chapter 14
Being-there: The Onto-logy of Appearing

We turn now, in closing, to the matter of Badiou's challenging and remarkable work in progress, which promises to renew, if not transform, several of his most fundamental concepts. This renewal may in time amount to a shift as considerable as that which distinguishes (without separating) L'Etre et l'événement from Théorie du sujet. The full implications of this revision have yet to be fully integrated into the systematic order of his philosophy as a whole. Although Badiou has published much of what I will cite here, all of this material remains somewhat speculative or prospective, and should be treated as such.

Perhaps the most striking general development is a shift from a previously disjunctive approach organized essentially around the dichotomy of either-or to a more inclusive position arranged in terms of and-and. Where before the subtractive ontology of pure being qua being was emphatically opposed to more continuous or constructivist conceptions (say, LeibnizBergson-Deleuze, for short), the two approaches are now arranged as thoroughly distinct yet compatible or perhaps even complementary angles. Now nonrelational abstract being is itself endowed with a more relational, more emphatically situated onto-logical dimension: the dimension of its appearing or being-there. As Badiou writes, “Being is essentially being-there (Dasein),” and “being-there is conceivable only in terms of relation” since every “there” is the product of a particular set of differential relations that flesh out

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