BADIOU AND LARUELLE: some parallels

Laruelle claims to be a collider. I am applying his own method to himself, by colliding Laruelle and Badiou. There is no naked state of of immanence outside of all philosophy and Laruelle in this interview explains that it takes a surfeit of philosophical concepts to undo philosophy’s sufficiency. Laruelle does not argue for less philosophy, but for more. I do not confound the two styles of philosophising. All I claim is that Badiou has his own undulatory moments, even if they are covered over by his corpuscular systematising.

The parallels I have been tracing between Badiou and Laruelle can be summarised as follows:

1) During the regressive period of the 80s both undertook a philosophical turn in order to resist the ambient intellectual conformism.

2) Both rejected the preceding philosophies of difference in favour of a thought of the pure multiple.

3) Both detached philosophy from its sufficiency by placing it under the condition of science.

4) Both went through a long period of scientism whose traces can still be seen in their more recent work.

5) Both reject religionism, and fight it by means of a Greco-Judaic break: in Laruelle’s case it is Christ freed from God, in Badiou’s case it is Saint Paul freed from God.

Laruelle declares: “Christ est une collision gréco-judaïque qui fait exploser l’histoire. Son message est un événement qui détruit le christianisme comme religion, en nous rendant désirables la promesse, le futur, le salut”.

“Christ is a Greco-Judaic collision which makes history explode. His message is an event which destroys Christianity as religion, by making promise, the future, salvation desirable to us”.

6) Both use scientific models to free philosophy from its sufficiency and to prevent it falling under the spell of religion: Badiou uses Cantor’s theory of transfinite numbers, Laruelle uses quantum theory.

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