Alain Badiou (b. 1937)

Mathematics / Aesthetics / Arts (French language, 2011)

Recorded at IRCAM, Paris, June, 2011

Eminent figure of contemporary thought, playwright, politically committed intellectual, controversial polemicist, Alain Badiou is one of the rare philosophers today that maintains an intense and constant relationship with mathematics, using the theory of ensembles inherited from Georg Cantor to build his own system of logic.

Beginning in 1988, the founding axiom of his philosophy was explained in his work, L'être et l'événement (lit. The Being and The Event): mathematics are the ontology, the philosophy produces a discourse that reveals it to itself. Under what conditions does a creative oddity become a part of the need to formalize mathematics? Does a history of the work-theorems—from Mondrian to Stockhausen—exist? Only a philosophy of the event with strict concepts, such as that of Alain Badiou, can shed light on this collection of relationships.