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What is Love - Badiou

What is Love - Badiou

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UMBR(a

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1996

Conditions. HALL BOX 604610 PSYCULT NY 14260-4610 @ubvms CC bUffalo. © Editions du Seuil. Reprinted with the kind permission of publisher and author. 1992.! Alain Badiou. © Editions du Seuil.ISSN: 1087-0830 EDITORS sam gillespie sigi jiittkandt FACULTY ADVISOR joan copjec SPECIAL THANKS alain badiou center for the study of psychoanalysis and culture marcus coelen ken dauber rodolphe gasche (eugenio donato chair) graduate student association charlotte pressler catherine rouslin (editions du seuil) UMBR(a)is published at the university at buffalo. "Psychoanalysis and Philosophy" and "What is Love?" were originally published in Alain Badiou. Coverand layout by sam gillespie CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS AND CULTURE 409 CLEMENS BUFFALO. all submissions and inquiries should be sent to the address below "Descartes/Lacan" and "Hegel" were originally published it.edu . 1988. L'ttre et l'eoenemem.

to the extent that it is to Plato that Lacan must look for what hold thought has over the love of transference. Dame Murazaki Shikubu composed The Story of Gengi. Is this not perhaps the vocation of the word? But is the word "man.has been in the order of art. and it will be further remarked that women have not only excelled in this art. a difference thinkable only at the cost of a laborious determination ~ of identity that it puts to work. And before all these. what (ll sex is it?" Thus. partly a strategy of seduction. Jane Austen. as discourse. it will be admitted that the question of sex is the primary ~ obscurity. if one is aware that the ruses of such a difference (certainly more subtle than those of Reason) adapt themselves well to what has not been put forward by either the word "woman" or the word "man. Besides. precisely outside of its Platonic inauguration ." from Plato to Nietzsche. it is at this point that a serious objection arises: what has been said of the true reality of love. he added: "And C above all. but provided its decisive impetus: Madame de La Fayette. This coupling of love and the novel is essential.and before psychoanalysis unsettled the notion . it is from the bias of love that philosophy touches upon the sexes. what color is it?" If it is asked what a man or a woman is. Let it not be alleged that this is a classical confinement of women to the 37 . Nevertheless. among many others. It might even be suspected that it is.WHAT IS LOVE? alain badiou I." This is only the case because it is philosophically admissible to transpose to the sexes what Jean Genet declared of race. the greatest text in which what is sayable about love in its masculine dimension is deployed. in an eleventh century unimaginable for western barbarians. Too many signs attest to the contrary. and most singularly in novelistic prose." stripped of its generic freighting and returned to sexuation. what philosophy un-differentiates? I do not think so. any better treated? And is it necessary to conclude that sexual difference is. it would be ~ the height of a legitimate philosophical prudence to add: "And above all. in effect. Katherine Mansfield. PHILOSOPHY AND THE SEXES It is commonly alleged that philosophy as a systematic willing erects itself on the foreclosure of sexual difference. Let us add that contemporary philosophy addresses itself at all times to women. True. tends to arrive at a concept. it is not in the most consistent parts of this willing that the word "woman. Asking what a black is. Virginia Woolf.

In general. there is a common sense from which one cannot depart without various comic effects. This rejection is in its foundation identical to that which dismisses Being-for-death.. the rejection of the sophists. or compossible in time. The word "love" will function here as a philosophical category. This time the rule will be subsumption: !II "Make sure that your category admits the great love stories like a syntax made from its semantic ~ fields. The only problem. such as those I noted between passion and the novel? From a place where it is shown that love and art are crossed. 38 . compared to art. or a philosophy. there will be: 1." I will not verify this compatibility in detail. Let us say that the general-logic of love. The latent rule is a rule of external coherence: "Make sure that your philosophical category. the relation of this category to common beliefs will be that of juxtaposition (since love. and at what cost. I obviously maintain that women can and will continue to excel in every domain. founds its place of thought on rejections and on declarations. The rejectionof the fusional conception of love. as for a man. remains in line with socially acceptable amorous intuition. OF SEVERAL DEFINITIONS OF LOVE THAT WILL NOT BE RETAINED Philosophy. is to know under what conditions. In this case. In this case. From where can the coupling of the truth-procedures be observed. remains compatible with the analytic concept. I consider the novel an art of redoubtable and abstract complexity. Following this. the terror practiced by the world. a legitimate construction as it is seen in the status of Eros in Platonism: the relation of this category to the love that is at play in psychoanalysis. The rule might be: "Make sure that your category. Finally. and even legitimates its concept. for example in transference. This is because an ecstatic One can only be supposed beyond the Two as a suppression of the multiple. will undoubtedly remain problematic.effects of sublimated passion and the dimension of narrative. however specific." :J Finally. First of all. . the stubborn sacralizing of the encounter. as grasped in the rift between (universal) truth and (sexuated) 13 i! know ledges ought to be put to the test in singular fictions. and the masterpieces of this art as one of the highest testimonies of which a subject is capable when a truth traverses and constitutes it." II. but the most proposed upon). I want to show that the signifying bond between "woman" and "love" concerns humanity in its entirety. The relation of this category to the revelations of the art of the novel will remain indirect. science or politics is not necessarily the most frequent truth-procedure.-. Hence the metaphor of night. That place is philosophy. and the declaration that there are truths. and thereby refound the field. Love is not that which makes a One in ecstasy through a Two supposedly structurally given. if paradoxical in its consequences.

however. from their starting from the angle of psychology or a theory of the passions. It s!l. It is only messed up under the fallacious supposition that it is a relation. c :n $:l s: OJ I come now to the declarations. I will maintain belowthatloveIs not even an experience of the Other.vvI. the philosopheme of the One.A' \ ') . dear to a pessimistic traditionof French moralists. are at work in the situation. which is completely different. On the contrary.ET!!e1tt:.) .:Y .ents.··) 0'. and as such related to the generic procedure of love. or-of thesituatlon>wlder the post:evenW condition that there were Two.Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. III. If love. The rejection of the ablative conception of love. In my categories. Love is not the prostration of the Same on the altar of the Other." But~~does D()Jtakf!the Elaceofany~g ~ [supp~ee]. Why proceed in this way? By right of an essential conviction argued. 1: h\y. I wish to subtractEros'from the entire dialectic of Eteros. I am convinced. The truth of what? That_the ~ Two. Lacan occasionally skirts this idea. THE DISJUNCTION 3. The relative poverty of all that philosophers have declared of love derives./ 39 \d. it -is this identity on which their becoming [adviennent] subjects of love depends. it does not thereby deliver its own identity through these experiences.v·. when he says that love is what fills in [supplee] the failure of the sexual relation. implies the follies and torments of those in love. by Plato: 101J!!i~_by) no means given in the immediate consciousness of the loving subje~t. for example. . 2. But he also says the opposite when / he accords to love an ontolog!cal vocation. This disaster is not that of love itself. I understand by this the conception that love is merely an ornamental semblance through . that of the "edge [abord] .\ J. V \ . ofbeing.Vhic:h passes the realofsex. It is a question here of an axiomatics of love. and not only the One.J <l {Q 0~' ~ V'1~ .-l~]'t-. -It is a ~1Jction of ~h. It is an experience oftfieworld. but is the remembrance of a philosopheme. ~. The rejection of the "superstructural" or illusory conception of !gve.i'·'\\. moreover. or tItat desire and sexuaIjealousyare the foundation of love. this is a figure of disaster. ( But It is not.

\w. t= __ ~ [ anything that attests to the other position. All such experiences d . That there have been two positions can onlyhe established re~<?~.. or social distribution. There are two presentative positions: the_~o l'0~i!i()ns aresexuated. It is ." the other "man. A familiarity [connaissance] with love certainly demands a test of strength. presentation as such. ~ v. sex and death at a dis... tance." The sexuated positions are disjointed (J. ~~ction_~ no_!_?~~~~~ple.e the object of an experience or of a direct knowledge [savoir].. error.f(" ( 3.is. l Let us say that love is a process which arranges such immediate experiences.the disjunction and will never encounter are .sex of angels is so important because its stakes are topronounce on the disjune- 40 . It is ~!f~tively love alone fu~tauthorizes us to formally pronounce the existence of two positions._-_ .'. ~ . and one is named "woman.there must be a third position. <J-I' (fI'~ dence or intersection. "AbsOIUtely"muSH>e taken literally: nothing in ex~rience is the same fOE_the positions ~~ \J~ of man and woman. Why? Because of the truly fundamental second thesis. and J.rt0_t: thought of its thought.__ The idea of a third position engages an imaginary functioru. That is to say: the positions do not divide up experience. . art or politics): the thought that_i~_~.e loving subject. which states: The two positions are absolutely disjunct.structural knowledge .--' _.r We will call this state of affairs "disjunction...sary.fhe ang~b The discussion . Nothing. jealousy. My first thesis is the following: 1. .. does the not think itSelf [s'lmpense].. This can also be said: the experi/ ence of th. the approach is strictly nominalist: there is no question here of an empirical. Every!hing is presented in such a way that no coincidence can be \~ . regarding-the. This is prohibited by the third thesis: 2. the situation. to keeP." For the moment.. This is even a distinctive feature of the amorous procedure (in relation to science. and CatUl0t_tself i b~ ~a.~'\\ft\vthere is no-presentation affecting "woman" and "man" such that there are zones of coinci.I. especially the strength of thought. Love.!J.tively.thus neces. without the law which arranges them being decipherable from within these experiences. biological. ~~e r~q~~_more pure l£gi~ than love.Y) attested to between what affects one position and what affects the other.__------_. But it is also even intransitive to this strength. as an experience of thought. the pathos of passion. There is no third position. does not constitute any knowledge [savoir] of llove. To have knowledge of this disjunction ... themselves -positioned wi!fUn ._J > with regards to experience in general. which is the matter of love.. or knowledges . "Experience" taken in its most general sense. There are two positions of experience.

In this sense. (creative) art.e_C!iyj!y of ( its ~ction. whatever it is. '--. Humanity is the historial' body of truths. irrelevant). This is the fourth thesis: 4. arises at a point x which is activated by a tr\!t:l't_ in. There is only one hymanity. HUIl!anfty_is \Vl:!at_~tl_sj_flins_[?E~tiett!1 _!!leinfinite singular!!Y_Qf truths ( th~ in~~~:.!hemselves in thes:.~ibleJor_ m~.--. process as this "local verification" [averer local] that is a su~~t. an angel? Since the situation alone is insuffidenCit requires supplementation."\conceptual) science. This event initiates the amorous proce"="""". or without fabricating. is supported by at least one generic procedure. or truth-procedures. which would be idealist or biologistic (and. THE CONDITIONS OF HUMANITY'S EXISTENCE Before proceeding further.d-mes:. We insist on the point that the existence ()f !!1:!!Ilcu:rl. or more precisely activated as a Subject in a generic procedure. c . This abbreviation indicates that the presented term x. but by a singular event. the terms of any 41 . or from the situation. and ..type_s. with respect to the Kantian atmosphere. then it is attested to that the humanity function exists.precisely . in any case. HumanitY is ~~s a!f~s!~~to~d only_ifthere is (emancipatory) pOlitics.science.J)L_the_~ff. But this cannot be done from the point of experience alone. it is necessary to turn to the other extreme of the problem.rd. \oYhatjsjt. or love (not reduced toanuxfUre of senthnentauty and sexuality). One axiom of humanity indicates this: if a term x (let us say. fur "hum~ty..stnlctural position." I understand that which provides the support for generic procedures. ~polliics. There-are four types of theseproc. NQtpy_athi. . dure: we will call it an encounter.tion. c J) I:l ~ OJ Let us agree to call H(x) the humanity function.-h~~/.-. \ IV. what does "humanity" signify in a non-humanist sense? The term cannot be founded by any objective predicative feature. t_opr~I!Q~ce on the disjunction without recourse to.-.f~. a noumenal humanity=x) is active. insofar as it admits this term x as an argument. whichmakesjt_PQ~.-. c .then.

the only thing which is. The presentation of this knot. it is impossible to know it. a feminine political vision and a masculine political vision. ~t 1\ truth. comes to signify' its historical body. [quelconques) x are the domain. and this is why a truth will be called generic. an ontology of this adjective. which affirms that there is only a single humanity. one notes. There would be a feminine art and a masculine art. The term H knots the four.politics (x militant). in which the famous solitude of lovers is a metonymy. and also that the occurrence ( [qui advient) of truth is generic. male and female lovers). a truth as such is subtracted from every position. a feminine love (strategically homosexual. Wf!:hold simultan~()_~ly that the disjunction is radical./ a!h__ if_!h~re ~xists at leasL~Q_~~iti()~_~_~~~~II\<lI!-' that are radically disjunct in regard to --. V. just as it was thought at one time that there was a proletarian science. It remains in the balance whether the term x permits the existence of the function that takes it as argument. as a proof that Humanity exists. But this is not the case in the space of thought that I wish to establish. In particular. as certain feminist orientations have rigorously affirmed) and a masculine love. Now our fourth thesis. A truth is transpositional.( '\ ! ~ / ~=§~:?. or the possibility [virtualitej of the humanity function. The term H ~~uch (let's say: the substantive ''humanity'') appears as a potential [virtual) mixture of four types. This balance is suspended by the initiatory events of truth. subtracted from every positional disjunction. It could obviously be added that. experience in general?One would expect that the first three theses would entail the following statement: truths are sexuated. in which the term x is an operator of fidelity which endures the coarse duration that an encounter initiates as love. There would be a masculine and a feminine science. susceptible to no other partition than that which induces the subjective activations initiated by an event. love (x. painter.in their relation to truth. the humanity function localizes them in its turn. the noumenal variables for the Humanity function. It is. science (x scientist). or if it is rather the function that "humanizes" the term x. moreover. that there is no third position. LOVE AS THE TREATMENT OF A PARADOX o J17'Y \' If the effects of thesis four are related to the three preceding theses. and thought according to a fidelity procedure. etc. is indifferent to all predicative - (Xl ~ => This clarifies simply how the terms x. I have attempted. whatever it is. art (x poet. is at the heart of the disjunction between the positions "man" and "woman" . we can formulate precisely the problem that will occupy us: how is Itpossible that a truth is transpositional.:~~~p~~:ll II I:'l a truth-procedure traverses the xs. or a truth for . in Being and the Event. "elevated" [relevee] in disjunction by the Two. 42 . and a science of the bourgeoisie. constitute an homogeneous class. even if this is so. It returns to it through being localized.).

"') Let us take the measure of this statement [enonce]. C Thus our societies uncover-up the disjunction which again becomes invisible. the more the disjunctive law is stripped away. in the three. but to say that the two positions cannot be counted as two. but its coverup. the more the sexes (practically indifferentiated) nevertheless continue to die in their own way. MAKES THE TRUTH OF THE DISJUNCTION AND GUARANTEES THE ONE OF HUMANITY To understand this determination of love. itmakes truth of the paradox itself. far from "naturally" governing the ) supposed relation of the sexes. This "way" is all the more compelling for having become invisible. 43 . it is what makes the truth of their dis-conjunction.__ _!!l. under the injunction of Capital. the enrollment of the terms x in two apparent classes which we will call mx and wx. and thus establish it as a constant transformation in thought .e of being.as the poet Alberto Caeiro puts it. The staging of the sexual roles. the social roles are indiscriminated. Furthermore. AS THE STAGE OF THE TWO. This is a :§: situation whereby each experiences that it murders possible humanity within itself. without protocol or mediation. It signifies above all that love is an operation articulated wi!lt __ <ipCl!_adox. But nothing is better for Capital than if there are only xs. Love does not relieve [releveI treatS it. grasping it by means of this x that it is through a veracious fidelity. which allows the disjunction to pass as such. ~ and without any mediating display. VI. and thereby returned to the total character of the disjunction. ~ thus i~lf ~~pped_l?~ in i~E:mction of ~_!istance_~ _ law "-. How could such a count be made? The two are not presented as something which. "to love is to think" . the two sexes never cease to die in their own way. which couldn't care less for sexual difference. One begins to understand how. More precisely. To stick to the situation (if one economizes the eventual supplement and therefore pure chance). ------ thlSparadoxbuf The famous curse "the two sexes die in their own way" is in reality the non-paradoxical or apparent law of things. Whence the apparent indiscernibility of J) the sexuated positions. would be an element of the three.Love is exactly the place where this paradox is negotiated [tr4ite]. the obscure mediation administered by all sorts of distributive rites and access protocols. LOVE. is not the expression of the disjunction.it is necessary to return to the disjunction. To say that it is total is not to speak from a neutral observation point or third position.

This is the point that has always blocked phenomenological approaches to love: if love is lithe cO~ioUSn. o the_1iam. This is the Sartrean route: consciousness is nothingness. The phenomenal appearance of the couple. how to understand how consciousness. although totallY diSjOiilted. that is the place of identification of self as the-same-as-self. and not from an amorous consciousness.ary... is visj._ :::::> the one of each "one" being indiscernible. are not three. and its Two remains subtracted from all calculation.. . but its representation. . nsciousness as . But. It is not for love's sake that this two are calculated from the point of the three. this means that it detotalizes the disjunction and in fact returns the schism man/woman to a division of the human. submitted to an exterior law of calculation. l I '4." this means that the other is identifiable in c.to. it is well known what becomes of love for Sartre: an impotent oscillation between sadism (making the other into an initself) and masochism (turning oneself into an in-itself for the other).-_ . says nothing about love.----- . of thesis one.Specifically..ble for a third p~fu~ljers]..e. to put this pure transparence to the test. . in love. -. it is necessary to depart from on the basis of love as a process.ify the statement m 0. whoever it is. and it has no position by itself.(_ 44 To maintain at the same time the disj. which would be an interiorization of the two. We can thus say that love is precisely this: the ad-vent [l'avenement) of_thgJW()~!>\lch.. r rigorous Htou:. In my vocabulary.. where sexuation as such disappears.of love: not the amorous presentation. but the state (even the Statej.. 1 (a).. because it is more ) .e. does not incarnate a disjunct or third position:=the two that the third party counts are thus an indifferent two. ess of the other as other. Ther~~p_osition There ~one" ~jv_ho and another position.the annihilation of identity. are noHwo. Which means that the Two are only a machination of the One. This two is thus calculated on the basis of a situation where there ( ~_a~le~t-c~' But the third party in question. The couple is that which.. there are not three. Otherwise. The couple does not name love. For love.gn~~n and that there is a "'~!!'.. a two completely exterior to the Two of the disjunction. from the other. d.One must carefully distinguish love and the couple. the stage of the Two. no position-one includes an experience of the other. it is nee. being self-consciousness or non-thetic consciousness of self.. could welcome or experience the other as such? Phenomenology then has only two options: -the weakening of alterity...

the event-encounter occurs only in the form of its disappe~C1!lceQreclip§e.tl. c. This stage of tb_eTw_oj$.:~~=::c~~~~~!ti. Love is interminable fideli1Y to the first nominati~. and not two. W!t_~t_!ru~? The. I '. The declaration nominally fixes the encounter as having for its being the void of the disjunction.. > -.~ -'I .from ~ moment that it is truly grasped.C!P~ess.. it also becomes c1~cu:t:hIi!~Y_I!~teI~t1:l_is a({Clressedto everyone [tous]. . traversing the entire situation bit by bit.Jr) J." brings together [accole] two pronouns "I" and "you.track through the situation. rf~' I-'~ . It structures the becoming of. :::~. C ~ II ( the retroactivity of the encounter it verifies that it has always been one of the laws of the situation. Because herElihis point is ree~_IiJ?_JJshed_that the~ is only one ~ituation. I f:(t-J I r- . Fro~ the moment that a truth of the situation occurs as disjunct. ' ~ ~ . "I love you.e. the operator of an aleatory enquiry.\. It ~fixed only by_a:!!~~~tionL~~!h¥> nomination is a declaration. the declaration of love.() I"/". .)' r \\ .~::n~ ::. One situation. What is the void invoked here by the declaration of love? It is the void.c(.It only exists as a .. 1"..!ti~~~z~t E~~:c..3\ Il- ~1 (J . Properly understood. 1'------:-This~ftheslJppositionofaTwoisop.~. under the supposition that there are Two.-~) uf. The declaration of love puts into circulation in the situation a vocable drawn from the null interval that disjoins the positions man and woman. The Two who amorously operate is properly the name of the disjunct apprehended in its disjunction. of such awork '. The name which declares is drawn from the-voId of the site-from whlCh th~encounter draws the bit-of-being [peu d'etre] of its supplementation. There is here a numerical schema proper to the amorous procedure. It is a material procedure which reevaluates the totality of experience. according to its connection or its disconnection to the nominal supposition of the Two.'\\c \ ~ .. The situation that is 45 .. or such a track. which would suppose three.Two~~ty~ su is the numericity of the ap:lorous procedure. (~e._a W__9LkL.0 .~tJ:l()~ ~~~itua- .ginally(eventalj Th~_pe_E!_~~~lementtothesituationthatwecallanencounter.geI}~rictruth.o!: ' But ~Ciit: this stage of t1:l~I\¥o is ~~t_a~~~g~L~e Two. ~..}</ Jh{'v-. ( VV a I 1\." that cannot be brought together [inaccoler] as soon as they are returned to the disjunction. the unknown [in-su] of the disjunction. t-j . and guarantees the uniqueness of the humanity function H(x) in itseffects. This schema states that the Two fractures the One and tests the infini of the situation. The Two is the hypothetical operator.

..rV oL\ ~us love is always a predicament.. "the 19. This is because love treats ~<>4. and it is through this One-multiple that all truth is assured.-.k"""" sam~. Itelucidates possibility." . It must pass through it.. can neither elude the object cause of desire nor . cause itengages-[obiigi] the enforced dis-relation [de:-rapport) between desire and lo~e. And truths are all W'itI:t.._ Love is this place which proceeds when the disjunction does not separate the situation in its being.rv of the disjunction by which the declaration of love has realized the interior void. even though it is. \~ .------ r ~. exactly. LOVE AND DESIRE tL ~. ~-.J ""' Let us say that it is not the same body~t love and desire treat. be\.()~t_~)(_ception truths of this situation. This is the scientific aspect of the amorous procedure. The disjunction is only a law.!~~rrQ_m!!lE! of a disjunctive bias 'uJ~ nomination. ~ obviously enters into this defile of l>"'\-. !~~~=~ft~~~. :::>( This ~estion of the becoming [advenue) of bodies in love must be carefully delimited.. m A name. ~ partial :~~tti! ~c. if not with regard ~<!_~e~~~~ th~at leastwith regard .an object before which the subject. ~\~/ ~ire is the captive of its ~. These referents.loY!. wh~~as desire is relcit~~!~_!>~ie_~_~t1:t~~~_ple of thebeingofthedividedsubject. In o~world. And it is in virtue of this that it can be thought that.l desire_!j:lu!JQ~ d~_!!QtM~i~_Q1?kg_j)j~ir~-~1!~~uS love.. thus compose ~ together the amorous operator.true.. as I matter.. The sexual .the disjunction is not a form of being.is tied to the amorous procedure as the ad-vent [J'avenement) of the Two. drawn from the void of the disjunction. the supposition of the Two that it activates. the situation is exactly as if there has been a One.\~._______.:~~ih~~~::'~~!!ties~~~=~~:~~:~~.. . The differential trait which bodies bear inscribes the Two in its nomination.r"'a subject.()!iY_ClS~uch and_stillless "the other" as ~·. although worked by this disjunction.. everyone knows.\...-~~_~_not tll. and a differential marking of bodies. .)'---t'" \ I" ~ The Two as post-evental supposition must be marked materially.W:. in the double occurrence of 1::1 (! a name of the void (the declaration of love) and a material disposition restricted to bodies as such.". thebody bears . but only insofar as the living body restitutes the material marking _. Love fractures the One according to the Two. which marks on bodies. ".! :w~d~~ _1:he~. but a law. It must have the primary referents of its name.n :\1 ~ to the ()!>jectth. be~seit_~_~! h'u.:~S"'j> ~ J'"'46 .. butan obj_ect~~c:1:l.-. in a fantasmatic o\ centering.'1' can it arrange itself there any longer. not a substantial delimitation. are bodies insofar as they are marked by sexuation.(:. - .is ~gu~ of the ~versality ofthe. comes [advient) into its own disappearance.Jn of the disjunction. Love passes through desire like a camel through the eye of a needle.> i~ Ji.eJ:.. But~t what price? VII.f.

and that before the unveiling of the brilliancy of the object of desire it was (this body. But this sexuated attestationof the disj1lllction under the post-evental name of its void does not abolish the disjunction./ tion of love. it is only in love that bodies have the job of marking the Two. Furthermore.it is ~~~_s~aryto ~s~li!J:l:tat the differential \)>~ se~~al traits only attest_t_~~e __i~~ctiQ~JJJ1_d-er_tb~_<:~n-ciition c ~~!!t~eclara~\('t.r [advienne]. !JEiause_}ove ~( fouri<i~~E!_Jwo. < [prise].ng of bodies is-the-proof iliat._! love fractures the One in order that the sUE£os:Lt!~!l_oLtl'te Two might ocru.1~--aJ:>ol!t it -like the Early Church father's Credo qUia absurdum . an~e am~ous-unveili. there is only the interiority of a position. It is only a question of making IftrUe:-ii is-thus true that-there sexual relation. not the relation ot~I?S in the Two. This. It makes sure of the One in the guise of the object.. To speak (jI3J-l'j' on y. The two bodies do not present the Two (for which there must be three .)~ a little brutally: all sexual unveiling of bodies that is non-amorous is masturbaC 9-~)). ~ Still we are assured (retroactively) that this activity has nothing in common when one passes (but it is possible to "pass"?) from one position to another. ( that is in its own name a faithful position of truth. It is thus also the '-. u r\l very Is-no 47 . place wh~ stated that there are two sexuated bodies. the supernumerary emblem of a truth to come) encountered. This is not at all ~ a judgment. Love alone marks the Two in a sort of unleashing [de-prise] of an object that operates only by being leashed It ~st1y at the point of de~re _!hCl.establishing (but it can only do this by being limited to the object) that this body-subject is in the descent of an event. there are not Two. without being able to attest to it. the marking of the disjunction itself occurs [vient]. The body of desire is the body of offense [delit]. and the sexual marking is ( ~ _'"' held entirely within the disjunction. informs itself by having always been radically disjunct.-under the unique name of the void of the disjunction. of the offense of self.the outside-sex) they only mark it. but a simple delimitation. r-----rv~n if there is_~olIlething-!'idicul()_l. / Love alone exhibits the sexual as a figure of the Two. Ou~ this condition.) tory in the strict sense. because masturbatory "sexual" activity ~ is an activity completely reasonable for each of the disjointed sexual positions.

the positions return in knowledge. Sexuality. travels. operate in the situation as a complex of a name and a corporeal marking. Wl:l. inscribes by a sort of archivage the becoming-truth of the wandering. But these operations do not unify the partners. Foreclosed from truth. The effects of this tension can be observed on two levels: 1. entitled "Generic Writing" and which finds support in the work of Samuel Beckett. . On the first point. f~ett (I thus come here to what of the prose novel has the function of thinking the thought of love).atthe future of the one truth authorizes by anticipation in knowledge is sexuated. The Two operate as disjunct. The Two. .a story function which. I . the becomingofthe amorous procedure requires that there be: W·"''' ~ r Ii ~ \. THE SEXUATED CONFLICT OF KNOWLEDGES This point is very delicate. and which holds that absence is itself a mode of continuation. conflicts. A function that exposes the supposition of the Two to the infinite presentation of the world. its track of truth through the situation. even in separation. It is not only necessary to understand that love makes truth of the disjunction under the emblem of the Two. speech. work. but also cohabitation. of a perilous voyage through the situation.an immobility function. that withholds the primary nomination._. _. There are in the amorous procedure certain functions whose grouping redefines the positions. sorties. \~ ! -a wandering function.VIII. ! \~ . of alea. It seeks to evaluate the situation by laborious enquiries. / 1---J j ~ (. ~ ( 2. not being presented. that ensures that this nomination of the event-encounter is not engulfed by the event itself. that supports the articulation of the Two and infinity.an imperative function: continuing always. understood here as enquiries regarding its accomplice that is also its mistake: desire. There will have been a single truth of love in the situation. children: all this is the materiality of the procedure. as the work proceeds. but that it makes it in the indestructible element of the /~ disjunction. I establish that. but the procedure of this unicity stirs in the disjunction ~ywhicf\Itin~~~s~efrUlli:-~-----. Iwill return to a text (last in this book). social representation. that protects. fvV{\ <:> l L (' 48 . THE UNITY OF AMOROUS TRUTH.

knowledges of sex are themselves irremediably sexuated. There is a realof the'disjunction.i~t_ast. These axioms dol'iOfhesitate to blend b01l1coarse andrefined commonplaces: ":qtan" is he (or she) who does noth~ Imean nothing apparent for and in the name of love.::::_~~~ place I I .\ .J~ o-r~ ~~~ V> ~ M I ~L'" .e~_E. In the case of love. ~produces a truth of the situatio!l. Empirical materials required for the work of the enqUiries oHove.~':~:l::th.amo:r.th.\.o~ positio~Q!!PJes-the 1IIlper~~y_eand immobility._. that.-iilliility. but veridical? Such is the general form of knowledge urlclerthe condition of a ~ ~ C . atis~.=~. \ ~ \ .-. and desires_~t i 4.h~ disjunction is a law of the situation. My second point is more complex. In particular.\- ~\\.t/J/".'::.:'.>.l_ove'.) ~0V (I"~(): r. the in-process of truth bears t:. forcage.w of a truth that is in process.o r'" \ w-10 ~.__ j. exactly./'-. of w the TWO. lii--ofder that there be truth. whil~ ~thatwhich couples wandering and story-telling.eech co~~y ~ite_!~~~d ren~yatejtse!f.. IdO_!1<>t_think so:-Love is an enquiry_<>f!h_e _()rlg_frg~the point of view.\.~=.J.~ .:o~! r:' \ VV' \.Y knowledge: what is it. Because9:vill be axiom~tically_4. ': I\ (I \ uJ e. '. H~th is one.o makes love travel.O"f.)f\ toJQ. while ~'_wOJ!UUl" gossips and complains. Or. ? ~ We !Y':ustcarefully distinguisll ~o~ge _and~th.-y.. Each person can force a knowledge of the sexuated disjunction on the basis of love. \' _) ~ ~ IJ-A"" \"._ L=::'.!!_o_~eci is able to occupy at the saJ:I\e1ime and under the same relation the two positions:-'I'lUSunpossibilC ity in the place of love itself. . ~f'ty>D-) t ~c~r·" ·~l.s_d_i§posesitself as an anticipation: if this never enclillgtruth will ha~ taken place. ? I i We can establish that the disjunction reinscribes itself in the table of functions.. ".'. on the bas_ is. It entails the question of love as a place of ~ are lies «:-.S~=u~!'~\~ the basis 0 ItS evental opening cannot coincide.IiCOmpounds itSelf t.=w. on the hypo th esis of its having-t ak en-place. U ':::1.. But the forfllge is in the situation where love is proceeding. Wh~first~~_is_th~t'~_!()Y~L~_~~~~~_an_I~~_~~9_~!_~_~ther sex. ~0t '\ Ie. are judgments about it then not true. "WQ!!!_an"s she (or he) wll. which is.~!:=~. and not an enquiry of eaCh term of the_TW_E about the other. because he holds that what he has valued ~nce can continue to be valued without having to ~~ttest ~ it.. then knowledge is submitted to the d~!1!lction of positions. . The twosexes--do not not know 49 upon the disjunction. All knowledge rela_tive_tothis_h-ut1!_tll. in the lexicon of conflict: "~~ mute and violent. This truth composes.e~~g_as__the. --iiis thus never presented integrally.r t"".

and otherwise we were not. I have had occasion to advance following formu1a:~s ~?~l~ti_ge organizes its judgments with t!l:e n()!1!i~g~fthe TwQ. no less veridical. that holds: "What will have been true is that we were two. ---=. This passage." 2. the following veridical masculine statement: "What will have been true is that we were two and not at all one.i ( 1. across a conflict of ~ in~~pi~l>l~_l<no~!:ti~es. Thus. that I am augmenting here in my own way. in general.each other. The position "man" sustains the split of the Two. which is CD ontological._ oman ~~Qwll:!dge with ~hing t~U~ Two. the other position only allows itself to be attained as if it were a sophistics to be refuted." => The feminine statement aims at being as such. Such is its destination in love. the feminine statement. "you do not understand me"? An enervated form. Ido not know if It was aCCldental that this commentary on Aristotle. Between the ontological and logical positions." in the ardor of an intermediary style. The enigma of this Aristotelian text derives from the passage between the ontological position of a science of being (insofar that it is). there is only the medium of refutation. is no more frequented than the one which goes from the female position to the male position. Formally. Lo~ stage _':_VJ1~~~ truth about the sexuated positions proceeds. that of the refutation of the sophists. but know each other veridically in a disjunct fashion. we might say. and by a man. I:! ( [! ( 50 . which can be summed up by the deplorable syntagm. of the declaration of love. The conflict of knowledges in love shows that the One of a truth always exposes itself logically and ontologically. was written by a woman. Who loves well understands poorly. this gap between [1'entre-deux] where the void of the disjunction fixes itself. Barbara Cassin. but disjunct. and the crucial position of the principle of identity as a pure logical principle. The masculine statement aims at the change in number. for each position engaged in love. We can also say that the sexuation of ~e ( knowle s of love disjoints: -. It is essentially logical. The authors of the commentary show that Aristotle passes ''by force. The position "woman" holds that the Two are lost in wandering. This is truth from the point of the unknown. Knowledges are veridical and anticipatory. this disjunction is representable in the insistence of the Two. Michel Narcy. Which returns us to the third book of Aristotle's metaphysics and to the admirable recent commentary published by Vrin under the title The Decision of Sense. the painful effraction of ~ the One through the supposition of the Two. Who is not familiar with the tiresome exhaustion of such refutations.

w. !> point where love cuts into the knotting of the four types of truth-procedure.~ procedure from an entirely other basis than experience. fore-thisposition. THE FEMININE POSITION AND HUMANITY This will be the final word. it is not at all the same: each type of the proce. ~. without taking account of_~~ exist-) c.cience. for the terniX. "t'. This undoubtedly explains the excellence of women in the novel. and "'!oman" is being-for-Iove.~ ence of the others. f\ .r~ .w. the prescription of human) ity is only a value insofar_as the existence of love is attested to. It will be said that this is a trivial commonplace.~::~~th. and above all in the most connected or crossed. For the ~e position. politics and love. It is said "woman" is that which ~ only of lo"e.IX. which is to be explored further.~~ J~~~ 1 ( 51 ._t!tel:>eare!.~:. only activates the humanity function on the condition of such a proof. the female ~~si~Q!1_ ~~~.. that will return to my beginning.-. SUE~aCti~:. art.. the existence of love deploys H(x) virtually [virtuellement] in all its types. r ( M.if it is admitted that it is a "feminized" x that is in question in the writing of the prose novel. the noumenal possibility [virtualite] of the human. we must JJ avoid all psychologism: what matters is not!l1e consciousness of love but the ~ fact~at it acln!inisters. (! ) I have thus come to define the words "man" and "woman" from the (Dol. Let us note in passing that this attestation does not necessarily take the c form of~_~~ri~~e of love. is science. Let us <:Q_lIIageousJ~_~Qss_the_~Q1l!!llonplace. the proof of itse~tenc~. ) A contrario.\ tion. The existence of love III.:::~~~~~:r:~!~~ ) tion H(x) is only able to have a value insofar as the amorous generic procedure exists..akesjt appear retroac~\T. .politics_<!!la art. A term x.l.mbe"se1Zed"bytne eXlStenceof"a-trufu.) Again. . in relation to the humanity-function. whatever its empirical sex. and we propose that this proof is woman.ely that.. the function H(x) that makes an implicative knot with the truth-procedures.\ ~ c-"" "It"lt{-dure itseIrgives value to the function H(x).in the disjunc.QfJove's relation to humimlty-as I ~ conceive ii':if"umanity. (oJ£. [.. But I will add a post-script. One c.. sexual difference is only thinkable i. \ This axiom signifies that.. Once again.-. Thus "woman" is sh~_(o!_he) for whom the '\ subtraction of love devalorizes H(x) inits other types..

.. hQ_weverit is sexuated... the type "love~ laz!1!~ the fou_~. and thaUiis onlYQ:I'1. We will also say that.l~l'l ~1. even if it canbe gay. .. this metaphor willing the immanent affirmation in each type. But how could it be otherwise if love. .~-----. We could object that the encounter is everywhere: all generic procedures are post-evental. However the masculine representation is at the same time symbolic and separative. . And that.. and it alone... . is principally heterosexual.the m~ey_o_siti~!l' each typf!_m~!tlPh_ori~!S_t1}e other_$. . ItcoUidaISo be said that the passing of love in desire.Which authorizes both a more total perception and in that case a more abrupt righUoil]h\lII\~ty.. whose difficult dialectic Ihave gestured towards above.... whereas love.. ""." But let us return to Humanity. Finally.!i~exists as a general config!..hUlI!C'lI... rediscover a scheme of domination which summarily states: access to the symbolic and the universal is more immediate for man? Or that man is less the mere tributary of an encounter. for. I . . I I I I I I \ ... +it is only'in the field of love that there are "woman" and "man. If it is admitted that H is the virtual [virtuell~] composition of four types of truth. which can entail not Only indifference but also a greater ability to conclude. We have the two following schemas: H according to Woman H according to Man . even if elaborated... itsconditioI\tha_tJ-I. \ I I I I I I .!!ation. and without considering the sexes of those that a love encounter destines to a truth... . makes heterosexual love pass in homosexual desire.I<:>-J~ r> ". we can advance that. 52 .A. f~ the female position.ofhumanityH. Politics I I Art Politics ( These schemas show that the _~~J:rIi!linE:!representation of humanity is at the same time condi~~dkrlQttiJ:lg. makes the truth of the disjunction? Desire cannot found the thought of the Two. Art .'-rO){()~ by using love as a differentiating criterion. H "'" . " . . since it is the captive of the proof of being-One which the object imposes on it. d~~_~_homQ~xual.. Is it a question of a restricted conception of femininity? Does this commonplace.

he most T clear result of what I have been saying is that the humanity (unction H( x) does not coincide with the (unction <I>(x)." /~ I make here-a supplementary turn of the screw with regard to the (~ormulas of sexuation. or of the disjunctions (for the sexual is perhaps not the only one). This position is to an extent very classical.J!h~~_~~ H(x)._ ... FOTflIge .. the universal quantifier. With regard to the function H(x).)i:l S!lCl!I!I1_tee universali!y. s and it is the male'position that metaphorically disseminates the possibilities [virtualites] of the compositionone of the.:. saying that woman is the irony of community. The female position sustains itself. splitting the. That the value of the humanity-function H(x) is dependent. for the fema1eposition.. 2 53 .~e~~:. which means to say that woman is not-all._!~sto to .~tion <I>(x).oflove. =a:~~~:.. can be put just aswell: the female position demands for the!i(.~_l(. -iranslaied by justin clemens 1 The distinction is made here between the French "historique" and "historial" deriving from the French reception of Heidegger. in its sin~lar relation to love. Historial implies a non-empirical concept .. on the existence. . But this ~tl\e strict effect of the exercise of th. . i ->if l i ( But this is not essential.it is in effect wo~an ~ho __ustains the ~versaitQt~.es r "women. pointed to this effect of the existential border by which woman breaches the all that men strive to consolidate..~:~:~~ C ~ E 11 ". It only knots the of ( components of H on this condition. since it alone elucidates the Qisjunction as the simple law of a situation. Hegel. !i(~()r()." across the entire extent of the truth-procedures. whatever the effects of the disjunction. Very schematically: Lacan divides the phallic L I ( and of negation. H.Tr.< ~/1.a term from mathematical set theory which designates the practice of "forcing" an indiscernible . What is essential is that !ove is the guarantor ~versaL. Love is that which.Tr. so that it can bectear tbj\~OI:..!ll:__the f <I>()().

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