LARUELLE’S PATH FROM NON TO QUANTUM: formal thinking is not enough

Very interesting International Summer School in Ontology coming in August, with seminars by Laruelle, Agamben, Brassier, and several others.

I am very glad to see that Laruelle will be giving a lecture on “quantum Marxism”, as this is something that I have long been calling for: a necessary re-working of Laruelle’s project in its relation to Marxism. His most developed formulation is contained in INTRODUCTION TO NON-MARXISM, which is still formulated in terms of non-philosophy’s theoretical vocabulary. In the light of Laruelle’s recent quantum turn, it has become necessary to reformulate it in quantum terms.

It will be interesting to see if Laruelle manages:

(1) to develop an idea of “transit without trauma” and of the porosity of worlds, instead of leaving us shut up in worlds that are hermetically closed off from each other and from the Real

(2) give a convincing explication of his idea of “unilateral complementarity”, this seems to be a contradiction in terms if taked at face value. The “unilaterality” invoked is to be seen as the dissolution of philosophy’s sufficiency without dissolving philosophy itself. Philosophy is to be seen as immanent in the quantum arragements, and so subject to complementarity, rather than overcoding and dominating such arrangements (phantasm of sufficiency).

(3) revise his concept of “determination in the last instance” to bring it into line with his most recent quantum thought. “Determination in the last instance” is described in Laruelle’s PHILOSOPHIE NON-STANDARD as “indetermination in the pre-primary instance”, but the consequences for Marxism have yet to be drawn.

(4) rid himself of his remaining scientism. This is a delicate point, as one could consider Laruelle’s rejection of the “principle of mathematical sufficiency” in ANTI-BADIOU and in PHILOSOPHIE NON-STANDARD to be a major step in dissolving the remnants of scientism in his recent work. Yet the vocable of “science” recurs too frequently as an invocation and quasi-proof of “rigour” to permit us to think that Laruelle has finally overcome the scientism that, by his own admission, characterised his earlier thought.

(5) avoid the politicist suture. This is less a problem for Laruelle himself than for some of the Anglophone reception

6) replace the concept of the “syntax of the real” with a concept that accords with complementarity

(7) avoid the religionist suture, by integrating his concept of Christo-fiction with that of quantum Marxism

The passage from “non-Marxism” to “quantum Marxism”, or more generally the passage from “non-” to “quantum”, is part of Laruelle’s recent movement of thought that calls into question the satisfactoriness of a simply formal or syntaxic extension of philosophy, on the analogy of non-Euclidean geometry, as he attempted in the past. Such a formal extension, while necessary, risks never getting us to the Real as absolute outside, but at best into the relative outside of multiple philosophical worlds. A less formal and more physics based model is needed, and this is what Laruelle accomplishes with his quantum thought.

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2 Responses to LARUELLE’S PATH FROM NON TO QUANTUM: formal thinking is not enough

  1. Pingback: ISSO – International Summer School in Ontology (some comments) | AGENT SWARM

  2. Pingback: LARUELLE’S NON-PHILOSOPHY: principles of a metaphysical research programme | AGENT SWARM

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