We must distinguish between on the one hand what Laruelle says about himself, his own self-evaluation, and on the other, what he actually does. Naturally enough, Laruelle gives himself full marks for realism, and the Laruellians are content to simply repeat his naive self-evaluations. I, however, am less easy to impress, so I look deeper.

Laruelle in his non-philosophy phases is completely relativist, despite an insistent ritual invocation of the real that in fact has no function in his system other than to declare his difference from philosophy. One could call this “good intention realism”. In his recent phase of non-standard philosophy the real has a significant role to play, as philosophical worlds are not hermetically sealed off from each other, but open to quantum passaging.

We can distinguish between twoquite different senses of performativity in relation to Laruelle’s philosophy. (1) Foundationalist performativity: it’s true because I say so. (2) non-foundationalist performativity: it’s true because I am really doing it. Most Laruellian commentators function uncritically with sense (1) foundationalist performativity, but they pretend it is a case of sense (2) non-foundationalist performativity. If we examine Laruelle in his non-philosophy phase, we can see he says realism but performs relativism. It is only in Philosophy V that one may argue that he both says realism, and performs it.

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  1. Matthias M. says:


    you write that “…Laruelle in his non-philosophy phases is completely relativist.” As Boghossian says, “…many philosophers […] have been tempted to be relativists about specific domains of discourse”. So what kind of relativist is Laruelle? An epistemological relativist, an ontological relativist or something else?

    To what exactly refers foundationalist performativity? What are the ‘truth’ – claims the Laruellians from the (1) clan assert to be true? What is non-philosophy’s stance on truth-claims anyway? Does the subtraction respectively the visualization of decision lead to some knowledge about the real like experiments in the natural science lead to an always renewing knowledge about the real?

    As you see, I have many questions because Laruelle is still a book os seven seals to me.


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