LARUELLE AND COVID: on virtue epistemology and noetic speed

My friend Burton Fisher intervened in a discussion thread on twitter about Laruelle to ask:

« How relevant do you think this is to vaccine mandates? »

My reply follows:

This is a good question, and I have not seen any Laruelle-inspired analyses of the current Covid crisis. One epistemological obstacle to such analyses is the absence of available work addressing the practical consequences of Laruelle’s evolution from non-philosophy to non-standard philosophy.

Laruelle’s Philosophy II is based on a high valorisation of the natural sciences and a devaluation of the « human sciences ». Translated into covid policy this would lead to a « follow the science come what may » approach, the hegemony of experts disguised as « ordinary » procedure.

Laruelle’s latest work, Philosophy V, institutes a partial relativisation of the primacy accorded to science and a greater acknowledgement of complexity. Implemented in social policy this would involve relying on the whole set of public health networks. The results of biological science concerning the virus would be only one consideration in the array.

There is a displacement of emphasis in the virtue ethics implied by Laruelle’s work, which is to a large extent a form of virtue epistemology centered on the critique and overcoming of the philosophical vice of « sufficiency ». Laruelle’s thought moves from non-philosophy (against the sufficiency of experts) to non-standard philosophy (against the « harassment » of humans).

I must admit that I myself have no answer. It’s a question of relative speeds. The virus evolves faster than the research, and research evolves faster than I am, or even can be, informed. Part of the answer will be retrospective: call noone (or no collective) virtuous before their end.

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