My theoretical work is organised around two heuristic hypotheses:
1) contemporary Continental Philosophy can usefully be viewed as comprising a group of competing metaphysical research programmes in Karl Popper’s sense.
Popper’s concept of metaphysical research programmes as composed of a mixture of philosophical and scientific (testable) elements fosters cross-continental understanding by allowing us to compare and evaluate alternative systems of thought as endeavours of a similar type, namely the elaboration, articulation, and development of metaphysical research programmes. I analyse François Laruelle’s non-philosophy as one such research programme.
Some people might be puzzled at the idea of treating Laruelle’snon-philosophy as a form of « metaphysics”. After all, he is known for defending a position that sharply limits the domain and utility of traditional philosophical vocabularies, and that seeks to propose more satisfactory vocabularies.
I argue that the source of their puzzlement is more semantic than substantial, another instance of the new logophobia,. This context-blind attachment to words could impede cross-continental understanding if allowed to flourish unchallenged.
2) contemporary Continental Philosophy can usefully be seen as elaborating new forms of epistemological and ontological pluralism. In particular, these research programmes are undertaking a re-conceptualisation of pluralism as ontological realism.
From this perspective I examine Laruelle’s non-philosophy and non-standard philosophy as particular instances of the more general ensemble of pluralist metaphysical research programmes.
I analyse the failure of these two avatars of Laruelle’s research programme to live up to their own criteria and I evaluate them in terms of a set of pragmatic meta-ontological criteria.
The conclusion of this analysis is that while Laruelle correctly identifies the « vice » of philosophical sufficiency he is unable to propose a fully-developed virtuous alternative.
In view of his repeated claims to scientific status for non-philosophy and in view of his inability to respect his own criteria we must conclude that Laruelle’s non-philosophy is pseudo-science.