Mehdi Belhaj Kacem on Meillassoux (3): demonstration vs description in the genesis of stability

In Kacem’s analysis Meillassoux is forced into a Kantian position due to the fact that his Deleuzian absolute, super-Chaos, is attested neither by common sense nor by the sciences. All the known worlds, Kacem underlines that they are known by science, “attest massively, interminably, to the remarquable monotony of Laws, and even to a sort of ontological boredom, a non-diversity”. This super-Chaos is nowhere to be seen or to be observed, and is unknown by science. So despite his anti-Kantianism Meillassoux is obliged to noumenalise his super-Chaos:

Il faut recourir, puisqu’il ne se manifeste presque jamais, -sinon au grand jamais-, au bon vieux noumène pour rendre fort commodément ce super-Chaos hors d’accès immédiat”.

“He has to resort to, because it almost never, not to say absolutely never, manifests itself, to the good old noumenon  to remove this super-Chaos very conveniently from all immediate access” (my translation).

Kacem emphasises that Deleuze, thanks to his Bergsonian influence, has no need of a noumenon, and so doesn’t noumenalise his virtual Chaos. Nor does Deleuze have a problem with the stability of Laws (the “stupid stability of natural Laws”, as Kacem calls it), because his procedure is descriptive:

la « supériorité », pour l’instant, de Deleuze, sur QM, est ce que ce dernier considérera comme une infériorité : le descriptif du processus par lequel le virtuel, hanté par l’inconsistance absolue de la vitesse infinie du Chaos, consiste pourtant”.

“the “superiority”, for the moment, of Deleuze over QM lies in what Meillassoux considers to be an inferiority: the description of the process by which the virtuel, haunted by the absolute inconsistence of the infinite speed of Chaos, nevertheless consists”.

Deleuze’s procedure is descriptive, and so has no problem passing from virtual chaos to actualised Laws. Meillassoux however pretends to adopt a purely demonstrative approach, but can give no derivation of stupidly stable empirical Laws from inobservable super-Chaos, so he is obliged not only to treat the super-Chaos as a noumenal absolute, but also to regard the link super-Chaos/Laws as miraculous.

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