BADIOU AND THE RECOMMENDED DOSE OF PLURALISM

My thesis is that Badiou is caught up in a process of becoming Deleuzian as he develops ever further his pluralist ontology of immanence. This becoming-Deleuzian is real, but it is offset by transcendent regressions due to Badiou’s uncritical acceptance of some parts of the doxa he has been exposed to in his situated intellectual development. This doxa can be seen as the pathology to which Badiou’s evolution is the ever-incomplete processual cure.

Bruno Latour poses the Deleuzian (or Feyerabendian) question “What is the recommended dose of ontological pluralism“, and he sketches out the different phases in his intellectual development in terms of an ever-increasing dose of this pluralist medecine. The text of Latour’s conference can be found here and the video here.

It is interesting to see Badiou’s philosophical development in terms of the progressive integration of concepts from Deleuze’s ontological pluralism. Breaking with his rejection of any attempt at taking multiplicity as primary in THEORY OF THE SUBJECT Badiou has proceeded to take up and radically transform a certain number of Deleuzian concepts: ontological multiplicity in BEING AND EVENT, intensity and multiple worlds in LOGICS OF WORLDS, immanence and process in IMMANENCE OF TRUTHS.

This pluralist image of thought is combined in variable proportions with a reductionist image and it is intriguing and inspiring to see how Badiou has been continually extricating himself from the reductionist traps.

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