One of the great dreams of French philosophy of the last century was that of a thought that would be both inside and outside the confines of philosophy, that would be philosophical and somehow “more” than philosophy.

Michel Foucault tells of how he wanted to be able to move freely between a position inside philosophy and one outside. He describes how he began by thinking that a certain sort of literature and experience (Blanchot, Klossowski, Bataille, and through them Nietzsche) would permit him such freedom, only later to find both the relation between philosophy and the outside and the freedom of movement in an involvement with concrete political problems:

These comings and goings around the position of philosophy
finally rendered permeable—and thus finally derisory—the frontier between philosophy and non-philosophy (FOUCAULT LIVE, 119).

Deleuze too talks about the relation between philosophy and the outside that he sought in these authors, and in an outside image of thught whose traces he could find in the history of philosophy. He tells us how he came to enact this movement in relation to concrete political problems thanks to his collaboration with Guattari. Badiou in his theory of the four “conditions” of philosophy and of the relation with “anti-philosophy” expresses the same dream. As does Bruno Latour with his project of an “empirical” metaphysics.

Laruelle with his own version of non-philosophy, far from expressing a unique aspiration, is a fitting fellow traveller on the paths of the dreaming. Foucault describes how the dream of an “other” to philosophy stimulates us to a movement that renders “permeable” and finally “derisory” the dualistic frontier between philosophy and non-philosophy. This is why Foucault came to talk in terms of “thinking otherwise”, while Laruelle adopts the expression “non-standard philosophy”.

In books such as NON-STANDARD PHILOSOPHY, ANTI-BADIOU, and CHRISTO-FICTION Laruelle invites us to begin, or to continue, dreaming. Not to dream his dream, but to enter the dream time and to dream our own dreams, moving freely from the dream to the world and back.


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  1. Dominic Fox says:

    There is a common interest between Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault and Laruelle in the begetting of monsters: you have to pacify philosophy, send it to sleep, or make it realise that its lucid moments are already a kind of waking dream (without turning this realisation into another moment of philosophical lucidity). I think this is where Badiou separates himself from the others, in desiring that lucidity itself, pursued to its maximum degree, should produce a teratology of its own: the point isn’t, as Laruelle says, to discipline or terrorise philosophy into rigorous normality by subjecting it to a mathematical condition, but to use mathematics to force contradictions and develop singularities: the unnameable, undecidable, indiscernible, uncountable and so on.


    • terenceblake says:

      The power of Badiou’s conceptual style is to produce such monsters but to bring them within the realm of argumentative space. We can see this in his writings on Deleuze, but also on Heidegger. By providing a fully worked out alternative he opens a space of dialogue where once only admiration, wholesale acceptance, academic gloss, and repetition were possible.


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