By Cameron MacKenzie
The predominance of post-modern idea within the latter 1/2 the twentieth century has
brought philosophy to a quandary of self assurance in its skill to enquire and comprehend
our present fact. The complacent relativism that has emerged from post-modern
discourse leaves us unprepared to stand both the dominance of a dis-associative free-market or the emergence of regressive fundamentalist totalitarianism. Alain Badiou projects
philosophy with recuperating the method of logical research into the first forces
which form our lives, and he does so by way of equipping philosophy with either a method and an
end: philosophy is a mathematical ontology within the never-ending pursuit of fact.
In an try and handle the problems of infinitely relative place and totalitarian
authority, I comprehend Badiou to attract most importantly from Wittgenstein’s proposal of
the state of affairs and Heidegger’s inspiration of Being, putting either one of those insights in the
mathematical framework of set thought as proficient via Paul Cohen, doing so within the
distinctly Platonic spirit of an entice fact because the antidote to the sophistry of post-modern notion.
Such issues with the intersection of authority and place are especially
modern ones, and for Badiou we stay stuck at the horns of the fashionable challenge of
the undisputed grasp and the countless position. the method of overcoming this sort of fake
dichotomy, Badiou indicates, contains a go back to the scene of its founding within the
century’s mind's eye, the instant of its poetic enunciation. via an research of
the serious and inventive paintings of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot among the wars, I current
their remarkable wisdom of this challenge and their makes an attempt to beat it, concentrating on
their respective moments of luck and failure as understood via a critique in keeping with
Badiou’s ethics and aesthetics.
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Extra resources for Badiou's Inaesthetics and the Modern Dilemma
The unity of a situation is an effect of the count, and this notion of effect is key, since elements of one situation can also belong to another situation (BE 504). From the level of pure Being, unity is imaginary; it is an effect of the act of symbolization which provides the presentation. Unity is a fact, however, of the secondary level of the representation. It is in this way that Badiou avoids the mutually exclusive identities of situations: a lover’s smile, for example, could be a crucial element in a conversation or in a political revolution.
Badiou follows a Cantorian notion of mathematics which liberates mathematics from a necessary correspondence with any object; a correspondence which he often attributes to an understanding of mathematics which rose with Galileo and remains contested by mathematicians (IT 136). Cantor, and later Gödel and Cohen, disrupt, for Badiou, this correspondence between physical reality and mathematics, leading Badiou to surmise that if mathematics is capable of surpassing the observable physical reality of an imaginarily cohesive situation, then in these 19 moments of surpassing it must be grasping a previously incoherent segment of Being, and number continues to move, as it were, through the infinite multiples outside of the situation - in that situation’s Void.
What the excrescent multiple does do is allow us to speak of a model which might exist. To return to the above example of American slavery, the political reality of being an American today is both similar and dissimilar to the political reality of “American” in 1850. The first model established by the abolitionist movement in which the African slave would become the political American was both true and false. Just as in Cohen’s model MG, the interaction of the known and the unknown, pushed forward by the will of an agent, leads to a twin conditioning of each position - of each model - until a new model is reached.