THE LARUELLIAN FALLACY: the primacy of negation in non-philosophy

In a very interesting blog post, Bharath Vallabha discusses the problematic stance of Wittgenstein in relation to traditional philosophy. Wittgenstein critiques the Cartesian move of raising global doubts about the reality of our world as incoherent. But Vallabha points out that Wittgenstein makes the same sort of move in raising global doubts about traditional philosophy:

Can there be global doubt about philosophy without a transformative dimension into a new way of doing philosophy? A new way which actually connects it in a deeper way with what philosophy has been through the ages? To claim that philosophy is an illusion independent of any transformative context is as incoherent as claiming that the external world is an illusion independent of any transfomative context.

In the context of the recent series of posts here on Agent Swarm, one can argue that Laruelle is committing the same sort of incoherence in his “non-philosophy”. Laruelle is making a global critique of the illusion of philosophy tied to the principle of philosophical sufficiency, but in his non-philosophy phase the transformative dimension is not fully affirmed.

In his discussion of Wittgenstein Vallabha remarks that the transformative context is not apparent, and that primacy is given to negation:

This is what makes Wittgenstein, and his philosophy, seem as if he is just about nay-saying but not building something constructive.

Here we may say that Laruelle is different: in his later “quantum” phase he proposes just such a constructive endeavour. His “Philosophy V” is a way of carrying out the promise of the underlying positivity and plurality present implicitly in the prefix “non-” of Laruelle’s non-philosophy. Yet even this new quantum turn is ambiguous, as its nascent pluralism is contradicted by the remaining presumption of his own uniqueness compared to potential philosophical rivals (Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Deleuze, Badiou) and by the continuing lack of concern for the diversity of non-European modes of thought and existence.

Vallabha expresses the horizon within which we can productively engage with Laruelle’s ideas without being imprisoned in his monistic aspirations and in his Eurocentric nostalgias:

the (or at least a) transformative context of our time is that of a global, pluralistic society.

It is the goal of my blog to contribute to the edification of a thought adequate to the global pluralistic society that is under construction, to protect and to reinforce its diversity, and to ensure a place for singular and collective individuation within a democratic framework.

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2 Responses to THE LARUELLIAN FALLACY: the primacy of negation in non-philosophy

  1. Pingback: PLURALIST BLOG: In Search of An Ideal | AGENT SWARM

  2. landzek says:

    Im loving these posts. It expresses what i see as a basic partition in an ability to come upon a world.

    Liked by 1 person

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