Fatal Repetition – Badiou and the ‘Age of the Poets’ with Appendix: ‘A Psychoanalysis of Alain Badiou’

BadiouBadiou, in his Manifesto for Philosophy[1], asserts that the ‘Age of the Poets’- a time-span begun with Hölderlin and completed with Celan – is no more.

This ‘Age’ – ‘period’ – inaugurated by Hölderlin, was first articulated philosophically by Nietzsche – and has been reproduced by all those who still remember and work in the philosophies from Kant to Derrida.

His solution is a pseudo-mathematicisation of philosophy[2] – his target is the trajectory of philosophy from the ‘subjectivist’ turn of Kant to the implosion of subjectivism in post-structuralism (even Wittgenstein falls under his hammer as the new sophistry) – and the philosophers along the way, from the romantics, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger – these ‘philosophers’ give us the words of their texts, poetic memoirs of their own subjective experience, but not the ‘Truth’ –

The paradigm for this turn from language and a problematic subjectivity to ‘truth’ is the definition of philosophy of Badiou’s Plato. The disciplinary strategy is the establishment of a mathematical aristocracy as the gatekeeper of philosophy, as François Laruelle argues, in his Anti-Badiou.[3]  Indeed, in light of the fact that Badiou criticises analytic philosophy, in his ‘Philosophy and Desire’[4] for privileging a scientific and mathematical language that is inaccessible to the majority of the people of the world, why on earth would he privilege ‘set theory’ and the matheme in the way that he does? It seems to be a glaring contradiction.

The purpose of this essay is to place Badiou into question and to resist those who would wish Continental philosophy to acquiesce to the coronation of a rather derivative thinker who is merely an analytical philosopher in drag.

To read the rest, click Fatal Repetition: Badiou and the Age of the Poets

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