François Laruelle used to be a controversial figure in Continental Philosophy circles, but now all controversy has ceased. There is a circle of believers, and they refuse all dialogue with the non-credulous, they reject all critical input. The overall style is euphoric eudoxa, a celebration of the master’s ideas as « performations » and of the meta-infallibility they grant.
A first reaction to reading Laruelle is often a feeling of discomfort: his obscurantist style, high abstraction, undefined or poorly defined terms, undecipherable syntax, the low visibility (or non-existence) of arguments, simplistic caricatures of rivals and adversaries. Laruelleans close their eyes to these defects, and celebrate the performative adequation of his style to its subject matter.
After reading Laruelle we feel even more disoriented than before, frustrated in our search for an orientation. The actual orientations that we can extract from his texts seem wrong-headed, hyper-incomplete, unverifiable or easily falsified. Does Laruelle know where he is going? More to the point, do his readers know where he is going?
4) DE-COGNITIVE DIS-ESTRANGEMENT
We are led to ask does Laruelle even know what he is talking about? Obscurantism as a device for estranging us from our ordinary views and habits is one thing, the recourse to a systematic obscurantism that can only be mimicked but never illuminated is another. The only result to be observed in his followers is being at home in the euphoric jargon of performativity.
These questions and reservations are pertinent to Laruelle’s metaphysical research programme as he has always maintained that his non-philosophy is a science. His scientism combined with his obscurantism severely limit the testability of his assertions, revealed to be not scientific but « science-ish ».
6) SHADOW SCIENCE
We can only endorse Laruelle’s (never-successful) attempt to distinguish his own position from scientism, and reject the ever-present obscurantist miasma of his science-ish-ism. We conclude that science is not Laruelle’s object, nor even his method. Science is Laruelle’s shadow.