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recondite philosophical dispute by explicitly foregrounding the

PH 10 (2000), 200-216.
Ray Brassier 201
Stellar Void or Cosmic Animal?
Badiou and Deleuze on the Dice-Throw
RAY BRASSIER
In 'So Near!, So Far!', the appropriately titled preface to Deleuze: The
Clamour ofBeing, Alain Badiou suggests that Deleuze's thought is linked
to his own through a relation that simultaneously combines intimate
proximity and irreducible distance. Both lay claim to the Mallarmean
formula according to which "to think is to throw the dice ", both articulate
that claim through a philosophy of the event, yet it would be difficult to
contrive a greater contrast than that presented by the manner in which
those competing claims are staked out in their respective conceptions of
dice-throw and event. Thus, in The Clamour of Being, it is via his brief
but extremely suggestive delineation of the contrast between their
respective appropriations of the Mallarmean dictum that Badiou locates
what may well be the key moment of divergence separating what one
might call his militant fidelity to the dispersive void from what he
provocati vely characterizes as Deleuze's punitive ascesis of the One.
That Badiou's provocative analyses occasionally lapse into an
injudicious misprision of Deleuze's thought is undeniable, and as a result
The Clamour of Being has already occasioned furious gestures of
denunciation in the Deleuzean camp.' However, our aim here is neither to
defend Deleuze against Badiou's charges, nor to absolve Badiou from the
accusations of misrepresentation. It is simply to try to map out the wider
ramifications of what may initially appear as little more than a peculiarly
I For an admirably nuanced and balanced appraisal both of the analytical strengths
and polemical weaknesses in Badiou's reading of Deleuze, see Alberto Toscano's
review-article apropos of the recently published translations of La clameur de l'etre
(Deleuze: The Clamour of Being, trans. L. Burchill (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, 2000)) and Badiou's Manifeste pour la philosophie (Manifesto for
Philosophy, trans. No Madarasz (Albany: SUNY Press, 1999)) in Pli 9 (2000), pp.
220-238.
systematic character of the theoretical divergences underlying this
differend between Badiou and Deleuze on the question of the dice-throw.
The Deleuzean dice-throw as Eventum Tantum
Badiou characterizes the Deleuzean dice-throw in terms of three essential
features: it is unique; it is an affirmation of chance as a whole; and it is
the same dice-throw that recurs in each distinct outcome. Let's
recapitulate these points.
First, the Deleuzean dice-throw is unique. Univocity requires that
there be only one throw, for, as Deleuze writes in Difference and
Repetition: "... the numerical distinction between 'beings' is a modal, not
a real distinction. Is it not the same with the true throw of the dice? The
throws are formally distinct, but with regard to an ontologically unique
throw, while the outcomes implicate, displace and recover their
combinations in one another throughout the unique and open space of the
univocal".2 If, as Deleuze certainly seems to state here, the numerical
plurality of empirical events is merely modal or formal in character, then
Badiou is right to insist that for Deleuze, there can only be 'one' real
event: the event of Being as Eventum Tantum. He is right, of course,
provided we bear in mind that the uniqueness of this 'One' is no longer
an index of numerical unity. Univocity is not monism; the two theses are
logically independent of one another.
3
Thus, even if Being is the unique
event, that uniqueness cannot be equated with the sum of a numerical
totality. The 'unicity' of the Deleuzean dice-throw as univocally singular
is not the equivocal unity of analogical totality. That is why the univocity
of the dice-throw is, as Deleuze says in The Logic of Sense, that of "the
unique throw for all throws, a single Being for all forms and all times, a
single insistance for all that exists, a single spirit for all the living, a
single voice for every murmur and every droplet in the sea".4
Secondly, the Deleuzean dice-throw is the affirmation of the whole of
chance in a single throw. If Deleuze invokes the notion of chance as a
i n. Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. P. Patton (New York: Columbia
lllliversity Press, 1994), p. 304.
I There are equivocal monisms, such as those of Parmenides and Hegel; univocal
plmalisms, such as that of Leibniz; and univocal monisms, of the kind championed by
:;pilloza, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Deleuze himself.
I (i. Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, trans. M. Lester with C. Stivale, ed. C. Boundas
I N,·w York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p.180 (translation modified).
Ray Brassier 203
202 Pli 10 (2000)
whole, it is, as Badiou rightly points out, in order to forestall its statistical
neutralization within the representational confines of a logistical calculus
of probability. One could, for example, calculate the probability of one
among the thirty-six possible outcomes of throwing the die by working
out the frequency with which that one result occurs compared to the
frequency with which the other thirty-five possible outcomes occur in the
course of a finite number of throws. In the course of an infinite series of
throws however, all those disparate probabilities become statistically
equalized, logically reduced to the point where all possible outcomes
become equal in probability. The logic of the possible subordinates
chance to analogical equivalence. In order to ward off chance's reduction
to merely logical probability, Deleuze must insist that the chance
affirmed by the dice-throw is not that of its own probability or
improbability, but rather that of all possible outcomes occurring
simultaneously. As affirmation of the univocity through which all
outcomes are virtually envelloped and envelloping, implicated and
implicating within one another, the dice-throw must constitute an
affirmation of absolute improbability. In other words, Deleuze demands
that the dice throw affirm chance's virtual univocity as a representational
im-possibility. Only thus can the dice-throw constitute the unique throw
through which all the actual outcomes of numerically distinct throws
coincide virtually.
Third and finally, this is why, for Deleuze, it is the same dice-throw
which recurs in each numerically distinct outcome. That which eternally
returns within each numerically separate throw is the unique throw in
which chance has been affirmed as an incompossible whole. Of course, to
affirm chance as incompossible whole is to sacrifice one's own subjective
identity, for otherwise that identity would persist independently of the
affirmation as a possibility separate from the whole. In throwing the die
to affirm chance as a uniquely improbable whole, ipseity is cracked open,
the self dissolved, and the thrower's subjective separation annihilated
through the multitudinous swarming of the impersonal individuations and
pre-personal singularities released by the throw. The thrower coincides
with everyone and no-one. Consequently, Badiou is entirely correct when
he notes that the superior or Deleuzean gambler is a 'purified automaton'
rather than a subjective agent. It is not the thrower who affirms chance,
but Chance which affirms itself through the thrower. And in affirming
itself Chance abolishes the arbitrariness of the merely possible. Herein
lies Deleuze's stoic ascesis: the auto-affirmation of Chance as virtually
incompossible whole abolishes possibility in order to vindicate Chance
itself as the ineluctable necessity of what occurs. Thus, as Deleuze writes
in Difference and Repetition: "Once chance is affirmed, all arbitraniness
is abolished every time".5 This is why, for Badiou, the Deleuzean
affirmation of eternal recurrence in the dice-throw, crystallizing Chance's
unconditional affirmation as virtual whole, is, in the final analysis,
nothing but the auto-affirmation of the One's ineluctable necessity in the
guise of chance via the thrower as purified automaton. As Badiou puts it,
"That which insists and eternally returns within all the immanent events
of the One's power is chance as chance of the One itself. And what are
we to understand by 'the chance of the One', if not Being's radical
contingency? In the final analysis, the eternal return is the univocal
affirmation of Being's own contingency, deployed in all the events
through which the latter is auto-affected',.6
The upshot of Badiou's analysis is clear: we should not allow
ourselves to be deceived by the Deleuzean invocation of pure Chance as
locus of the absolutely incalculable, the improbable, and the impossible:
for what is really being affirmed is the ineluctability of Fate. In the
Deleuzean dice-throw, the incalculable contingency of the singular event
as auto-affection of the One-All becomes indiscernible from the absolute
necessity of chance as a whole, as Eventum Tantum. Moreover, in
affirming everything, the purified automaton must be prepared to
sacrifice everything, including itself. Deleuze's Amor fati, his ethics of
the Event, enjoining us "not to be unworthy of what happens to US",7
require nothing less. The Deleuzean automaton functions according to the
glory of the impersonal pronoun 'one'; it speaks, thinks, and acts in the
fourth person singular, operating in the anarchic realm of impersonal
individuations and pre-personal singularities. 'One' affirms the event
through the dice-throw in the same way as 'one' dies: impersonally and
anonymously, for, as Deleuze states in The Logic of Sense, "Every event
is like death".
8
Accordingly, in a gesture typifying his admiring but
IIncompromisingly critical stance vis avis Deleuze, Badiou will praise the
1;lllcr's 'admirable creative stoicism', in accordance with which the dice­
Ihrow becomes an affirmation that '''All is grace'. For what there is is
" ( j Dcleuze, Dijfe;'ence and Repetition, p.l98.
f, 1\, Iladiou, Deleuze: La clarnellr de l'erre (Paris: Hachette, 1997), p. 113 (Delellze:
Ihf' ('lamour of Being, p.74). Although we shall provide references for the english
", ''''''11 of Badiou's text, this and all subsequent translations from La clarneur de
I f /I f' are our own.
I. Ilt'll'llZe, The Logic of Sense, p. 149.
" 11,,01, p.152.
204
PIi 10 (2000)
nothing other than the grace of the All",9 before fatally qualifying that
praise with an intractable caveat, "Except that for he who, like myself,
excludes the possibility that Being be thought as All, to say that all is
grace means precisely that no grace whatsoever is ever accorded us. But
it is not so. An interruption, a supplement, comes upon us, and that this is
rare or vanishing enjoins us to be lastingly faithful to it".1O
So to this Deleuzean ascesis whereby chance is affinned as a
univocally exceptionless whole, Badiou will Oppose his own militant
conception of the dice-throw as a decision in favour of chance as a
discontinuous exception, an ontological interruption constituted through
the subtraction of a hazardous metaontological supplement. However,
before we go on to delineate Badiou's own militant and subtractive vision
of the dice-throw, we will simply mark at this juncture the way in which
it provides the unstated theoretical fulcrum for the two fundamental
objections which Badiou adresses to Deleuze in one fonn or another
throughout The Clamour of Being. The first is that inasmuch as all
numerically distinct occurrences have and will eternally recur as auto­
affections of the One-All, Deleuze is obliged to sacrifice novelty and
plurality on the altar of univocity. If there is but a single Chance for all
chances, Badiou asks, if all numerically distinct throws remain virtually
envelloped both within one another and within a single all-envelIoping
throw, hasn't Deleuze reintroduced monistic totality under the guise of
univocal plurality? Badiou's second objection seems to follow inevitably
from the first: because the dice-throw's affirmation of the an-archic, the
anonymous, and the impersonal necessitates a punitive abnegation of
subjectivity per se, the Deleuzean ascesis of the One-All cannot but
provide a sort of transcendental apologia for the reigning ontological
status quo in all of its socio-political nefariousness _in spite of Deleuze's
avowed intentions to the contrary -, precisely insofar as it makes assent to
what representation considers as impossible or intolerable the premise of
unconditional affinnation. In the final analysis, for Deleuze, Badiou
writes, "At no time can we be the source of what we think or do.
Everything always comes from afar, and further: everything is always
already there within the One's infinite and inhuman resource",ll
Obviously constrained by space, Badiou in The Clamour of Being
does little mOre than offer the reader the most Summary of hints
9 A. Badiou, Deleuze: La clameur de l'erre, p.142 (Deleuze: The Clamour of Being,
Pt·
96
).
o Ibid., p.143 I p.96.
11 Ibid., p. 21 I pp. 10-11.
Ray Brassier 205
concerning the alternative theory of the dice-throw in which both these
objections are implicitly grounded. Nevertheless, they are explicitly
underwritten in that text by an entirely independent argument concerning
the relation between univocity and transcendence, and it is this argument
which provides the philosophical nub of The Clamour of Being. It runs as
follows: Deleuzean ontology establishes a distinction between 'Being'
qua virtual univocity of the single throw, and 'beings' qua the actual
equivocity of the numerically distinct throws. But that difference between
virtual univocity and actual equivocity can be neither a difference of
degree nor a difference in kind. If it's a difference in degree, being is said
in an analogically unitary sense of quantitatively distinct beings, and
univocity collapses into analogical monism. If it's a difference in kind,
univocity is straightforwardly ruined by equivocal transcendence.
Deleuze's only option then is to conceive of Being itself as neither/nor: as
inclusive disjunction of virtual univocity and actual equivocity.12 The
inclusive disjunction is characterized by a unilateral asymmetry: the
actual distinguishes itself from the virtual without the virtual
distinguishing itself from the actual in return.
13
But as a result, Deleuze
now needs two names in order to describe Being's constitutive
asymmetry as inclusive disjunction of the univocal and the equivocal.
Being must always be said both as virtual and as actual; as
deterritorialization and as reterritorialization; as smooth space and as
striated space; as anorganic life and as strata; as nomadic distribution and
as sedentary hierarchy.
The trouhle then is that the naming of being itself becomes an
equivocal act. Deleuze cannot name Being univocally because he always
needs two names to describe that univocity. And, for Badiou, it is this
equivocal gesture indissociable from the act of naming as such that
inevitably reintroduces transcendence at the heart of Deleuze's thought,
compromising the univocal immanence he lays claim to.
14
Consequently,
12 For Deleuze's account of virtual intensity as the 'inclusive disjunction' of
difference in degree and difference in kind cf. G. Deleuze, Difference and Repetitioll,
p.239. Although the expression itself comes from Anti-(Edipus: Capitalism alld
Schizophrenia I (co-written with F. Guattari, trans. R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane
(London: Athlone, 1984» and thus does not occur as such in Difference and
Repetition (or in any of Deleuze's earlier work), the concept of inclusive disjunction
is clearly present throughout Difference and Repetition, specifically in the form of
what Deleuze calls there an 'asymmetrical synthesis' or 'pathos of distance'.
13 G. Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, p.28.
14 Accordingly, Badiou privileges what he considers to be set-theory's rigorously
meaningless or a-signifying inscription of being in the mathematical letter precisely
insofar as it manages to avoid any such equivocal gesture of naming through which
206
P/i 10 (2000)
because Deleuze needs two names to describe the self-differentialillJ,l
movement of univocal Being as inclusive disjunction, that disjulll'lioll
itself ends up constituting the absolute surplus of transcendence requin'd
in order to hold virtual univocity and actual equivocity together, therehy
maintaining Being as an immanent whole. But then the ontologil'lIl
indiscernibility of the numerically distinct throws, their immancllI
interpenetration and virtual coincidence in the eternal recurrence of a
single throw, necessarily reinstates a transcendent Unity: that of till'
inclusive disjunction's infinite excess as the ontological element when.:in
virtual indivision and actual division become reconciled.
Philosophical ascesis and machinic enslavement
Now, although we have already acknowledged that some elements 01
Badiou's critique of Deleuze Could be (and indeed already have beeu)
dismissed as instances of Wilfully polemical misrepresentation, it seems
to us that the equivocal nomination pinpointed in the analysis above,
whereby immanence assumes the mantle of absolute transcendence and
vice versa, highlights an awkward quid pro quo running right through
Deleuzean thought; - awkward not because it would supposedly lay bare
some crippling inconsistency or incoherence in that thought, but because
it reveals the tribute which Deleuze is obliged to offer up to conceptual
equivocation in order to ensure his philosophy's unitary ontological
consistency. Even so, that an equivocal nomination may be the price to be
paid for the affinnation of univocity is not ultimately the real issue. The
difficulty concerns rather the extent to which, in affirming an
exceptionless ontological consistency, Deleuze may be effectively
stripping philosophy of any capacity it may still harbour as far as
constituting an instance of resistance to the present is concerned; a
being could become intentionally apprehended or conceptually 'meaningful', and
therefore hermeneutically circumscribed. For Badiou, mathematical thought alone
guarantees ontological univocity and preserves being qua being from its
phenomenological inscription in language or sense by suturing itself axiomatically
(i.e. non-intentionally) to being's meaningless and unphenomenologizable emptiness,
to its unpresentable inconsistency. And this suturing occurs by means of being's a­
conceptual inscription in a radically singular, but meaningless, proper name: p :_ the
name of the void or null-set. Cf. A. Badiou, L'Etre et l'f;venement (Paris: Seuil,
1988), esp. meditations 4 and 5, pp. 65-84.
Ray Brassier 207
" ';I',I.lII['C which he explicitly lays claim to for philosophy,15 but may be
IIIildvnll'ntly stymiing insofar as his affirmative and ascetic
I 1lIlI,llll'rization of the dice-throw forecloses the possibility of thinking
"" 1t'Il'IIlial interruption prior to its ontological repetition; nomadic
.1111'11 ilorialization without its complement of sedentary
i'1i"'llorialization; the plurality of chances independently of Chance as a
",III,II'./('
11 Badiou's charges demand to be taken seriously, it's because there is
I," '"orC at stake here than merely a matter of internal philosophical
I IJII'iiSlency. For if the logic of Deleuzean ontology uses the banner of
,I
IIII
IIllll1anence to disguise a philosophical pact with ontological I,I
1I,III'il'cndence, then it is not difficult to see how that logic may also mask
li political covenant with the transcendent global sovereignty of Capital.
IIIIIS, in A Thousand Plateaus for instance, we are told that through this I
11 "II/Ii'!;rated (or rather integrating) world capitalism, a new smooth space
1
1\ /Jroduced in which capital reaches its •absolute' speed, based on
II/t/,'hinic components rather than the human components of labour".'7
:1
!
I', (T G. Deleuze & F. Guattari, What is Philosophy?, trans. H. Tomlinson & G.
IIll1chell (London: Verso, 1994), esp. ChA, pp. 108-110.
11, i\ possibility first explored in the work of Fran.,ois Laruelle; initially in his Le
l'ril1('ipe de Minoriti (Paris: Aubier, 1981), and subsequently radicalized through the
elahoration of 'non-philosophy' as transcendental axiomatization and
Illeorematization of philosophical Decision. It may be apposite in this regard to point
lJut that Badiou is neither the first nor the only philosopher to highlight the manner in
which the recourse to a radically unobjectifiable surplus of transcendence is
illseparable from Deleuze's attempt to harmonize univocity, immanence, and
Illllltiplicity. Cf. Fran.,ois Laruelle, 'Reponse 11 Deleuze', in Non-Philosophie, Le
('ollectif, La Non-Philosophie des Contemporains. Althusser, Badiou, Deleuze,
f)errida, Fichte, Husserl, Kojeve, Russeli, Sartre, Wittgenstein (Paris: Kime, 1995),
I'p. 49-78. For Laruelle, the fact that the univocity of Deleuzean immanence can be
purchased only at the price of an irrecuperable excess of transcendence is neither an
accidental nor an inconsistent aspect of Deleuze's thought; - it is a structurally
necessary feature characteristic of all philosophical attempts to conceptualize
immanence; one, moreover, that ultimately constitutes an invariant feature of the
philosophical gesture per se. That Deleuze is obliged to think immanence
transcendently, or to think multiplicity under the auspices of an uncircumventable
unity, is not a question of philosophical inconsistency, Laruelle argues; on the
contrary it merely indicates the rigorous consistency of Deleuzean thought insofar as
its internal coherence is regulated in accordance with the pernicious logic of
philosophical Decision. Interestingly enough, the same collection also contains
Tristan Aguilar's fascinating comparison of Laruelle's work with that of Badiou. Cr.
T. Aguilar, 'Badiou et la Non-Philosophie: Un parallele', op. cit., pp. 37-46.
17 G. Deleuze & F. Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, trans. B.Massumi (London:
Athlone, 1988), pA92.
Ray Brassier 209
208 PIi 10 (2000)
Furthermore, through these 'machinic components', Deleuze and Guattari
continue, "... it is as though human alienation through surplus labour
were replaced by a generalized 'machinic enslavement', such that one
may furnish surplus-value without doing any work (children, the retired,
the unemployed, television viewers, etc) ... [thus] capitalism operates ...
by a complex qualitative process bringing into play modes of
transportation, urban models, the media, the entertainment industries,
,
ways ofperceiving and feeling - every semiotic system. It is as though '"
circulating capital necessarily recreated, reconstituted, a sort of smooth
:·:·1··········.··
space in which the destiny ofhuman beings is recast". 18
"I
l
This is an analysis of extraordinary prescience. Yet clearly, if we are
I to take Deleuze and Guattari at their word here, it is not only children, the
:1
retired, the unemployed, and television viewers who are now busy
furnishing an integrating world-capitalism with its portion of machinic
surplus-value simply by doing nothing: for who has ever provided a more
superlatively indolent instance of (supposedly) unemployable negativity
than the philosopher? The question then is: to what extent does the
Deleuzean dice-throw, with its philosophical affirmation of chance as an
exceptionless whole, effectively hamstring the possibility of
philosophical resistance to the onset of a generalized machinic
enslavement? For with the historical advent of this integrating world
capitalism, it becomes difficult to discern the virtual as limit of absolute
deterritorialization, from the 'absolute speed' through which Capital is
accelerating toward that unenvisageable limit via processes of
deterritorialization that, although supposedly 'relative', are nonetheless
effectively exhausting all the available territories and resources of the
actual in the process of constituting the absolutely smooth space
necessary for maximizing rates of profit and exchange. One of the
consequences of Deleuzean univocity is the impossibility of defining the
distinction between the absolute deterritorializations Deleuze lays claim
to on behalf of philosophy and the relative deterritorializations he assigns
to Capital as a difference in kind.
19
Their inclusive disjunction precludes
the possibility of disentagling them. But how then are we to to say where
one ends and the other begins? Does Capital merely mime the logic of
nomadic distribution or does nomadic distribution in fact mime the logic
18 Ibid., p.492.
19 "Philosophy takes the relative deterritorialization of capital to the absolute; it
makes it pass over the plane of immanence as movement of the infinite and suppresses
it as internal limit. turns it back against itself so as to summon forth a new earth, a
new people." G. Deleuze & F. Guattari, What is Philosophy?, trans. H. Tomlinson &
G. Burchell (London: Verso, 1994), p. 99. Cf. op. cit., Chapter 4, esp. pp. 97-113.
l
of Capital? Perhaps the machinic symbiosis between absolute and relative
deterritorialization, philosophy and Capital, is rendering it increasingly
difficult to tell which is the host and which is the parasite. The relation
between philosophy and Capital would be like that of wasp and orchid: ­
a block of apparralel evolution; a becoming. But then what guarantees do
we have that Capital's becoming-philosophy and philosophy's becoming­
Capital aren't in fact the harbingers of a generalized machinic
enslavement? An enslavement, moreover, now promulgated through the
good offices of philosophical thinking itself. For doesn't the purified
automaton's affirmative ascesis of the One-All actively participate in this
process of generalized machinic enslavement through which human
destiny is being recast? In light of this threatened indiscernibility between
philosophy and Capital, small wonder that the univocal chance affirmed
in the Deleuzean dice-throw, its ineluctable ontological fatality, take on
an oppressive, politically debilitating aspect for Badiou.
Badiou: quantifying the unquantifiable
As far as Badiou is concerned, philosophical resistance to the sovereignty
of Capital is indissociable from the ultimate ontological destitution or the
One-All, and from the foreclosure of transcendence in all its forms. But
for Badiou, this necessary rupture of transcendent ontological unity
operates via the redefinition of subjective truth as radically discontinuous,
metaontological caesura. If the One-All's infinite excess seems to hover
menacingly over us via the smooth space of global Capital, perhaps it's
because Deleuzean ascesis, the destitution of subjective resistance in the
dice-throw's fatal embrace of the ineluctable and the impossible,
forecloses the possibility of assigning a subjective - i.e and thereby, as we
shall see, political- measure to that infinite and necessarily unquantifiable
ontological excess. Now, what's significant about Badiou's theory of the
event in relation to Deleuze's is the manner in which it defines thought's
dice-throw as a way of quantifying the unquantifiable. That's why we
would like to draw attention to the manner in which Badiou's
characterization of the dice-throw as process of subjective intervention
quantifies thinking itself as an act of ultimately political resistance to the
threat of generalized machinic enslavement.
From a Badiouan perspective, Deleuze goes astray by identifying the
quantitative conception of the multiple with its denumerable
rerresentation, thereby reducing the domain of mathematical multiplicity
to the realm of the logistically calculable. In complete contrast, Badiou
210 PH 10 (2000)
argues that only a rigorously quantitative - i.e set-theoretical - univocity
of the multiple in its absolutely unequivocal actuality can succeed in
terminating the One's transcendent sovereignty. And in place of what he
considers to be Deleuze's transcendent ontological disjunction between a
qualitative realm of virtual intensity and a quantitative domain of actual
extensity, Badiou substitutes the immanent phase shift between the
inconsistent, unpresentable multiplicity of being as ontological void, and
its consistent presentation as a multiple-in-situation. Moreover, if, for
Badiou, being qua being consists of infinitely ramifying multiples-of­
multiples, all woven from the originary inconsistency of the void,
subjectivity originates in the event as that interruption of consistency
through which the void's inconsistency is summoned to the surface of a
situation.
How is this ontologically inconsistent interruption related to the dice­
throw? For Badiou, the void's originary and excessive inconsistency is
continuously reconfigured by the infinite incommensurability between set
and power-set; structure and metastructure; or presentation and re­
presentation. Badiou defines the metastructural re-presentation or 'state'
of the situation as that operation which counts or codifies its parts or
subsets. Where the situation is the 'counting-as-one' (compte-pour-un) of
its elements, the presentation of its members, the state of the situation
counts-as-one its subsets or re-presents its parts. Now although there are
always more parts than elements, more subsets than members, it is
impossible to measure that excess, to assign a fixed power to it. In other
words, the excess is undecidable. But it is precisely this intrinsic
ontological undecidability that petitions axiomatic decision in the form of
a subjective intervention through which the undecidable is constituted as
an event. Yet far from resolving the undecidability proper to the event,
the intervention accentuates it by withdrawing the event from
decidability, subtracting it from the arena of the decidable, thereby
putting the event as undecidable into effect. It is this putting into
circulation of the event as an undecidable decision; a decision infavour of
the undecidable, that Badiou calls the dice-throw.
However, even though it constitutes a metaontological caesura, the
structure of 'eventality' itself for Badiou must be rooted in the
ontological matheme. Thus, speaking of the undecidability concerning the
quantity of the increase in magnitude separating the cardinality of an
infinite set from its successor power-set, Badiou writes, "That one must
tolerate there the almost complete arbitrariness ofa choice, that quantity,
that paradigm of objectivity, leads to pure subjectivity, herein lies what I
211
Ray Brassier
would willingly call the Cantor-Godel-Cohen-Easton Thus,
if subjectivity itself is nothing but a set-theoretical 'symptom' then the
dice-throw is metaontologically 'symptomatic' insofar as it constitutes an
undecidable decision, an ontologicaIly groundless intervention which
decides the undecidable and fixes the excess by deciding to count as
belonging to a situation that which was previously omitted or uncounted
by the ontological count. According to Badiou, it is through the dice­
throw's undecidability that an event is subtracted from the ontological
consistency of a situation and subjectivity generated as a post-evental
fidelity to that originary subtraction from the ontological order.
Now, if being is both void and infinitely multiple, and if the dice­
throws are ontologically distinct, then it can only be because each throw
indexes a distinct quantification of the infinite, a distinct quantification of
the void-as-infinitely-multiple. Thus, to the Deleuzean conception of the
dice-throw, to the qualitative indiscernibility of numerically discrete
throws, to the univocal consistency of the single throw's eternal
recurrence, Badiou opposes his own conception of the dice-throw as a
uniquely discernible instance of metaontological quantification; a
radically discontinuous yet nevertheless quantifiable subtraction from the
operation of the 'count-as-one' through which a situation attains
ontological consistency. Accordingly, Badiou will state that "I think then,
contrary to Deleuze, that the evental dice-throws are all absolutely
distinct, not formally (on the contrary, the form of all events is the same),
but ontologically. This ontological multiplicity composes no series, it is
sporadic (because of the rarity of events) and untotalizable".2\
Interestingly enough then, from Badiou's perspective, Deleuze's
subordination of quantitative or numerical distinction to the
unquantifiable, qualitative identity of eternal recurrence, his derealization
of the actuality of the multiple in the virtualization of the One-All, and his
deconstitution of the subject, are all parts of the same philosophical
gesture. According to Badiou, in making of the dice-throw an a­
subjective affirmation of the transcendent disjunction between virtual
quality and actual quantity, Deleuze elides the possibility of an
alternative, subtractive conception wherein the dice-throw figures as an
immanent subjective quantification of that ontological excess; or, more
specifically, in Badiou's case, of the void's subtractive inconsistency. Yet
hy the same token, Badiou's conception of subjectivity concedes nothing
'111\. Badiou, L'Etre et l'Evenement. p.309.
'I 1\. Badiou, Deleuze: La clameur de /'etre, p.114 (Deleuze. The Clamour of Being,
1'1' /;1-75) .
.---A__
212
PI; 10 (2000)
to Kant or phenomenology. In keeping with his commitment to a strictly
materialist univocity, Badiou provides an ontologically immanent, anti­
phenomenological conception of the subjective dice-throw as a rare and
hazardous deductive process or subtractive operation, rather than as a
necessary transcendental condition, a locus of intentional agency or a site
of lived-experience.
So if the Badiouan subject constitutes a metaontological caesura it's
because it figures as that in-consistent instance of multiplicity through
which the void's own inconsistent excess is immanently circumscribed,
rather than because it constitutes a transcendent exception to the
quantitative univocity of the multiple. And it seems to us that this is
where we must locate the peculiar challenge posed by Badiou's
mathematical conception of the multiple, wherein subjectivity figures as
an immanent but inconsistent subtraction, to Deleuze's vitalist conception
of multiplicity, wherein subjective separation is necessarily destituted as
an inadmissible instance of transcendence. The challenge is remarkable if
only for the way in which Badiou mobilizes Paul Cohen's theory of
generic multiplicities to redefine subjective truth as an ontologically
immanent but in-consistent subtraction;22 an objectless process of
deductive fidelity Whereby the errancy of the ontological void, its infinite,
numerically unassignable excess, is effectively quantified as a
determinate yet locally indiscernible infinite magnitude.
Now, Badiou's suggestion is that a politically militant subject is the
generic instance of that infinite quantification of an undecidable excess
between structural presentation and metastructural re-presentation.
Moreover, that quantification constitutes political intervention as a
generic truth-procedure; the latter being Badiou's name for the process
whereby subjective intervention quantifies the excess by deciding that
something ontologically undecidable 'will have taken place'. And its
genericity is intimately tied to the fact that the subject of political
intervention is necessarily collective. Here we arrive at what seems to us
to constitute the militantly subversive crux of Badiou's thought (although
we may well be characterizing it in a way that risks contradicting
Badiou's avowed intent to 'de-suture' the gesture of philosophical
thinking from any extraneous political conditioning);23 if subjectivity qua
22 Cf. P. J. Cohen, Set-Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis (New York; W.A.
Benjamin, 1966).
23 For Badiou's comments on the nefarious consequences of the attempts to
philosophize the political or politicize philosophy, thereby compromising the
autonomy and radicality of both, and for a general statement of intent concerning the
need to 'de-suture' philosophy from any extraneous condition, whether it be political,
Ray Brassier 213
metaontological caesura is a set-theoretical symptom, and if the
collective subjectivity of political intervention is the figure par excellence
of subjective militancy, then ontology itself dictates the constitutively
political character inherent in the act of thinking insofar as it constitutes a
11
dice-throw. Thus, in 'Politics as a truth procedure' Badiou writes, "That
'11'1
the political event is collective necessitates that all are virtually the
1I
militants of the thinking that proceeds on the basis of the event. In this
I'
sense, politics is the only truth procedure which is generic, not only in its
result, but in the local composition of its subject"?4 Accordingly, Badiou
I
continues: "The true characteristic of the political event and of the truth
procedure it initiates is that a political event fixes the errancy, assigns a
measure to the State's ultra-power, sets a limit to the power of the State.
Consequently, the political event interrupts the subjective errancy of the
power of the State. It configures the state of the situation ... it measures
it"?5
So to the Deleuzean automaton who abnegates from decision in order
to affirm the event's excessive and unquantifiable ontological necessity,
Badiou ultimately opposes his militantly decisive conception of
subjectivity as an aleatory quantification of chance that circumscrihcs the
void's random and incalculable excess. Badiou's dice-throw is an evenlal
subtraction from ontological consistency, an excessive subtraction of the
inconsistent from the excess of consistency. For Badiou then, it is through
the dice-throw as a determinate but locally indiscernible quantification of
the infinite that the excess of unquantifiable ontological transcendence
affirmed by the Deleuzean automaton is circumscribed and discontinued.
And what is politically significant about this inconsistent quantification
of the undecidable is the way in which it subtracts itself from every
transcendent, politically debilitating principle of sovereign ontological
unity.
However, where Badiou provides a political translation of the errancy
of ontological excess in terms of the infinite incommensurability between
the structural presentation of a given social situation and its
metastructural representation by the State, it seems to us that it is Capital,
not the State, which now effects the metastructural regulation of the
social field and ultimately instantiates the unassignable errancy of
<utistic, scientific, or amorous, cf. A. Badiou, Manifeste pour la Philosophie (Paris:
Scui1, 1989), esp. pp. 41-48 (Manifesto for Philosophy, trans. N. Madarasz (Albany:
SLJNY Press, 1999), pp. 61-67).
',I A. Badiou, 'La po1itique comme pro"edure de verite', in Abrege de Metapolitique,
(I 'aris: Seui1, 1998), p.156.
", Ibid., p.159.
215
Ray Brassier
214 PIi 10 (2000)
ontological excess. And in contrast to the State, which is a merely
localized or relative instantiation of excess, in so far as it remains the
State of this or that regionally specific situation, Capital's peculiar
characteristic is to constitute a global or absolute configuration of
ontological excess, for like the void, Capital is at once everywhere and
nowhere. Consequently, one of the unresolved problems facing Badiou's
philosophical system (and this, in our opinion, is the one lacuna in his
thinking in comparison with Deleuze's) is whether or not it possesses the
conceptual resources required for a rigorously theoretical definition of
Capital as global configuration of ontological excess. Perhaps Badiou's
comparative silence on this issue is a matter of caution. For it seems to us
that the real difficulty facing him is this: on the one hand, any attempt to
provide a set-theoretical definition of Capital's unlocalizable excess as a
sort of global power-set, a universal metastructure or absolute re­
presentation, will thereby immediately reinstate the One. On the other
hand, if Capital ultimately figures for Badiou as a kind of radically
inconsistent Ober-Event, rather than as an ontologically consistent Unity,
then surely this definitively uncircumventable configuration of the void's
global excess can only result in a metaontological subjection that
promises to be even more desperately debilitating than the machinic
enslavement ascetically affirmed by the Deleuzean automaton.
Thus, in the final analysis, all that separates Badiou's militant 'No' to
ontological consistency from Deleuze's ascetic 'Yes' to the same is the
former's ability to distinguish the void's singular configurations in the
plurality of dice-throws from the One-All's virtual coincidence in the
unique throw. Yet in spite of Badiou's considerable precautions and the
remarkable subtlety of his theoretical apparatus, that distinction is far
from assured, for the spectre of the One figures as an ever-present danger
shadowing his system, constantly threatening to assume the singular
mantle of the void. The void's unpresentable in-consistency, its
foreclosure to conceptual presentation as indexed by the singularity of the
letter 0 which is its proper name, is supposed to prevent it from lapsing
into the subsumptive unity of a concept (effectively disqualifying the
possibility of distinguishing between its use and its mention).26 Yet this
inconsistency is precisely what the event's undecidability summons
through its double subtraction: subtracting the void from its subtraction to
presentation, and also subtracting it from the consistency of its proper
name by naming it improperly as undecidable, or as event. Accordingly,
describing the event's invocation of the void, Badiou writes, "... because
26 Cf. A. Badiou, L 'Etre et l'Evellement, p.72.
the void of Being only comes to the surface of a situation in the guise of
an event, chance is the material of a truth. And just as truths are singular
and incomparable, the chance events wherein truths originate must be
multiple and separated by the void. Chance is plural, which excludes the
unicity of the dice-throw. It is by chance that this chance comes to us. In
the final analysis, Being's contingency can only truly accomplish itself if
there is also the Chance of chances"??
It is this 'Chance of chances', this haphasard plurality of dice-throws
as inconsistent configurations or quantifications of the void of being that
is supposed to discontinue the eternal recurrence of the One chance as a
virtual whole. Thus, the discrete, numerical multiplicity of chances and
the ontological distinction of events is supposed to be guaranteed by the
void's unpresentable inconsistency. Although mathematically configured
in every event as a distinct quantification of its infinite emptiness, the
void can never surface as such, it can never occur, never take place, for it
is nothing but an empty name devoid of reference, a letter that fails to
designate, a sign without a concept. There can be an irreducible plurality
of chances only insofar as 'Chance itself' (being as void) is nothing.
But is it merely a slip of the tongue, or something altogether more
substantial, and therefore more problematic, which makes Badiou state
here that the distinct dice-throws or chances are 'separated' from one
another by the void? If each dice-throw as a distinctly inconsistent
configuration of the void separates itself from ontological consistency;
then surely it is only the distinct specificity of the consistent situation
from which a specifically inconsistent quantification of the void is
subtracted that can serve to separate the plurality of chances from one
another, thereby rendering each ontologically - i.e. quantitatively ­
distinct yet ontically indiscernible in its invariant evental form (for
although all events remain mathematically distinct, the matheme of the
event is an invariant). In order for the void to become the separating
instance, in the manner alluded to by Badiou in the passage above,
wouldn't it have to become more than a name, wouldn't it have to
function as a consistent ontological backdrop, as 'one' void ('un' vide)?
In dispersing the dice-throws via the void's inconsistency, in pluralizing
chance through the void as Chance of chances, doesn't Badiou risk
rcinfiating the void as the unitary backdrop against which the plurality of
chances become distinguishable, thereby collapsing the ontological
'I A. Badiou, Deleuze: La clameur de l'e/re, p. 115 (Deleuze: The Clamour of Being,
I' !'i).
216 PIi 10 (2000)
distinction between dice-throws and resubmerging them in the void's
virtual unity as a consistent ontological medium?
Conclusion: the stellar void punctures the cosmic animal
Let's conclude by recapitulating the basic philosophical parameters of the
disagreement between Deleuze and Badiou on the question of the dice­
throw. Badiou himself sums up the opposition by reinvoking Mallarme,
with whom he aligns himself here against the Nietzsche-Deleuze tandem.
For Nietzsche-Deleuze 'Chance comes forth from the Infinite, which has
been affirmed'; whereas for Mallarme-Badiou, 'the Infinite issues forth
from Chance, which has been denied'. What then are the philosophical
consequences of this slight, yet nevertheless crucial alternation?
On the one hand we have the Deleuzean dice-throw as instance of
anorganic vitalism. This dice-throw affirms the whole of chance in a
single throw; it is the auto-affirmation of cosmic Chance as One-All in
which the affirming 'I' is cracked and the thrower's identity dissolved.
This is the dice-throw as vital figuration of the great cosmic animal. On
the other hand, we have Badiou's dice-throw as index of the stellar
matheme. This dice-throw is an undecidable subtraction separating an
irreducibly singular configuration of the alea, and dissolving the cosmic
unity of Chance in a gesture that simultaneously reaccentuates the void's
untotalizable dispersion and crystallizes the Subject. This is the dice­
throw as mathematical quantification of the stellar void. So we seem to
be confronted with an insuperable conflict of philosophical interest: the
event as subjective destitution versus the event as subjective constitution;
the event as auto-affirmation of the One-All versus the event as
puncturing subtraction from the One and dissemination of the All; a
manifold of actual chances coinciding in the sovereign necessity of
Chance as a virtual whole versus a plurality of separate and
incommensurable chances subtended by the hazard of an infinitely empty
void. And the conflict effectively remains insuperable or undecidable
until a decision is forced. But perhaps the ability to decide in favour of
the undecidable is precisely what separates subtractive intervention from
purified affirmation; in which case the quantification of the stellar void
punctures the qualitative unity of the cosmic animal.
PIi 10 (2000), 217-243.
Who Dwells? Heidegger and the Place of Mortal
SUbjects
ANDREW BENJAMIN
I.
What is it to inhabit? What is to inhabit the architcctural? Once qucstions
of this type are given their full rein, then what appears within thcm is an
attempt to think that which is essential to dwelling. From onc pcrspect ivc,
announced within such questions is philosophy's rclation to thc built, and
therefore to architecture. Once philosophy is linkcd to thc project of
discovering or rediscovering the essential, thcn the object - here
architecture, though equally it could have been the work of art - is that
which occasions that project. At one extreme it could be argued that the
object stages the essential and to that extent allows for its incorporation
into philosophy. While it will, in the end, be necessary to develop a
critical relation to such a conception of the object and therefore of such a
conception of the philosophical, at this stage these two positions need to
he worked through. Only by working through them and thus by allowing,
if only initially, for an interarticulation of philosophy and the essential,
will it become possible to free philosophy from a simple identification
with a concern for the essential. In working through that initial
formulation which, firstly links philosophy and the essential while
secondly construing the object in terms of its being the occasion for that
inlerarticulation, it becomes possible to distance such a conception of the
philosophical. The distancing from the essence brings with it a
philosophical concern with the materiality of the object and thus another
philosophical project. Once that stage is reached then the concern would
II(' with how the object's materiality were to be thought philosophically.!
I I Ill' project here is not with this additional task but with detailing that
"'''·''"liculation of philosophy, a thinking of the essence and architecture (where the

calculate the probability of one among the thirty-six possible outcomes of throwing the die by working out the frequency with which that one result occurs compared to the frequency with which the other thirty-five possible outcomes occur in the course of a finite number of throws. for otherwise that identity would persist independently of the affirmation as a possibility separate from the whole.'ence and Repetition. Only thus can the dice-throw constitute the unique throw through which all the actual outcomes of numerically distinct throws coincide virtually. Although we shall provide references for the english ". including itself. and acts in the fourth person singular. As Badiou puts it. Of course. as Badiou rightly points out. logically reduced to the point where all possible outcomes become equal in probability. Dcleuze. and the impossible: for what is really being affirmed is the ineluctability of Fate. Deleuze must insist that the chance affirmed by the dice-throw is not that of its own probability or improbability. Iladiou. 1\. but Chance which affirms itself through the thrower. I . p. is. In order to ward off chance's reduction to merely logical probability. the dice-throw must constitute an affirmation of absolute improbability.. the incalculable contingency of the singular event as auto-affection of the One-All becomes indiscernible from the absolute necessity of chance as a whole. p. p. Consequently. That which eternally returns within each numerically separate throw is the unique throw in which chance has been affirmed as an incompossible whole. In the Deleuzean dice-throw.7 require nothing less. as Deleuze states in The Logic of Sense. as Deleuze writes in Difference and Repetition: "Once chance is affirmed. in order to forestall its statistical neutralization within the representational confines of a logistical calculus of probability. Moreover. crystallizing Chance's unconditional affirmation as virtual whole.. the improbable. deployed in all the events through which the latter is auto-affected'. And what are we to understand by 'the chance of the One'.202 Pli 10 (2000) Ray Brassier 203 whole. this and all subsequent translations from La clarneur de /I f' are our own. Third and finally. The thrower coincides with everyone and no-one. Deleuze demands that the dice throw affirm chance's virtual univocity as a representational im-possibility.74). "That which insists and eternally returns within all the immanent events of the One's power is chance as chance of the One itself. For what there is is " ( j f. " 11. in a gesture typifying his admiring but IIncompromisingly critical stance vis a vis Deleuze. the self dissolved. In other words. . to affirm chance as incompossible whole is to sacrifice one's own subjective identity. in accordance with which the dice­ Ihrow becomes an affirmation that '''All is grace'.5 This is why. enjoining us "not to be unworthy of what happens to US". if not Being's radical contingency? In the final analysis. In the course of an infinite series of throws however. for. the eternal return is the univocal affirmation of Being's own contingency. Badiou will praise the 1. this is why. as Eventum Tantum. Deleuze's Amor fati. for example. and the thrower's subjective separation annihilated through the multitudinous swarming of the impersonal individuations and pre-personal singularities released by the throw. It is not the thrower who affirms chance. The logic of the possible subordinates chance to analogical equivalence. ipseity is cracked open. 'One' affirms the event through the dice-throw in the same way as 'one' dies: impersonally and anonymously. nothing but the auto-affirmation of the One's ineluctable necessity in the guise of chance via the thrower as purified automaton. in affirming everything. all those disparate probabilities become statistically equalized.152.lllcr's 'admirable creative stoicism'. In throwing the die to affirm chance as a uniquely improbable whole. operating in the anarchic realm of impersonal individuations and pre-personal singularities. it is the same dice-throw which recurs in each numerically distinct outcome. for Deleuze. it speaks. implicated and implicating within one another. his ethics of the Event. thinks. it is. Herein lies Deleuze's stoic ascesis: the auto-affirmation of Chance as virtually incompossible whole abolishes possibility in order to vindicate Chance itself as the ineluctable necessity of what occurs. "Every event is like death". the Deleuzean affirmation of eternal recurrence in the dice-throw. 149. all arbitraniness is abolished every time". but rather that of all possible outcomes occurring simultaneously. One could.01. As affirmation of the univocity through which all outcomes are virtually envelloped and envelloping.6 The upshot of Badiou's analysis is clear: we should not allow ourselves to be deceived by the Deleuzean invocation of pure Chance as locus of the absolutely incalculable. 8 Accordingly. for Badiou. Badiou is entirely correct when he notes that the superior or Deleuzean gambler is a 'purified automaton' rather than a subjective agent. ''''''11 I f of Badiou's text. Deleuze: La clarnellr de l'erre (Paris: Hachette. p. 1997). p. Thus. the purified automaton must be prepared to sacrifice everything. Dijfe. 113 (Delellze: I hf' ('lamour of Being. And in affirming itself Chance abolishes the arbitrariness of the merely possible. in the final analysis. The Deleuzean automaton functions according to the glory of the impersonal pronoun 'one'. The Logic of Sense. Ilt'll'llZe.l98.

11 A.12 The inclusive disjunction is characterized by a unilateral asymmetry: the actual distinguishes itself from the virtual without the virtual distinguishing itself from the actual in return. p. p. 10-11.204 PIi 10 (2000) Ray Brassier 205 nothing other than the grace of the All".143 I p. The first is that inasmuch as all numerically distinct occurrences have and will eternally recur as auto­ affections of the One-All. and univocity collapses into analogical monism. If it's a difference in degree. But it is not so. excludes the possibility that Being be thought as All. It runs as follows: Deleuzean ontology establishes a distinction between 'Being' qua virtual univocity of the single throw. for Badiou. p. Deleuze cannot name Being univocally because he always needs two names to describe that univocity. and further: everything is always already there within the One's infinite and inhuman resource". Ibid. Deleuze: La clameur de l'erre. univocity is straightforwardly ruined by equivocal transcendence. as smooth space and as striated space. Everything always comes from afar. An interruption. specifically in the form of what Deleuze calls there an 'asymmetrical synthesis' or 'pathos of distance'. as deterritorialization and as reterritorialization. before we go on to delineate Badiou's own militant and subtractive vision of the dice-throw. 13 G. "At no time can we be the source of what we think or do. the Deleuzean ascesis of the One-All cannot but provide a sort of transcendental apologia for the reigning ontological status quo in all of its socio-political nefariousness _ in spite of Deleuze's avowed intentions to the contrary -.. Guattari. compromising the univocal immanence he lays claim to. to say that all is grace means precisely that no grace whatsoever is ever accorded us. like myself. However. Nevertheless. the concept of inclusive disjunction is clearly present throughout Difference and Repetition. Deleuze now needs two names in order to describe Being's constitutive asymmetry as inclusive disjunction of the univocal and the equivocal. Badiou writes.9 before fatally qualifying that praise with an intractable caveat. for Deleuze. an ontological interruption constituted through the subtraction of a hazardous metaontological supplement. p. Being must always be said both as virtual and as actual.. as nomadic distribution and as sedentary hierarchy. and 'beings' qua the actual equivocity of the numerically distinct throws. Deleuze. Badiou. Lane (London: Athlone. But that difference between virtual univocity and actual equivocity can be neither a difference of degree nor a difference in kind. "Except that for he who. and the impersonal necessitates a punitive abnegation of subjectivity per se. If it's a difference in kind.28.142 (Deleuze: The Clamour of Being. 14 Accordingly.96. R. trans. and it is this argument which provides the philosophical nub of The Clamour of Being. Difference and Repetitioll.239. if all numerically distinct throws remain virtually envelloped both within one another and within a single all-envelIoping throw. precisely insofar as it makes assent to what representation considers as impossible or intolerable the premise of unconditional affinnation. the anonymous. it is this equivocal gesture indissociable from the act of naming as such that inevitably reintroduces transcendence at the heart of Deleuze's thought. comes upon us. & H. Badiou privileges what he considers to be set-theory's rigorously meaningless or a-signifying inscription of being in the mathematical letter precisely insofar as it manages to avoid any such equivocal gesture of naming through which Pt· 96). they are explicitly underwritten in that text by an entirely independent argument concerning the relation between univocity and transcendence. Difference and Repetition. Hurley. as anorganic life and as strata. and that this is rare or vanishing enjoins us to be lastingly faithful to it". 14 Consequently. o Ibid.1O So to this Deleuzean ascesis whereby chance is affinned as a univocally exceptionless whole. The trouhle then is that the naming of being itself becomes an equivocal act. And. we will simply mark at this juncture the way in which it provides the unstated theoretical fulcrum for the two fundamental objections which Badiou adresses to Deleuze in one fonn or another throughout The Clamour of Being. being is said in an analogically unitary sense of quantitatively distinct beings. In the final analysis. Badiou will Oppose his own militant conception of the dice-throw as a decision in favour of chance as a discontinuous exception. M. Badiou asks. R. a supplement. G. Badiou in The Clamour of Being does little mOre than offer the reader the most Summary of hints 9 concerning the alternative theory of the dice-throw in which both these objections are implicitly grounded. Seem. 12 For Deleuze's account of virtual intensity as the 'inclusive disjunction' of difference in degree and difference in kind cf. If there is but a single Chance for all chances. Deleuze.ll Obviously constrained by space. . 1984» and thus does not occur as such in Difference and Repetition (or in any of Deleuze's earlier work). Deleuze is obliged to sacrifice novelty and plurality on the altar of univocity. p. hasn't Deleuze reintroduced monistic totality under the guise of univocal plurality? Badiou's second objection seems to follow inevitably from the first: because the dice-throw's affirmation of the an-archic. 21 I pp. Deleuze's only option then is to conceive of Being itself as neither/nor: as inclusive disjunction of virtual univocity and actual equivocity. Although the expression itself comes from Anti-(Edipus: Capitalism alld Schizophrenia I (co-written with F. 13 But as a result.

esp. Tomlinson & G. IIll1chell (London: Verso. Deleuze & F. Fichte. initially in his Le l'ril1('ipe de Minoriti (Paris: Aubier. it's because there is I. . the same collection also contains Tristan Aguilar's fascinating comparison of Laruelle's work with that of Badiou. Even so. H. cit. For Laruelle.it is a structurally necessary feature characteristic of all philosophical attempts to conceptualize immanence. B. . Le ('ollectif. Kojeve. that disjulll'lioll itself ends up constituting the absolute surplus of transcendence requin'd in order to hold virtual univocity and actual equivocity together. 1981).lII['C which he explicitly lays claim to for philosophy.. or to think multiplicity under the auspices of an uncircumventable unity. What is Philosophy?. Deleuze.I . to its unpresentable inconsistency. Fran. A Thousand Plateaus.15 but may be IIIildvnll'ntly stymiing insofar as his affirmative and ascetic I 1lIlI. their immancllI interpenetration and virtual coincidence in the eternal recurrence of a single throw. and subsequently radicalized through the as transcendental axiomatization and elahoration of 'non-philosophy' Illeorematization of philosophical Decision.ois Laruelle. and therefore hermeneutically circumscribed.'7 (T G. necessarily reinstates a transcendent Unity: that of till' inclusive disjunction's infinite excess as the ontological element when.llll'rization of the dice-throw forecloses the possibility of thinking "" 1t'Il'IIlial interruption prior to its ontological repetition. pp.III. And this suturing occurs by means of being's a­ conceptual inscription in a radically singular. one. Russeli.:in virtual indivision and actual division become reconciled.I I 11 1 :1 ! being could become intentionally apprehended or conceptually 'meaningful'. therehy maintaining Being as an immanent whole./(' Philosophical ascesis and machinic enslavement Now. in affirming an exceptionless ontological consistency. that ultimately constitutes an invariant feature of the philosophical gesture per se.ois Laruelle.'hinic components rather than the human components of labour". Cf. Guattari. nomadic . non-intentionally) to being's meaningless and unphenomenologizable emptiness. then it is not difficult to see how that logic may also mask li political covenant with the transcendent global sovereignty of Capital. Badiou.e. pp.I'. but because it reveals the tribute which Deleuze is obliged to offer up to conceptual equivocation in order to ensure his philosophy's unitary ontological consistency. Wittgenstein (Paris: Kime. it seems to us that the equivocal nomination pinpointed in the analysis above.. a new smooth space 1\ /Jroduced in which capital reaches its •absolute' speed. L'Etre et l'f. the plurality of chances independently of Chance as a ". whereby immanence assumes the mantle of absolute transcendence and vice versa. ChA. f)errida. 49-78. 65-84. '. meditations 4 and 5.venement (Paris: Seuil. the fact that the univocity of Deleuzean immanence can be purchased only at the price of an irrecuperable excess of transcendence is neither an accidental nor an inconsistent aspect of Deleuze's thought. For if the logic of Deleuzean ontology uses the banner of IIllll1anence to disguise a philosophical pact with ontological 1I. 1988). but meaningless.awkward not because it would supposedly lay bare some crippling inconsistency or incoherence in that thought. IIII I. 1995). Laruelle argues. 37-46. The difficulty concerns rather the extent to which. But then the ontologil'lIl indiscernibility of the numerically distinct throws. I'. Husserl. Cr. Althusser. immanence. trans. based on II/t/.l movement of univocal Being as inclusive disjunction.III'il'cndence. highlights an awkward quid pro quo running right through Deleuzean thought. 17 G.II'. mathematical thought alone guarantees ontological univocity and preserves being qua being from its phenomenological inscription in language or sense by suturing itself axiomatically (i. . in A Thousand Plateaus for instance. esp. and Illllltiplicity. i\ possibility first explored in the work of Fran. La Non-Philosophie des Contemporains. Guattari. T. proper name: p :_ the name of the void or null-set. is not a question of philosophical inconsistency.I. that an equivocal nomination may be the price to be paid for the affinnation of univocity is not ultimately the real issue.Massumi (London: Athlone. I'p.rated (or rather integrating) world capitalism. It may be apposite in this regard to point lJut that Badiou is neither the first nor the only philosopher to highlight the manner in which the recourse to a radically unobjectifiable surplus of transcendence is illseparable from Deleuze's attempt to harmonize univocity. moreover. pp. For Badiou. 108-110. 1994). in Non-Philosophie." '"orC at stake here than merely a matter of internal philosophical I IJII'iiSlency. a 11 Badiou's charges demand to be taken seriously. A. on the contrary it merely indicates the rigorous consistency of Deleuzean thought insofar as its internal coherence is regulated in accordance with the pernicious logic of philosophical Decision. Aguilar. Cf. pA92. op. trans. That Deleuze is obliged to think immanence transcendently. 'Badiou et la Non-Philosophie: Un parallele'. Badiou. IIIIIS. 'Reponse 11 Deleuze'. Sartre. 1988). Interestingly enough. Deleuze may be effectively stripping philosophy of any capacity it may still harbour as far as constituting an instance of resistance to the present is concerned.206 P/i 10 (2000) " Ray Brassier 207 because Deleuze needs two names to describe the self-differentialillJ. we are told that through this "II/Ii'!.1111'11 ilorialization without its complement of sedentary i'1i"'llorialization. 11.. although we have already acknowledged that some elements 01 Badiou's critique of Deleuze Could be (and indeed already have beeu) dismissed as instances of Wilfully polemical misrepresentation. Deleuze & F.

What is Philosophy?. reconstituted. But how then are we to to say where one ends and the other begins? Does Capital merely mime the logic of nomadic distribution or does nomadic distribution in fact mime the logic 18 of Capital? Perhaps the machinic symbiosis between absolute and relative deterritorialization. philosophical resistance to the sovereignty of Capital is indissociable from the ultimate ontological destitution or the One-All. Guattari. thereby reducing the domain of mathematical multiplicity to the realm of the logistically calculable. Burchell (London: Verso. In complete contrast. Tomlinson & G.i. it is not only children. It is as though '" circulating capital necessarily recreated.. 97-113. If the One-All's infinite excess seems to hover menacingly over us via the smooth space of global Capital. if we are to take Deleuze and Guattari at their word here. For doesn't the purified automaton's affirmative ascesis of the One-All actively participate in this process of generalized machinic enslavement through which human destiny is being recast? In light of this threatened indiscernibility between philosophy and Capital. That's why we would like to draw attention to the manner in which Badiou's characterization of the dice-throw as process of subjective intervention quantifies thinking itself as an act of ultimately political resistance to the threat of generalized machinic enslavement. Deleuze & F. the retired. the entertainment industries. politically debilitating aspect for Badiou. it makes it pass over the plane of immanence as movement of the infinite and suppresses it as internal limit.208 PIi 10 (2000) Ray Brassier 209 . "Philosophy takes the relative deterritorialization of capital to the absolute. 99. turns it back against itself so as to summon forth a new earth. The relation between philosophy and Capital would be like that of wasp and orchid: ­ a block of apparralel evolution. perhaps it's because Deleuzean ascesis. this necessary rupture of transcendent ontological unity operates via the redefinition of subjective truth as radically discontinuous. Badiou: quantifying the unquantifiable As far as Badiou is concerned. political.492. moreover. a sort of smooth space in which the destiny ofhuman beings is recast". the destitution of subjective resistance in the dice-throw's fatal embrace of the ineluctable and the impossible.. and television viewers who are now busy furnishing an integrating world-capitalism with its portion of machinic surplus-value simply by doing nothing: for who has ever provided a more superlatively indolent instance of (supposedly) unemployable negativity than the philosopher? The question then is: to what extent does the Deleuzean dice-throw. 1994). a new people. effectively hamstring the possibility of philosophical resistance to the onset of a generalized machinic enslavement? For with the historical advent of this integrating world capitalism. small wonder that the univocal chance affirmed in the Deleuzean dice-throw. the unemployed. and from the foreclosure of transcendence in all its forms.. Yet clearly." G. it is as though human alienation through surplus labour were replaced by a generalized 'machinic enslavement'. cit. philosophy and Capital. metaontological caesura. the unemployed. esp. H. l "I :1 :·:·1··········. But then what guarantees do we have that Capital's becoming-philosophy and philosophy's becoming­ Capital aren't in fact the harbingers of a generalized machinic enslavement? An enslavement. the media. ". etc) . Deleuze and Guattari continue. 19 Their inclusive disjunction precludes the possibility of disentagling them. trans. From a Badiouan perspective. forecloses the possibility of assigning a subjective .measure to that infinite and necessarily unquantifiable ontological excess. ways ofperceiving and feeling . it becomes difficult to discern the virtual as limit of absolute deterritorialization.. One of the consequences of Deleuzean univocity is the impossibility of defining the distinction between the absolute deterritorializations Deleuze lays claim to on behalf of philosophy and the relative deterritorializations he assigns to Capital as a difference in kind.. Badiou Ibid. pp. urban models.every semiotic system.. what's significant about Badiou's theory of the event in relation to Deleuze's is the manner in which it defines thought's dice-throw as a way of quantifying the unquantifiable. Now.. op. take on an oppressive. from the 'absolute speed' through which Capital is accelerating toward that unenvisageable limit via processes of deterritorialization that. as we shall see. p. Deleuze goes astray by identifying the quantitative conception of the multiple with its denumerable rerresentation. the retired.·· I Furthermore. a becoming. television viewers.. are nonetheless effectively exhausting all the available territories and resources of the actual in the process of constituting the absolutely smooth space necessary for maximizing rates of profit and exchange. its ineluctable ontological fatality. is rendering it increasingly difficult to tell which is the host and which is the parasite. such that one may furnish surplus-value without doing any work (children. although supposedly 'relative'. Cf. [thus] capitalism operates . by a complex qualitative process bringing into play modes of transportation. with its philosophical affirmation of chance as an exceptionless whole. But for Badiou. 19 l . 18 This is an analysis of extraordinary prescience. now promulgated through the good offices of philosophical thinking itself. through these 'machinic components'.e and thereby. Chapter 4. p.

or presentation and re­ presentation. and its consistent presentation as a multiple-in-situation. According to Badiou. p. to the univocal consistency of the single throw's eternal recurrence. Now. unpresentable multiplicity of being as ontological void. Deleuze elides the possibility of an alternative. The Clamour of Being. to the Deleuzean conception of the dice-throw. an ontologicaIly groundless intervention which decides the undecidable and fixes the excess by deciding to count as belonging to a situation that which was previously omitted or uncounted by the ontological count. subjectivity originates in the event as that interruption of consistency through which the void's inconsistency is summoned to the surface of a situation. p. all woven from the originary inconsistency of the void. Deleuze: La clameur de /'etre. if. but ontologically. leads to pure subjectivity.20 Thus. "That one must tolerate there the almost complete arbitrariness ofa choice. that the evental dice-throws are all absolutely distinct. his derealization of the actuality of the multiple in the virtualization of the One-All. But it is precisely this intrinsic ontological undecidability that petitions axiomatic decision in the form of a subjective intervention through which the undecidable is constituted as an event. and if the dice­ throws are ontologically distinct. contrary to Deleuze. even though it constitutes a metaontological caesura. 1'1' /. the presentation of its members. Thus. or. And in place of what he considers to be Deleuze's transcendent ontological disjunction between a qualitative realm of virtual intensity and a quantitative domain of actual extensity.309. herein lies what I would willingly call the Cantor-Godel-Cohen-Easton . L'Etre et l'Evenement. Accordingly.1-75) . the structure of 'eventality' itself for Badiou must be rooted in the ontological matheme.~ymptom".i. the intervention accentuates it by withdrawing the event from decidability. Badiou opposes his own conception of the dice-throw as a uniquely discernible instance of metaontological quantification. are all parts of the same philosophical gesture. However. more subsets than members. to the qualitative indiscernibility of numerically discrete throws. being qua being consists of infinitely ramifying multiples-of­ multiples. Moreover. Badiou. According to Badiou. it is impossible to measure that excess. How is this ontologically inconsistent interruption related to the dice­ throw? For Badiou. not formally (on the contrary. qualitative identity of eternal recurrence. it is sporadic (because of the rarity of events) and untotalizable". of the void's subtractive inconsistency. Badiou substitutes the immanent phase shift between the inconsistent. speaking of the undecidability concerning the quantity of the increase in magnitude separating the cardinality of an infinite set from its successor power-set. the state of the situation counts-as-one its subsets or re-presents its parts. Yet far from resolving the undecidability proper to the event. a distinct quantification of the void-as-infinitely-multiple. a radically discontinuous yet nevertheless quantifiable subtraction from the operation of the 'count-as-one' through which a situation attains ontological consistency. Where the situation is the 'counting-as-one' (compte-pour-un) of its elements. it is through the dice­ throw's undecidability that an event is subtracted from the ontological consistency of a situation and subjectivity generated as a post-evental fidelity to that originary subtraction from the ontological order. This ontological multiplicity composes no series. . thereby putting the event as undecidable into effect. the excess is undecidable. subtracting it from the arena of the decidable. Deleuze's subordination of quantitative or numerical distinction to the unquantifiable. in making of the dice-throw an a­ subjective affirmation of the transcendent disjunction between virtual quality and actual quantity. that Badiou calls the dice-throw.Ray Brassier 210 211 PH 10 (2000) argues that only a rigorously quantitative . in Badiou's case. In other words.2\ Interestingly enough then. Badiou will state that "I think then. 'I 1\.e set-theoretical . Yet hy the same token.univocity of the multiple in its absolutely unequivocal actuality can succeed in terminating the One's transcendent sovereignty. Now although there are always more parts than elements. to assign a fixed power to it. for Badiou. that paradigm of objectivity. the form of all events is the same). Badiou defines the metastructural re-presentation or 'state' of the situation as that operation which counts or codifies its parts or subsets. Badiou's conception of subjectivity concedes nothing '111\. Badiou writes. subtractive conception wherein the dice-throw figures as an immanent subjective quantification of that ontological excess. a decision infavour of the undecidable. and his deconstitution of the subject. then it can only be because each throw indexes a distinct quantification of the infinite. if being is both void and infinitely multiple.---A__ . from Badiou's perspective. if subjectivity itself is nothing but a set-theoretical 'symptom' then the dice-throw is metaontologically 'symptomatic' insofar as it constitutes an undecidable decision. Badiou.114 (Deleuze. structure and metastructure. the void's originary and excessive inconsistency is continuously reconfigured by the infinite incommensurability between set and power-set. It is this putting into circulation of the event as an undecidable decision. Thus. that quantity. more specifically.

its infinite. A. And what is politically significant about this inconsistent quantification of the undecidable is the way in which it subtracts itself from every transcendent. wherein subjective separation is necessarily destituted as an inadmissible instance of transcendence. Badiou. J.212 PI. or amorous. Moreover. where Badiou provides a political translation of the errancy of ontological excess in terms of the infinite incommensurability between the structural presentation of a given social situation and its metastructural representation by the State. p. whether it be political.156. thereby compromising the autonomy and radicality of both. Badiou provides an ontologically immanent.A. W. 'La po1itique comme pro"edure de verite'. that quantification constitutes political intervention as a generic truth-procedure. trans. 1989). numerically unassignable excess. an excessive subtraction of the inconsistent from the excess of consistency. 1998). it seems to us that it is Capital. politics is the only truth procedure which is generic. Badiou's suggestion is that a politically militant subject is the generic instance of that infinite quantification of an undecidable excess between structural presentation and metastructural re-presentation. Ibid. (I 'aris: Seui1. metaontological caesura is a set-theoretical symptom. assigns a measure to the State's ultra-power. pp. Badiou. the political event interrupts the subjective errancy of the power of the State. For Badiou then. It configures the state of the situation . it measures it" ?5 So to the Deleuzean automaton who abnegates from decision in order to affirm the event's excessive and unquantifiable ontological necessity. '. So if the Badiouan subject constitutes a metaontological caesura it's because it figures as that in-consistent instance of multiplicity through which the void's own inconsistent excess is immanently circumscribed. Manifeste pour la Philosophie (Paris: Scui1. to Deleuze's vitalist conception of multiplicity.. sets a limit to the power of the State. anti­ phenomenological conception of the subjective dice-throw as a rare and hazardous deductive process or subtractive operation. 10 (2000) Ray Brassier 213 to Kant or phenomenology. but in the local composition of its subject"?4 Accordingly.22 an objectless process of deductive fidelity Whereby the errancy of the ontological void. Badiou's dice-throw is an evenlal subtraction from ontological consistency. 1999). in 'Politics as a truth procedure' Badiou writes. Badiou continues: "The true characteristic of the political event and of the truth procedure it initiates is that a political event fixes the errancy. scientific. And it seems to us that this is where we must locate the peculiar challenge posed by Badiou's mathematical conception of the multiple. which now effects the metastructural regulation of the social field and ultimately instantiates the unassignable errancy of <utistic. p. in Abrege de Metapolitique. politically debilitating principle of sovereign ontological unity. esp. Cohen. In keeping with his commitment to a strictly materialist univocity. and if the collective subjectivity of political intervention is the figure par excellence of subjective militancy. "That the political event is collective necessitates that all are virtually the militants of the thinking that proceeds on the basis of the event. 61-67). a locus of intentional agency or a site of lived-experience. Now. P. N. it is through the dice-throw as a determinate but locally indiscernible quantification of the infinite that the excess of unquantifiable ontological transcendence affirmed by the Deleuzean automaton is circumscribed and discontinued. And its genericity is intimately tied to the fact that the subject of political intervention is necessarily collective. pp. rather than because it constitutes a transcendent exception to the quantitative univocity of the multiple. not only in its result. is effectively quantified as a determinate yet locally indiscernible infinite magnitude. cf. ".23 if subjectivity qua 22 Cf. The challenge is remarkable if only for the way in which Badiou mobilizes Paul Cohen's theory of generic multiplicities to redefine subjective truth as an ontologically immanent but in-consistent subtraction. wherein subjectivity figures as an immanent but inconsistent subtraction. However. rather than as a necessary transcendental condition. In this sense.159.. Here we arrive at what seems to us to constitute the militantly subversive crux of Badiou's thought (although we may well be characterizing it in a way that risks contradicting Badiou's avowed intent to 'de-suture' the gesture of philosophical thinking from any extraneous political conditioning). Benjamin. and for a general statement of intent concerning the need to 'de-suture' philosophy from any extraneous condition. 1966). Consequently. Badiou ultimately opposes his militantly decisive conception of subjectivity as an aleatory quantification of chance that circumscrihcs the void's random and incalculable excess. Set-Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis (New York. Thus. 41-48 (Manifesto for Philosophy. the latter being Badiou's name for the process whereby subjective intervention quantifies the excess by deciding that something ontologically undecidable 'will have taken place'.. then ontology itself dictates the constitutively political character inherent in the act of thinking insofar as it constitutes a dice-throw. 11 '11'1 1I I' I . Madarasz (Albany: SLJNY Press. not the State. 23 For Badiou's comments on the nefarious consequences of the attempts to philosophize the political or politicize philosophy.I A.

which makes Badiou state here that the distinct dice-throws or chances are 'separated' from one another by the void? If each dice-throw as a distinctly inconsistent configuration of the void separates itself from ontological consistency. and also subtracting it from the consistency of its proper name by naming it improperly as undecidable. Perhaps Badiou's comparative silence on this issue is a matter of caution. because 26 the void of Being only comes to the surface of a situation in the guise of an event. which is a merely localized or relative instantiation of excess. one of the unresolved problems facing Badiou's philosophical system (and this. will thereby immediately reinstate the One.. its foreclosure to conceptual presentation as indexed by the singularity of the letter 0 which is its proper name. Thus.i. Capital is at once everywhere and nowhere.e. ". a sign without a concept. a letter that fails to designate. chance is the material of a truth. In the final analysis. the discrete.72. And just as truths are singular and incomparable. Accordingly. for like the void. all that separates Badiou's militant 'No' to ontological consistency from Deleuze's ascetic 'Yes' to the same is the former's ability to distinguish the void's singular configurations in the plurality of dice-throws from the One-All's virtual coincidence in the unique throw. I' !'i). wouldn't it have to function as a consistent ontological backdrop. p. a universal metastructure or absolute re­ presentation. in our opinion. in so far as it remains the State of this or that regionally specific situation. that distinction is far from assured. this haphasard plurality of dice-throws as inconsistent configurations or quantifications of the void of being that is supposed to discontinue the eternal recurrence of the One chance as a virtual whole. the chance events wherein truths originate must be multiple and separated by the void. for it is nothing but an empty name devoid of reference. in the final analysis. But is it merely a slip of the tongue. the matheme of the event is an invariant). is supposed to prevent it from lapsing into the subsumptive unity of a concept (effectively disqualifying the possibility of distinguishing between its use and its mention). Chance is plural. Deleuze: La clameur de l'e/re. Consequently. A. And in contrast to the State. then surely it is only the distinct specificity of the consistent situation from which a specifically inconsistent quantification of the void is subtracted that can serve to separate the plurality of chances from one another. thereby collapsing the ontological 'I A. rather than as an ontologically consistent Unity. thereby rendering each ontologically . and therefore more problematic. it can never occur. Capital's peculiar characteristic is to constitute a global or absolute configuration of ontological excess. 115 (Deleuze: The Clamour of Being. There can be an irreducible plurality of chances only insofar as 'Chance itself' (being as void) is nothing. never take place. quantitatively ­ distinct yet ontically indiscernible in its invariant evental form (for although all events remain mathematically distinct. doesn't Badiou risk rcinfiating the void as the unitary backdrop against which the plurality of chances become distinguishable. In order for the void to become the separating instance. Badiou. or something altogether more substantial. or as event. L 'Etre et l'Evellement. . constantly threatening to assume the singular mantle of the void. then surely this definitively uncircumventable configuration of the void's global excess can only result in a metaontological subjection that promises to be even more desperately debilitating than the machinic enslavement ascetically affirmed by the Deleuzean automaton. in pluralizing chance through the void as Chance of chances. for the spectre of the One figures as an ever-present danger shadowing his system. Cf. Badiou. in the manner alluded to by Badiou in the passage above. Being's contingency can only truly accomplish itself if there is also the Chance of chances"?? It is this 'Chance of chances'. The void's unpresentable in-consistency. On the other hand. Badiou writes. It is by chance that this chance comes to us. Although mathematically configured in every event as a distinct quantification of its infinite emptiness. p. is the one lacuna in his thinking in comparison with Deleuze's) is whether or not it possesses the conceptual resources required for a rigorously theoretical definition of Capital as global configuration of ontological excess.. wouldn't it have to become more than a name. Thus.214 PIi 10 (2000) Ray Brassier 215 ontological excess. For it seems to us that the real difficulty facing him is this: on the one hand. numerical multiplicity of chances and the ontological distinction of events is supposed to be guaranteed by the void's unpresentable inconsistency. if Capital ultimately figures for Badiou as a kind of radically inconsistent Ober-Event.26 Yet this inconsistency is precisely what the event's undecidability summons through its double subtraction: subtracting the void from its subtraction to presentation. as 'one' void ('un' vide)? In dispersing the dice-throws via the void's inconsistency. any attempt to provide a set-theoretical definition of Capital's unlocalizable excess as a sort of global power-set. which excludes the unicity of the dice-throw. Yet in spite of Badiou's considerable precautions and the remarkable subtlety of his theoretical apparatus. the void can never surface as such. describing the event's invocation of the void.

This is the dice-throw as vital figuration of the great cosmic animal. which has been denied'. will it become possible to free philosophy from a simple identification with a concern for the essential. in which case the quantification of the stellar void punctures the qualitative unity of the cosmic animal. At one extreme it could be argued that the object stages the essential and to that extent allows for its incorporation into philosophy. then what appears within thcm is an attempt to think that which is essential to dwelling. Once that stage is reached then the concern would II(' with how the object's materiality were to be thought philosophically. Who Dwells? Heidegger and the Place of Mortal SUbjects ANDREW BENJAMIN I. 217-243. whereas for Mallarme-Badiou. What then are the philosophical consequences of this slight. be necessary to develop a critical relation to such a conception of the object and therefore of such a conception of the philosophical. yet nevertheless crucial alternation? On the one hand we have the Deleuzean dice-throw as instance of anorganic vitalism. From onc pcrspect ivc. This dice-throw affirms the whole of chance in a single throw. 'the Infinite issues forth from Chance. in the end. Only by working through them and thus by allowing.! I I Ill' project here is not with this additional task but with detailing that "'''·''"liculation of philosophy. On the other hand. For Nietzsche-Deleuze 'Chance comes forth from the Infinite. it becomes possible to distance such a conception of the philosophical. This dice-throw is an undecidable subtraction separating an irreducibly singular configuration of the alea. which has been affirmed'. with whom he aligns himself here against the Nietzsche-Deleuze tandem. it is the auto-affirmation of cosmic Chance as One-All in which the affirming 'I' is cracked and the thrower's identity dissolved. and therefore to architecture. we have Badiou's dice-throw as index of the stellar matheme. distinction between dice-throws and resubmerging them in the void's virtual unity as a consistent ontological medium? Conclusion: the stellar void punctures the cosmic animal Let's conclude by recapitulating the basic philosophical parameters of the disagreement between Deleuze and Badiou on the question of the dice­ throw. In working through that initial formulation which. for an interarticulation of philosophy and the essential.is that which occasions that project. firstly links philosophy and the essential while secondly construing the object in terms of its being the occasion for that inlerarticulation. if only initially.216 PIi 10 (2000) PIi 10 (2000). And the conflict effectively remains insuperable or undecidable until a decision is forced. This is the dice­ throw as mathematical quantification of the stellar void. So we seem to be confronted with an insuperable conflict of philosophical interest: the event as subjective destitution versus the event as subjective constitution. the event as auto-affirmation of the One-All versus the event as puncturing subtraction from the One and dissemination of the All. What is it to inhabit? What is to inhabit the architcctural? Once qucstions of this type are given their full rein. Once philosophy is linkcd to thc project of discovering or rediscovering the essential. a manifold of actual chances coinciding in the sovereign necessity of Chance as a virtual whole versus a plurality of separate and incommensurable chances subtended by the hazard of an infinitely empty void. But perhaps the ability to decide in favour of the undecidable is precisely what separates subtractive intervention from purified affirmation. thcn the object . announced within such questions is philosophy's rclation to thc built. at this stage these two positions need to he worked through. and dissolving the cosmic unity of Chance in a gesture that simultaneously reaccentuates the void's untotalizable dispersion and crystallizes the Subject. a thinking of the essence and architecture (where the . though equally it could have been the work of art .here architecture. Badiou himself sums up the opposition by reinvoking Mallarme. While it will. The distancing from the essence brings with it a philosophical concern with the materiality of the object and thus another philosophical project.