Title page for ETD etd-07112008-025037


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wade, Dylan Armstrong
Author's Email Address dwade4@lsu.edu
URN etd-07112008-025037
Title The Mathematical in Heidegger and Badiou
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Philosophy & Religious Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Francois Raffoul Committee Chair
Greg Schufreider Committee Member
John Protevi Committee Member
Keywords
  • Facticity
  • Mathematical
  • Heidegger
  • Badiou
Date of Defense 2007-03-28
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
In this thesis I am tracing the historical development of subjectivity from its skeptical

foundation in Descartes to Alain Badiouís subject as fidelity to truth. Drawing from Martin

Heideggerís What is a Thing?, this history begins with the turn from an Aristotelian to a

Newtonian apprehension of motion, turning towards an a priori mathematical projection of

spatial uniformity, such that there are no longer different places Ė only quantifiable distance. It

is on the basis of this turning away from tradition, or ordinary experience of different

phenomena, that Descartes posits the self-certain I-pole.

Heidegger criticizes modernity, defined as the merging of the metaphysical and the

mathematical, for apprehending the relationship between man and world in only one way, as

things. I hope show that this development does not derive from the mathematical alone, but from

the project of objects against an objective background secured in an I-pole, further advanced by

Kantís transcendental reflection of the thing-in-itself over this project. I do this by following

Alain Badiouís assessment of Zermelo-Fraenkelís axiomatic set theory, a particular

mathematical model that self-destructs, meaning it cannot become absolute or dogmatic.

With this thesis I hope to contribute to the scholarship of facticity, the existential thinking

that begins with doubt. If we can dissociate in our ordinary language claims that utilize

transcendental reasoning from claims concerning mathematical projection based on speculation

alone, perhaps we might find some basis to make existential claims independent of perspective,

or subjectivism.

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