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Difficult AtheismPost-Theological Thinking in Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy and Quentin Meillassoux$
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Christopher Watkin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640577

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640577.001.0001

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Beyond A/theism? Quentin Meillassoux

Beyond A/theism? Quentin Meillassoux

(p.132) 4. Beyond A/theism? Quentin Meillassoux
Difficult Atheism

Christopher Watkin

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter introduces the reader to the arguments of Quentin Meillassoux’s The Divine Inexistence. Meillassoux seeks to establish the post-theological in terms of his ‘principle of factiality’, according to which only contingency is necessary. There is, it follows, no actually existing necessary being, no ‘god’ in the traditional sense. With this foundation, Meillassoux seeks to ground the principle of non-contradiction and to argue for belief in god because he does not exist. Meillassoux’s position is compared both to Badiou’s and to Nancy’s, and it is defended against a number of possible objections before the author proposes two critiques of his own: Meillassoux’s position equivocates on the question of rationality and its appeal to hyperchaos risks undermining its own argument. The chapter ends with a three-way comparison between Badiou, Nancy and Meillassoux in terms of faith, axioms, demonstrations and intuitions.

Keywords:   Necessary being, Non-contradiction, Rationality, Principle of factiality

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