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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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General Conclusion: How to Follow an ‘Atheism’ That Never Was

General Conclusion: How to Follow an ‘Atheism’ That Never Was

(p.239) General Conclusion: How to Follow an ‘Atheism’ That Never Was
Difficult Atheism

Christopher Watkin

Edinburgh University Press

The concluding chapter argues that the differences identified between the three post-theological positions represented by Badiou, Nancy and Meillassoux take us to the heart of what is at stake in the divergence of fundamental orientations in French thought today, namely the divergence between Badiou’s axiom and Idea, Nancy’s deconstruction and the ‘yet without’, and Meillassoux’s demonstration and factiality. For Nancy, post-theological thinking demands an atheology that disengages from the logic of principles and ends; for Badiou an atheism of the Idea must overcome the parasitic One and ascetic finitude with an axiomatised mathematical ontology for which nothing is inaccessible; for Meillassoux the attempt to demonstrate the principle of factiality seeks to liberate him from imitative atheism, while the ‘philosophical divine’ seeks to found a radical hope for future justice on hyperchaos. The conclusion finishes with a meditation on the fundamental orientation of each of the three thinkers, characterised as Badiouian decision, Nancean dis-enclosure and Meillassouxian demonstration.

Keywords:   Atheology, Finitude, The Infinite, Axiom, Decision, Demonstration, Dis-enclosure

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