RE-PHASING BADIOU AND LARUELLE

Badiou and Laruelle both initially expose a forgetting (of Being, or of the One) and try to overcome it by a form of anamnesis, whose movement is Parmenidean. In Laruelle it’s a sort of noetic “rapture” where all suitable objects are re-ported to the One. The problem with this is that the closer one gets by impoverishment to the One, the more labile one’s terminology becomes. For example in INTRODUCTION TO NON-MARXISM the senses of “real” and of “syntax” are quite variable, occasioning much ambiguity, and falling into naiveté.

Indeed Laruelle’s demarcation between the non-philosophical “One” and the Being of philosophy seems to be merely a procedure of re-naming, where he first bifurcates Being into good and bad, and gives the name of the “One” to good Being, while limiting the use of “Being” to name its bad, metaphysical version.

This situation of anamnesis and rapture creates the need for the inverse procedure, one of manifestation and fictioning, and its movement is Heraclitean. The same problem is confronted by Badiou in his move from BEING AND EVENT to LOGICS OF WORLDS. So in his ANTI-BADIOU (2011) Laruelle is using his own inverse movement to find fault with Badiou’s proto-movement, something that Badiou had already done himself in LOGICS OF WORLDS (2006). In terms of the phases of their intellectual evolution we have Laruelle in his Philosophy V (ANTI-BADIOU, NON-STANDARD PHILOSOPHY) critiquing Badiou’s Philosophy III (BEING AND EVENT), when Badiou himself has already accomplished this critique himself (in LOGICS OF WORLDS, his own PHILOSOPHY V), and moved on.

This would explain my initial feeling in reading ANTI-BADIOU that it was “brilliant”, followed afterwards by a feeling of disappointment. A fairer procedure would have been for Laruelle to compare (and critique, if necessary) Badiou’s Philosophy V (LOGICS OF WORLDS) with his own PHILOSOPHY V (NON-STANDARD PHILOSOPHY). Eighteen years elapsed between BEING AND EVENT and LOGICS OF WORLDS, and Badiou modified a lot of his theory in response to his critics (he cites the criticisms of Desanti, Lyotard, and Hallward as having been important influences on the transformation). It would have been more interesting to see Laruelle responding to Badiou’s most recent work, instead of going over well-trodden ground as if it were path-braking.

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One Response to RE-PHASING BADIOU AND LARUELLE

  1. Carl Looper says:

    Wow, that’s weird. I was just re-reading Parmenides and Heraclitus, when I thought I’d have a break and check in here, and there they are.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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