Representations 134:116-156 (2016)

Ian Hunter
University of Queensland
The combination of Heideggerian metaphysics and advanced mathematics in Alain Badiou’s Being and Event presents a unique challenge to modern commentary. Badiou’s metaphysical axe-grinding makes his work uninteresting to mathematical logicians, while the humanities scholars who wield his axes often have little grasp of the mathematics on which they are supposed to have been honed. This lacuna helps to explain why Being and Event has been dismissed by some as ‘fashionable nonsense’ and praised by others as “one of the most significant texts in recent European thought”. In proposing to fill this gap I offer an account of how Badiou uses mathematics as an allegorical symbolism for Heideggerian metaphysics, while simultaneously effecting a formalist transposition of this metaphysics. At the centre of this account sits a series of paradoxes that play a structuring role in Being and Event, and function as spiritual exercises for those undergoing initiation into an elite intellectual subculture.
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The Empty Set, the Singleton, and the Ordered Pair.Akihiro Kanamori - 2003 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 9 (3):273-298.

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