Let X equal the cold.


I’m going over both Being & Event and Logics of Worlds for a paper on Lacanian metaphysics. Every once in a while I get this odd feeling reading Badiou though, like a repetition of that scene from the movie Proof where Catherine reads aloud her father’s writings, thinking his mind is allowing him to once again do complex maths, but instead ends up with:

Let X equal the quantity of all quantities of X. Let X equal the cold. It is cold in December. The months of cold equal November through February. There are four months of cold, and four of heat, leaving four months of indeterminate temperature. In February it snows. In March the Lake is a lake of ice. In September the students come back and the bookstores are full. Let X equal the month of full bookstores. The number of books approaches infinity as the number of months of cold approaches four. I will never be as cold now as I will in the future. The future of cold is infinite. The future of heat is the future of cold. The bookstores are infinite and so are never full except in September…

That is to say, I think Badiou is bogged down tremendously by his reliance on math and logic and that his points could be made much better if he didn’t attempt to couch his arguments in such language. I’ll probably talk about this in the paper, but my impression is that Badiou is simply attempting to maintain the Lacanian Real-Symbolic relation without wanting the Symbolic qua Order to simply be a repetition of Heideggerian Language. I take Logics of Worlds to be an attempt to distance himself even further from the linguistic turn in his move to transcendental logic.


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2 responses to “Let X equal the cold.

  1. Simon Gros

    Did you know that Badiou includes the blog as a form of democratic materialism?


  2. Badiou is too much of a hipster to use a blog. He uses Tumblr (so much cooler).

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