Lack and Excess / Zero and One

Philosophy Today 63 (1):55-71 (2019)
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How can a set throw itself into itself and remain a set and an element of itself at the same time? This is obviously impossible, as Bertrand Russell has prominently shown. One simply cannot pic a trash-can up and throw it into itself. Now, Hegel, Benjamin, and Badiou take a different position on the subject when they refer time and time again to "concrete universality" as an oxymoronic structure that touches ontologically upon their theoretical philosophies as well as their practical philosophies. The article tries to show how both philosophers affirm the mentioned paradox as central for the understanding of Dialectical Materialism in its classical as well as in its contemporary understanding.



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