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.
its end simultaneously, give or take a detail; that which in philosophy is a means cannot be convertible with that which, in it, can be submitted to an end. The famous initial line of demarcation that Deleuze identified so acutely, and with which all philosophers begin, is an intra-philosophical artifact destined to maintain philosophy in its rights and its claims. It constitutes itself at once proprietor and victim of the illusions of the proprietor, by positing an external or internal limit,
of Difference is then merely repressed, and risks returning from its mathematico-modern repression. Being and Event supposes a certain affect of Being as Being “in-itself,” grasped outside all subjective immanence, as absolute, quasi-thing-oriented, substantial and inert (albeit multiple) objectivity. This is an immediate identity of the object and objectivation: Being thus appears to have abolished beings, but it is also just as much beings that triumph over Being. Such is the ambiguity of an
materiality of philosophy or that of which it speaks. Geometrical and arithmetical formalism, more topological than algebraic, outlines a formal image: eidos and figure, idea as figure—here is true “presence,” it is operatory and not solely thematic. To avoid formalism within philosophy and to return it to its materiality, the approach via the quantum of action is fundamental. Philosophical materiality consists in its effects upon science and those of science upon it, not only “effective
ultimately, been thought; and to think immanence is firstly to put it, as superposition, in the position of an ultimation that is first or of the Last Instance. These sciences that tend toward the generic refusal to make of man a Greek foundation, so as to make of him the function of an immanent knowledge, represent a certain gnostic tradition that it becomes possible to reevaluate, and in which it would be more interesting to include them than in Hegelian philosophy or (even more sadly) in
belongs to thought,” and ultimately the coalescence and the identity (or superposition) of the two terms. A formulation such as immanence (à) soi invites the reader to elide the genitive, and can be read as indicating that “immanence to self” refers ultimately to an identity of “self-immanence.” Owing to the syntactical differences between English and French it is difficult to render this ambiguity entirely consistently and preserve the various senses. Different translators of Laruelle’s work