Alain Badiou’s The Immanence of Truths

A 1-Day Workshop hosted by the MSCP

The Immanence of Truths is the final volume of Alain Badiou’s Being and Event trilogy, which sets out the core of his metaphysics of truth. The central claim of this new book is that truths in the domains of art, science, politics and love have something that touches on the absolute, enabling them to transcend the local and historical conditions from which they are produced. To develop this theory of the absolute, Badiou draws on a part of the mathematical theory of sets called the theory of large cardinals which explore the different forms of infinity in the mathematical universe. Badiou sees within these results a theory of the infinity of truths as that within a truth procedure which allows it to go beyond the finitude specific to a given world. When this occurs, something finite is produced which nonetheless carries the mark or index of the absolute and infinite in it, which Badiou calls a work. With this metaphysical framework in place,  Badiou then sets out what a work is in each of the four truth conditions, and how they are indexed to the absolute.

Broadly following the structure of the book, this one day workshop aims firstly to present and discuss the major themes and concepts of Badiou’s theory of the absolute nature of truth processes, including the absolute, the infinite and finite, ‘recouvrement’ and a work. The second half of the day will explore the theory of works in relation to each of the specific truth procedures, having a speaker present and discuss Badiou’s ideas, and then a respondent to react to these claims, in order to frame a more polemical discussion of the consequences of this book.

Convened by: John Cleary, Ali Alizadeh, Caitlyn Lesiuk.

Date: Friday the 28th of October.

Location: Masson Theatre (Chemistry Building), The University of Melbourne. A live stream will also be available.

Free Registration for both attendance and live-stream will open closer to the event.


Timetable

Part 1: 

Presenter

Topic

Time

John Cleary

The Absolute

9:00 - 10:00

Justin Clemens

Recouvrement 

10:00 - 11:00

Caitlyn Lesiuk

Oeuvre

11:00 -12:00

Lunch

Respondent

Topic

Time

Jon Roffe

Science (morning session)

1:00 - 1:30

Bryan Cooke

 

1:30 - 2:00

 

Part 2: 

Presenter

Respondent

Topic 

Time

Antonia Pont

Russell Grigg

Love

2-3pm

Ali Alizadeh 

Robyn Adler

Art

3-4pm

Eloise Mignon 

Daniel Lopez

Politics

4-5pm

 

Speaker Bios

John Cleary is doing a PhD at the University of Melbourne. His current work is on the relationship between mathematics and metaphysics, and in particular the theory of ideas as set out by the philosopher Albert Lautman.

Justin Clemens's research focuses upon the relation of the subject to its discourses, to poetry and art, mathematics, love and politics. He has published extensively on such contemporary thinkers as Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan, and Jacqueline Rose, as well as on Spinoza, Kant and Nietzsche. He teaches at the University of Melbourne.

Caitlyn Lesiuk teaches philosophy at Deakin University, Australia, where she is a PhD candidate. She is the Vice-Convener of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy, and her work appears in Philosophy and Social Criticism and The Oxford Handbook of Modern French Philosophy (forthcoming). 

Jon Roffe was the original convenor of the MSCP and has been a long-time lecturer. He is the co-editor of Understanding Derrida (Continuum) and Deleuze's Philosophical Lineage (EUP) and the author of Badiou's Deleuze (Acumen).  His work concerns twentieth century and contemporary French philosophy, and he has published on range of figures in this context, including Badiou, Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty and Meillassoux.

Bryan Cooke (Convenor & Treasurer of the MSCP) is a Leading Tutor in Humanities (Philosophy) at Ormond College. He is currently writing a thesis about the connections between contemporary French Rationalism (Badiou, Meillassoux, Lacan), German Idealism and contemporary Marxism. Bryan has taught nine full courses including courses on Adorno, Malabou, Spinoza, Hegel and Badiou He has tutored at Swinburne University, Medley Hall; Newman, Trinity, and St. Mary's College and has lectured in political philosophy at Deakin University, Geelong. Apart from Plato, he is heavily influenced by Badiou, Hegel, Spinoza, Adorno, Augustine, Giorgio Agamben and Quentin Meillassoux. He is currently writing a book with Robert Boncardo on Badiou's 'Theory of the Subject' and is  the host of the podcast "Philosophy Can Ruin Your Life". 

Antonia Pont researches and teaches in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She also practises and teaches yoga and sitting. She has published essays, poetry and theoretical works, including the books You will Not Know in Advance What You'll Feel (Rabbit Poetry, 2019) and A Philosophy of Practising with Deleuze's Difference and Repetition (EUP, 2021).

Russell Grigg is a Lacanian psychoanalyst practicing in Melbourne.

Ali Alizadeh is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University and is the author of Marx and Art. He works on philosophy of art and literary theory, and has written on Marx, Alain Badiou, Walter Benjamin and Jacques Rancière. He is also a novelist and a poet, and is currently working on a Horror novel.

Robyn Adler is a visual artist, psychoanalyst in private practice and teaches with the MSCP.  Her doctoral thesis interrogated the discursive origins of the contemporary imaginary in the iconoclastic crisis through the work of philosopher Marie-José Mondzain as the sounding board for a project on a logic of the collective articulated with Lacan's later teaching on the speaking body. Here homophony, on the side of the not-all, comes to the place of being homonymically inscribed in the injunction of the name "economy" and the images it commands us to see.

Eloise Mignon is a PhD candidate and casual tutor in the English and Theatre Studies program at the University of Melbourne. 

Daniel Lopez completed his PhD in philosophy at La Trobe University in 2018. His first book, Lukács: Praxis and the Absolute came out in 2019 and his academic writing has appeared in Thesis Eleven, Historical Materialism and Science & Society. He has lectured for the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy, is a member of the Executive of Victorian Socialists and is a Commissioning Editor at Jacobin magazine. Daniel's research revolves around Marxist political theory, G.W.F. Hegel and Gillian Rose and he seeks to uphold the living God against those who worship idols made of clay and brass.