“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Objects, Consistency, Badiou

Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory makes Cantor work by discounting the most interesting Cantorian discoveries: the ones the lead to things like Russell's set whose members are not members of that set.

Alain Badiou relies on ZF in his ontology. Thus these two recently published statements (on lacan.com) aren't surprising:

1) "[T]he degree of something’s identity to itself in a world is its existence in this world."

2) "We define death as the coming of a minimal value of existence for a thing endowed with a positive evaluation of its identity."

My recent work argues the precise opposite. Existence is marked by as much incoherence as possible. Death is reduction to consistency. For a thing to exist is for it to be non-identical.

The world that 1) and 2) enable is the boring world of overmining, where things are blah until they interact. Hence:

3) "A thing is not yet an object. Like the hero of the great novel by Robert Musil, a thing is something without qualities. We must think of the thing before its objectivation in a precise world."


Dominic said...

"You can find a less arid but not complete exposition in a chapter of my “Briefings on Existence,” and a complete one in my last book, Logiques des mondes, which is out in French and will be published in English at the end of next year, I hope."

Not *all* that recent, then...

Timothy Morton said...

Yes. But it was in today's Lacan.com newsletter. Now that's what I call inconsistent : )