Presentation as anti-phenomenon in Alain Badiou's being and event

Continental Philosophy Review 39 (1):59-77 (2006)
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In his magnum opus Being and Event, Alain Badiou identifies ontology with mathematics and uses a mathematical formalization of ontological discourse to generate an account of extra-ontological 'truth-events'. Informed by deconstructive critiques of the metaphysical ontologies of presence, Badiou establishes an anti-phenomenological conception of ontological presentation. Presentation's internal structure is that of an anti-phenomenon: presence's necessarily empty and insubstantial contrary. But the result is that Being and Event is riven by a fundamental methodological idealism. Badiou cannot secure the connection he wishes to establish between the formal discursive structure of mathematical ontology and extra-discursive reality. The decisive link between being and event, i.e. between Badiou's purely formal conception of ontological presentation and the extra-ontological reality of the event, is precluded by the very structure of the concept of presentation which is central to Badiou's argument.



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Ray Brassier
American University of Beirut

Citations of this work

A Bibliography of Work on and by Alain Badiou in English.Paul Ashton - 2006 - Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 2 (1-2):313-326.

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