THE INFINITY WARS: Badiou, Deleuze, Laruelle, Lacan on (dis-)identification.

There is no shame in being passionate about a particular philosopher and being influenced by their ideas to the point of working in their wake.

It all depends on whether you are fixated on an identity or to something else in the philosophers you are devoted to. Badiou tells us that our fidelities constitute us as subjects, but fidelity is not to an ego nor to a more or less expert knowledge (finite constituted identities), but to working out the consequences of “truths” (infinite de-constituted generic potencies). Badiou does not consider philosophy to be a truth procedure, but the lesson is the same.

The epithet “Deleuzian” is the name of a finite static property covering over an infinite generic process, but so is “Laruellean”, “Lacanian” or “Badiousian”. These names imply the image of thought as knowledge, and of the subject as subjugated identity. Or such an epithet can name a fidelity to the Truths as open non-totalised multiplicitous infinite processes inscribed in and passing through a work, and the subject as participant process of individuation. You identify with one, you incorporate in the other.

Too often we conflate “philosopher” with “philosophy teacher” (school teacher, lecturer, professor). Philosophy teacher is the name of a particular job in the capitalist economy. It is a finite identity that very often covers over the infinite processes involved and deployed in philosophy. “Analyst” too, even “Lacanian analyst”, names a job, office hours, fees and taxes, institutional training, etc.

Laruelle would tell us that there is too much arrogant “sufficiency”, too much complacent completeness, in these identities.

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4 Responses to THE INFINITY WARS: Badiou, Deleuze, Laruelle, Lacan on (dis-)identification.

  1. Reblogged this on wallacerunnymede and commented:
    Immanuel Kant cannot teach you to be a rational being of dignity. Hegel cannot teach you to explore new pathways in thought. Nietzsche cannot teach you to reject sanctimonious hypocrisy, and Zizek cannot teach you to encounter the terror and trauma of The Real. As far as wisdom (not ‘Wisdom!’) is concerned, everyone stands alone or falls alone. This may well be a half-truths, but half-truths tend to be pretty much ‘true…’ by definition!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really moved by the claims of these people you mention.But still I wonder (the same I have wondered with LAtour’s AIME), if somehow one could hijack a handfull of these people with their “masters” and throw them to ISIS territoty, the one far away from the other and suppose (in this dream ) that 2 years later , by hook or by crook they manage to come back to their former positions, would they philosophise in a similar way?
    Perhaps my question is better posed: how culture specific (modernity specific?) is the philosophy of these philosophers? Does it appeal to people with very different life experiences and current lives our this big world of ours?
    I know, this is not a question that one can answer. I just wonder although I do not fake when I say that yes there seems to be something that touches me too in what you present them as saying. (But am I perhaps, in this way, building walls? Is this a way for me to to feel part of the insiders and away from the “others”? This of course is a question for me)

    Liked by 2 people

    • terenceblake says:

      I am perhaps a good example of your thought experiment, as I came from Australia to live in France. I do not know how much has changed in my stle of philosophising, something is different and something remains the same. I once had a dream where many people were piled together to form a super-intelligent “human computer” to determine if I was the same person but modified, or a different person entirely. the conclusion of the dream was that “even the human computer does not know the answer”!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The example of China’s Yan Fu is fascinating. His book on Huxley and Spencer (a translation-cum-creative-transformation-and-political-philosopy-polemic) is an interesting example of applying new and (for some of his contemporaries, perhaps) frighteningly alien ideas to a new context. (James Reeve Pusey and Benjamin Schwartz are worth reading, for accounts of Yan Fu and the entrance of evolutionary and ‘Social Darwinist’ thought into China).

    Even though evolutionary thought is arguably largely purified of irrelevant sociological accretions and, as the saying runs, ‘who now reads Spencer?’ it is nevertheless not difficult to view this as a milestone in intellectual history I don’t know how Spencer and Huxley’s ideas would fare under Daesh, but they were of assistance in Chinese history, in terms of modernisation; even if Spencer is widely discredited now.

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