Being, Appearing, and the Platonic Idea in Badiou and Plato

Sandy Brander 1
  • 1 Bishopbriggs Academy, , Glasgow, Ireland

Abstract

This essay considers the ambiguous sense in which Badiou is a Platonist. It alleviates this ambiguity by considering how two characteristics of Platonism are treated in the metaphysics of Being and Event: (1) the split between being/appearing, and (2) Platonic Ideas. It considers how in Badiou and Plato’s metaphysics the treatment of both these characteristics of Platonism is comparable. Accordingly, it compares both such characteristics in relation to Being and Event and the Theaetetus and Phaedo, and, using concepts from each philosopher, explores three possible ways in which being/appearing and Platonic Ideas may be interrelated, thereby constituting a philosophy of experience. These explorations necessitate parallel consideration of how the sense in which Badiou is a Platonist is determinable by the interrelation of Platonic Ideas with being/appearing in his metaphysics. It is determined that how being/appearing and Platonic Ideas interrelate in Badiou is markedly different from how they do so in Plato, making it questionable whether Badiou is a Platonist in this sense. However, it is indicated that an esoteric sense in which Badiou is a Platonist (the dialectic of the One and the multiple) has been considered throughout this essay, and that more such senses deserve consideration.

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