1) There are no magic numbers
We see in thinkers like Zizek and Badiou a reification of certain contingent structural elements that are treated as universal truths that can be applied to any and every object of philosophical reflection. For example, as soon as there are three categories in a typology Zizek is ready to jump in with the Lacanian distinction between the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic as if this triurn typology were something far more than a rough and ready heuristic guide to enable one to get one’s bearings intellectually when faced with a new or confusing situation. This distinction is read into the real world, as expressing a truth that everyone must come to terms with, and that is universally recognised even if unconsciously. Badiou with his four “truth procedures” is similarly guily of such magical thinking, enshrining a contingent enumeration as an apodictic requirement of thought.
While Badiousians discuss learnedly whether a fifth condition is possible or concevable Latour has produced an “event” in thought by publishing a book that outlines no less than fifteen modes of veridiction and existence. Whatever one may think of the details of the system, Latour is quite clear that the number of modes is a pragmatic affair, inspired by the desire to avoid reductionism.