In the spirit of Laruelle’s non-standard philosophy, my aim is to enrich and emancipate fictions, not to impoverish and enslave them. Standard philosophy both impoverishes and enslaves fictions to the principle of sufficient philosophy. The avatars of this principle take the form of various sutures.These sutures are often both operated and disguised by certain syntagms whose use makes them glide between an emancipated, and one or more enslaved acceptions.
The “syntax of the real” is a particularly objectionable expression not because it contains any absolute flaw, I can imagine positive and fecund uses, but because it is often used in a way that conflates linguistic articulation and real causality. That is to say that there exists a sutural use of the expression, one that sutures philosophy to language.
The theme of the “syntax of the real”, as it occurs in Laruelle’s INTRODUCTION TO NON-MARXISM and in various texts by Katerina Kolozova, implies the suture of philosophy to its own language, under the condition of its syntax. The effect of such a suture is to create an effect of transparency and of self-evidence, as if one were able, impossibly, to transcribe the real’s own causal articulation into language’s syntaxic articulation. This causal retranscription in syntax is an all or none affair: philosophy can not do it, non-philosophy can and does.
Strictly this theme of the “syntax of the real” is in tension with another theme, that of approaching immanence by transcendental impoverishment. An absolute break or a gradation? That is the question. What is at stake is a democratic model versus a traumatic model. Or non-standard philosophy versus non-philosophy.
The brunt of my argument is a critique of the illegitimate use of the concept “syntax of the real”, and of the particular goals that this concept may serve:
– legitimation of Laruelle’s stylistic obscurity, said to be “syntaxic” when it is in fact semantic
– foundationalist validation of Laruelle’s conceptual apparatus, to the exclusion of other thought’s such as Deleuze’s said to “remain” in philosophy, and so to miss the real
– inflation of the epistemic, religious, and political authority of non-philosophy, attributed to its affection by immanence, and so by the dictatorship of the real
In the course of my argument I cite the notion of performativity as a way to accomplish the same goals. The theme of performativity in this context implies the suture of philosophy to language under the condition of its pragmatic effectivity. My objection is not to the thesis that “saying is doing”, but to the illegitimate variant “saying, as doing, makes it so”. I consider performativity only from this perspective, and I have no necessary objections to other senses and uses of the term.
To sum up on this point, I have no objection to a reading of Laruelle in terms of performativity if
1) no undue authority is claimed
2) no foundational use is made
3) no exclusivity of viewpoint is implied
4) the hermetic closure of worlds only breachable by trauma is abandoned
Freed of these dogmatic and authoritarian elements, a performance model is highly fecund, and is in closer affinity to the democratic approach than to the traumatic approach.