LYOTARD AND BADIOU ON PLURALITY AND INFINITY

I think many people overestimate the differences between Badiou and Lyotard, due to an incomplete vision of Lyotard’s work. On the question of innovation, Lyotard is favorable to innovation under the regulation of an Idea, and not some autotelic innovation for its own sake.

It is true that Lyotard hesitated on the best way to express this Idea. In JUST GAMING he invoked the Idea of the plurality (to the point of incommensurability) of language games. He sought for the best way to be faithful to the infinity of the Idea and resist its instantiation in a finite presentation. He diagnosed capitalism as being based on the “instantiation of infinity in the will”, leading to the ceaseless pursuit of novelty and/or performativity.

Badiou in the chapter on Lyotard in his POCKET PANTHEON Badiou declares his agreement on these two notions of plurality and the infinite, even if their analysis of them differs: “The important point, after all, is to retain the ontological sovereignty of the multiple, and to call it the infinite.”

It is also impotant to remember that Lyotard wanted to resist the exclusive temporal focus on the future that innovation so often implies. Lyotard’s counterweight was to place an equal emphasis on anamnesis as a means of interrogating the criteria and values that innovation exemplifies and so often conforms to.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to LYOTARD AND BADIOU ON PLURALITY AND INFINITY

  1. Lovely writing. It’s poetry for the mind.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s