SELF-HOAXING: a postmodern replacement for argument

The interesting point for me in the “Badiou Hoax affair is the self-hoaxing.

H&B have no idea of Badiou’s analysis of “Maoism”, the word is just an empty rubric in a list of stereotypes. Yet they accuse Badiou of using words as tags rather than concepts.

H&B have no idea of Badiou’s lifelong struggle against postmodernism, of which his concept of Truths is a key aspect. Yet they assimilate his philosophy to what they call the “postmodern current”

H&B have no idea of the difference between Truth and knowledge, a quite basic conceptual distinction that can be found in Badiou’s influences (Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Heidegger) and also in his contemporaries (Bernard Stiegler, Bruno Latour).They have no idea that concepts can bear other names and that the Truth/knowledge distinction is present not only in Deleuze and Lyotard but also in Thomas Kuhn, under the name of revolutionary science and normal science.

H&B have no idea that an important achievement of Badiou has been to work out a new ontological system in such detail that he can address people like Heidegger and Deleuze, with whom it is difficult to argue, and bring them back into the field of argumentation. Yet they claim that one can’t argue with Badiou.

H&B show no concern for the truth of Badiou’s claims, or even about the meaning of his key words. Their way of bringing Badiou back into the argumentative field is to hoax an online review that was in itself already a hoax.

Badiou’s way of bringing Heidegger back into the argumentative field was to devote a year long seminar to him, to extract determinate hypotheses from his texts (in itself a difficult task), to propose alternatives to Heidegger’s hypotheses on every level of abstraction up to the highest, and to try to evaluate which hypothesis is more likely to be right in view of our current knowledge.

This is why H&B’s actual procedure is much more postmodern than anything that Badiou has produced, and their hoax is a self-hoax.

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