politics and mathematics, continued…

following keith’s recommendation in the comments of the last post, i’ve been looking through Badiou’s The Concept of Model this afternoon and came across the quote he mentioned which is in the interview at the end of the book:

And finally there is a bizarre connection, a truly strange connection between politics and mathematics that has been totally central. It is not because there is a mathematics of politics, not at all. Rather the question concerns a politics that will allow for the secrets of thought. How does it understand thought marked out by mathematics? This is the question I would pose. (103)

i find this very interesting, and even if Badiou is not recognizing the priority of either the political or the mathematical (or both for that fact), he is at least acknowledge the strange tension existing between the two. i wonder if rather than trying to think through which one is ‘really’ the primary condition, it could be more constructive (as Keith intimated in his comment) to instead think through this tension (maybe even dialectical tension) existing between the mathematical and the political. thus, rather than prioritizing one, it could instead be the case that Badiou’s thought is a complex ‘dance’ between the two, in the overall process of his work is a constant flux between these two conditions.

that said, i really need to bury myself in some proper math literature sometime in the next year. should be painful….


2 thoughts on “politics and mathematics, continued…

  1. Matt The-Bear says:

    Sounds like you’re gonna be adding to this paper on the plane.

    Chi-town BITCH!

  2. Keith says:

    I take it that Badiou is taking it from Lacan a bit, who referred to dialectics as a ‘ballet’ (seminar XVII). Misrepresentation yadda yadda…I’m still working on it myself. I’m a little surprised no one has drawn attention to this rather peculiar point – unless you count Ranciere for noting that dance is not for Badiou necessarily an ‘art’. Mallarme, etc.

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