Anti-Badiou: The Introduction of Maoism into Philosophy
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This compelling and highly original book represents a confrontation between two of the most radical thinkers at work in France today: Alain Badiou and the author, François Laruelle.
At face value, the two have much in common: both espouse a position of absolute immanence; both argue that philosophy is conditioned by science; and both command a pluralism of thought. Anti-Badiou relates the parallel stories of Badiou's Maoist 'ontology of the void' and Laruelle's own performative practice of 'non-philosophy' and explains why the two are in fact radically different. Badiou's entire project aims to re-educate philosophy through one science: mathematics. Laruelle carefully examines Badiou's Being and Event and shows how Badiou has created a new aristocracy that crowns his own philosophy as the master of an entire theoretical universe. In turn, Laruelle explains the contrast with his own non-philosophy as a true democracy of thought that breaks philosophy's continual enthrall with mathematics and instead opens up a myriad of 'non-standard' places where thinking can be found and practised.
develops a “meta-ontological” escalator—the famous “torsion” that permits an elevation that is smooth, but is also a leap. Which opposes him all the more to NP, with its baroque-style collision of philosophical and scientific instances, all thrown into a collider or a matrix as practices of a non-standard philosophy. Straight-up vertical, and thus “celestial,” planification constitutes the major, properly philosophical activity of Badiou, the greatest planifier since Plato. The latter brought
proposes a more profound solution to this paradox. How can we oppose Badiou without entering into a mere “relation of forces,” setting against him a force of the same nature as his own? All of these terms (purification, ultimatum, defense) obviously require further precision in order to avoid insoluble misunderstandings. To speak of a defensive ultimatum is strange if one thinks “relations of force” according to the French context (Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida). But we have learnt to distinguish,
third principle that Badiou considers as secondary but which we shall later give its proper status by showing how OV tries to dissimulate it. The two matrices establish a backlash or a repetition of the condition, a backlash of philosophy on science or “inversely” of science on philosophy or on a still more complex instance (that of their conjugation). This backlash signifies that philosophy, or indeed quantum theory, always returns a second time—for this is a theoretical machine, a matrix with
uncertain manner, a formalism to an empiricism of the imaginary; or else a mathematicizing materialism as simple identity between a formal philosophy and a sufficient and “demonstrative” mathematics. But the science of philosophy necessitates (given the complexity of its object) that the pilot-science should be quantum theory—physics, rather than mathematics alone. A conceptual formalism, as abstract as it may be, conducts the experimental work on its object. The inconsistent multiple gives way
yield the allusive “thought-force.”] Chapter 2 1 François Laruelle, tr. A. P. Smith (London/NY: Continuum, 2010). Chapter 6 1 [Translator’s note: Laruelle’s neologism en-semblisme is a “portmanteau” word in which he intends to converge semblance (“seeming”) and ensemblisme (“set-theoreticism”) by way of an en- (“in-”) that refers to immanence by recalling the One-in-One. It is thus a kind of (untranslatable) non-philosophical deconstruction of set-theoreticism as mathematical