Laruelle’s implicit acceptance of Deleuze and Guattari’s critique

In WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? Deleuze and Guattari mention Laruelle twice explicitly.

“The non-philosophical is perhaps closer to the heart of philosophy than philosophy itself,  and this means that philosophy cannot be content to  be understood only philosophically or conceptually, but is addressed essentially to non-philosophers as well” (41).

Followed by note 5:

“5. François Laruelle is engaged in one of the most interesting undertakings of contemporary philosophy. He invokes a One-All that he qualifies as “non-philosophical” and, oddly, as “scientific,” on which the “philosophical decision” takes root. This One-All seems to be close to Spinoza” (220).

“The plane of philosophy is prephilosophical insofar as we consider it in itself independently of the concepts that come to occupy it, but non-philosophy is found where the plane confronts chaos. Philosophy needs a non-philosophy that comprehends it; it needs a non-philosophical comprehension just as art needs non-art and science needs non-science” (218).

Followed by note 16:

“16. Francçois Laruelle proposes a comprehension of non-philosophy as the “real (of) science,” beyond the object of knowledge: Philosophie et non-philosophie (Liege: Mardaga, 1989). But we do not see why this real of science is not non-science as well” (234).

Two observations:

1) WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? was first published in French in 1991, i.e. well within Laruelle’s PHILOSOPHY II, which lasted from 1981 to 1995. Deleuze and Guattari pose the question of Laruelle’s scientism, that is to say of his continuing imprisonment in the presuppositions of the authority of science that characterise both State philosophy and Royal Science. In PRINCIPLES OF NON-PHILOSOPHY, published in French in 1995, Laruelle seems to accept this criticism as he declares that during Philosophy II he had been still under the sway of the principle of sufficient philosophy in the form of a scientistic submission to the “authority” of science.

2) Their second criticism is not so much of the “authority” of science but of the privileged relationship of philosophy with science, where they advocate a similar relationship with art too. In PRINCIPLES OF NON-PHILOSOPHY Laruelle analyses his PHILOSOPHY II phase as being based on two axioms that were supposed to be complementary, but that he later found to be conflicting in their loyalties:

1) The One is immanent vision in-One. 2) There is a special affinity between the vision-in-One and the phenomenal experience of “scientific thought” (34)

Axiom 1 is faithful to non-philosophy. Axiom 2, with its “special affinity” between the vision-in-One and science, is faithful ultimately to the ruses of philosophy. It was not until Philosophy V that Laruelle, in his published works, was liberated from this “special affinity” with science in his actual practice of non-standard philosophy ( works on non-photography and non-religion).

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2 Responses to Laruelle’s implicit acceptance of Deleuze and Guattari’s critique

  1. Can the ‘love of wisdom’ be specified or determined so easily? Can ‘philosophy’ be limited in such a way that its negation, or non-pertinence, is significant? Is ‘philosophy’ to be exhausted only within a particular and positioned canonical tradition, such ‘positioning’ enabling yet another gesture of ‘negation’, an-other trawling of supposed exclusions? Is this play of thetic oscillations, occurring in a topos of ‘philosophemic space’ (?), only to serve an endless refinement of institutional fixations? An entrenched argot of prevailing conceptualities that only ever reifies the Same?


  2. Pingback: DELEUZE: philosopher of difference or philosopher of multiplicity | AGENT SWARM

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