chapter 7
Love and Sexual Difference

Following in Plato's footsteps, Badiou conceives of love as one of the direct conditions of philosophical thought. 1 The truth of love, like that of the other conditions of philosophy, cannot simply be deduced, abstractly, by philosophers with a romantic disposition. It must be experienced or undergone. Love involves the conversion of a “hateful self” or “dead Ego”—a being that one could not, by definition, love—into a subject. Only a subject is worthy of love, and “the subjective process of a truth is one and the same thing as the love for that truth” (SP, 95–97). In the case of love, of course, such truth is private by definition, and it will come as no surprise that Badiou has had less to say, thus far, about love than about the other generic procedures. Nevertheless, inasmuch as what motivates any subject is always a love of truth, it is appropriate to begin our review of the procedures with a brief discussion of love. 2

It is typical of antiphilosophy to hold that “love is what is inaccessible to theory.” 3 On this point antiphilosophy conforms to Romantic doxa: love is supposed to be the experience par excellence of a vague, ineffable intensity or confusion. The antiphilosopher maintains that what can be said of love is at best suggested through the imprecise and roundabout medium of art. When Badiou, by contrast, insists that love is a domain of truth, he means that it is as precise, as austere, in its operation as the domain of mathematics itself. Indifferent to all sentimental confusion, and against any merely moralistic

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Badiou: A Subject to Truth
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