BADIOU’S LOVE PROCEDURE: avoiding de-genericity

I have been arguing on this blog that Badiou’s speculative system inevitably contains an empirical dimension that is not very often foregrounded. This empiricity inscribed within Badiou’s system is to be found in many presuppositions, privileged references, theses and concepts. At this stage of my own investigation I wish to highlight two points

1) the actual number of truth procedures is an empirical question rather than a speculative necessity

2) the content and even the name of each procedure is also to a certain extent empirical.

A clear example is provided by the procedure of love. A number of questions can be posed here.

1) Is “love” the best name for a process of noetico-psycho-somatic co-individuation. Love may better be regarded as a subdivision of a more generic procedure. The candidates for a more generic name exist. James Hillman talks of “soul-making” Deleuze and Guattari talk in terms of “aparallel evolution” and “double becoming”, Stiegler discusses the process of co-individuation as a special case of psychic and collective individuation.

“Love” is an insufficiently generic name for a truth procedure

2) Is the limiting of love to the Two empirically or speculatively justified? This notion of the Two of love is precisely what Deleuze wishes to dissolve in the name of personal and sub-personal multiplicities. It would seem that the “Two” does not express a fully generic analysis of the love procedure. Validating the Two in the name of sexual difference seems to be according too much value to a discredited sytem of psychoanalysis, Lacanism, which in its very concepts is conformist, patriarchal, and hetero-normative.

The “Two” is an insufficiently generic characterisation of love.

3) How is the placing of any phenomenon under the rubric of “love” motivated. Badiou places psychoanalysis within the love procedure, and I agree with him on this point. But many people think that it is a science, placing it within the matheme. How can one decide on the “correct” categorisation, or are both true?

Mono-categorisation is an insuffiently generic intellectual tool.

4) What is the status of religion in relation to love? Badiou envisions religion as providing an image of truth rivalising with philosophy’s own image. Latour sees religion, insofar as it is a production of truths, as wholly within the love procedure. He sees psychoanalysis as falling under another procedure, not repertoried within Badiou’s system, called in AIME “metamorphosis”. My own opinion is that the comparison between metamorphosis and love enriches our understanding of both, but that the division into two procedures rests on a false distinction. Grouping religion and psychoanalysis together may lead us to change the name of the procedure to a more generic one.

Giving ontological status to Lacanian psychoanalysis is according it a genericity that it does not deserve.

5) Is Badiou’s description of ontological love empirically adequate? Badiou and Latour give different phenomenological descriptions of love. It may plausibly be argued that Badiou’s specific description of the love procedure is accurate, but that it captures only a part of the love phenomenon. Latour’s analysis of love highlights values of reprise and proximity that do not figure importantly in Badiou’s analysis.

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2 Responses to BADIOU’S LOVE PROCEDURE: avoiding de-genericity

  1. Pingback: BADIOU AND A PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE: overcoming doxic residues | AGENT SWARM

  2. dmf says:
    “This lecture assesses the dismissal of poststructuralism to be found in Žižek’s recently published doctoral thesis, from 1982. The political implications of this dismissal, it argues, are far from simply ‘progressive’. How is one to re-read Derrida’s resistance to Lacan against the backdrop of such a dismissal of ‘poststructuralism’?”


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