Materialism versus Empiricism: the Concrete as Dysfunction and Truth

  • Oliver Feltham
Keywords: empiricism, pragmatism, ontology, materialist dialectics, Alain Badiou, Rudolf Carnap, Willard van Orman Quine


This article responds to those critiques addressed to Badiou’s work by the Anglo-Saxon commentators that concern the schematism and formalism of his set-theory based ontology, which is considered to not be able to describe concrete empirical situations. Discussing the work of Carnap and Quine, the author poses the question what these concepts actually mean within the analytical philosophical tradition and if equivalents of the concepts of concrete and empirical can be found in Badiou’s philosophy. The concepts of the event and the truth procedure respectively can be seen as such. However, since Badiou is not an empiricist nor a pragmatist, but a materialist, these questions can only find their answers from within the horizon of materialist dialectics.


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How to Cite
Feltham O. Materialism versus Empiricism: the Concrete as Dysfunction and Truth. FV [Internet]. 2016Mar.15 [cited 2020May30];31(3). Available from: