Lets be frank here: Laruelle’s problem is nothing more or less than what anyone who struggles with the reality of duality has dealt with. It is the same struggle that every religion proposes to solve; it is what the early 20th century magician Alistar Crowley also tried to solve with his Magick, no less.
In order to find the problem of L’s problem, we first have to get over the acedemic intellectual jargon; this is the first problem of all what- is-known- as philosophy. Acedemic jargon works to do two things: under the guise of a need-for condensed term, jargon creates a hierarchy of preists who thereby are so initiated and deemed worthy of considering the high problems of the court. Jargon thus is posed under a type of necessary fog ceiling of sorts that distinguishes those initiates as doers and considerers of great things. Hence jargon creates for those not initiated an aura of importance that justifies those big thinkers in the same way a congragation views the clergy, the bishops and the pope: the clergy is working in behalf of the congregation. It is like if I have a computer that does not work, I thank God for the programmers and technicians that I know or can rent for their knowledge and ability. The practicioners of philosophy so ordained in acedamia are viewed in the same way: under an assumption of thinking the big thoughts for the bennefit of humanity, or with skepticism, as if they really are doing nothing of importance. But the fact there are career, or at least ‘acting’ philosophers argues that they must be thinking something significant to the world.
The other thing jargon does is establish that indeed they are doing something important, because they have technical terms that (must) identify some vital disciplinary technolgy, like when physics comes up with ‘ quarks’ or ‘superstrings’ or ‘event horizon’ or ‘uncertainty’. Most people do not know much more that the basic ideas behind these things.
The difference between philosophy, or should I say ‘theoretical discourse’, and science is that science really does have use for much of their contrived terms in that science is dealing with segregated items of technology. Computers as a technology have little to do with the internal combustion engine but both technologies can be used to enhance each other – yet each with their own terminology that identifies particular items important to the technology. No one proposes or argues that a timing belt should have some epistomological relation of truth to a microprocessor, but the two may find harmony and use because they concern individual peices of technology; but what are the ‘peices’ of philosophy?
Philosophy, by and large has taken up this technological approach and has thus segregated itsself into disciplines and these disciplines then can be applied to aspects of reality as if there are pieces of ‘ thought reality’ that have a quality much like the computer and car engine. We have thus ‘ epistomology of business’, and ‘ ontology of civic duty’ and ‘computer ethics’ and like arenas that appear and propose to address particular things so as to procure usefulness in reality.
The problem with philosophy thus has more to do with the difference between bread-and-butter type paycheck philosophizing and the tendancy of those thinkers to synthesize some larger grand scheme about the truth of reality based upon their ventures into crunching the somewhat sketchy but apparently taken-as- practical ideas of what could be called ‘secular’ philosophy. Also there are those purist acedemics who read and read and read and analyze other philosophers who then are in the attempt to describe what those other philosophers were really saying and how significance might be drawn into our daily lives by these new profound insights. You see, it really is quite religious in its activity, the parish preists and reverends, the monks, the evangelists – one is hard pressed to miss the parallels between academic philosophy and institutional religion.
This is the problem Larualle is attempting to address. philosophers tend to believe in their efforts that they are doing some sort of fieldwork and then writing about their findings; the feildwork is seen as everyday life and their findings are philosophy. In this way, the problem lay in how they liken themselves to the other sciences that experiement with items of reality (fieldwork) and then state their findings. The philosophers, though – again – in their motion to combine ‘ technologies’ seem to over look ( or rather, probably forget to overlook) that the combining that they are involved in is Being itself: the human being and the world – and this is really all there is.
The scientists cannot help but be (in a way) humbled by the basic separation involved in their efforts, but the philosophers cannot help but move toward the inherent unity of their efforts. And the heads inflate, and the great meanings proposed in such the way involved in the great meaning tend to arrive the acedemic philosopher at the Truth ( at least this is the general feeling of those who have efforted the great effort that contemplated so intently).
Laruelle has rightly capitalized on this apparency and tendancy of philosophy to come to truths that are debatable. The point is that if these philosophers are indeed coming to the truth of the matter, or, to put it another way, if they are coming to the truths of the matters, then how or why is it debatable? The issue is that if all things are indeed relative such that we discuss, then this feature (the basic feature of debate and debateable things) of reality must not be in itself true but indeed must be relying upon something by which such proposals and arguments are seen to be coming to truth. For, of course, there cannot be a thing without something else, and if there is this thing of debate it must be by virtue of something else that is not debate. It cannot be relative since then we have a truth based upon a non-position that reduces upon itself infinitely and therefore has no substantial quality.
Now, this is just one way to put the issue, but I have done so in such a manner that avoids the acedemic jargon. It is the issue that Laruelle describes. So I ask: why all the jargon? Why all the acedemic hub bub? To me it is utter pomposity and it reveals that what he and those who step in similar discursive regalia are up to has little to do with solving any real problem but the problem of justifying their academic positions – but there is something else going on with Lauelle.
What Laruelle is proposing reflects upon his current position in reality. He is proposing his exact existential problem as if it is a problem to be solved objectively. He is caught in a way of speaking about his situation that defies the meaning he is attempting to convey and thus solve, which is the problem of apparent reality, which is exactly the problem I have proposed here.
Yet we should see here that this is just the beginning of the problem and that the other facets of Laruelle’s proposition also.hide under a facade of jargon.
So, it is only when we are capable of stating clearly the problem that we can begin to address the situation, for it is only then that we have the actual situation at hand.
Leave a Reply