On Jan Rehmann’s « DECONSTRUCTING POSTMODERNIST NIETZSCHEANISM Deleuze and Foucault »
On this blog I have been working on the debates concerning epistemological and ontological pluralism, as articulated in the recent past (Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard) in its latest developments (Badiou, Latour, Laruelle, Zizek) and I have begun reading Jan Rehmann’s book and live-blogging my impressions as relaxation.
I am giving my thoughts as I read, and I find Rehmann’s presentation of French « post-68 » philosophy of very low quality.
My own interest is in how « post-68 » thought evolved, as I read these thinkers in the1970s, and then moved to France in 1980, where I followed these thinkers and those that carried this sort of thinking further.
For me Rehmann is like Zeno trying to prove that movement is impossible when it is there before him, staring him in the face. I am interested in the movement.
The only mystifying being done is not by Rehmann, not by those he is « deconstructing ». He achieves this mystification by means of a two-pronged argument.
1) The first, or regressive, prong is constructed out of a series of pseudo-genealogies:
Rehmann mystifies contemporary rival philosophies by incorrectly describing them
he then traces them back to French « post-structuralist » thought,
he extracts from this thought a rudimentary relativism,
then he traces this relativist caricature back to Nietzsche.
Every step of this regressive prong is built on sand, the quicksand of Rehmann’s conceptual confusions and conflations.
2) The second, or progressive, prong is constructed out of a series of fallacies:
because Nietzsche’s orientations are to be rejected (based on Losurdo’s bloated historico-political considerations)
then « pluralism » is wrong,
so post-structuralism is wrong,
so rival contemporary currents of thought are wrong,
so we need more (and more sophisticated) Marxist critical thought to orient ourselves today.
Every step of this progressive prong is a non sequitur.