veel b. wikit

01/21/2014

Truth, for Badiou, is a specifically philosophical category. While philosophy’s several conditions are, on their own terms, “truth procedures” (i.e., they produce truths as they are pursued), it is only philosophy that can speak of the several truth procedures as truth procedures. (The lover, for instance, does not think of her love as a question of truth, but simply and rightly as a question of love. Only the philosopher sees in the true lover’s love the unfolding of a truth.) Badiou has a very rigorous notion of truth, one that is strongly against the grain of much of contemporary European thought. Badiou at once embraces the traditional modernist notion that truths are genuinely invariant (always and everywhere the case, eternal and unchanging) and the incisively postmodernist notion that truths are constructed through processes. Badiou’s theory of truth, exposited throughout his work, accomplishes this strange mixture by uncoupling invariance and self-evidence (such that invariance does not imply self-evidence), as well as by uncoupling constructedness from relativity (such that constructedness does not lead to relativism).

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One Response to “veel b. wikit”

  1. The idea, here, is that a truth’s invariance makes it genuinely indiscernible: because a truth is everywhere and always the case, it passes unnoticed unless there is a rupture in the laws of being and appearance, during which the truth in question becomes, but only for a passing moment, discernible. Such a rupture is what Badiou calls an event, according to a theory originally worked out in Being and Event and fleshed out in important ways in Logics of Worlds. The individual who chances to witness such an event, if he is faithful to what he has glimpsed, can then introduce the truth by naming it into worldly situations. For Badiou, it is by positioning oneself to the truth of an event that a human animal becomes a subject; subjectivity is not an inherent human trait. According to a process or procedure that subsequently unfolds only if those who subject themselves to the glimpsed truth continue faithful in the work of announcing the truth in question, genuine knowledge is produced (knowledge often appears in Badiou’s work under the title of the “veridical”). While such knowledge is produced in the process of being faithful to a truth event, it should be noted that, for Badiou, knowledge, in the figure of the encyclopedia, always remains fragile, subject to what may yet be produced as faithful subjects of the event produce further knowledge. According to Badiou, truth procedures proceed to infinity, such that faith (fidelity) outstrips knowledge. (Badiou, following both Lacan and Heidegger, distances truth from knowledge.) The dominating ideology of the day, which Badiou terms “democratic materialism,” denies the existence of truth and only recognize “bodies” and “languages.” Badiou proposes a turn towards the “materialist dialectic,” which recognizes that there are only bodies and languages, except there are also truths.

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