PRINCIPLES OF NON-PHILOSOPHY: creative tension or self-paralysing conflict

Laruelle’s PRINCIPLES OF NON-PHILOSOPHY was published in French in 1996. Some people have claimed that it is in part a response to Deleuze and Guattari’s WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?, published in 1991. I do not think this is so, which is just as well as in this case it would be a very bad reply. It reads more like part of Laruelle’s continuing reply to Deleuze’s DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION (1968).
I have already commented on Laruelle’s “time machine” effect (here) in his relation to Badiou. In this book and in later ones Laruelle shows no sign of having come to grips with Deleuze and Guattari’s ANTI-OEDIPUS (1972) or A THOUSAND PLATEAUS (1980). Deleuze remains for Laruelle a frozen photo, a conceptual persona, the philosopher of difference and not of multiplicities. For more on this see my article LARUELLE AND DELEUZE: From difference to multiplicity.
PRINCIPLES OF NON-PHILOSOPHY embodies a great tension. It is at once the summation and systemisation of Laruelle’s preceding non-philosophical works and a programmatic statement of the principles that will lead to the later non-standard philosophy. There is the non-standard voice of an unknown stranger and an unassimilated foreigner in Laruelle’s texts (“étranger” in French means both stranger and foreigner) along with the more standard voice of a Continental academic philosopher. Even the title of the book expresses Laruelle’s awareness of, and struggle with these two voices.
Laruelle’s appeal and continuing relevance lies in the difficult and conflicted harmony (or at least co-presence) of these two voices. He maintains the exigency of immanence in perhaps its purest form today, although that very purity may have prevented him from attaining it except in its most general, and programmatic, outlines.
Reading the book, its immediately preceding books (where he tries to come to terms with Lacan) and succeeding ones (where he tries to come to terms with Levinas and Althusser) we can see that something more is needed, a non-standard supplement to allow him to pass from abstract programmatic talking about a different mode of thinking to its concrete practical effectuation. Laruelle later responds to this need first by supplementation with Christ (FUTURE CHRIST), then with the quantum (NON-STANDARD PHILOSOPHY), and then combines the two, identifying Christ as the quantum, in CHRISTO-FICTION.
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One Response to PRINCIPLES OF NON-PHILOSOPHY: creative tension or self-paralysing conflict

  1. landzek says:

    Two routes, between which there is no bridge, anf for which no reduction can reconcile.
    Laruelle just plain wont admit this. Badiou just says that truth is relinquished for reality.
    I just say that everyone is already working in the first route. As though the second is just a theoretical posit that should be reconcilable.


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