François Laruelle sees « standard » philosophy as positing its own sufficiency for englobing the Real, but as propping up this purported autonomous apprehension by its dependency on other modes of apprehension.
Contrary to its self-image as a « pure » discipline, standard philosophy exists in a state of a composite, a mixture (Badiou would say a « suture ») of philosophy with some other mode of apprehension, typically (for Laruelle) with the poem. Laruelle does not mention other mixtures, such as that of philosophy and science, that we find in positivist and scientistic systems.
The movement traced by the book is in four stages:
1) Prologue: Conceptual Characters and Action-Structure
(sufficient philosophy and its unconsciously organised mixtures)
Laruelle proposes to dis-articulate and to dis-organise the existing mixture (philosophy-poem) through a procedure of forcing, by means of science. This would provide a reply to critiques of Laruelle’s own scientism: science is used strategically in the current state of the philosophy-poem mixture to suspend the sufficient attitude and free philosophy from its one-sided limitation and conceptual fusion with the poetic.
2) Organon: Theory of Reminiscience
(forced philosophy and its consciously re-organised mixtures)
Secondly, philosophy is not eliminated, it remains as an essential reference in a new re-organised architecture, where it has access to the real at last, but only as mediated by the sciences (generic logic and quantum physics).
[Philosophy] will have to accept the sometimes embarrassing mentoring of these sciences (generic logic and quantum physics) which will deprive it of its pretension of a fundamental access to the real and will leave it with only the possibility of a mediated access to this real as Universe, but in view of the governance of the empirico-formal human experience at the heart of the world (21, my translation).
Laruelle proposes to call this new re-organised replacement discipline « Reminiscience » in which philosophy persists in its purified state of transcendental « memory » of the past and future, mixed with the « generic » and the « quantic ».
Philosophy survives as dramatised memory, a little like the Art of Memory described by Frances Yates, with its conceptual characters, landscapes, sceneries, and actions.
3) Amplitude: the full range of experience
(the human non-phi epic )
Thirdly, this re-organisation prepares us for a new stage in the ascensional dialectic that we have been following, from sufficient philosophy to forced philosophy to the non-phi epic of human experience in its full range: from the cavern to the stars and back (sites) and from birth to messianity (stages).
4) Ritorno: musical return from the Sky to the Earth
According to Laruelle this descent is subtended by the same « quadriparti » as the ascent of Reminiscience: dramatisation, memory, generic, and quantic. This is the properly, that is transcendentally, musical part. After freeing philosophy from its fusion with the poem (or science) and re-organising it by means of the generic and the quantic, we have risen to the full extent of human experience, its sites and stages. From this amplitude of wild experience, we can transcendentally combine philosophy and music, and descend « philo-musically »:
The last book describes Messianity as the ultimate and highest stage of human existence, the stage which returns to its origins and closes the cycle. It is ultimately given in a philosophico-musical pathos which is the explicit object of the last book, thus retroactively closing this tetralogy (26).
Commentary: Laruelle’s movement is from the philosophically contaminated experience of naive empiricism (and scientism) to transcendental or radical empiricism (pluralistic Universe), and then to a radical polytheism (Messianity).