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Philosophy Today


published on March 26, 2019

Louise Burchill

Of a Universal No Longer Indifferent to Difference
Badiou (and Irigaray) on Woman, Truths, and Philosophy

Badiou’s contemporary claim that truth processes can no longer be considered as indifferent to sexual difference is set here in the context of the French philosophical moment of the second half of the twentieth century—a sequence in which the deployment of the category of “the feminine” by Badiou’s philosophical peers precisely entailed a formalization of women’s different relation to “the symbolic.” When compared, in particular, with the philosophy of sexual difference elaborated by Luce Irigaray, Badiou’s intertwining of “woman,” love, and the universal—both before and after his inflexion on the sexuation of truths—is confronted with the systematic counterproposition of alternative conceptual constellations. Might it not, then, be possible that the comparison of Badiou and Irigaray ultimately brings into play something of the order of a demonstration of thought’s sexuation?

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