Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 8, No 1 (2012)

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Badiou and the Consequences of Formalism

Paul M Livingston


I consider the relationship of Badiou’s schematism of the event to critical thought following the linguistic turn as well as to the mathematical formalisms of set theory.  In Being and Event, Badiou uses formal argumentation to support his sweeping rejection of the linguistic turn as well as much of contemporary critical thought.  This rejection stems from his interpretation of set theory as barring thought from the 'One-All' of totality; but I argue that, by interpreting it differently, we can understand this implication in a way that is in fact consistent with the critical and linguistic methods Badiou wishes to reject.    

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