Patrick Craig
Duquesne University
Alain Badiou’s relationship to the work of Baruch Spinoza is a complex one. Though Badiou admires Spinoza’s courageous pursuit of the more geometrico, he is ardently critical of Spinoza on a number of fundamental ontological issues. Because of this, Spinoza often has had to bear the brunt of Badiou’s theoretical attacks. But how successful is Badiou’s attack on Spinoza? In this paper, I aim to show that this attack fails by examining the critique of Spinoza that Badiou provides in his “Spinoza’s Closed Ontology,” which can be found in his Theoretical Writings. Badiou’s essential claim is that the ontology of Spinoza’s Ethics employs structures or procedures that are heterogeneous to that ontology. I rely on Gilles Deleuze’s reading of Spinoza, as found in his Expressionism in Philosophy, to pinpoint precisely where Badiou’s reading of Spinoza goes wrong. I show not only that Badiou’s critique of Spinoza fails to recognize a central structural feature of Spinoza’s ontology, namely the two powers of God—the power to exist and act, and the power to think and know—but also that this misrecognition is the condition for the possibility of Badiou’s mistaken critique. The paper then discusses how it is that these issues relate, more broadly, to the relationship between Deleuze and Badiou.
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1085-1968
DOI epoche201318125
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,319
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Absoluta Cogitatio: Badiou, Deleuze, and the Equality of Powers in Spinoza.Patrick Craig - 2013 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1):227-246.
Badiou's Deleuze.Jon Roffe - 2011 - Routledge.
Spinoza Now. [REVIEW]Christina Rawls & ed Dimetris Vardoulakis - 2013 - Critical Horizons 14 (2):257-264.
The Role of Ontology in the Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze.Taylor Hammer - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):57-77.
From Universality to Inequality.Jeff Love & Todd May - 2008 - Symposium 12 (2):51-69.
The Differential Point of View of the Infinitesimal Calculus in Spinoza, Leibniz and Deleuze.Simon Duffy - 2006 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 37 (3):286-307.
Hegel or Spinoza.Susan M. Ruddick (ed.) - 2011 - Univ of Minnesota Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
3 ( #1,321,991 of 2,448,682 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #447,034 of 2,448,682 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes