Alain Badiou is a French philosopher who developed, especially in his Being and Event, a quite interesting conception of truth. Truth, according to Badiou, is inextricably connected with what he calls ‘the event’. For Badiou, an event is a rupture. It is an interruption in the normal state of affairs (or ‘the situation’ as he calls it). An event brings about an entire new constellation of reality to which we have to be faithful by means of further developing it. Although Badiou strives for a renewed kind of universalism in the public context, I take it that his notion of truth is especially relevant and fruitful if we limit its application to the personal context of aiming at a suitable worldview to guide us through life. Let me clarify.
At specific moments in our lives, perhaps just a few, things happen to us that have an irreversible impact on how we evaluate our lives and approach the world. These uncontrollable occurrences break in into our lives and leave an undeniable trail. These rare events are therefore best seen as unpredictable important turning points or ruptures that change the way we understand ourselves, our experiences and the world around us.
So, the specific worldview we adopt must at least properly cohere with these profound occurrences, or even better, must render them intelligible. We have to be faithful to the major events in our lives and we do this by adjusting our worldview to accommodate these events. Disruptive events in our lives reveal to us something new and irresistible. In such an event we are suddenly confronted with breathtaking undeniable truthfulness. Hence life events have a meaning and significance that we cannot else but honor and subsequently persistently adhere to by adopting a worldview that illuminates them. In this way the specific worldview we embrace deepens our personal understanding of our life in this world.
And this way of clarifying our personal lives, I would add, is surely a quite rational thing to do. To remain faithful to the revolutionary moments of truth in our lives, to allow these events to inform our worldview and our personal road through life, is a rational course of action. It is a rational act considered from the private context of our singular concrete lives.