BADIOU “THE IMMANENCE OF TRUTHS”: Argument 2013-2014

Alain Badiou, Argument Seminar 2013-2014:

“Last year we established these main points:

  1. That “immanence of truths” means both that truths are not transcendent, being constructions internal to determinate worlds; and that it is important, to reply to the only important philosophical question, namely “what is it to live?”, to experience what a determinate world can be when examined from the perspective of a truth, in immanence to a truth, whether it be political, amorous, scientific or artistic.
  2. Thus the formal reply to the question “what is it to live?” is that it is important to participate in a Subject immanent to the process of a truth, a process itself immanent to a determinate world.
  3. The true life is thus to be immanent to an immanence, and this is precisely why it encounters a certain form of eternity, not outside time, but on the contrary by an extremely profound excavation of time: “We experience that we are eternal” (Spinoza).
  4. We have seen that the principal obstacle encountered on this path, the nucleus of the repressive practices that constrain us to be ignorant of the replies to the question “what is it to live?”, is the multiform ideology of the finitude of life. Which is natural, as every process of truth is virtually infinite.
  5. We have thus explored the labyrinth of the different forms taken by the couple finite/infinite, making use of, in order to do this, mathematical rudiments and poetic breakthroughs.

This year we will continue this investigation by situating ourselves this time no longer on the side of the obstacles and repressions, but on the side of immanence itself. We will try to find on what resources the human animal draws to discover in himself not only the capacity whose existence the dogma of finitude denies – the capacity to go beyond the limits of the world, or again the capacity to possibilise the impossible –, but also the power to live the world, not according to the laws of the world, but according to the laws which should be those of the world once we examine it from the perspective of the immanence of an immanent truth. In other words : to live the world, not as the individual that one is, but as the Subject that one can become”. (My translation).

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