Direct Tangent 6.9: A Word on Faith: An Appropriate Rendition of Francois Laruelle’s ‘Sufficient Philosophy’; The True Object, A Moment with Pierre Bourdieu and the Practice of Process.

As a close to the Direct Tangents and segue to the next, this essay is a simple and direct stating of a basic series of the matter at hand. By ‘series’ i mean to refer to the structure of argument: points that must be understood as true in order for there to be an discussion; what are called ‘premises’ usually do not have to be true, but only sufficiently understood for an argument, but then communication may not occur. I would say that it is the insufficiency of premises, and thus argument in general, upon which conventional reality is manifested. A practice of process involving a statement of series is the condition of truth; here, I cannot, that is, am incapable of coming upon a concept already proposed as if it should not be or not have been, as if i were then jealous or offended, against which i would then argue. In the process of truth, there is no exceptions. The issue is not so much about finding truth; it has to do with the situation of terms. What is the object?

We deal in two possibilities. If i am stating my position by my opinion, i can call it an argument, and I can start anywhere I please as long as I develop sufficient premises. Yet, because, here, we deal in truth, I may not approach as if I am speaking within a conversation already developed (considering my whole blog is really one essay). I must start at the beginning, not in the middle, every time. I thus do not ‘disguise’ my target through addressing what then appears to be particular arenas of discourse, though I may use such discursive objects as an occasion for what I have to propose. The tact that is taken by many writers, whether acknowledged by them or not, of opinion, is often deceptive at best, a type of withholding, and derailing for many who would otherwise be interested.

Though Francois Laruelle appears to come very close to being ‘honest’, a reader has to be somewhat informed as to the particular meaning of what terms he presents, cloaked as they are in a type of conventional-institutionalized deception (what I have designated as ‘jargon’), to be able to appreciate what he has to say; indeed, Laruelle produces his own “dictionary” of non-philosophical terms, an effort that i see as unnecessary. It is sufficient to convey his meaning, and necessary in that he could propose it in no other way for himself and be in line with his intent, but it is not necessary by virtue of the insolvency of the true object (see below). In his attempt to be transparent and approachable (I must grant this to every writer, at first), he ‘auto-excludes’ much of his potential audience, and demands of his audience a certain academic effort. In previous posts, I have addressed this by suggesting he is in bad faith by his presentation, since – is he not supposed to be speaking upon ideas that concern everyone? And if not, why not? I, on the other hand exclude all but none in that I approach through an intent to be clear to everyone as well as myself; my exclusivity is found by choice, as there is maybe barely one who would have never chosen to come upon my work. (Nevertheless, one should note: Laruelle’s manner is indeed appropriate, since he is attacking what can be seen as the ‘head of the beast’, the effectively institutional-religio-ideologicracy of conventional method called “philosophy”, the ‘bastion of the sacred method’ by which he is a self-proclaimed “heretic”. Just as Martin Luther, and just as noteworthy, Martin Luther King Junior, among many others, challenged the prevalent institution of their times by advocating and practicing what can be seen as the antithesis of the institution’s pro-motion, Laruelle confronts the similar element of our time, but in a ‘radical’ manner. Reader, please keep this in mind as I occasion Laruelle in this discussion. I am left to wonder if in his assault on the boarder gates he has become a citizen of his own pillaging and continues to build and climb an ever renewing ladder, or whether in his proposition he has thrown away the ladder.)

So, whether or not his intent is to also confront the greater reality, I see that when he says ‘philosophy’, and proceeds to address and direct his activity upon and through a supposed institution or discipline called ‘philosophy’, he is also talking about how people in general may have ‘philosophies of…’ the various aspects and circumstances of life and existence. In contrast, I suspend no presumptions; I am addressing and treating of truth, and nothing less than what it seems a life of experience has lead me to see of how myself and other regular people (including theorists) deal with life. What is ‘rigorous’ is the critical undertaking of experience, and less so, the experience of learning how I might approach an analysis of it and thus so to speak of it. I thus approach from a proposed basis of ignorance, because that is how I came upon the world, through doubt, and through a transparent process that shows frustration and contempt as well as assuredness and askance upon the issues (Constructive Undoing is a process) as most anyone earnestly interested would, attempt to shed light on the significant issues concerning reality and existence. Hence, I hope it helps with this purpose to say that Laruelle and I are parallel in our presentations, but moreso involved in a basic parallax upon the same point of contention.

To this end, a have located a (another) specific occasion. Laruelle’s “sufficient philosophy” suggests that philosophy sees itself sufficient by itself to indicate what is true in-itself, what is true of truth. Where Laruelle has coined this idea, appearing as proposing as he is addressing a specific discipline, as he may or may not be, I coin ‘conventional methodology’ to make explicit that I am indeed taking on truth and reality of the everyday sort, the ‘ordinary method’ of coming upon reality pertaining to agreement with accepted standards, and in this I submit that I step to where Laruelle avoids, as he has been invested in a (slightly) more conservative effort, a conservation of the clause – ironically, at least in appearance.

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Here is an excerpt from Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Logic of Practice” with my clarification comments in brackets, not italicized:

One has to escape from the realism of the structure {the true object}, to which objectivism…necessarily leads when it hypostatizes {makes, sees, understands or otherwise develops as foundational} these relations {true relations of conventional methodology} by treating them as realities already constituted outside the history of the group {an object ‘in-itself’ or ‘out-there’ as opposed to the individual thinking human being} – without falling back into subjectivism, {the individual thinking human} which is quite incapable of giving an account of the necessity of the social world { in so much as reality or the world can be argued as originating from the individual human being (subjectivism), it fails to account for the apparent arbitrary agency of random events and other conscious subjects}.” [1980 Stanford University Press; English translation, 1990 Polity Press. Pg. 52]

One cannot assume a common understanding. This is why there is discussion. But a discussion must find a common ground before there is true communication. This is the initial problem. The meaning of the terms of the issue have not been sufficiently disclosed, and it seems for our discussion, here, we are up against a very large obstacle: faith.

What I mean when I use this term is also part of the problem; through Constructive Undoing I have been attempting to indicate how faith is to be situated so communication might then occur. In this post I have presented the above excerpt because it describes the situation in a pretty good and clear manner, such that I might be able to elaborate and thus promote and get at a sensible, understandable and productive communication. In short, I turn the conventional meaning of faith, as having to do with belief and choice, on its head, or rather, back upon itself and its proclamations of truth, proposing that the conventional effort itself is based in faith, yet more precisely I propose faith as the containment that allows for the individual and conventional reality due to its ‘having’ choice and belief, but that the truth needs no faith.

Here is a more fluid reading (my rendition appropriate to ‘faith’) of the excerpt above:

One has to escape from objectivism, the idea of the true object, where objects exist ‘out there’ in the world and where the human being is likewise an object among objects of a true universe, the meaning of which allows for and maintains an absolutely true scheme that relates objects and establishes conventional reality. But also, one should not respond by falling into subjectivism, or the idea that reality stems from the individual thinker, or that whatever one believes is thus true, for this idea also fails to account for much of the aspects and activity of a social world.

Please note that Bourdieu is involved with a critique of anthropology and sociology, their theories and practices of approaching and analyzing cultures. Though his presentation is quite profound, I will not go into his particular argument here, except to say that his proposal is that one needs instead to look at practice, hence his book “The Logic of Practice”. At some point in the future I will discuss in more detail the relevance of his and others’ positions and activities. For now, his is a sufficient occasion to talk about faith.

In as much as Bourdieu proposes a solution of ‘practice’, I extract from his proposal and develop ‘faith’. The situation that he describes above, that one must “escape” from, represents how faith is constituted as reality. For my occasion toward meaning and in a manner of speaking, he is suggesting that what is necessary for truth is to relinquish ones faith in objectivism and subjectivism. It is not difficult to understand what a usual or common object is; we see them and interact with them every moment of our lives: the tree, the lamp, the box, the shirt, the person. What is not so easy is to see that these objects are not solute in knowledge, meaning, though they might be presented to knowledge, and may be re-presented by knowledge, such knowledge does not contain or correspond with any true object except that what is ‘true’ is likewise qualified or quantified to a ‘true’ meaning. What this means is that knowledge reflects only knowledge; it also means that what is at issue is where or how truth finds its ground, or its fundamental basis. Knowledge cannot, does not, ‘reach’ some ‘out there’ object, nor does the various qualities of such a true object (what can be known as an object “in-itself”, or what I call an “absolute true object”) influence knowledge or yield up information of itself that knowledge then ‘apprehends’ or ‘gains’ of it. Knowledge is not ‘knowledge of…’ so to speak. Admittedly, though, this concept seems to defy common sense, but it is apparent when one attempts to convey a truth without sensory confirmation, and without faith; hence, what is ‘common’ sense.

What we are dealing with here is a necessarily advocated separation of things in the world; we are dealing with what we see actually occurring in life and ones perception of life and the world. The method of theoretical reduction of reality to some ‘more real’ idea, such as Laruelle’s “Real” or “vision-in-One” as opposed to “reality”, is merely a situating of meaning based upon a presumption of the true object, and this yields nothing but a mythological ideology, as if one mythology might be better or more advanced or progressed than another. How is it possible for there to be a something more or less real? Despite all discursive gymnastics, only through relativity can we have a Real and then a reality, only in a world where terms are able to indicate something better than or worse than, ignorant and enlightened, essential as opposed to mundane: only in a world determined through a conventional methodology. To be more more precise, the issue is not of a discerning or discovering of (true) things based upon phrasing, clause or context, but quite the converse. It is not a mis-definition that gives us the mistake of belief in the true object, it is something infinitely more subtle and insidious: it concerns ones orientation upon the term; the issue has to do with a situating of terms for a designation of the object.

Bourdieu does an absolutely amazing job at putting into words the situation of reality as it pertains to this idea, how theoretical assertions fail, how exactly terms interact meaningfully, and how these issues resolve in, what he proposes, practice. Here, though, I am not so concerned with the particular discursive meanings of practice since we all practice every day. Our ‘inner’ thoughts and ‘outer’ physical activities are the manifestation of existence; so far as I am concerned, the world of practice just “Is”. The contemplations of what I shall do to day as well as how I actually do it as well as the thoughts about all this is commonplace, well worked and though interesting, not very significant. Things get done, I have my attitudes, my opinions, others have theirs – life goes on. But it is how one is oriented upon such ability to “practice” that is significant: it reveals ‘faith’, or how one is oriented upon reality.

Where it is possible for an absolutely true object to be correspondent with, or signify itself as, a person’s thought of it, there is faith, but also conventional reality. The theoretical reduction that would remove the incidence of meaning intended here, that would rebut again to reveal how “there is no absolutely true object”, has not grasped reality, but has asserted it; indeed, in that theoretical move, conventional faith has been restated. Such a faith is not of reflection, it is of direction; conventional faith is of the naive past toward a knowing of truth revealed as such, a superstitious past toward an ‘enlightened’ future. The direction is the conflation of sense and knowledge; the sensation combined with what ‘makes sense’, knowledge, amounts to the true object; so it is also with the ‘sensation’ based upon a ‘proper’ theoretical argument. The reflection that understands that the sensation only confers meaning through knowledge, and not along side of it or conspiratorially with it, is not in play for conventional reality: a TV is a TV, a doll is a doll, a tree a tree, a car a car, cells are cells, bricks bricks, a bird a bird, a dog a dog – a theory a theory – the assemblage or ‘world’ of such true objects, I call ‘conventional reality’, or simply ‘reality’. We should be not so concerned with some fundamental, more real, reality, which is to say concerned with how to describe (the true object called) reality for what it ‘really’ looks like, for this amounts to a metaphysical proposition; rather, our discussion here has to do with what is practical, what emerges as a result of ‘practicing the process’ life.

Absolute true objects rely on and are found by the possibility in equivocation of thought to the thing out there that is sensed and a subsequent negotiation with things out there or other; such objects rely not only on knowledge but on an indication – i say “tree” and i point over there and the person next to me sees the tree or touches it or smells it and nods “yes, i agree, that is a tree” and thereby we know that thing there is a tree in truth absolutely. By the term ‘absolute’ I mean to indicate an orientation one has upon reality, but this is difficult because in our discussion of faith there is no objective referential like a tree to point to; i can only describe situations from the occasioning of objects ( such as this ‘discursive’ object called faith). Again, even as I would argue the position that there are no absolutes, that such ideas gain their meaning as relation, which is to say, in the negotiation of meaning, i am arguing not only a truth, but i am asserting an absolute nature, aspect or thing of the universe, as if the universe has given me some piece of data or information of itself to my knowledge, as if the true one universe has relinquished or revealed itself to my knowledge. The irony of this situation cannot be overdetermined.

Conventional reality that rests upon the possibility of the absolutely true object is not true, but only true in knowledge; the reality that mistakes the ‘object of knowledge’ for the ‘knowledge of the (true) object’ is of faith. Only through knowledge can we know of what may be sense; the sense that orients sensation, as from the physical senses, that would distinguish it (sensation) from thought to show how they involve separate elements of stimuli and process, also uses such ideas to develop and reinforce the incorporated individual who is manifested, a human being, as a result of these elements. The idea is that thoughts can be distinguished from raw physical senses but the sense can influence thoughts and thoughts the senses, but that in fact they are intimately intertwined. The real human being is defined in reality and in this way is real. Hence, what i say is not real of the human being is that none of these situations can be recognized without knowledge, and thus knowledge is the total situation of being human. But, as pointed out, we should not take this to mean that we should look to subjectivity for the truth, as subjectivity usually denotes belief, not so much because, as Boudieu puts it, subjectivity fails to account for and actually avoids social contingencies, but rather because the rhetorical-theorietics of subjectivity is also informed by a particular orientation toward the true object, what I call the subject-object. We are thereby concerned with, and revealed unto, not the real subject, but rather, the true subject.

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I coin the phrase “faith makes true” to emphasize the difficulty of overcoming the mistake of (conventional) reality. Reality is qualified as such, as designating the arena of true things, because it is so prevalent and common: it is reality, the relations of things in reality are real. It seems frivolous and presumptuous to make a counter-distinction, as Laruelle does, and call his ‘the Real’, as if it is somehow more real than reality; it seems more consistent and logical to call a counter distinction “not real” – and this sensibility thus also re-emphasizes the difficulty of escaping the “realism of the structure”, as Bourdieu puts it above, since one inherently and apparently is bound to what is real, to reality, because the conventional methodology deems it real and true. Also, the ability to come upon ‘what has been chosen’ informs reality inso much as ‘one chooses’ of what may be come upon. In this the object, inanimate or animate, may behave and be interacted with the human being through the free act. Reality thereby confers upon the individual his situation as real in reference to what he may or may not have chosen of himself; thereby he may have illusions based in the choices he made and be brought back into reality. So it is that the conventional agent of faith is incapable and unwilling to relinquish what (to her or him) is true, because of his faith in the true object. Faith is sufficient for reality, but not for truth, and what is more real is only likewise of faith; nevertheless, the terms of reality are sufficient to convey the truth, but are not sufficient of themselves. The non-philosophical method itself is a sufficient philosophy, and can thereby pose some ‘more real’ reality (the Real), but it is insufficient to reveal the truth.

How can this be so?
What we have is a meaning of basic duality that precipitates from conventional duality, that is found through a simple doubting of everything; a precipitate that I call the conventional bias. The sufficient non-philosophy that would recourse to offer some progressed state of reality is rooted in bias. When what is needed to bring about such progression is needed, there is faith, because the hope is that what is sufficient for logic will be sufficient for the truth of progress; but alas, it is so difficult to relinquish ones faith.

Further on Faith; A Reflection.

Im gonna step a little closer to home here, just for a moment, and offer what could be considered a fictional account of life in experience. A word on faith.

“Where I am offended, I have faith.”

I have difficulty with a faith that must be worked for, as if some times I have faith and other times I do not. The fact is, if i have faith, it is because I doubt; I have faith in doubt. This may seem offensive or contradictory to some, but I cannot help but doubt. I cannot hold to some idea of hope. I cannot hold to an idea that seems to be working sometimes but other times does not; rather, I can only hold on so long. The idea of ‘working’ is very problematic to me; if faith only works dependent upon what work I do to get it, then I am doomed, because I will fail every time – because then what about the times, despite myself, i am not working for my faith? But not just that, if i am working for faith but it somehow does not seem to be working, I will take that to mean that I am doing something wrong, that I am not worthy. I thereby end up invalidating myself unto the world and validate myself in the world. I cannot but be justified and be human.

If I have faith and I am working for it, but things do not seem to be going my way and yet I still have faith that indeed I am still worthy, my faith is vindicated but I may not have been involved with what is true, but only what I have made true through my belief that working for something is noble. If I have faith but am not working for it and things seem to be not going my way but yet i still feel worthy, again i am vindicated but I may be avoiding what is true for the sake of what I have made so, like a mistaken type of zen master; what then is this faith? And, If i have a faith that i need not do anything for, why would I even call it faith? Either way, my faith seems then to not have anything to do with whether things are going my way or not, except that my faith concerns a justification of what i am doing. If i am completely removed from my relation with the world against which i have to justify myself, what need have I of faith? Even so, the world in which I behave without the necessity of justification, is sufficient for revealing the truth of the matter of faith. .

The pivotal issue has to do with one who has no faith and does nothing for it, that is, I am not working for my faith for I have no faith. Here then the issue of truth is presented in its fullest. One idea that truth needs no faith is basic to anyone who sees faith as having to do with religion or spirituality, where instead, one opts for a scientific, or perhaps, in a manner of speaking, a ‘practical’ approach to reality, one that needs no faith but is steeped in knowledge. This one works for knowledge. So what we have is a person who works for knowledge, but has no faith, but feels worthy despite whether or not such knowledge is working. In fact such knowledge is or contains or accounts for knowledge that works and knowledge that does not work. Here is one who is justified in his work despite the results of that work, and he thereby completes all of the possibilities of faith. Whether or not he calls his work a work of faith makes no difference except in that he would deny that his work is based in faith, for if it did not matter to him whether he was in faith or not, or working for it or not, then it would be equally valid to say that he indeed had or has faith. When he denies that he is working in faith, then he is exactly without faith but is working for something else, and in this a state of denial he is precisely having faith in the fact that he has no faith. He has not doubted, so his faith is in that he justifies himself in the terms of his doing, for if he was doing nothing he would have to justify it or he would not be worthy and his faith that is not faith would fail, since he had no faith by which to support his worth; his situation then is that he had no faith, was not working for it, and was not worthy. Hence, the truth that he was working for despite whether it worked or not would be found not true, but only true in so much as his working for it was allowing it to be so. This one would not see that indeed his effort is ironic, that in his not working, and so not being justified or worthy of the world, his effort was exactly one of faith.

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To have faith in a goodness that permeates the bad spots of life, as if there is a transcendent good purpose, or proposer, of which I can only know a piece, an immanent piece, selects my person away from what may be true, into the world, which is to say, into reality; such a faith removes me from a relationship with the world where I am intimate with the truth, and leaves me in a relation of distance and denial, of fear and frustration, a potential that is grounded in hope. I become invested in a person that is mythological, one who misses the truth of the world for the glamour of heaven, which is exactly missing the adventure of existence for the beauty of fantasy. In this fantasy, the world and I are at odds of a natural course – this course, of course, needs an interlocutor, a fantastic redeemer, one who restores worth and relieves hope with the hoped-for.

I can come to this notion only through experience, not reality. If i see my experience is of, or gained from or through reality, then i can only hope that my experience is faithful. Through a faith that is based in hoping, because of my wanting to have faith, I inevitably find that my faith is actually a term I use to refer to a relation with my object of faith. I can say it is God, or a god, or spirit or daemon, the universe, or whatever, but I have some sort of interaction with the world where an element of faith is involved, where the goods and the bads are tempered with a certain kind of reflection, one that has me in reaction to things of the world. What have I done wrong? What have I done right? How can I go about things differently or what did I do so I can repeat it? What lesson have I learned? How can I apply what I have learned to present and future circumstances? As many of these questions are not answered satisfactorily, or such answers again yield still the same queries from oneself, i come to a crossroads and divide myself into experience: I thereby come upon transcendence and immanence localized in the meaning of an unrecognized world of doubt that appears as an object of faith.

So I begin to recede…

So it was, my faith was exactly not faith, but in that i had no faith i only had faith – yet i doubted this. A curious thing happened after a while of living life this way; I began to reflect upon my reflecting, for i could not have such considerations as to appraising the moment toward what i should do next unless there was some thing that aroused or caused such consideration, which is to say, the world, that is, unless i wanted to make the the world ‘happy’: In effect, i found myself, consciously, in a motion toward elements that were not me.

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If this first reflection is exactly self-conscious, where my motivations and aspirations, strategies and tactics were geared toward establishing myself in the world, my second reflection is upon the elements by which I am developing such self-consciousness upon or towards; the reason I have such thoughts and behavior is exactly because I am a reflection of the world. The third reflection sees that the world is no longer a stage that I arrange and upon which I assert my play because I now am involved withthe world.

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The second reflection emerged because I began to see that my conscious reflection really only occurred when things were not going the way I wanted them to. If things were good, I figured I was doing right, or rather, correctly, like they were supposed to, and my reflection only amounted to a “that was great” kind of feeling, if there was any thought upon it; my ideas concurred with a righteous presentation. I didn’t correct myself at these times, it seemed to come naturally. The only reflection i had upon such moments was that everything thing was ok, and from there I proceeded outward, away from reflection. What I had learned must be being put to good use; what I had learned was being put into practice; things were good. Only when things were not going good would I consider what I may not be doing right, and I would attempt to find out what was wrong. It could have been just being in the situation to begin with, or it could actually be something I did wrong; it could have been merely that ‘shit happens’. Basically, though, if it was good, I was good, but if it was bad, I tried to find out what it was so to reestablish it being good. Life was always toward everything being ok; i never tried to make things bad.

But the bad times would come again. The funny thing is, It never occurred to me that the position from which i drew my assessments might be incorrect, and it took a long time to see that regardless of what I was doing, despite all the mental and physical effort I made towards having a good life and being happy, bad times always came. The blind spot of my situation brought me to dwell in this situation such that i began to forebode of the good, to prepare for the bad to come and the manner by which I attempted to counter these grey times was at best a defensive attitude of indifference, tempered with a renewed fortitude. For a bit, the callus allowed me to have an identity.

Some would say “that’s just life”. Yet, still we endeavor for the good and this, in its most simplistic operation, is the basis of faith.

In so much as reflection is invested in life upon the good and the bad moments, I was in a relationship with life; for it seemed there was something else at work beyond my best efforts to harness it, something always fouled it up. This thing that fouled it up most of the time was the world, but still I was involved, and that made it personal. Here I was, doing my best. The feelings and thoughts around the times when everything seemed good and was going my way was exactly that I was correspondent with the world, which is to say, we were getting along. Whatever the particular aspects that I encountered of the world, these aspects agreed with me in the sense that I was being fulfilled. In so much as they didn’t agree with me, but yet my life was good, the effect was still that I was doing good, the world was ‘functioning’ for my benefit, on my behalf, so to speak, so i could ‘learn’. The relationship was good. Yet, I could not hang on to a faith that would disappear into hope when things were bad, for my faith did not thus disappear, i merely denied it. I would get angry and spiteful at the world and things in or of the world, but it remained; good or bad, the world remained intact for whatever it was doing. It was this realization, this rejection of pitiful insecurity disguised as strength, that the good and the bad was in fact based in a true and necessary relation, not a contingent relation, with the world that then allowed me to come to a knowledge of the situation I was in; this was the beginning of the third reflection.

When things went bad, I had to make an effort back towards life being ok and this effort had to do with my caring for the world, the world that gave me that with which i struggle. It could only be that the world and i were involved that i struggled. I could not longer deny in peace. The relationship did not end, now, in fact, i drew upon it, intuited from it what was off, what angles I could take, gleaned from it the overt and covert elements of the situation: i looked upon – indeed, engaged – the world for the information by which to bring a solution to the problem because it was though the world was working against with me despite myself. Never was there a time where I could dismiss myself from the world, in fact, so much as I may have had faith, I could not help but to consider the events of my life with respect to this other aspect of my experience that I could not control but nevertheless offered to me what i could control, which was really only that these things i could not control were informing me of what i could control because they were in fact things I could not control because they were presented to me as such, ‘those things I could control’. My faith waned as the truth began to assert itself as knowledge. The things I would do to correct the situations became acts of reconciliation or amends, instead of methods and coercements. Eventually I began to see the world not as an object upon which I reflect, but a reflection of the object I asserted when I reflected self-consciously upon the world. This second reflection came back to me, interacted with me, as a world not a stoic and inanimate void of substance concept, but as an emotional and conscious aspect of self, and this was the fourth reflection, where I come present.

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The fiction above tells a story of the situation of reality. Reality occurs in the first reflection. The truth of existence begins, but is not always completed subsequently, through the second reflection. Reality occurs through the individual in denial of his relationship with the world. The first as it may move to the second has to do with separation, of an assertion of one upon the other, of control over impotence, of exception, of denial, of alienation, of identity: of the philosophy of the One true universe. The movement through and beyond the second has to do with acceptance, praxis and agency, as these are the beginnings to the motion that completes in the fourth reflection.

“Education is the practice of freedom”; where one ceases to doubt for the sake of individual identity, one has proclaimed his complicity in the game of oppression and staked the world against his faith.
‘Faith makes true’ is the operational maxim; for convention it is the basis of belief and the foundation of reality; for the ironic it is the process that leaves itself once the truth has become apparent. Instead of ‘making true’, faith becomes knowledge, such that what was faith then becomes a kind of willed ignorance, and the truth becomes that which accounts for it.

Direct Tangent 6.5: What I Think Is A Pretty Good Indication of My Position.

If I am saying so myself: this title is pretty fkg great; hilarious.
Anyways….

My reply to a comment by Mr. Adkins came out pretty good, so I’m posting it (with some editing):

Mr. Adkins: – “”There is no contradiction where there is radical duality”.

Also, the excerpt above is interesting, the one about there being ‘no illusions’. This may be true for non-philosophy and from the perspective of vision-in-One, but philosophy’s own belief-in-itself-as-in-the-real is the source of its transcendental Illusion, and the latter is veritably the same thing as its resistance, which is what non-philosophy, as science of philosophy, takes as its object.””

Direct Tangent 5.31: “- I submit that due to this doubling-back upon the “tatters”, non-philosophy will remain ‘unheard’ due to the persistent confusion that is the discussion of the philosophical object. Yet neither can be excluded since there are no illusions; I would say illusions only occur with the conventionally oriented.”

Yes, again: from your comment, it is difficult to believe that you are considering that what I write has any merit, since it appears that you only have glanced through my essays. For i agree and have said as much as your paragraph reply.

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There may indeed be no contradiction where there is radical duality, but the appearance of the explanation of it cannot avoid a contradicting duality. Even as I come upon the occasion of L’s work, I can only see it in reference to my particular experience, as an occasion-in-the-last-instance, so to speak, and this is a sublimated or reconciled form of duality in that i want or attempt to mean ‘my whole experience’. (I will address Slavoj Zizek’s comment on ‘love’ – we “do not love the whole world; we pick and choose what we love” – in a later post.) I see that L uses ‘radical’ in an attempt to release, or distinguish his meaning from what other typical or usually-philosophical meanings may be or have been proposed. The fact that he uses the term ‘radical’ must imply something that everyone commonly knows of the ‘usual’ meaning of of radical-ness or he would have chosen a different term.

Yet, I have problems with the ‘vision-in-One’. No matter how this is situated in meaning, he would not use the term ‘One’ if the usual meaning of ‘one’ was not operative somehow; neither would he have used the idea of ‘vision’. Any proposition of unity is a transcendental form (I will make my argument around this in an upcoming essay, I think); there is no situating a meaning of “oneness” without implicating some sort of “oneness” – that is unless he is speaking ironically. If his intent on using such ideas is to identify where such meaning lacks, and in this lack show exactly where non-philosophy resides or functions, then his idea is ironically solute: But I do not think he leaves his rhetoric open for such repetition; I think he is attempting to re-iterate a type of Hermeticism or ‘early’ Gnosticism so as to verify some sort of evolutionary progress of consciousness. The difference between what he is saying and what I am saying is quite a fine line, and I am working out how this line can be. ( with your help it seems 😉

The fact that I have come upon such presentation is revealed in duality, but unified by its being presented to me is a radical project; as i take it back to relinquish it again, without but absolutely with, transformed by my positional-absence (if i am also allowed to make up hyphenated terms and we can speak of it this way) – this is an ironic project. To deny duality through some assemblage of meaning does not negate duality, the meaning accounts for it. Hence philosophy and non-philosophy respectively, but my conventional methodology and philosophy, again respectively.

In this respect, I cannot expect a conventional agent to understand non-philosophy unless it is some thing to be comprehended, and not occasioned.

I may apprehend or comprehend that any and every manifestation and or presentation is really some sort of radical immanence, that I am included as instigator-receiver as well as passive catalyst and active resistor in the total scheme of meaning that includes what may be other-ness, that I am included totally just as what I may see as other beings are really part of my own radical immanence, but in a way that excludes the possibility of philosophically situating myself inclusively as that having providence or of ownership of other or others, or they me, and in such a way that we all thus co-participate in the democracy of strangers on or of or in a (non-)planar (non-)dimensional unilateral non-particular situational loci-circum-stance – it seems to me he is in a discursive process of describing a situation of positing without the necessity of its positing, attempting to describe how position is really movement and movement really position, like some quantum discourse or something. He is arranging giving terms, and this situating of meaning appears on the scene as contradictory; he is resolving innate philosophical contradictions through presenting “positive-negation”, of posing terms as if they are completed by including a negative with the positive, thus his preponderance of hyphen-terms. The need for such hyphens is due to dividing what is necessarily complicit and involved; where there is auto-polemic, hyphens are needed to overcome the division, to merge the dyadic meaning, for example, ‘non-philosophy’; where there is a suspended meaning, a meaning cleft from its counterpositional situation, hyphens are needed to emphasize the divisional position, such as, ‘vision-in-One’. But all of these terms, by their discursive manifestation, appear as positive. If the proposal is seen as not contradictory, that is, the situating of terms that supposedly encompass and thereby resolve the contradiction of ‘positive-negative’, then he is involved in the promotion of a particular method of truth, one that argues a true universe and by extension or reduction, the true object. The true object is a mythological proposition: its meaning is exactly transcendental, not immanent; yet, immanence is the mode of the mythological. There are no people who can behave radically in a radical sense who also can be known by others as such, it denies the very idea of radicality – except by two mutually exclusive moves: irony is in play, or, in as much as ‘radical’ is known in the same way or mode as one might be known as, say, a republican or democrat, passive or active, or short or tall. But if this latter is the case, then non-philosophy has no more or less baring upon truth, reality or existence than any other floating idea concerning proposed bases. Hence, the issue of non-philosophy’s presentation apparently contradicting is meaning. This is the summation of my accusation of Laruelle being in Bad Faith (see my earlier posts, and below).

When attempting to speak of the truth of reality and existence honestly and openly, there is usually, conventionally, no situating of meaning that avoids this; each situation carries the accounting-for element and the exclusive element. Indeed, Badiou, Lyotard, Foucault, even Bourdieu – probably all the postmodernistical French, all see this and express themselves against or in consideration of this phenomenon. Zizek does very well with this also. When the contradiction is taken as an indication of where truth indeed lay, instead of indicating where it falls short or fails, then we can begin to understand what is Radical: that non-philosophy is but one manner of situating terms to account for the truth, what Laruelle implicates by saying ‘knowledges’.

Though he would release himself from the philosophical imperative by ‘non’-ing everything, his result gains a re-circumscription, which is exactly an ideological assertion. When one sees that Laruelle part of a philosophical tradition, and his proposition is just the latest assertion-in-the-last-instance of what theorists in a certain tradition have been already developing using their various terms and attitudes (‘attitude’ like that of a flying plane’s angle of attack against the air) then his lack can be seen in obvious relief.

Bad faith is the condition of not seeing that ones object of faith is not true, a situation evident in a presentation the meaning of which is denied by the presentation. As i have said elsewhere; If Laruelle knows his proposition is true, then he is in bad faith by his presentation, or, if he agrees with the subsequent efforts that claim non-philosophy, then he is in bad faith due to his conventional orientation upon the term. Hence, I see my situating of terms to describe the situation as more precise and more inclusive of the facts. His jargon is unnecessary and forced, though it may be sufficient for the presentation. Unilateralization only resolves ironically, that is to say, it cannot be known or enacted and remain radical, unless, as I have said above, non-philosophy has no more or less validity than the reasons someone likes the Steelers better that the Dolphins in American football. And thus, it is very pertinent and revealing that he would even notice a question that has to do with whether or not humanity should be saved, because he sees his effort as a part of progress towards the true object.

My question has to do with this aspect of L’s work: what does it mean when a meaning accounts for is own lack? And, how is it possible to uphold or suspend the contradicting motion of appearance ? The answer is ironic. Hence I eagerly await the arrival of “Principles of Non-philosophy”, and “Future Christ”.

Direct Tangent 5.31: Radical, Immanence and Faith.

I hope you have a good appetite. We are at a table in a restaurant. Laruelle is my dinner partner in the seat next to me. He is having non-philosophy as his main dish; ironically, I have have opted for the buffet. There are others at our table but they have not been introduced. Many people come by our table and say hi, comment on what we are having or how nice the restaurant is, or the weather, and then disappear back into the restaurant. As I look around, I see other tables ordering ‘what he has’ and pointing to our table…

* * *
This is a discussion of what may be ‘immanence’ and to this end, what may be ‘radical’, through an occasioning of non-philosophy.

*
“There are no illusions. The message will leave a heritage in tattered pieces and interpretations. But it was difficult not to dispute the differend to its core. There will be complete confusion of the multiple, possible, and necessary effectuations of non-philosophy with its interpretations.”
from “Struggle and Utopia in the End Times of Philosophy” by Francois Laruelle.

“In so much as there may be a radical non-philosophical agent, its appearance in reality never is apprehended for what it is, except by those who see the truth of the manifestation, where it therein becomes the mere occasion for radical agency.”
from “Direction 5.18: Recant and Reoccasion” by Lance Kair.

“This is what the imperative of the radicality of immanence meant, to treat immanence in an immanent manner, not to make a new object out of it.”
Ibid. Laruelle.

Laruelle is the occasion for my work here. The significance of his premises are apparent, and the rest follows necessarily: once the issue is understood, the rest is obvious. Many, many, many will read me and argue that i do not thereby understand him, or will ask me to prove it. I will ‘prove it’ by stating the facts. Laruelle has also considered the facts; we are addressing the same issue but approaching it in different terms. What emerges subsequently is of the individual, and does not pertain to the truth of the premises necessarily, though it does sufficiently. The one who sees the parallax conjunction evident in these initial statements will need no discussion on the matter; his or her work will see in ours an occasion that verifies to them that they indeed know the truth of the matter. My problem with Laruelle was never that he is incorrect; my issue with L centers on why his is so shadowed in jargon and dressed in flattery – and if he himself is subject to the mirage (but I tend to think he is not). The truth does not disguise itself, nor does it appeal to tastes. But this does not mean there is no discussion to be had…

Some comments on the opening excerpts:

-In the first excerpt, Laruelle tells us that he recognizes that his effort, non-philosophy, will be taken as a philosophical object, that what may be an actual meaning of non-philosophy will be lost in the confusion, that non-philosophy’s “effectuations” will be commandeered by “interpretations”. The heritage that non-philosophy will leave in pieces will double back with interpretations of what occurred.

– I submit that due to this doubling-back upon the “tatters”, non-philosophy will remain ‘unheard’ due to the persistent confusion that is the discussion of the philosophical object. Yet neither can be excluded since there are no illusions; I would say illusions only occur with the conventionally oriented.

– The non-philosopher, what I could call the ‘radical agent’, is only comprehended by one who already understands what non-philosophy may be, but who may not have called it ‘non-philosophy’, and this one thereby has no need to present an interpretation of it, to make a philosophical object out of it, but instead sees non-philosophy as an occasion that verifies – not ‘tells it the way it is’ – the truth of the matter; that is, unless, as I see it, non-philosophy is proposed as, which is to say that L’s intension fulfills or otherwise acknowledges, an ironic ‘object’ of sorts.

-The question involved in the occasion here, then, is the discrepancy involved in the meanings inherent of these statements (above) taken individually and together. What can Laruelle be meaning by “immanence”? What does it mean for immanence to be treated in an immanent manner?

Most thoughtful people would say that immanence concerns or means, somehow, consistency or acceptance of or within oneself. The problem with such an idea is it means everyone already is behaving in this manner, and that the issue has to do with if they know, acknowledge or realize it or not. Then the question would be how is this possible; how can there be a bifurcation of the same movement? How can there be a ‘one being’ at odds with itself? We can get into the scientific convention of quantum physics later, but the question has to do with the usual answer. Rather, it is really the individual involved and concerned with a proper method that yields an inability to come upon immanence; that then brings a consolation that says immanence is attainable if one does the right things and applies the proper method. This method of consolation justifies the individual lack by reducing immanence to a religious, metaphysical or psychological idea that really means and has meant all along that one just needs to ‘be one’ with oneself, whether it is taken in a religious measure, such as atonement or confession or adhering to certain rituals or practices, or whether it denotes the individual coming to terms with his or her past, or doing some psychological work on the various issues and/or neuroses that are causing one to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with how one would rather be, is causing various problems in one’s life, or is otherwise preventing or hindering one from being comfortable in oneself or in other cases ‘being successful’. Noble and heartwarming as this intent and these activities may be, the proposed end result (objective) does not come close to immanence. It smells a lot like the super-mundane, utter ideological metaphysical pedestrianism, if not outright propaganda. But those so human-healthy will usually be the first to suggest that such activity is a spiritual exercise. What has occurred, though, is that what may be or have been true of ‘the spirit’ or the ‘spiritual’ has been deemed a type of misinterpretation, all this or that time just needing of discussion to figure out what it actually means or is. The discrepancy between the individual and his idea of himself thus marks a failure of the idea rather than the individual, or vice versa, instead of a failure of the scheme of meaning that has brought the idea as well as the individual to contradiction, which is to say, at odds. The method for correcting or reconciling the discrepancy is thus sought through the very scheme that establishes the problem in the first place. This is the method of philosophy, of bringing what may be various knowledges under one knowledge, of binding experience to a particular method of meaning, the discourse of the One Truth, the Universe of the True Object.

I would suggest then, that it is the negation (but not nullifying) of this type of thoughtful activity that Laruelle is up to with his non-philosophy (or at least he should be). Also, this is not my interpretation, rather, what is radical is that which is supposed to be the solution to the problem inherent of the scheme itself, and immanence is that condition that is thus let to knowledge once the scheme (of and in which the problem resides) has been fully renounced (the Name has been relinquished). But the question remains: How can this be?

Many will say this whole line of thought is ridiculous, but what we have here is exactly the condition of letting the concept come into existence through the phenomenon, rather than relying upon an equivocality of concept and phenomenon. It is not a matter of the term being solute with reality, but that such a solution denies other solutions. Hence my “conventional” and possibly Laruelle’s “philosophical” reality; yet, I see the real issue as centering on the ‘term’ and ones orientation upon the object. This cannot be estimated; that is, the reliance upon the equivocality that brings thought into a correspondent relation with (real) objects reveals the inherent over-determination already invested in the effort to produce a viable solution to the problem of reality: This over-determination is exactly transcendence and not immanence, radical or otherwise. The determination of reality must be precise in order for a true relation (or non-relation, as the case may be) to have any meaning at all: the determination must be not real. Otherwise, the meaning is exactly faith. For once the determination is true, no longer do we have reality equated to thoughts except through a mistaken willing of belief – but there exactly do we have difference. It is thus the ‘sameness’, the in-distinction that qualifies the philosophical movements that at once understand but still play the language games as if some progress can be or will be made due to the recognition, within which discussion abounds upon a transcending truth as everyone wills themselves into reality.

Thus, to come back to the individual’s inability to come upon immanence, this means that the individual is routinely unable, does not have the capacity, to renounce the problematic scheme wholesale, and so, as a human ideological-cultural motif, has deemed such ability, as well as any terms that might denote, refer or indicate such ability, to be false. The proper method – right action, right thought, etc…to mediation and yoga, to therapy, exercise or even medication, but also methods of negotiation, philosophical but also including economic, cultural and sociological methods – thus emerges in history toward the true ‘objective’ that has been determined in denial to never be a reconciliation of discrepant objects, but always the creation of problem within a posed solvent future, the mistaken past corrected by the future, which reveals precisely the ideological agenda of the conventional agent, as well as offers routes into cultural critique. Immanence at once is deemed an anachronistic and/or religious-metaphysical (read: false) notion for the sake of the transcendent truth, as well is absorbed into the conventional rhetoric to justify its reductive and unifying motion; immanence becomes an ideological justification of activity localized in the conventional agent. This last is why, i believe, Laruelle had to introduce radical immanence, to admit and assert poignantly and decisively what should not ever be confused -though it typically, habitually and persistently does – with, what I submit is a more precise terming, the conventional methodology.

*

My research has found that other authors have and are indeed addressing reality through the same understanding, but that often the authors and their conventional agents quibble over the use of terms. So it is from this perspective that I join the discussion. As a substrate to my proposals, I must ask: How is it possible that I have come upon such knowledge?

*

My posts have been growing rather lengthy. So I have decided to chop my essays into more easily digestible portions. This helps me to keep to more specific points, as well as develop a more sensible and consistent proposition.

So I will have a drink, and return from the buffet in a moment…

Direction 5.18: Recant and Reoccasion.

I am a bit hard-headed. I think most critical thinkers/philosophers are. I find this the best basic method for my endeavor, which is a grounding of my experience in discourse. In this effort I have come across, what I could call, using the most true, and possibly non-philosophical sense of the term, guru that have allowed me to make strides, such that one could make a certain sense of Socrates, “‘When two go together, one sees before the other” (Protagoras; 348d). Indeed, as of late, such a guru has made himself known to me through these posts; and i could say to him, nameste, but be mindfull not to get too caught up with conventional religious inferences, for beginning this essay with such a salutation forebodes a philosophical object over which I could become quite nauseous. Though i have not yet reached the primary, or grounded meaning of my argument, I have spent much of the foregoing essays and posts upon the secondary, or what could be called the conventional-objectival appearance of bad faith, and it is of the assertion that Laruelle is exhibiting this kind of bad faith that I recall. So I can say I withdraw my accusation that Laruelle is in bad faith, so far as one needs a philosophical basis by which to propose anything, since Laruelle does indeed admit the inherent polemical appearance of non-philosophy.

My proposal is that Laruelle is in bad faith by the presentation of his Non-philosophy. Many times I have reiterated what this means: the meaning of non-philosophy is denied in its presentation. More precisely, I was saying that the method, the proposing of terms through a scheme of definitional relation, contradicts the meaning of its premises, that it is inherently, hermenutically (ah ha!) contradictory. Basically, I was proposing that his non-philosophical ideas are philosophical in nature – a proposal based overtly in the secondary orientation – for my argument recedes where many probably see it as marching forth – an ideal motion which flies in the face philosophical effort, the sense of which I call Conventional Methodology.

So i reiterate as i recant; In the process of beginning is repetition. Perhaps all this might be more clear if I refer to the Preface of his Dictionary of Non-Philosophy, pages 1 & 2; here is the link:

https://53647d68-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/nsrnicek/DictionaryNonPhilosophy.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7coaPXFFbg2rrirj7f4YuacR_fpuh3ADXmiJjBgwOtD9RYyz9tCPvYW_Ajr8pyRsHCw6CToTWiqSCL9E4b4HOgPw1xI1J10qneAeVrrPIGKdvOcrgikqzY55Zzx7HIlsrqYwKburyOdKFJCPkK_UZ4RUHxUbZHkwb3-G-d57UdmFj-208t8J0H9u__0FTfXHn60cnph-5uBcvlK1T-FiEy99L7tf9Uobmg1f_N1obJtCjdGpvZ0%3D&attredirects=1

[Wow; that’s a very long URL.]

If anyone has been following my posts, and watching the development of my argument – I have asked the question: does Laruelle see this contradiction that I see? It is of a true irony as well as justification of my process of doubt that I would have come upon the answer to this question in the first words of the preface of the first piece I had come across and read of non-philosophy, this Dictionary of the link above. I can only blame myself; I was curious and when i began reading at random places, just to get a rough idea of what non-philosophy could be, i became excited and within a few minutes i knew the basis of his whole presentation; I skipped the preface for the meat of the definitions. I moved from one to another of his terms and had little difficulty in seeing his points and how they might have come about. But indeed, if I would have started at the very beginning, I would have seen that Laruelle and I have not only a common understanding, but that indeed, both of us, have come across the significant issue. And as I have said before – but it could be that I am somewhat unread – I have only encountered a proper addressing of the significant issue in authors that are dead. The significant issue is reality and existence, and a proper addressing is something that what is usually understood as philosophy does not do or has not done. This is why it is significant that a long time before I ever even heard of non-philosophy, I coined a term to refer to my work: aphilosophy.

Aphilosophy was a tongue-in-cheek indication of my position through a stab at what i see as philosophical lack, but I assert that what I, and I might include Larurelle, am doing is philosophy, and by this confidence I then call what is typically called philosophy “conventional methodology”.

Again, to be clear with the elements termed: Laruelle has non-philosophy and philosophy, I have philosophy and conventional methodology, respectively. The reason why I use the term ‘philosophy’ in a proprietary manner, rather than a dismissive manner, has to do with how I am oriented upon reality. Conventional philosophy, as I merge the terms, as Laruelle also sees, never ends. This is so much the case that I cannot speak to say ‘reality’ without a persistent and continual rebuttal from the informed philosophical mind that the term ‘reality’ is problematic. The rebuttal will then proceed to present the various problems, which simply round out to “what do we mean by reality”, but will never find an end, never find a solution to the problem. The discussion thus starts in an arbitrary place, like, when I make a statement about reality, and then only develops, and this discussion has continued and will continue ad infinitum, resolving only with various momentary systems of thought that seemingly define reality in a scheme of definitions that appear solute or terminal, but then inevitably someone will problematize the scheme, and the whole discussion, that then appears to begin again, continues, developing a proper history and scheme of relations. This is exactly philosophy; it is a scheme of definitional relations that develop, present and rely upon a proper method of finding or coming to the truth.

I situate my work differently than Laruelle. Again; I see that Laruelle and I am in an effort of philosophy, of finding and presenting what is true, and because what is typically and usually known as philosophy (Laruelle sticks with this given term for his situation) never finds truth, but always claims to be (what is called truth in negotiation, or relative truth), I call it a conventional methodology, rather than philosophy.

Again, if one refers to the link, specifically pages 1 and 2, one will see that Laruelle uses the same term, methodology, but has chosen to call the element “doctrinal” what I have determined as “methodological”. His “methodological and disciplinary” he brings against the given of philosophy, and thus calls his position non-philosophy. I see that he uses the term “doctrinal” to indicate a type of religious type of effort, since doctrine is taught, or likewise able to be learned, but also it indicates that what is taught is promoted as good and true, if not right and correct. Thus our distinctions further conflate; such philosophy-doctrine/conventional methodology promotes a particular scheme of definitional relations as reflecting what is true and proper.

Our position, our premises are parallel; not the same, but stemming from the same basis of experience, or what one could say is the same experience of knowledge. Once this experience has become foundational, then the only issue is the term; that is, how to speak of it. Hence, one might see where or how I came across my initial provocation: why is Laruelle using such a complicated and jargonesque presentation?

Nevertheless, I seek here to explicate my terms as parallel to what he outlines his Preface, as i have been doing with other terms of his (see my posts on radical immanence and the quadripartite) that some may see that Laruelle and non-philosophy is not to be made into another philosophical object over which to debate, but to show or bring in the possibility that non-philosophy is but one way to speak about a basic, common issue; fundamentally then, the significant issue is not so much whether it is ‘philosophy’ or ‘conventional methodology’, ‘non-philosophy’ or ‘philosophy’, but rather the term, and one’s ontological existential orientation upon it.

*

I will attempt to explicate Laruelle’s Preface and coordinate his meaning with what I have come upon, including describing non-philosophy’s appearance under the primary rubric of bad faith.

Non-philosophy is constituted under a double aspect: doctrinal, with the objective appearance of a philosophical type of thought; methodical and disciplinary, with a more theoretical than systematic will of extending its modes of argumentation and its vocabulary to all fundamental knowledges.”

Here it is: he evidences that he understands the contradiction of non-philosophy, as he spells it out as a polemical reality: the “methodological and disciplinary” indicates activity, as in method and type of activity, and the “doctrinal” indicates that the activity of non-philosophy necessarily appears as a philosophical object; which is to say, it appears on the scene toward a true object of discussion. Further, non-philosophy is more-like theory than a system that one can coordinate into understanding as its theoretical nature actually addresses what can be seen as the possibility that there is more than one type of knowledge, contrary to philosophy which brings all possibility of knowledge into its single, but segregate-relative domain; which is to say, philosophy binds all discussion in a motion of itself, to itself.

This much is sufficient to show that Laruelle appears an effort to bring about change through a proper communication. In as much as he affirms his position by determining his non-philosophy as a sort of ‘more correct’ description, as a correction of the philosophical mode, he is asserting righteousness as a sort of proper way of doing, which is to say, a proper method of thinking about reality and existence. It is thus through this ‘discipline’ of non-philosophical ‘method’ that he is promoting a way into reality-existence-being: it “extends its modes of argumentation” into all possibility of knowledge, and therefore is claiming to have a more complete or better comprehension or ability of application than philosophy.

I have difficulty with this presentation. I say that no distinction can be made without transforming itself – either distinctions – into a philosophical object: Laruelle risks nothing except his hope, that is, his faith that what he is saying will not be turned into a philosophical object. If this is the case, what we have is an element of conscious agent who is involved in a project of deception due to the inherent qualities involved in the activity of presenting it. What we have with L then is an agent that has taken total responsibility for the world and thus can do nothing but that he does, but is in denial of the capacities of the mode of non-philosophy as subject to the determinations of philosophy. The very fact that I am discussing what he may be saying makes non-philosophy de facto (as Laruelle says above) a philosophical object. In as much as non-philosophy is capable of being communicated with its meaning intact we have a radical agent, one that defies all philosophical modes and operations, including that there are other comprehending agents who might learn how to apply non-philosophical methods. It becomes obvious, then, that Laruelle is involved with a positive orientation upon the world, an effort that seeks to change the parameters or representations or meanings of symbols that sustain the world. But in as much as he may be a radical agent, he is speaking nothing more than what is being said, and putting out into the world the world that he cannot but help in manifesting as a radical agent.

Basically, such a world that seeks to discuss the radical agent, the non-philosopher, as if he or she may have discussable qualities as a philosophical object, thus finds that the radical agent only manifests against a common agent, what one could say is a conventional agent, and it is here we have the repetition of the categories of this discussion: one includes, one excludes – is a world that is unified under a common rubric of meaning such that they might discuss the various possibilities of non-philosophy. Such a world cannot be some sort of illusion; it is reality, but, in that it has missed the radical agent for the object-agent, such a world is a “conventional” world. It is generated, manifested and perpetuated through such discussed terms, and thus proports a proper method. Hence, this world, that cannot be said to be a world because of the philosophical discursive determinants which reject such a conception due to its dissecting and incising contingent protocols of truth for what is real – I say such a world is real by virtue of conventional methodology, what Laruelle calls ‘philosophy’ or the ‘philosophical reality’.

While Laruelle situates his position to indicate the distinction, the distinction must necessarily collapse in on itself. This is the primary meaning of bad faith, and it is admitted in his Preface. His meaning indicates a position that cannot be discussed for its truth is manifest, but the manifestation of the description of the position cannot help but incite discussion as to its proper meaning. The orbiting discussion concerning non-philosophy that ensues reduces what might have been ‘radical’ to not only a proper (must I say: conventional) truth, but assumes as it indites the proper way to come about non-philosophically: it thus falls firmly in the realm of conventional methodology.

Hence, what he has situated, because his situation is that of indicating only this dyad, the one and the two, and that his situation is that of promoting a discussion along particular lines such that there is discussion that is particularly non-philosophical by definition, his contradiction is entirely with the conventional methodology, and reveals nothing more than a correct method to those who supposedly understand him. Yet, if he is to say that his understanding is confluent with the discussion about non-philosophy, then he is in bad faith since the meaning of his non-philosophical “theory” would denote that there is nothing to be discussed about it, i.e. that it reflects the truth, such that those who do indeed understand what he is saying really thus take it as a statement of the truth that verifies and confirms to those who already had come upon the truth that they are indeed correct and likewise have nothing to do than what is and has been set before them. For as Laruelle says himself: “Non-philosophy does not attach itself to a particular tradition, for it is a theory and a pragmatics of all actual or possible philosophy, past or to come.” It does not even attach itself to itself, but is indeed an occasion, an observed thought and action based in truth, that reaches out toward nowhere but the objective that is patent in the truth of the matter at hand as expressed by, what Laruelle would call, the non-philosopher, as what I would say is more accurately, for the position Laruelle attempts to present but only inadvertently indicates: the ironist.

It is the effort to grasp or otherwise explain as a truth the real or actual truth, as a definite and solute common object and to propose such findings as truth, that is exactly an effort of bad faith. And as well, ironically, this is the case: these are the facts of the matter at hand. The issue, then, concerns the primary situation of bad faith.

In so much as there may be a radical non-philosophical agent, its appearance in reality never is apprehended for what it is, except by those who see the truth of the manifestation, where it therein becomes the mere occasion for radical agency.

Tangent 5.16

TANGENT 5.16

I figure it prudent and sensible at this time to take a tangent, aside from the direct Laruelle-nonphilosophical discussion.

And back up..

What am I doing here in this blog, these posts? What am I addressing?
I have said the basic issue is duality. But though this can appear as a beginning, at times it can appear in the middle. So perhaps, a more beginning beginning.

As I proceed to live life, I merely live. I do, I think, I ponder, I solve problems, I interact with people and things, I process information, I have emotions, I encounter physical problems, I get sticks rammed through my toe when I step on them, I get scratches from my dog with untrimmed claws, I love my wife, I have sex, I love my child, I play silly games and hopefully give her a good basis by which to proceed into the world, I live life. Philosophico-crtiquo-thinkers seem to forget these basic aspects of life and the world; it is as if they live in a fantasyland, as if their fantasy is true.

As a thinker, I attempt to reconcile all these experiences to a sensibility, an understanding, reasons for things happening, I make decisions, I move into the world. I hear, feel and experience other creatures, human and not human, I discuss things big and small with others. I talk about sports, I talk about planets, climate change, culture, religion, politics, I hear opinions, I give them mine. As a critical thinker, I attempt to explain all these things and events. I consider how it is possible that there is someone else, what their opinions mean and what it means that I can consider their opinions; I attempt to describe the truth of the matter of life and existence.

Being involved in this process, I am inevitably brought to truth. I could lie or fabricate a sensibility, a description, and then I would be involved with literature or popular fiction. If I am programming a computer, I cannot string together random strings of code and have the computer do anything with it except reject it, or do nothing with it. I am not programming a computer here, but it is a good analogy: remaining with the principle of truth, I am limited in what I can say and have it be sensible.

In this process, then, I have to consider every facet of experience, I cannot leave out anything. I have to fully accept everything, and in this acceptance I further have to doubt it all. I have to put through the ringer every notion, challenging every idea with all possibility of rebuttal. I cannot cringe or run away from distasteful events or ideas. I have to account for my past, present and future, my idea of it, that this idea is an idea, and I have to be able to reconcile this to the fact that I am here now thinking about it, writing about it. I have to consider what a tree is, the meaning I have of it, what other people know of it, that there are other people, how this might be possible, and how this might be communicated.

My task is to make sense of it all, but not only that, I am in an effort to communicate it to others.

This is a most daunting task indeed.

One could say the biggest problem I have encountered has to do with what I could call ‘compartmentalization’. It has to do with being the event of doing. For example; If I am going to ride a bike race, I get the $5000 dollar bike. I also get the spandex clothes with the fancy color designs and the logos all over it. I get the tight shorts, the funky soled shoes that I cant walk properly in. I go to ride a bike race and I am a bike racer; I have the gear, I look the part. If I were to show up in cut-off jeans, a cigarette in my mouth, flip-flops on a beat up beach cruiser, other people would probably laugh; they might still believe that I was going to ride the race, but they would doubt if I was serious: they would doubt I was a bike racer.

Compartmentalizing activity in this way is not bad so far as it goes for the things we do. It identifies us, it allows for interaction along common lines, including dissent, it allows for the furthering of a activity by having controls against which we may discover better ways of doing things, such as, waring spandex clothes for racing reduces drag and allows one to go faster with less energy expenditure.

But honest, true critical discourse about life, existence and reality does not fall into a compartment in this way; in fact, in defies it.

The problem I have in presenting my ideas is that those who are in the business of considering such ideas have an idea of what one supposed to say and how one is supposed to say it. There is ‘gear and a look’ that one is supposed to have, or one is not taken seriously. And this seems to happen automatically. The serious bike racer looks at the cigarette clod rider next to him and writes him off before the race has begun, and his does this automatically. He makes no choice in this opinion, rather, his opinion is already made due to what a ‘real’ bike racer should be, how he should look, what he should be talking about. What discussion may occur between these two racers has more to do with the geared-up racer, if he has an open mind, suggesting to the cig-racer that, if he wants to win, he might want to not smoke, and he might want to get a better, lighter, more streamlined bike, and maybe get some spandex, suggestions for the course and how to take turns and certain hills. The discussion of the cig-racer telling his couterpart that he’s gonna ride real fast and kick your ass, means little or nothing to the geared-up-career racer. But this is not because the cig-racer might not win, it is because there is a history, a tradition, a science that has developed racing in such a way that it tells what a bike racer is, what they should do (if they want to win), what gear they should use, and all this translates into how they should look. And this is sensible so far as racing a bike has little to do with planting a garden, and when they are racing they are not considering what time of the season to plant tulips.

Of course this is an overdetermination, and there is no ‘winning’ in the critical discussion (or at least, maybe there is in some circles), but the activity I am undertaking is just like this: as soon as a person enters the arena, it is assumed that they are doing certain things and using certain tools, because the assumption, the given, the ‘supposed to’ is that the method and tools of investigating and discovering existence and reality have been developed in the same way as racing equipment. This understanding is automatic. It seems so automatic that the theories developed around such a topic soon have little to do with the life that was taken as the initial object of investigation. The theories and ideas become merely an identifier of a particular compartment of experience: just as if I may be talking about computers, I may be talking about existence. The discursive technology develops in the same way in both arenas, around a supposed object or activity that is distinguished from another.

Now to my point:

The problem is that the arena in which, and the topic about which the discussion is supposedly taking place is assumed. And, as we go about to define what it is, we move toward terms that supposedly identify a particular object of our consideration: but by then we have lost the initial reason why we are talking about anything. The arena becomes the defined object of consideration: it is redundant. The arena, the thing we are supposed to be discussing, has dissolved into the terms that we are using to frame the arena. Such terms do not thereby locate anything but the discussion itself. The problem is that describing reality or existence is not like another object like a car. The terms here, of existence, reality and the like, that are developed around a particular object of thought do not identify any object except the thought itself, that thought which has departed as soon as another person uses other terms to propose it. To assume the contrary is to rely upon an existence of a ‘thought-object’, which is to say, to rely upon a necessary correspondence between the thought and the object of discussion. The example of this is put thus: if such an object existed, I would only have to say something about it and the discussion would end, for everyone would know it was true (which is ironically the case for the few; see elsewhere in my essays).In so much as one might suggest that is what discussion ‘finds’ through its process, is likewise to rely upon some true object, as if there is some ideal form of sorts that exists between participants in the discussion. This is then the exact discussion of transcendence and immanence.

To propose that there is some ‘actual’ truth to the matter of existence or reality, because we have a history, a tradition, and a method that has given us logically reasoned out descriptions of existence and reality, as well as a method by which we can argue with old ones and propose new ones: this is exactly the proposal of a true object, as if thoughts, existence, reality, being, are things-in-them-selves that can be ‘gotten’ or understood, as if these aspects of life are actual true objects. Such discussions reveal, on one hand, nothing but metaphysical, religio-ideological postures, but on the other – and only for those who have stuck with the basic issue through the whole discussion, who have seen that the terms get nothing and nowhere – a description of existence and reality as it is presently manifested in discourse, a description of how the process of description is operating at this moment.

***

This last is indeed what Francois Laruelle has attempted to do, and has done very well. So, if this is the case, then inso doing, inso being able to describe in detail what or how the method of description is operating, the funtions and relations of its pieces, its terms, and how this scheme grants a particular picture that is the very picture we see including how such a description is presentable, the whole thing is thus called into question, and allows for the possibllity of a different… whatever term one wants to use.

Further, it is not just a theory, because the theory itself, the description, includes and/or realizes the lack involved in thoery, so it must be an actual lived practice, a praxis: the project of non-philosophy. This is not particularized, in fact, it is non-particularizable, non-campartamentizable. So it is that he becomes the occasion for my work.

Direct Tangent 4.28: What can I say ? Part 1.

Its about time I get to the point. I have spent plenty of time talking around the issue. I have talked about Bad Faith and mentioned the issue, I’ve talked about aspects of the issue and indicated that all this has to do with the reason why Laruelle seems bogged down in jargon. I feel i have explored the elements of the issue, i myself have even begun to get sucked into speaking the ‘high speak’ and leaving many of the ideas to linger, un-de-mystified, contrary to my intentions i came out with at the beginning. so now its about time i clear up the weed garden: what, for crying out loud, is the issue?

The issue is what we deal with in philosophy: duality, what is it, what does it mean, but more so, the issue pertains to everyone in that everyone deals with and come to terms with duality in some way. The problem has to do with the fact that every philosopher is dealing with the same issue, basically saying the same thing, but are taken and understood as saying something different. Because there has to be a separation of things in order for there to be an observed thing, philosophy cant rightly analyze itself, so Laruelle proposes an analysis of this feature of philosophy, that he calls non-philosophy. Generally speaking ,I say that he is in bad faith because he proposes the issue then denies it in the act of developing a positive discourse about it, because the issue implies what we can call the negative as well. I will explain and address the repercussions of this later.

The crazy thing is, it is absurd: the content of the issue is not real. Again, this is why I say that Laruelle is in Bad Faith all the while agreeing with what he is saying; it is the contradiction involved in the working out of what bad faith actually is that establishes what is true.

See, in order to find truth one cannot stand in what one believes. A belief is conditioned by relativity. A person would not need to assert what s/he believes if everyone believed it; a belief only has validity if someone else believes something else. It is as I have already said: one must doubt everything. One must doubt his own beliefs, and then turn and doubt not only the result of doubting, but the very idea that one must doubt or is capable of doubting, including doubting if there was anything to doubt to begin with. Where one does not doubt, there exactly does s/he stand in faith. So, it can be said that where one doubts, one is in bad faith because he is not seeing faith as a good thing in that case, at least so far in the endeavor for truth. But also, and this seems paradoxical, where one has questioned and doubted and come to a truth of a matter, where he stands in that truth he is in faith, but it is bad because he has not doubted everything, but only some things. Yet, if a person has indeed doubted everything (if this is possible) then he is in an odd sort of position, and this position has to do what what he says about it.

* [NOTE: Please try to ignore the obnoxious underlining that has occurred in much of this text. I do not know why it has formatted this way. ]

The issue has to do with what can be spoken about :
The question at hand can be said to have to do with what is real and what exists. What is actual might also be said to be involved, but the significant issue has to do with definition and many authors and thinkers have offered various terms in various ways of definition to make their point. Perhaps I am no different I this way, but, if you will bare with me, I will make my point after I give you here a definition of ‘real’ and ‘exist’ from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Definition of REAL

1
: of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things (as lands or tenements)
2
a : not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory : genuine ; also : being precisely what the name implies
b (1) : occurring or existing in actuality
(2) : of or relating to practical or everyday concerns or activities (3) : existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard — compare ideal 3b
c : having objective independent existence
d : fundamental, essential
e (1) : belonging to or having elements or components that belong to the set of real numbers
(2) : concerned with or containing real numbers (3) : real-valued

May I draw your attention to definition 2b(1), which refers to ‘existing’. This definition seems to equate ‘occurring’ with ‘existing’ and that something real thus occurs and/or exists. Also def. 2b(3), here the definition implies that something real already exists.

And so…

Definition of EXIST

1
a : to have real being whether material or spiritual
b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
2
: to continue to be
3
a : to have life or the functions of vitality
b : to live at an inferior level or under adverse circumstances

Strangely, def. 1a. refers to something ‘real’. Here, though, what is real has to do with ‘be-ing’.

Of course, we use these ideas interchangeably and freely given various circumstances that often lie outside of these definitions, but usually if pressed we will come to a distinction between them, and a bit of time and philosophical rhetoric has been spent on finding some truth through the defining and situating of meanings of ‘real’, ‘exist’ and ‘actual’. If we attempt to find a ground or basis for a true meaning through using these definitions, we would come to something like:

1. occurring or having real being whether material or spiritual, in actuality, not artificial, etc.;

2. To have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard, not artificial, etc. –

– or any number of like configurations that derive from replacing the various definitional clauses in place of the term within the definition we are looking at. As it is, the extended definitions seem to be saying something sure, but what it is exactly is still rather vague. If I were to continue to search for truth in this way, through definitions, I would have to look up ‘being’ and ‘actual’ and a bunch of other words, I would spin in a festering cycle of endless looking-up, but I would inevitably find definition that use the terms ‘actual’, ‘real’ or ‘exist’ and like-meaning terms – well here you go:

Definition of BEING

1
a : the quality or state of having existence
b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things
c : conscious existence : life
2
: the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence; especially : personality
3
: a living thing; especially : person

So what we find, at least in this dictionary, is a certain redundancy where, extrapolated, terms also refer only to other terms which redouble back upon their proposed meaning.

But of course the righteous will clamor, “we’ll it depends on context”, or “such definitions are only an attempt to describe usage”, or “it’s only referential; a dictionary is not supposed to, nor should be assumed to, define actual life or existence”. And I then have to ask: “what do you mean?” And they will give me a further elaboration of what they mean – and of course often never stopping to realize that I know what they are talking about, because they have missed the point entirely.

I am looking for the truth. It is not foreign to any intelligent person of our modern civilized societies to refer to a dictionary, or even get into philosophy, for truth.

And they (albeit unknowingly) quote Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” Meaning, truth is relative.

And I will ask, “how do you know this?”

*

The point here is not so much about what is real as it is about what is not real. How does one talk about what is not real? Well, someone could say that Pegasus is not real, it is mythological. And I would have to ask them to define what ‘real’ is. But more significantly I would have to ask them that if Pegasus is not real, then how is it that it is effecting their life? How are you able to describe features of a Pegasus if it is not real? For, if something is not real, it should not be having anything to do with your idea of what is real, by the bare fact that it is not real. But indeed, here we have something which is proported to be not real influencing and effecting what is being discussed, eliciting and causing various ideas to be spoken and elaborated upon, inherently forcing certain thought patterns and drawing expressions and behaviors. We can only say then that what is not real is conditioned by what is real and that these ideas do not come about independently, that is, without the other idea formed simultaneously, intact for what we can possibly know as real. The anthropoloist/theorist Claude Levi Strauss (if i am correct) developed his Structuralism on this very fact: that realities are conceptual structures that hinge upon binary formulations of meaning developed and supported by culture, but because of this cultural component we cannot say that such structures are true, but only relatively true; this is where we get the contemporary notion of Cultural Relativism where we need understand that people have different realities. ( I do not believe that Strauss came up with cultural relativity though.)

Yet, if such relativism is true, and not relatively true, then it somehow must be something that is not cultural. It’s truth must reside somewhere outside the relativity of cultures. But this is not the case: cultural relativism is a culturally encoded truth that is, right at this moment, giving us truth that is not relative: it is a culturally developed idea of truth that does not conform to the relativistic maxim. This idea is known as contradiction in action. This idea too must not be true. It is this type of ‘non-truth’ upon which Laruelle bases his non-philosophical critique of philosophy.

As well, I myself am a product of the culture into which I was born and continue to live, so the concepts that I am thinking, the categories by which I come to know reality must be culturally produced and not inherently developed by anything that can be said to be of my own, since even these categories by which I know myself have been developed and determined before I exist.

Nevertheless, As I continue to live, it is proposed in modern critical thought that I am not determined entirely by culture but have an ability to negotiate the given categories and develop my own sense of my self, the world and reality; in this way reality is a negotiation of conscious individuals, agents, living their lives.

Hence, in so much as I may be only partially conditioned by culture, I should ask from where or what does the other part of myself, or likewise reality, come from? This is also the issue: how do I speak of that which informs reality but is not determined by the known elements that establish reality, for as soon as I speak about it, I have effectively nullified that it indeed was or is part of the aspect informing reality that is not contained in knowledge, as soon as i speak about it, i am conforming what is not known into the cultural condition of discourse that functions by the implicit philosophical cision. This possibility, as i see Laruelle – to paraphrase the 19th century philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, is allowing the concept to come into existence through the phenomenon. We will get more into this aspect of the issue later.

*

There are many ideas and discourses that develop in this way I have described above; in fact, Laruelle suggests as much of Philosophy. (Note: The meaningful critiques that precipitate from such discourse do so along vectors that indicate necessary results; results that can be seen to be described or presented in the activities of various thinkers: Paulo Freire, particularly of his book “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”; Jean-Francois Lyotard, in his book “The Differend”; Francois Laruelle and his Non-Philosophy ((the topic of these Direct Tangents)); Slavoj Zizek’s whole demeanor and presentations; as well, others. See my other essays in Constructive Undoing.) The point is that the fundamental, or basic, distinction precipitates from this situation, the point I describe: such discursive, structural, cultural truths are indeed real. Such a reality is a suspension of truth; it grants truth through holding at bay the fact that what is understood as true is in fact not really true, but only true in reality. So, in truth, what is real and not real comprises the truth in reality; the composite reality that is of relative cultures’ realities, but is not contained by them, is thereby the really real, big-R, reality. This way of logic indicates, but has not yet come upon, the non-philosophical project.

Now, I cannot say this unless I have been dismissed from such (cultural real and not real) reality so much that I can understand it. I cannot understand this if such reality is all there is; if reality and the discourse and discussion about reality is indicating and arising from what is actually true, and this is to say that existence and reality are one in the same as revealed by and to knowledge, then I cannot say that the truth of reality is that there is a sort of ‘extended’ cultural relativism (one that determines what is real and not real) without suspending what I know about cultural relativism for the particular case of truth that is my knowing. This, my friends – the suspending of truth for the sake of justifying ones own idea of truth – is what is known as faith. I call the reality of faith “conventional“.

*

I will come back to the necessary ideas that follow. For now, it is well enough to say that we have outlined the problem of what is not real; again, the only way I can say this is if I have encountered something that is not real, which is to say, not of conventional reality. Now, if reality is comprised of concepts based upon binary formulations, it would seem I am delusional or lying, because then whatever I may think is not real is really already contained in reality as its binary counterpart. This is indeed the case, but in a way that is absurd. The issue is no longer a describing of the truth of the particular matters of reality, of things or objects, of a synthesis of real things, true things, that are conveyed into or by terms for knowledge; reality thwarts such a production that moves beyond an immediate presence: truth is manifest, so it is rather a situating of terms: the issue is how to speak of it.

Laruelle has coined the conscious precipitate of this situation by his term “radical immanence”, by which he proposes a ‘crazy’ idea, an idea which departs from the typical rhetoric of self/other, or real/ideal/not real, or human/god, or any of many other discourses that ignore the binary confinement of their conceptions; he attempts to by introducing the “radical” element.

* *

I have been informed that Laruelle’s question is more correctly translated as “should humanity be saved”, And not, as i supposed earlier, “can” it be saved. This question can only stem from a sense that somehow humanity is in a precarious position. Such a question rightly framed must take from a position that has the possibility of saving within it: “should” propses that humanity can be saved- but should it ? It is useless and patronizing, if not downright theological, to pose such a question and not already have the potential to save within. The question thus naturally arises: “should it be?” ( more on this, also, later.)

But the ‘saving’ will not be excersized on the small scale; as he rightly notes, his is a displacing of conventional rhetoric, a radicalizing of the traditional base of binary conceptualizations, a decentering of real value. The value that is being displaced is that value that works toward its own destruction. But indeed, it is this value that only exists in reality, and not in truth. The question of “Should humanity be saved” already displaces the “humanity can be saved, if only…” rhetoric; but indeed the Real, as L might put it, answer is ‘maybe’, whereas the true, as i would put it, answer, the answer that has not yet been reached – evidenced by the effort in bad faith – is, ‘humanity cannot be saved’. This last is the ironic.

The fact that I might have come upon Laruelle emphasizes such a displacement.
But though L might say that this indicates the Real, I simply say that such a discourse is not real; It merely exists.

* * *

With that, I retire to the smoking room ( the outside) and ponder my next move.

Tangent 4.19: what gives? The possibility of Communicating.

What gives? This is the question.

In partial thanks to Mr. Adkins, his site translation of some of Laruelle’s writings, that these came up rather early in a Google search for ‘non-philosophy project’, as well his willingness to actually read a post of mine and then to comment on it, I am lead to more and more sites with non-philosophical excerpts, comments, takes, explanations, and even some of Laruelle’s less formal essays on his own ideas. I would give a bibliography but one need only search the Internet and find as much as I have.

I am finding that I am having a certain sympathy for non-philosophy. This I come upon reading many of these excerpts and finding that my initial impression of non-philosophy, that impression I got from reading Laruelle’s own Summary of Non-Philosophy, the link to which is found in my own Direction 3.20, is correct. With apologies to those who struggle with him: a more thorough reading of his premises are sufficient to spell out everything that appears subsequently, and, everything that follows can be said more succinctly and clearly. What he has to say and has said is apparent; that is, ‘should be’ apparent. I read some of his less formal essays and it is confirmed, but his “non-philosophy dictionary” and other more academic papers – My question all through my essays is simple: why is his language so complicated. I have offered a few reasons and continue to do so, but a significant reason has to do with what could be called ‘evangelism’ – his question of “should humanity be saved” is implicated in his use, in his appropriation of the priority discourse of philosophy, though his appropriation also has to do with the necessity of existing (see my posts: Direct 2.28 and Direct Tangent 3.1 and more on this later). One should notice in conjunction with this idea that my argument uses Laruelle ironically, as the occasion for his argument as well as his for mine: this is his position and mine and possibly others – but this is the issue, isn’t it. What the hell is he talking about? For that matter, what the bejesus am I talking about? Well, I am talking about how complicated the issue can be made to appear, and he is complicating the issue. What?

Further, once we see this we can only conclude that it is contrary to the philosophical premise and method (the proper conventional method: that extraneous details can be ruled out of the explanation offering the truth. So I must also ask: what gives of non-philosophy? Is it really different than philosophy? Only one person can answer that sufficiently: this is the point of the project.

* *

Through my investigating Laruelle himself, as well by other authors various synopses of Laruelle, I cannot get by the overwhelming drudgery and weighty cumbersome language used to convey proposed non-philosophical thoughts. I can get through it, but I cannot get by it. I cannot but help to be hit by the question of why would someone wish such entanglement upon themselves that they would have to resort to such – shall I say – unwieldy conceptualizations and to boot have them must be reflected in writing. I should think that the most simple iteration of a concept would be the more true of conveyed ideas. Are the concepts that Laruelle wishes to convey truly so complicated?

Whereas before having delved into the pit I could only almost reprimand Laruelle himself for his abuse and his evidently misleading of putting into words the obviously troubled thoughts, now I have sympathy for a soul that would have to try so hard for something that for me is so utterly simple. But yet also, I should see that Laruelle must be putting it into the simplest presentation he knows. Understandably one has to wonder how much is bogged in the French-English translating, but even accounting for this – then I have to wonder about the French as a culturally influenced discursive-traditionally trodden group of individuals who cannot help but make a discursive mess of complication out of simple truth. I only say this after reading Sartre also, never mind Badiou and the others. But I cannot blame it on being French; they just have their own way. Still I am left with other non-philosophical authors. Slavoj Zizek has a great way also, but Zizek has a different way, a talent unto himself of being non-philosophical without being non-philosophical: if there ever is a man who can act, that is perform radically immanent it is Zizek (But ill get into the radical sensible nonsense in the later).

Every one ( because maybe there is at least one ) reading my blogs should already know that it is about describing the emperor’s new clothes: his new clothes here is the non-philosophical jargon.

*

All this here leads me to wonder about mass hysteria. I wonder how just sounding important makes importance. Shit; new modern music of all sorts is all about production. One has the right look, the right sound, the right stage presence, the right lighting, the right sound engineer – it hardly matters if the music is any good because the quality of the music is all these things: and so people love it and it thus becomes good music. Of course the modern philosophical thought-ers and hipsters will counter: well, what do you think is good music? And of course we live in the relative age, where very one’s opinion is valid, especially if you apprehend the details and can talk the talk. If you can talk the talk then of course everyone thinks you are walking the walk, even if you are not . Its so great we can at any time conveniently mark away ideological, theoretical, philosophical, critical and psychological ideas of power and control, and reduce the high thinking to the lowest common reality. Thank god for individual freedom and personal preference; individualism will surely find us the right way.

As long as I am using big words, and big concepts jammed into condensed terms, and as long as I am name dropping enough I get to be important and what I say magically becomes imbued with deep significance; it hardly matters if I am saying anything significant at all because I am one of those so hysterical. I cannot help but thinking I am saying something really cool and deep because I am modeling my coolness and depth after someone I admire because of his or her complex discourse that I deciphered or was taught to decipher. Now I have something to say and I propose to be perpetuating or contributing to the great complicated idea by further complicating the issue.

If this isn’t exactly what Laruelle is decrying then his project means nothing. But this is what he is saying philosophy does. He is saying it kindly and subtly – as I said in an earlier post, he is trying not to offend anyone – because this is what he does also!

But here is a man who is indeed saying something significant. And thus my query of “Direct Tangents”, and thus my “Constructive Undoing”. Laruelle cannot have come upon such an idea and not have known the outcome, that is, the point, by the time he was beginning to write: his problem could only have been how to put it into terms. Since he must at least by now know that his premises are contradicted in its manifestation, his project must include the possibility of its being taken over, commandeered, by the masses who think they understand him; he must have already considered the possibility involved in the limitations of communication. It is obvious that what has been termed ‘philo-fiction’ stems from a particular conveyance of this limit. Indeed, in, what I believe is the preface to his book “Struggle and Utopia at the End Times if Philosophy”, he even says that non-philosophy by its mode of communicating risks being made into another philosophical object.

And it is here that we come to the only result of his project. Either he sees this and remains consistent in his argument, thus he admits his bad faith, or he does not and thus is essentially in bad faith. No amount of discursive acrobatics can alleviate this paradox. No amount and no type of argument can wind its way out from this web. The project must involve what is not real, i.e. fiction. This is one way he designates his departure from traditional philosophy, but also how he implicates philosophy to the rest of reality, and not just some part of it, some discursive arena.

Part of the answer lay in his discerning of radical immanence.

So, what gives? Does he understand the issue or does he not? What gives? ( Hint: if his question “should humanity be saved” is any indication, I would say he hopes he does.)

And so, next up: some more particular addressings….

Direct Tangent 4.13: A Particular Addressing.

I have to admit, I had never encountered the understanding that I have come upon, nor this position from where I proceed into the world, in another author that is alive; that is until I came across Francois Laruelle and his non-philosophy. But I still have to wonder of authors. I myself am skeptical of understanding gained by mere learning. I have found that an organization of terms may appear to evidence a false veneer; but i remain open. Nevertheless, because of this feature, I am inevitably confronted with the possibility of tangible verification, in other words, validation, and it is this last possibility that I address through direct tangents.

Now, what this means is that if Laruelle and other authors have likewise been come upon by the same experience, I have an obligation to myself to doubt it. I have thereby only to continue with my exposition here in ‘Constructive Undoing’.

* *
The following quotes are from a quite accessible essay that describes Laruelle’s project, non-philosophy. Here’s the link: http://speculativeheresy.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/smith-anthony-paul-history-of-non-philosophy.pdf.

“Laruelle tells us quite simply in his Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie that, ‘The philosophical decision is an operation of transcendence that believes (in a naïve and hallucinatory way) in the possibility of a unitary discourse of the Real.'”
– [François Laruelle et collaboratuers, Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie (Paris: Éditions Kimé, 1998), p. 40. See also Taylor Adkins draft translation of this passage and the rest of the Dictionnaire available online: . My own translation is modified from that of Adkins.]

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“In order to overcome the narcissism that arises out of the hallucinatory splitting of immanence Laruelle situates the philosophical decision in its immanent cause – the vision-in-One. The vision-in-One is equivalent to the Real, meaning that when one thinks from (rather than about) the Real then one is thinking from the vision-in-One as radical immanence.”

— — Though these quotes are quite a bit more easily grasped, they still rely upon a certain priviledge. The aire or tone of the explanation, though muted from the orignial it proposes to explain, still lifts itself from the reader as if to call the reader by the usually obscure terms to his or her relative ignorance or intelligence; it beckons the reader to investigate further into the discourse so s/he may become more informed as to what the jargon terms really mean. The pull is created by the mysterious term rather than by reader sympathetic curiosity; which is to say, the reader is forced to consider his ignorance with reference to will, and to fall into an apparent void that the jargon leaves in the reader, rather than the reader being compelled by interest in what is being awakened within him through the presentation. (Though the ‘fall into the void’ would be the proper place to start, as in “thinking from the Real” – ironically, the situation right here assumes its counter-position, as if against a blind.)

One might ask what or how ignorance and interest can be in conflict; for is not interest often aroused because of ignorance? I intend to point to a willing with reference to these ideas, so much that it is an attitude of will that promotes proper method, and it is a lack of owning or having a supposed ability – for example, an ability to understand a sentence because of mere jargon as opposed to an otherwise explainable idea – that places the individual in a perpetual state of ignorance. This type of ignorance compels one into will, so much as one attempts to assert will over the objective world so as to dominate it through absolutely true understanding. The point here is that jargon is an infinitely deep pit of unknowing, yet proposed as if it is a true knowing – without the irony.

I use these passages (above) as a platform from which to depart or detach from the (sticking with Laruelle’s useage) philosophical rhetoric, the endless abyss; whereas Laruelle uses such terms of philosophical jargon, I insist that such forest front can be cleared to reveal the hidden stream, that though one may surely have to venture into the forest to find it, I can almost guarantee that only the honest intent for such a foray is required; a clearing need not be a decimation. Laruelle proposes a re-situating or a restating of philosophical discourse to find a more substantial, positive, ground within and in mind of the premises of modern (post-modern?) relativity; in other words, he proposes his project in a suspension that he calls reality, or Real. I propose to ground such jargon in the actual truth of the situation allowing for no suspension of plausible discursive denial of contradiction, at once, as an extended project, explaining the totality of what may be history as well as what can be known (what I would call) conventional history, as well as how this allows for reality and/or the Real.

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First, as promised, I proceed with a more particularized addressing of the jargon.

In the first quote, Laruelle speaks of the ‘philosophical decision’. I submit it is this kind of jargon that tends distract one from the issue at hand, enough to make me think that indeed L is merely discussing a particular discursive arena ( a discursive arena is what is talked about around a particular topic or category of topics, such as ‘philosophy’, or ‘diabetes’, for example. ). Let me attempt to distinguish what I am indicating by first offering my take upon his “philosophical decision”: it is what i call the ‘conventional true object’.

The reason I have come to call what is typically known as philosophy (in L’s sense) ‘conventional methodology’, has to do with the true object: philosophy sees its motion as in an effort similar and correspondent with science, to discover the true object. As I have said earlier, in the same way that science is proposed with an object whereby science comes about, philosophy sees itself having a similarly manifested object. It is this similarity that has developed a common discourse about what is true, where science and philosophy are complicit with discerning the absolutely true reality. An ‘object’ is usually particularized, as in that lamp is an object and that tree is an object, but when we begin to think critically about objects, we will find that the philosophical generalizes objects into the question about the object, a category which now includes the possibility of the manifestation of things in the world. By extension and extrapolation, the discussion of the object inevitably concerns all reality; this object is called ‘reality’, ‘being’ and/or ‘existence’, or in more general speaking, the ‘world’ or ‘universe’. Philosophy’s effort is thus to come to a ‘general theory’ so to speak, the grand equation or explanation that accounts for a total sensibility of all objects. What Laruelle calls a “unitary discourse of the Real” – It is the same thing to say that philosophy concerns the effort to discover or find the true object: Real objects are true and Reality is the totality of true objects. I suggest that the effort to discover the true object is a conventional effort, and such conventional efforts that are seen to have somehow discovered or come upon truth are put forth and looked upon as proper, and are thus conveyed or communicated to others as a method by which to reproduce the results which are true and thus makes the method likewise true: hence, philosophy is a conventional methodology because it advocates a proper method by which to find or discover the truth – not just the truth of the matter but the matter of the true object which then has to be absolutely true.

It may now become apparent how Laruelle and I are addressing the same issue but along opposite vectors, such that one might say our discourses constitute a diametric survey.

See that the term ‘decision’ locates a transcendent. In philosophical discourse, a transcendent means ‘god’ but a sterilized form that is meant to be disassociate from any religious doctrinal predicates; that is, a transcendent is god without corresponding moral qualifiers or objective descriptors. Laruelle is saying that philosophy’s motions are based upon a god that is denied in and through, implicitly and explicitly, the very efforts of discussion and argument. This is to say that the act of philosophizing cannot (is incapable of) admit that its functions and operations stem from an impetus that avoids the analytic gaze of philosophy itself – philosophy functions through denial – and, philosophy tends to or usually begins its argument at atheism as a given or truism. In other words, the process of philosophy is based upon dividing and comparing, so this process begins in the de-cision: philosophy begins upon a moment that is not divided; this, and also, the process depends upon acts of analysis to place the distinction in order to create discursive sides by which to construct argument, and this progressive process occurs in mind of achieving a “unitary discourse of the Real”. L is saying that both of these types of ‘decisions’ rely upon a ‘philosophical decision’ (described here above) that is either relied upon or put off and never encountered in the act of philosophy itself: this element thus transcends philosophy, and thus grants philosophy a beginning and an end. It thereby seems obvious to me to ask: Where have we heard this before? “I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end”.

Now, for Laruelle the ‘decision’ indicates a situation a priori, or prior to philosophy and so thereby directs its motion upon a transcendent or a transcending element or aspect toward a unified theory. I, on the other hand, locate the term a priori the decision. More precisely, the term designates what the decision is: the decision, for Non-Philosophy, is true; the decision is a true thing: it is an object. The term is philosophy because it is then we have a situation that Laruelle describes as “narcissism that arises from the splitting of immanence”; the denial of the property of method reveals the philosophical maxim: to find the true reality. Yet, once this property is realized the issue of the term no longer can be a philosophical issue, it must be something other than philosophy: So much as L, the issue must be one of non-philosophy. Nevertheless, because L sees a ‘philosophical decision’ and not the term as the issue, because he has displaced the issue to a secondary or dependent clause, his Non-Philosophy appears as a ‘conventional methodology’. Conventional methodology proposes an ability to encounter the true object through a proper method and this proposal stems from the term. The term itself is a proposal of truth such that convention may have reality; true and false thereby become indicators of what is actually and absolutely true and false. What is false is false; it is not true that what is false is false, but it is not false either: it is paradoxical and contradictory in its process and thus indicates what is true, but again: not what is merely true but absolutely true. This conventional process does not allow for any other truth; it contains and has the ability to find what is true – and only convention has such capacity and ability: it accounts for the true reality.

Hence we have the real issue; hence I have suggested that Laruelle is in bad faith; hence I have come upon the poignant and significant issue: what does this mean? What does it mean that in the effort to situate and describe a space or element that is not philosophical, such effort is indeed philosophical ?

I will address the second quote more thoroughly in the next post.
For now; Im gonna go eat an orange.

Tangent 4.12: Resonse to Mr. Adkins comment.

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[This is an updated copy of my reply to Taylor Adkins comment on my previous post, Direction 4.10. Taylor Adkins has a WordPress site called “Fractal Ontology”‘ if anyone wants to check it out. There he has translated three or four of Laruelle’s essays on Non-Philosophy.]

Right off, I am not totally up on how all this interactive media intertwines, so far a commenting and answering and/ or knowing if the commenter gets the reply or what. So I will begin with doing it this way (actually replying and then also making the reply a new post) and then I will see what happens and then go from there.

Mr Adkins thank you. And, I was rude first so if you were rude that’s fine. I welcome critique in any form. Also, to what you pointed out, as to my “working through”, I will respond with Socrates, from ‘Protagoras’, in as much as I propose, that I do question:

“Do not imagine…that I have any other interest in asking questions…but that of clearing up my own difficulties.”

I appreciate how you rounded out your comment – but I do not think I have missed the point, and, at the end you add that you are not clear of my point.

You have brought up many valid, pertinent and correct observations. Indeed, I will endeavor to have a closer read of Laruelle. Perhaps I can suggest you read my earlier posts, since I am In the process of unfolding argument. In subsequent posts, I will address your points, and Laruelle’s, in more particular fashion.

I did not realize that You translated his work; I absolutely respect your ability and perspective. So I must assume that the discursive manifestation of your translation is a ‘best possible’ version; that is, that you did you best to remain true to not only what he is saying but also where possible his actual wording for English.

Thus
My position, as to Laruelle, and philosophers in general, is exactly this: is the wording – the high-speak jargon – necessary for what he is proposing? And, what, exactly, is he proposing?
And I say it is not; or, at least, it was necessary in so much as he had no other way to say it for his ability and situation, but also necessary so much as it has been presented to me to critique. So my blog, “Constructive Undoing” is an exploration of the possibilities of why it has been presented in the way is has been, as well, a rebuttal to what appears to be his meaning. In particular, I suggest that while he indeed marks a significant issue (the repetition involved in a discussion that sees itself making progress ), I am involved in the process of explicating the necessary results of his position: If his project contradicts these necessary ends, what does this (also) mean? It is not difficult given his premises, to derive the end run.

Also, if I have misconstrued what Laruelle is saying, it only goes to further my point: if what he is saying is significant, then why do I have to decipher it? What of Ocham’s Razor ((spelling?) if I can evoke this idea)? I submit that I can say as much with less jargon and be consistent with his premises, and if this be the case, then his jargonized presentation can be seen to uphold a type of privilege – despite himself – but not only that, a conventionally religious privilege, as if – as I have said – humanity is in a common effort toward the absolute truth of the universe, an effort that is subject to the economy of a division of labor, an ideologized religious structure of knowledge.

I also will take a better look at your essays; and please, if I comment and come off as rude, do not take it personal, for I do not; it is only in the spirit of truth, of learning, that I proceed.