I googled Badiou, then again at Amazon and was astonished to see something I did not know existed, a philosophy of Category theory. If I have right animal here this is some kind of mongrel descent of the original of Saunders and Maclane, the last topic I studied in my green years of the sixties before I ditched by classics major and its dulling focus on epigraphic quibbles for a study of math in a real hurry, a course in calculus my senior year. All the classics profs gave me funny looks: don’t waste your time here, there are absolutely no jobs in this field, and you lack the networking skills required to make contacts in the field. (I went through college without a single contact with a professor except my appointed supervisor). They were right: in the next decade classics imploded into a non-field of specialized research, like Sumerian.
I never quite made it to the full subject, which I then would have called ‘homological algebra’, so maybe I am too out of date to deal with this one. Or else, the philosophy of this subject is….dunno. Dangerous terrain. Homological algebra struck me as elegant but not profound, who knows…I dropped everything and went overseas as a math teacher with no training in math: self-taught. Time enough for homological algebra, before dropping dead….
I wish I could afford this book: it is either totally brilliant or Badiou’s philosophic epitaph. At least I know enough to scare him a little bit. But I can’t afford the book.
We shall see what Badiou is up to and if this subject has philosophical relevance.