Tag Archives: Phenomenology

Badiou and Phenomenology — a few words

I am currently working on the second installment of “Ontology — Badiou and Merleau-Ponty — Part II.” It’s proving to be an extremely fruitful endeavor. I hope it will also be fruitful for you, my dear reader. And though Part II is not quite finished (I apologize for the delay),  I wanted to share a few quotations with you by Alain Badiou in hopes that it my elucidate this project between the Logician of Worlds and the Phenomenologist of this world.

“The poem is not the guardian of being, as Heidegger thought, but the exposure to language of the resources of appearing. Further, this exposure itself is not yet the thinking of appearing, which, as we will see, takes the form of logic [a formal theory of relations] alone.” Second Manifesto for Philosophy (29).

“The difference between being and appearing is much rather that which distinguishes mathematics (as ontology) from logic (as phenomenology) — each of these two disciplines being just as formalized and rigorous as the other.” Second Manifesto for Philosophy (36).

“When I recognize that  multiple which belongs to the situation (which is counted as one there) is connected — or not — to the name of the event I perform the minimal gesture of fidelity: the observation of a connection (or non-connection). The actual meaning of this gesture — which provides the foundation of being for the entire process constituted by a fidelity — naturally depends on the name of the event (which is itself a multiple), on the operator of faithful connection, on the multiple therein encountered, and finally on the situation and the position of its evental-site, etc. There are infinite nuances in the phenomenology of the procedure of fidelity. But my goal is not a phenomenology, it is a Greater Logic (to remain wihtin Hegelian terminology). I will thus place myself in the following abstract connection and non-connection. This abstraction is legitimate since ultimately — as phenomenology  shows (and such is the sense of the words ‘conversion’, ‘rallying’, ‘grace’, ‘conviction’, ‘enthusiasm’, ‘persuasion’, ‘admiration’ … according to the type of event) a multiple either is or is not within the field of effects entailed by the introduction into circulation of a supernumerary name.” Being and Event (329).

The quotations above point towards a project concerned with the workings, structure, and organization of terms. The intimate relationship that these terms have with a subject, or subjects, is not what is of primary importance. What is of primary importance is whether or not a term is eventually rejected or incorporated into a situation. In other words, the (sometimes long) process of discerning whether or not a term is necessary to complete a goal is not Badiou’s objective. Badiou’s objective is to name the fact that this judgement, this exclusion and inclusion of terms, must occur in order to realize one’s commitment to a grander idea.