PLURALIST BLOG: In Search of An Ideal

I was inspired by a post about Wittgenstein by Bharath Vallabha on his blog IN SEARCH OF AN IDEAL: Foundations of a Pluralistic Academic Philosophy, as it helped me clarify my thoughts on François Laruelle, another philosopher who has produced an internal critique of Eurocentric philosophy (see THE LARUELLIAN FALLACY) but who is only now beginning to go beyond that critical phase to more positive and constructive thought.

I am in agreement with Vallabha that contributing to the edification of a global pluralistic society is an important transformative context for us in today’s world. This is the meaning of the subtitle of my blog: Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming.

Many people are working on these sorts of ideas, both inside and outside the academy. As I have recounted on this blog over the last couple of years, I became enthusiastic about one more-than-academic pluralist project, AIME, constructed around Bruno Latour’s book AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE. Latour’s idea is that Occidental societies are far more pluralist than their current self-image allows them to perceive, and this blindness impairs their ability to deal with diversity both from within and from without.

However, I became disenchanted, as I found that despite the pluralist ideal and the will to extend its audience beyond the academy the project had hardened into the same sort of ingroup mentality and intellectual exclusivism that one finds in academic philosophy.

My own instinct is not to follow any one thinker, but to think with the aid of a plurality of pluralists (Feyerabend, Deleuze, Lyotard, Latour, Michel Serres). Wittgenstein for me is a baffling case: someone who goes some way towards pluralism, but then stops short, the transformation incomplete. So I find very interesting how Vallabha is thinking through the transformative context of pluralism, and am eager to see where it will take him.

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