more than the fragmentary aftermath to the event’s sudden “irruption. Vol. consequently. Badiou unfolds the transformations that real change undergoes. in Logiques des mondes it produces a de-regulation in the logic of the world—a sort of transcendental malfunctioning or disruption.
A site is a vanishing term: it appears only as disappearing. the major shift that takes place in Logiques des mondes consists in that the subject’s effective operation no longer concerns naming the event. Fidelity thus names a process that separates and discerns “the becoming legal of chance” (EE 257). 3. Subjectivization. since there is no subject in general. In order to fully grasp the implications of this shift I will first focus briefly on how the subject is conceived in Being and Event. It instead signals the linkage that brings together the event and fidelity. if it happens and when it happens —let’s remember that the subject is as rare as the event—only takes place in the wake of an event. It is unthinkable apart from it. or the relation between subjectivization and the subjective process (EE 264). 2009 . Vol. The subject does not pre-exist the event. A truth is thus what results from a subjective process once the subject puts the event’s name into circulation.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 103 of the void that haunts multiplicities. Badiou calls the recognition by which the event testifies to its unexpected and incalculable arrival an intervention. For Badiou the subject is not a universal or given category.”21 Due to the site’s fleeting and vanishing nature. the site is the ontological figure of an instant. it is the only type of real change that brings into existence “the inexistence proper to the object-site” (LM 397). Finally. neither a transcendental nor empirical subject. it appears only to disappear: “Self-belonging annuls itself as soon as it appears. In Badiou there is no way of knowing beforehand whether someone is connected to a given event. an evaluation of the intensity common to the appearing of two beings. An event is a strong singularity that enables its consequences to exist maximally. In Badiou “subject” refers neither to a network of representations grounded in experience nor to the transcendental constitution of any possible object of experience. its true duration must be placed on the side of its consequences. The problem consists in registering the consequences of the appearing. 38. since s/he only becomes subject thanks to the interrupting force and the arresting power of the event (EE 48). and is always the subject of a particular condition. or on the logical interpretation of the relation among the different degrees of intensity. SubStance #120. The intervention unleashes a “discipline of time” that controls the putting into circulation of the paradoxical multiple of the event (EE 232). but rather “in imposing the legibility of a unified orientation” (LM 54). no. Regarding Badiou’s theory of the subject. Badiou understands the subject’s seizure by the event’s “irruption. less a constructed one. which means that the logic of the site is the distribution of the degrees of intensity around a vanishing point. By the latter. that is.” as well as the act by which the subject gets hold of the event’s name in order to make it intervene in a given situation.
it must be receptive to art’s essence. 2009 . This occurs because subjective capacity amounts to drawing the consequences of a change and. therefore. Insofar as art is one of the four conditions. does not pretend in any manner to make of it an object of philosophy. We are now in a position to approach Badiou’s inesthetics and to focus on his reflections on the specific status of the truths of art. Badiou’s approach to the four conditions is shaped in terms of Lacan’s distinction between the regime of knowledge and that of truth. The logic of consequences replaces the logic of naming.. instead proposes a different distribution of subject and truth that no longer coincides with a finite/infinite distribution. He shows that the subject is identified by a type of marking. Vol. The subject is an active and identifiable form of the production of truths. or as a finite instance of an infinite process. Badiou introduces the fundamental notion of consequence. on the other it must formulate the truths of the works of art into philosophical propositions. a post-evental (post-événementiel) effect. is immanent. a relation of philosophy to art which. by positing that art is in itself producer of truths. In Being and Event. Logiques des mondes. an ‘inesthetics’ describes the strictly intra-philosophical effects produced by the independent existence of some works of art. its status remains indeterminate outside the problematic of the event’s name. By taking the work of art as its object it pretends to understand the meaning of the work of art SubStance #120.104 Gabriel Riera If in Being and Event the subject is conceived as a finite fragment of a truth-procedure. (Handbook of Inesthetics. Against aesthetic speculation. Art is Idea. although the first one seems to be predominant. 3. its essence. whose system of operations is infinite. In Logiques des mondes the notion of consequence is bound to the subject and. if this change is evental (événementiel). which means that once the subject is constituted under the mark of the event.22 By inesthetics Badiou understands . which makes it difficult to conceive of subjective capacity in an immanent way. but what are these truths? We know by now that what they have in common with the truths of the other conditions is the void. and what art does with the Idea. the modalities by which it sustains the void. as I mentioned in the previous section. its consequences are infinite. immanence is possible. Aesthetics seeks to know what art is. Badiou’s Inesthetics and The Truth of Art Badiou’s approach to the question of art oscillates between the ethics of truth’s two possible outcomes: the logic of naming and the logic of consequences.. subjective capacity is infinite. Moreover. 3. no. it produces truths. 1) Inesthetics thus responds to a double exigency: on the one hand. subjectivization fades away. 38.
Philosophy monitors and rules over art because only the former conceives of itself as the essential education of mankind. no. Bertolt Brecht’s theater. Art’s essence consists in the manifestation of a self-sufficient truth severed from any discourse on art. xiv). Further. as “a critical approach to aesthetics for which art is a question not a given” (Paraesthetics. 38. Freudianism (Lacan) and Romantic hermeneutics (Heidegger).23 Badiou’s inesthetics is an anti-aesthetics: the opposite of a speculative aesthetics or a philosophical understanding of art according to which the latter is endowed with the task of furnishing an ontological presentation of a speculative metaphysics. it does not share the foundational scope of Heidegger’s ontology of art. Although Badiou’s approach to art partakes of the generalized consensus that aesthetics cannot be a founding philosophical discipline.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 105 beyond the work itself—that is. or Romantic (Hegel). and this because it commits itself to the whole truth. Badiou wants to delineate a relation between philosophy and art that is no longer didactic (Plato). while art abandons itself to the hypnotic effects of the sensible. who sees in the work of art the semblance of a truth. those three articulations do not posit the simultaneously immanent and singular character of the truths proper to the work of art.24 In this sense. according to Badiou. Plato and the Marxist conception of art coincide in this desire to master the effects of art.25 he insists on the autonomous character of art. are prevalent in contemporary articulations such as Marxism (Brecht). Badiou’s inesthetics is also a para-aesthetics. an inesthetic description is doubly restricted: it is concerned only with “intra-philosophical” effects as they apply solely to some works of art. as well as its internal scansions. in turn. inesthetics is not a philosophy of art. it assumes that it knows better than the work itself what the essence of art is. Although it aims to describe the truths of art. partakes of this schema: for the SubStance #120. 2009 . albeit a restrictive and selective one: it can be characterized. The positing of a new relation between philosophy and art organizes the Handbook of Inesthetics’ overall architecture. classical (Aristotle). Vol. This is. However the goal and final meaning of this process of education does not belong to art. since it does not conceive of the work of art as the ground of truth—that is. Plato’s position. according to Badiou. in David Carroll’s words. describes the intra-philosophical effects produced by an autonomous realm. These three types of relations. of course. 3. Badiou’s inesthetics posits the existence of truths immanent to the work of art and. what really matters is speculation. each art form has its own way of bearing witness to the Idea’s passage. and who assigns to art the task of educating the citizen. The didactic conception asserts the superiority of philosophy over art: even if art implements effects of truth. Contrary to the new relation between philosophy and art that Badiou proposes.
Although Badiou condemns the Romantic conception of art. Truth. it affirms that only art is capable of truths that. the reconciliation between knowledge and reality. It is pleasure and not truth that is at stake in the work of art (from Aristotle to Lacan the question of art does not belong. much like the Romantics. the politics of dialectical materialism. no. but rather to ethics). is not symbolized by the work. The work of art finds its finality in its own being. this time. the infinite in the finite. the truths of art are immanent. this passage of the Idea from any sensible identification. as he preserves the educational value of the Idea. but not immanent (Truth is beyond art). Further. But unlike the Romantics. For the Romantics. at all cost. 38. for this reason. Badiou aims to preserve this subtraction as the inscription of a name. Hegel concurs with the Romantics in conceiving art as a figure of knowledge and. therefore. strictly speaking. the true work of art is at the service of neither an extrinsic signification. Vol. Nomination preserves the very disappearing of the Idea. his inesthetic must presuppose the advent of the Idea as a passage through the sensible (the modern form of Platonism). Badiou aims to preserve. The second conception is the exact reversal of the first. For Hegel it is in art that the Spirit (Geist) abandons the sphere of the finite (embodied in the individual and social life) in order to have access to its final stage: the Absolute. it becomes flesh in it. Finally. Art has the therapeutic function of exhibiting SubStance #120. to theory. since the Idea is pure subtraction. it presupposes that art bears witness to this passage. 3. The artistic work is the incarnation of the Idea in the sensible form and thus the truths of the sensible reality. that is. Badiou is not far from Plato’s didacticism. This transference consists in the deposition of passions on the staging of a plausible imaginary that the work of art provides. and a pedagogical means to make of it a triumphant truth: the theater. and above all.106 Gabriel Riera German writer there is a truth. are understood as a subjectivity made flesh. 2009 . Hegel. conceives of art as a speculative project. to produce transference in the subject through identification. but not singular insofar as art is the whole Truth. Art is useful because in giving pleasure it has the power to treat the passions of the soul. which consists in the unity of the outer sensible appearance and the inner spirituality—the unity of manifestation and signification. it is a pure operation by which the sensible vanishes. For the didactic schema. the classical conception stresses the therapeutic or cathartic function of art. the truth of art is singular (art is the truth as semblant). This is the Romantic position that presupposes that the incarnation of Truth in the sensible world can only enable us to contemplate this Truth in a human form. The Absolute truth is the subject. nor an external goal. Nomination is in Badiou the other name of art –which keeps his position closer to Heidegger than Badiou himself would like to acknowledge.
waiting. generic. it fails to apprehend philosophy’s true task: to think the compossibility of the four conditions. subject. From this position Badiou maintains the ethical orientation. It is in the imaginary.27 However. moreover. 3. Failing to acknowledge that art produces truths by itself and in its works leads the philosopher to keep alive a conception of art as the sensible form of the idea. can neither have the upper hand on any of the other truth-procedures. no. Second. Badiou argues that this conception is still present in Deleuze’s distinction between art.26 and to show how each conception sutures art to different forms of knowledge. draws itself on the background of the affective scintillations. but rather art itself. Badiou employs here a Heideggerian schema based on the exhaustion of metaphysical representations in order to declare the end of aesthetics. by definition. For Badiou a work of art is essentially finite. since they circulate differently. science. His description presupposes the fundamental arrangements of his ontology and of the ethics of truth ––multiple. that the symbolic allows something of the real to appear in its singular configuration. Badiou focuses in detail on the inner logic of the procedure of truth that art is. and truth—because the four conditions allow for a general structure in which they circulate. is precisely what. functives and concepts. for Badiou this conception is unable to show which types of truth art is capable of producing and. 38. nor hold the key to the compossibility of the four conditions that is philosophy’s proper task. the classical scheme exhausts itself in the homage it pays to different theories of desire. For the classical position. The thought of art is not extrinsic to it. from which philosophy would seek to distinguish itself insofar as it pretends to pass for the conceptual form of the Idea. However.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 107 that the object of desire. which means first and foremost that it exposes a limited objectivity in space and time. 2009 . and philosophy. organized in a certain form. to articulate the truths of an epochal situation with the empty and eternal category of truth.” The Romantic schema saturates itself in the prophetic appeal and its logical correlate. art is simply the imaginary of truth. the work of art has a principle of limitation and/or ending by SubStance #120. and percepts. The didactic schema exhausts itself in the ideological implementation by the state of an art at the service of a “common cause. Vol. For Badiou these conceptions should be abandoned and replaced by an inesthetics able to acknowledge that art produces its own truths. by subtraction. it is important to isolate the specificity of each condition. For Badiou the twentieth century was unable to transform these types of relations between philosophy and art and therefore experienced their saturation. This thought. however. un-symbolizable in itself. but the inflection is different since for Badiou only the contemplation of the Idea educates. there is neither immanence nor singularity in the truths of art. Finally.
Art is affirmative. an artistic event happens only when it is possible to discern in the available artistic matter (with its established canons. Symbolism. it is always possible that new works of art can inscribe something unheard of within a particular configuration (art historians employ very general terms to refer to this inscription: impressionism. More specifically. but rather the very stuff of the artistic procedure. its affirmation shows itself by giving a sensible being to the void or to what in-exists within an already exhausted and given configuration. is the unknown of truth. Newness thus haphazardly deploys truth and the configuration thus put into circulation is inexhaustible: neither reducible to a proper name. is a generic and infinite truth. Finally. The procedure that brings a truth haphazardly into play originates in an event. SubStance #120. accepted norms and validating criteria) that an “irruption” of the power of the void has left its trace. tonality. And although the event might have a referent. Haydn for classical music). the work of art is forever what it is within the inner circularity of its own end. it is the fortuitousness of their organization and sequencing that constitutes their generic character. within a given situation. de-structuring and re-structuring capabilities of the void’s “irruption” that are. A work of art thus should be conceived in its finitude. The configuration is the composition of a virtually infinite network of works that makes a generic truth of a specific art form.108 Gabriel Riera which it affirms that it is all the perfection of which it is capable. to transform and to leave behind the current active structures. nor to a totalizing process able to be placed under a single predicate. A work is neither an event. Vol. and makes its presence felt only in listening. etc. 38. to a period in the history of art (Baroque. It is the void that innovates because it comes to designate that it is possible. 2009 . does not need to be reduced to an objective determination. and that inscribes the seal of the void within it. This can be achieved by giving some type of form to what is seemingly shapeless from the point of view of the established situation. however. instantiated by an event. a finite fragment of the infinite and unending. The openness of artistic truth means that although the works of art are the being of this truth. no. The void that is suddenly registered signals the exhaustion of an established form. a proper name (Sophocles. each inquiry. Each work. none of which manifest this generic and infinite truth in themselves. for Greek tragedy. This configuration. 3. nor the truth of this event. but finitude should be thought within the inner logic of the artistic procedure. the marks of any event. etc. it is made up by works. This procedure.).). precisely. Moreover. seeing or reading a new procedure that erupts within an already established form. Each work of art is an inquiry (enquête) on truth and. it is the arrival of a suddenly revealed indexation of the void in the indifferent multiplicity of being. One must endure these innovative. therefore.
That at a given moment the configuration might appear as something obsolete does not necessarily mean that it is finished once and for all. London: Routledge. 2007.: Purdue UP. 2000. psychanalyse. 7-19. Paris: PUF. The configuration can always be actualized anew. Finally. Beckett and Stephan Mallarmé function as two constant points of reference and of inexhaustible insights for Badiou. 1999. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. vol. in the words of Samuel Beckett. any work of art is an inventive inquiry instantiated by an event that engages a beyond-a-previous-given situation by the void that opens within the canonical structures and that belongs to an infinite configuration.) The Turn to Ethics. see René Guitart. West Lafayette. and philosophy aims to formalize its passage. Shadows of Ethics: Criticism and the Just Society. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 38. Oxford: Clarendon Press. and The Character of Criticism. 3. See also J. ready made. For a more encompassing argument see also Simon Critchley.) too. Bruns. 114: 1. London: Phronesis. 1996. 1997. Evanston. 1992. Ethics and the Novel. Descartes et Freud. Hillis Miller.” PMLA. The most complete survey of ethical literary criticism is by Lawrence Buell. and Representation. Ethical Criticism: Reading After Levinas. 1999. Robert Eaglestone. Evidence et étrangeté. 1987. 2009 . 1999. Literature. But for Badiou. In. Andrew Gibson Postmodernity. and Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment. 2. For an interesting take on the matheme. Tragic Thoughts at the End of Philosophy: Language. object trouvé. Levinas and Contemporary French Thought. The verbal invention of a name without precedent is experienced by the established and dominant languages of a situation as ill-said or missaid. Derrida. Ethics. Aragon. Vol. Chicago 1. there exists a large number of minor or ignored inquiries that are an integral part of this configuration (automatic writing. 1998. Art is a truth that gives form to what is shapeless. Literature and Ethics. Politics and Subjectivity: Essays on Derrida. what is essential is to isolate the trajectory of the Idea and to subtract it from the sensible. New York: Columbia UP. Art distinguishes itself from the other three truth-procedures in that it has the sensible as such as its element. Beckett’s work is an especially privileged instance of an art conceived as a labor of subtraction. 2000. Duchamp. Chicago: Chicago UP. etc. as with the ready made throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Special Topic: Ethics and Literary Study (January 1999). (Ed. rearticulated in a new configuration. The Ethics of Deconstruction: Levinas. Geoffrey Galt Harpham. Thomas Docherty.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 109 Beyond some proper names (Breton. Mathématique. “In Pursuit of Ethics. Notes SubStance #120. Alterities: Criticism. Ill. Politics of Resistance. University of Illinois. London: Routledge. London: Routledge. and Reading Narrative. 2006. 1999 and Marjorie Garber. Mention should be made also of Gerald L. and Ethical Theory. Durham: Duke UP. no. London: Verso. Ernst) and the historical sequence (Surrealism).: Northwestern UP. Eluard. The Ethics of Reading. that renders visible or audible what was not such up to that point in a given situation (the silences of tonal music acquired a different truth in atonal music). The truth of art consists precisely in this trajectory. Theory. 3. 1999. Getting it Right: Language.
A Short Treaty on Transitory Ontology. 14. 2006. Paris: L’ Harmattan. Symposium: The Canadian Journal for Continental Philosophy. 1967. “To Have Done with the End of Philosophy. SubStance #120. 10. Badiou’s philosophical decision concerning the ontological rehabilitation of the multiple unfolds by way of a critique of the homologation of being and with an elucidation of the non-being of the one. 38. See Pierre Verstraeten. 8. See Alain Badiou. For the concept of play. at the same time. should be read as a patient. While Being as such is inconsistent. the pure groundless multiplicity is. On the one hand. Insofar as Beckett’s late work is a rigorous exploration of the possibilities of the event. 78-83.” Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy. 34. Being. whose works represent a revival of a moral. In Plato Badiou sees both an ontology of the pure multiple. This ontological rehabilitation of the multiple is grounded in Plato’s Parmenides. since for him being is a multiplicity that is “en elle-même système de rapports différentiels. le signe et le jeu dans le discours des sciences humaines. Tome 2 de L’Être et l’événement. 2002. “La méthode de dramatization. 3. (Ed. Norman Madarasz. Badiou’s Platonism. “The question from which I began speculating can now be formulated as follows: can the One be unsealed from Being? Can the metaphysical enframing of Being by the One be severed?. Finally. 1-20. I have dealt with this issue in “Living with an Idea”: Ethics and Politics in Badiou’s Logiques des mondes. Badiou’s Platonism posits a division in the transcendental plane of being (pure multiple) and the immanent plane of phenomena (the appearing of phenomena counted-as-one).” See Gilles Deleuze. Briefings on Existence. 9 (2000). NY: SUNY Press. Penser le multiple. it also exposes an ethics of naming: the ill-said that testifies a fidelity to the event. see Derrida.” Conditions. since for Badiou manifestation or appearing has a univocal and permanent character.” Badiou is also able to resurrect the conceptual figures of the Philosopher and the Sophist and to wage war against forms of thinking that relinquish the possibility of any real change. no. 2007. and a phenomenology founded upon the possibility of recognizing the one as the appearing of the multiple in the individuality of things. trans. it aims to de-suture philosophy from the fascination of the poem and thus allows him to declare a recommencement of philosophy beyond Heidegger’s declaration of the “end of metaphysics. appearing imposes the notion of a singular logic.” Actuel Marx. Editions de Minuit 2002. 39-54. I am thinking of Martha Nussbaum and Richard Rorty. 12. 2009 . as well as the dialectic of identity and alterity.” Alain Badiou. “La vérité. See Toscano. This section reconsiders and expands various parts of the “Introduction” to Gabriel Riera (ed). “La structure. as processed through Cantor and his legacy.110 Gabriel Riera His work.” L’écriture et la difference. Paris: Seuil. Paris: Seuil. 13: 1 (Spring/Printemps 2009). 220-38. Deleuze can also be included here. 2006. Badiou’s “return to Plato” is an overdetermined gesture. value-oriented approach to literature alien to the presuppositions of the ethical turn in literary studies. In his reading of Plato’s dialogue in Being and Event Badiou dislodges the dialectic of unity and multiplicity.” in Charles Ramond. forçage et innomable. (2005). Albany. 132.” in L’île déserte et autres textes. 4. 28 (2000). disciplined and vigilant evacuation of doxa. 154. 1992. “La politique dans ses limites.) Alain Badiou. Special issue on Alain Badiou. My goal in this paper is to reframe those sections dealing with Badiou’s conceptions of the event and the subject in terms of the major changes that his system undergoes with the publication of Logiques de mondes. In Intrigues: From Being to the Other New York: Fordham University Press. See Kouvelakis. entails a reversal of Platonism. ou les paradoxes d’ Alain Badiou. 5. the principle of identity of what appears. 11. Albany: SUNY Press. Paris: Seuil. I have dealt with the interplay between an ethical writing and the ethics of writing in Levinas and Blanchot. “L’apport the Badiou à la 8eme hypothèse du Parménide. 7. 6. 13. Vol. consequently. Alain Badiou: Philosophy and Its Conditions. 9. and the principle of becoming of this entity.
See Jean-Marie Schaeffer. ——-.). and Claude Romano. Paris: Bibliothèque du Collège International de Philosophie (Rue Descartes). originally published as Court traité d’ontologie transitoire. ——-. Alain Badiou: Philosophy and Its Conditions. L’événement et le temps. Pourquoi des poètes en temps de détresse. 1999. Ray Brassier and Alberto Toscano. trans. NY: SUNY Press. When Badiou confronts writers whose poetics tend to transgress the boundaries of well-established art forms. 17. fact and strong singularity (event). 20. and trans. 2000. Norman Madarasz. 1992. “L’âge des poètes. This is the case in both the “On Subtraction. W. Further references to Logiques du monde will be cited as LM. Paris: Seuil. Alain Badiou: Philosophy and Its Conditions.Ethical Criticism and Badiou’s Philosopphy 111 15. 16. When it happens. Alain. Paris: Seuil. 2001. 2004. Ethics. ed. 23. Livre 5. or strong singularity results from a truth process that modifies both by its own power. Manchester: Clinamen. Henry Maldiney. 2006. In Logiques des Mondes. Alberto Toscano. and trans. 27. 23. Paris: PUF. Albany. 3. See Gilles Deleuze. the appearing of multiplicities in a world. This formulation appears in Alain Badiou’s Briefings on Existence. 1988. Paris: PUF. and insofar as the poem is the dominant paradigm. Celan. La Politique des poètes. 2009 . 19. A close comparison between Badiou’s ontology and his logic follows from this point on. London: Verso. ed. The Infinite. and the poem in particular. it is possible to see the logic of consequences at work. 2007. Badiou. Paris: Bibliothèque du Collège International de Philosophie. 38. In Badiou. Paris: Seuil.” in Theoretical Writings. ——-. event. also provides a typology of change that enables him to distinguish between modification. 26. This text predates the formulation of Logiques des mondes. 1998. For more phenomenological approaches to the event see. one wonders if it is possible to deploy Badiou’s approach to art in general.Court traité d’ontologie transitoire.” in Jacques Rancière. For the question of the infinite in the philosophy of mathematics. L’être et l’événement. no. La Politique des poètes. not unlike more phenomenological approaches to the event. Alberto Toscano. 1999 and “L’âge des poètes. Manifesto for Philosophy. Beckett. see A. Vol. witness what Badiou says about Severo Sarduy. 58.1994. 1998. New York: Columbia University Press. trans. 21. in The Century. Up to this point I have dealt with the basic tenets of Badiou’s ontology as presented in my “Introduction” to Gabriel Riera (ed). What is Philosophy?. This real change.” in Jacques Rancière. Alberto Toscano and Nina Power.” See Alain Badiou. Badiou. However. Pourquoi des poètes en temps de détresse. See Gabriel Riera (Ed. real change imposes an effective discontinuity upon the world it comes to affect.” I dealt with the tension that the double demand of belonging and inclusion posits in Badiou’s inesthetics. 2003. such as Mallarmé. (2005). An Essay on the Understanding of Evil. ed. 25. Rue Descartes.” Epokhè 3 (1993): 11–49. trans. 1992. ed. 2004 and in On Beckett. Works Cited SubStance #120. 24. Moore. In fact. and by the disconcerting force of its consequences. beyond a confined set of very abstract poets and writers. Albany: SUNY Press. London: Routledge. London: Politi. things do not unfold as neatly. Further references to L’être et l’événement will be cited as EE. 22. 61-86. ——-. Albany: SUNY Press. Handbook of Inesthetics. 18. Adieu à l’ésthetique. 1-20. In “For an Ethics of Mystery. In Logiques des mondes Badiou develops an objective phenomenology of appearing in view of specifying the logical character of real change as it takes place in a real given world. the end of aesthetics is called “the end of the age of poets. “L’Irreductible. Pessoa. specifically in Badiou’s determination of the poetic subjectivity of the century as that of the getteur. London: Continuum Books. 2001. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
“La vérité. Charles (Ed. Ramond. New York: Methuen. Paris: Seuil. Paris: Editions de Minuit.” Conditions. Alphonso Lingis. Théorie du sujet. Paris: Seuil. De la grammatologie. 38. trans. trans. Paris: Seuil. Penser le multiple. 1982. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press. Trans. An Essay on Exteriority. 3. ——-. no. 1994. Paris: L’ Harmattan. Carroll. 1-20. 2001. ——-. Derrida. forçage et innomable. New York: Columbia University Press. Paul Patton. 1992. Logiques du monde. Levinas. (2005).” Alain Badiou: Philosophy and Its Conditions. Gilles. Albany: SUNY Press. Jacques. 1987. Vol. Manifesto for Philosophy. Carroll. Paraesthetics: Foucault. Norman Madarasz. ——-. Derrida. 1999.) Alain Badiou. Lyotard.112 Gabriel Riera ——-. 2002. NY: SUNY Press. Emmanuel. Deleuze. 1969. 2009 . SubStance #120. Totality and Infinity. Riera. Gabriel (Ed). Difference and Repetition. 2006. “Introduction. Albany.