Tuesday, February 03, 2015
In NDPR, Peter Gratton reviews Gert-Jan van der Heiden's Ontology after Onto-theology: Plurality, Event, and Contingency in Contemporary Philosophy.
In reading the letters of Paul through Badiou and Heidegger, van der Heiden finds that while Heidegger divorces questions of faith from philosophy, Badiou's Paul provides a dangerous model: "Can we truly be claiming to be thinking when we behave like a religious believer or a political militant in the service of some higher truth? Does Badiou's work not run the risk of effacing one crucial aspect of thought, namely its withdrawal from the world?". To this, he counterposes what he takes to be the stances of Heidegger and Agamben, namely, that the event (of Paul) may only be a change in Dasein's comportment, not in the world itself, a claim he says is found in Agamben's thesis that the coming of the Messiah would be the "revocation of every vocation," that is, a move to pure potentiality with no ergon or function for the community or the individual.
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