Badiou on Speculative Realism

Interview with Badiou about Speculative Realism and Laruelle. Interesting in the light of Badiou’s letter to Deleuze (translated here: Laruelle is grouped with Heidegger as thinkers of a grand narrative of forgetting, whereas Badiou groups himself with Deleuze in refusing this pathos. Badiou indicates that insofar as undoing this forgetting is tied to going beyond philosophy Laruelle’s whole project has always had an implicit religious dimension that has now become explicit. Similarly, in the “Letter” Badiou diagnoses a subjacent religious dimension in Deleuze’s work, rendering possible his occasional explicit uses of Christ as metaphor. Overall Badiou situates Laruelle in the camp of critique, nostalgia, and loss, and thus implicitly of transcendence. Despite Laruelle’s explicit talk of the Real and of science, a foreground scientism, Badiou finds that religiosity pervades and determines the project, constituting a background of religionism. Scientism as a mask for religionism.

Speculative Heresy

Badiou was kind enough to have 30min one-on-one sessions with students who requested them. I decided to conduct a short interview of sorts following from his celebratory comments regarding Speculative Realism and some of the themes presented in the course thus far which has centered on the theme of negation.

Q: In class the other day you positively mentioned what you called the new Speculative Philosophy. How do you see your work in relation to the work of the Speculative Realists (Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant and Graham Harman). Meillassoux sees himself as a materialist and not a realist, is this distinction pivotal for the future of metaphysics and affirmation as you see it?

A: The work of Speculative Realists, from the beginning is very interesting for me, and they refer to me sometimes too. The rupture with the idealist tradition in the field of philosophic study is…

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