Alain Badiou: Philosophy and Its Conditions by Gabriel Riera

By Gabriel Riera

An advent to Badiou's philosophical idea and its implications for different humanistic disciplines and the social sciences.

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Additional info for Alain Badiou: Philosophy and Its Conditions

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Doubtless, the difficult foundational question remains as the ground from which passions are set to soar the highest. By emphasizing this tie between category theory, logic, and possibility, Badiou's reductive Platonism turns out to be no reduction at aiL He, rather, draws out the process presupposed for reaching the most viable thought of the real. " This is part of the beauty of being committed to ontology. In it there is a refusal to allow the semantic to rule over the deontic. This is a disposition to faith as process and event if ever there was one.

Because as a fluctuating and irreducible manifold, if differ· ence were to condition ontology, the ontological decision would entail two legiti· mate versions (two absolute and competitive universes). Where there are at least two ontologies, the manifold would then lend itself to an anarchic violence whose consequence would perhaps prove Heidegger right regarding his declaration that only a God can save us. Badiou may well be a playwright, what he is not is a trage· dian. Set theory thus remains the paradigm of ontology tout court.

To be sure, Badiou would never merely claim to be demoting category the­ ory to philosophical relativism or to the terms used to reverse theoretical rela­ tivism in general. The interpretation of category theory as logic may proceed from a linguistic prescription, or from an ontological one. e. by what affects Being insofar as it is Being-there" (CTOT 1 94). Yet to what extent do we still face a hierarchical paradigm here, and does the pure multiple not have a more generic, because far less constrained and certain a ON ALAIN BADIOU'S TREATMENT OF CATEGORY THEORY 39 configuration, when rendered into the relationless condition whereby the differ­ ent possible universes of topos theory obtain?

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