Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Philosophy functions at once both modestly and imperiously

Regarding the question of whether Badiou is insufficiently concrete, or whether he is simply drawing consequences for philosophy from matters outside philosophy … I think this is an instance where the difference b/w Badiou and Deleuze is fundamental. I’d agree with the latter account of Badiou, precisely becasue he says that philosophy amounts to thinking the conditions of, and the compossibility of, the truth-event procedures, one of which is of course politics. Now, there’s a great deal of ambivalence about this, because philosophy functions at once both modestly (hey, we’re not telling you what to do, you’re the actors) and imperiously (only we can think what you do).
As for Deleuze, by thinking of philosophy as the _production_ of concepts, he enables a link between the production of thought and the production of politics. Let me be clear: i think a LOT of work needs to be done to go further than this very vague formulation, but at the very least it allows a non-zero/sum relation between ‘abstract’ production and ‘concrete’ production (indeed, surely there’s a somewhat hegelian character to _What is philosophy?_ — he gives modified agreement to this point in an interview).
Also, Deleuze’s critique of “communication” is still quite relevant. As was said above, biopolitical communication actually leads to the destruction of constructive links between movements, places, etc. The division b/w Deleuze and Hardt-Negri couldn’t be stronger here! discard said this on April 3rd, 2007 at 4:17 pm

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