Clayton Crockett (2013) Deleuze beyond Badiou: Ontology, Multiplicity, and Event

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Book Review

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At first glance, Clayton Crockett’s Deleuze beyond Badiou might seem to be a rescue effort. Crockett situates Deleuze’s and Badiou’s respective positions in philosophy by separating them from the ‘linguistic turn’ that eclipsed most of the theoretical discourse of the twentieth century. Both thinkers, he writes, escape the trap of considering language as the fundamental issue of thought, but they do so in different ways, Badiou by calling for a ‘renewed formalisation’ via mathematics, Deleuze by considering ontology as the basis for philosophy and ignoring hermeneutics and phenomenology altogether. This leads to a re-examination of the well-known accusation by Badiou that Deleuze was actually a ‘philosopher of the One’, who opposed Plato only to be resubsumed under a different version of oneness, even as Badiou managed to rethink and celebrate multiplicity by aligning it with set theory.