The Generic Procedures
Badiou holds that the production of truth operates in four fields or dimensions: “science (more precisely, the matheme), art (more precisely, the poem), politics (more precisely, … of emancipation), and love (more precisely, the procedure that makes truth of the disjunction of sexual positions).” 1 He calls the operation of truth in these four fields “generic procedures” or the “conditions of philosophy”—the terms are synonymous. The generic procedures condition philosophy, because philosophy works from the production of truths and not directly from itself, not from some kind of pure contemplation. Any philosopher must “practice the conditions of philosophy. To know and study modern poetry, to work through recent mathematics, to endure and think the two of love, to be militant in political invention—such is the strict minimum to be expected of those who claim to be philosophers.” 2 It is no surprise that philosophers are rare.
Why these particular four domains? Because they mark out the possible instances of the subject as variously individual or collective. Love obtains in the “situational sphere of the individual.” Love affects only “the individuals concerned …, and it is thus for them [alone] that the one-truth produced by their love is an indis cernible part of their existence.” Politics, on the other hand, concerns only the collective dimension, that is, a generic equality without exception. And in “mixed situations”— situations with an individual vehicle but a collective import—art and science qualify as generic to the degree that they effect a pure invention or discovery beyond the mere transmission of knowledges (EE, 374). In short, “there is an individual subject to the degree that there is love, a mixed subject to the degree that there is art or science, a collective subject to the degree that there is [emancipatory] politics.” 3
What about the other domains of human experience? As a general rule, they are not