Badiou versus Derrida: Truth, sets, and sophistry

Philosophical Forum 43 (1):51-64 (2012)
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Abstract

This article explores the question of truth in the work of Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou. Specifically, it investigates Badiou’s claim that deconstruction is a form of sophistry. Badiou positions himself against Derrida in preference for a philosophy committed to Truth, Being and the event. The sophist, in contrast to the philosopher, denies the existence of truths and the category of truth. Despite this hostility, Badiou argues that the two must coexist. Badiou also explores the relationship between existence and inexistence insofar as différence represents what Badiou labels the passion of Inexistance. The article concludes with how the two philosophers envision the place of truth in the future of philosophy: the flash of an event which punctures a hole in knowledge (Badiou) or the necessity of embracing the deconstructive nature of truth, language and knowledge (Derrida).

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Dr David Fiorovanti
University of Melbourne (PhD)

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