LARUELLE’S THIRD TABLE: IN-ITSELF vs IN-THE-LAST-INSTANCE

Jm Lacrosse poses the interesting idea that for Laruelle  » the table in-last-instance is not a table anymore, the table can only be said as table through the determination of a specific philosophy. There is no table in itself in Real but something that you will specify as Table ». This is a very tempting path to take but it would amount to repeating OOO’s de-realising gesture for ordinary objects. The table would only be specified as such in a given philosophy-world, and the object itself would be some identity, withdrawn from all humanly knowable and sensible attributes. I think Anthony Paul Smith’s idea that the table is imbricated with human subjectivity and practices without being totally determined by them a more promising line of thought. This imbrication of the human with the table is both itself real and a part of the identity of the table. This is important if we want to avoid the notion that the « table » is pure illusion, « utter sham ».

For me Harman’s idea, in THE THIRD TABLE, that the table we know is an illusion expresses a confusion. There are no tables in Physics. There are tables in ordinary life, the humanist table. The Eddington « paradox » of the two tables is to show up the contrasr and the incommensurability between these two images (the scientific and the ev eryday). OOO in Harman’s version declares that both are false, are « utter shams » (THE THIRD TABLE, p6). For Laruelle, according to Anthony, the table has an Identity, so the appellation « table » is not an arbitrary human adjunct to a mathematically describable physical reality, there is a « third thing » there that we can legitimately call a « table ». So the ordinary table outside philosophical specifications is real and it is Harman’s withdrawn unknowable imperceptible table that is an « utter sham », a philosophical hallucination.

For me there are two prongs: as philosophers caught up in the principle of sufficient philosophy we need non-philosophy as part of our anamnesis of the Real and of philosophy’s conditions and conditionings, dissipating its illusions and hallucinations. As ordinary-humans-in-immanence  non-standard philosophy allows us to pursue our noetic pluralism, exploring different ways of knowing object. This includes knowing philosophy, which as Anthony Paul Smith affirms, is itself an object. These two prongs are twin vectors of our process of individuation as it proceeds through philosophy in behalf of radical immanence.

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2 commentaires pour LARUELLE’S THIRD TABLE: IN-ITSELF vs IN-THE-LAST-INSTANCE

  1. Bill Benzon dit :

    It’s a curious business. Harman clearly believes that philosophical knowledge is important and that other forms of knowledge cannot substitute for it. But, just what is it that the philosopher knows about the table that others don’t? Nothing. Others think they know (about) the table in some substantial sense. The ordinary person knows its color and texture and has a sense of how much weight it can bear. The quantum physicist knows it as a cloud of particles/waves and a void. The philosopher can inform them that what they know is, in fact, a « sham. » But he can’t really tell them anything beyond that. He has no positive knowledge to impart. This knowledge is thus curiously empty.

    J'aime

  2. terenceblake dit :

    Perhaps it is « Socratic »: the one thing he knows about the table is that he doesn’t know anything about the table.

    J'aime

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