Constanza Filloy (Bio)

The dialectic of the ‘Red Years’: a non-dualistic approach to Badiou’s theory of the Event

Alain Badiou’s theoretical project is renowned for the construction of the concept of event in Being and Event (1988) and for proposing an innovative way in which the event is connected to being and structure. Badiou develops the concept of the event to provide an account of the risk in the normal organization of a world introduced by the presentation of a forbidden relation, that is, of the ultra-one relative to a situation. Numerous critiques have pointed out the existence of a dualistic perspective between being and the event, and a theological background in Badiou’s proposed solution. Slavoj Žižek has argued that the difference between being and presentation within the framework of the Badiouan project makes it impossible to explain how the event emerges from the order of being without resorting to the figure of the miracle. In a similar direction, Daniel Bensaïd, has observed that it is impossible to establish the maturity of an event in the Badiouan schema, which in turn conceptualizes its historicity as a miracle. Such critiques have been appropriately addressed by Badiou on several occasions, yet, the key of a non-dualistic account of the connection of event and being is also latent in Badiou’s dialectical thinking during the so-called ‘red years’ of the 1970s. In this presentation, I will argue that the dialectic as introduced by Badiou in Theory of the subject (1982) offers a non-miraculous account of the event par excellence. For this purpose, I will focus on the Badiouan reading of the Hegelian dialectic as a theory of scission, and on the dialectic as a response to the problem of the connection between structure and history.