BADIOU AND LARUELLE (1): the problem of suture

Far from representing a decisive break with French post-structuralist Marxism, Laruelle’s INTRODUCTION TO NON-MARXISM is an interim report, coming between his earlier ethicist phase (Philosophy III) and his religionist phase (Philosophy IV). By applying his non-philosophical approach to a single philosophical material (“Marxism”, but whose Marxism?) Laruelle is able to extend philosophical Marxism beyond certain of its limits, but remains by the very structure of his argument caught in a form of monism. This form of monism, called suture by Badiou, consists of being bound to a particular thought-world (or truth procedure) and of giving it primacy. It is only in his later “quantum” phase (Philosophie V) that Laruelle manages to overcome this defect, by means of the superposition of a plurality of thought-worlds. The question arises: is this a real overcoming of the principle of suture (called by Laruelle the principle of sufficiency) or does his quantum thought merely disguise the problem by the superposition of sutures?

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