EVALUING LARUELLE’S RESEARCH PROGRAMME: against unaccountability

I)

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.

Full paper on academia.edu or on scribd.

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2 commentaires pour EVALUING LARUELLE’S RESEARCH PROGRAMME: against unaccountability

  1. Guy dit :

    I was wondering if you have ever heard of Niklas Luhmann. He is not a philosopher, but a sociologist from Germany (1927-1998). He wrote many books on social systems theory. In many ways, I believe that he would fit in your framework (Continental philosophy as both metaphysical research program and as epistemological/ontological pluralism) along with the other thinkers you like to discuss: Deleuze, Latour, Zizek, etc. Luhmann’s theory is partly reminiscent of Latour’s AIME project in that he envisions « politics, » « science, » « law, » « religion » and other « social systems » not as things or objects or substances, but as many diverging perspectives on each other. In fact, Luhmann developed his theory long before Latour published AIME.

    Aimé par 1 personne

    • terenceblake dit :

      Yes, Luhmann’s theory is very interesting, and less restrictive than Latour’s, but I think it has the same problem of complete incommensurability between systems, disallowing free style communication between them, which I have been calling porousness, permeability, or quantum leaking.

      J'aime

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