What are you talking about?i

The more precise phrase is

What the hell are you talking about?!

As a theorist, philosopher, critical thinker, etc..have you ever gotten that response from someone you start talking to?

I appreciate the ‘hell’ part of it Because it shows a certain moxie, a certain interest in wanting to know. Like my previous post “wtf is going on?” (Or whatever it is titled). It shows a certain involvement with the discussion.

Actually, I find more often the response of just not engaging. I have the particular pleasure of having no friends off line who enjoy any type of involvement with thinking. And the ones who think they do, once they get a glimpse of just how deep that rabbit hole is, usually back off. (Sorry friends)

But I’m really talking more about the theorists themselves, the ones who actually do think themselves into oblivion. Usually a polite response is “what do you mean?”. And then the not so polite response is to argue back, discredit, and then personally insult, or fall back to their own credentials, (that they are not required to engage) often in that order.

I think these two types of responses are just part of the game and often enough really don’t encounter the subject of the discussion. The point of most work in critical thinking is to not have to justify what you are talking about (that’s the point of getting a degree!).

Perhaps this coincides with the incredulity some employed thinkers encounter of themselves, a kind of detached view of themselves, themesleves a sort of metanarrative they are not believing.

Maybe that’s Because we are too already involved in our work. Maybe we have lost an ability to see what we are doing because we have gotten so caught up in the doing of “valued work”.

So, instead of just going along with the theoretical train of adding more definitions and citing references which beg the question of what my work is about, lately I like to enter the discussion (after getting a layout, of course; not just being rude) with

What the Hell are you talking about?!

And I mean pretty much , Hey. Can we clear the theoretical board again and really get back to what the hell we are talking about ???

What specifically is the arrangement of jargon addressing ?

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….

Tangent 4.12: Resonse to Mr. Adkins comment.

* * *

[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.

Direction 4.5: Jargon, Bad Faith and a brief explanation of the non-philosophical project, its problems and shortcomings.

The other problem with truth is that everyone already knows what is the truth. They encounter it everyday and what they know is sufficient for them to go through life with at least adequate contentment; the rest they can invest in church or their respective church-like elements of their lives.

*

I came off rather strong in that last post. If I have offended anyone’s sense of truth or reality then I have struck something significant with you. It then either beckons you to a question of your reaction or to a denial of the offending proposition.

Anyways, I have only to continue. Here is a sound byte of an author taking about what non-philosophy may be.

(I hope this link is a good link to a 7 minute spoken introduction to a book about non-philosophy that just came out. )
*
It is possible that some readers may have noticed a paradoxical aspect of my presentation. Somehow I disagree with Laruelle but yet in that I am discussing his ideas I appear to agree with him. In particular, I have pointed out that his use of jargon is contradictory to what should seem to be a humanistic effort; as well, I have accused him of being in bad faith. But I do agree that there is a generally “unrecognized” arena or basis of knowledge that is ignored or denied; this is the reason I can speak to his project: because I am addressing the significant issue, and not so much (yet) the veracity of his position.

I should make a distinction in terms between Laruelle’s and my own. Laruelle has coined ‘non-philosophy’ to distinguish his proposal from ‘philosophy’; I propose that what most people consider philosophy is not philosophy but what i call ‘conventional methodology’. Hence, his Non-Philosophy is what I consider as Philosophy, and what he points at and rebuts that he calls Philosophy, I call Conventional Methodology, because it functions the same as any other effort to solve problems between things. He has relinquished a quality of term to the masses so that he just thus frames Non-Philosophy to oppose what has been commandeered and called philosophy.

Ironically, I might say that another reason he uses such “high” jargon is so he might not offend anyone, so he might be thus able to (finally) implement or explain sufficiently the truth of the matter and thus gain some other honest seekers, but it is this futile effort that explains more thoroughly the issue at hand and the phenomenon of bad faith.

The distinction that both of us have come upon has not until somewhat recently (within the past couple hundred years maybe, but particularly in the past hundred – but maybe 4000! ) been noticed, or at least not in institutional or conventional discussion. The problem is located in the assumption of common effort, which is the idea that everyone who might be considering things is human and thus are involved in the same problems and solutions that collectively are known as progress. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were the first to notice this problem, but they were caught likewise in the assumption: they still thought that people, once shown the truth, would thereby change; but this never happens because either no one cares or because they already know what is true. Again, what was clearly delineated in both their works as a break, a polemic, was and is taken up in conventional methodology, or philosophy, to be allegorical; as if K and N were really speaking of and to “individuals”, that their discussions were aimed at everyone so the individual might consider ‘new insights into existence as a human being’ – because conventional-methodological philosophy cannot have essential difference, it must reduce everything back into its common generality. I submit that such insight is entirely wrong, a misappropriation of meaning from what Laruelle would call non-philosophical, what I would call true philosophy, into philosophy, or what I would call conventional methodology. It is correct, of course, to the extent or in the belief as one is oriented in their Being towards a absolutely true, one, single, reality: as one is of an unquestioned faith.

The assumption of common effort is what Laruelle identifies as an understanding of a world given to knowledge: the understanding which philosophy ( I will now stick with Laruelle’s usage ) takes as its ground and purpose, a progress of and towards truth, a progress that Laruelle has eloquently debunked. Yet, it is also where religion gains its purpose. We should see that Laruelle is being strategic in his presentation; he is applying discursive tactics by focusing his attack on philosophy: the analysis and construction of the basic methodological approach for conventional thinking upon being human and existence (ontology and epistemology). But indeed such a critique and commentary cannot be confined without becoming that which it decries. As i have already indicated, conventional methodology behaves as a religion, functions through faith, and develops history along particular lines of control and power. If Laruelle truly sees his effort as particular to philosophy and not to reality in general, then in one instance at least, he is in bad faith. But this kind of bad faith is only of a lower type, and the more significant is being developed here.

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The description of the situation is only made available with or through the understanding that I have come upon, the understanding that Laruelle seems to expound. Yet we have merely come upon and agreed upon the issue; where we diverge is at his excessive and overtly positive asserting – because this seems to necessitate jargon. This is my third explanation for his excessive jargon. Laruelle is fixated upon reconciling the discrepancies of reality, and in so doing, I fear, he is really venturing no further than the philosophy he is supposedly critiquing. The positivity – that is to say, the orientation upon a one reality that attempts to describe a completeness, or total explanation of what occurs or is occurring – that Laruelle is involved in mimics Sartre: his description is so considerate of positive, historical possibility – even while describing it away in meta-synthesis – it seems plausible and credible.

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Here is a bit of synopsis of Laruelle by another author

[Gabriel Alkon,1 Boris Gunjević2
1City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of English, 455 Fort Washington Avenue, US–10033 New York, NY
2Theological Faculty “Matija Vlačić Ilirik”, Radićeva 34, HR–10000 Zagreb gabriel_alkon@msn.com, boris.gunjevic@zg.htnet.hr]

PG. 213:

“According to Laruelle, the true event for philosophy is in fact the coordinated positing of relative and absolute, combined and separate, conditioned and unconditioned, as mutual presuppositions – there is no event apart from the philosophical “decision” that sets these oppositions in motion. This decision is the “proto-event”, which is the self-positing of philosophy as the discourse concerning the relation of the unconditioned to what it conditions, or of the transcendental to the given. This relation, which becomes an immediate unity in the event, is the presupposition that establishes philosophy’s adequacy to its other. The presumed correlation of actual being to a transcendental condi- tioning power is what allows philosophy to know itself through the other by moving beyond the other as given. It is the sheer being-given of what it knows that philosophy must resist; its skill is the derivation of the transcendental – the transcendental that is its unacknowledged presupposition. The event, which undoes the given in the immediate presence of its preconditions, is the true culmination of philosophy – the moment at which it need no longer depend on its objects, which are replaced by the transcendentals that are the preserve of philosophy alone.”

Now, my problem with Laruelle is primarily founded in the high-speak of philosophical jargon. Here is another author explicating what Laruelle has said and he cannot even remove himself from the necessary jargon. It is like a disease that is contagious, spread by the mere act of dense and vague verbosity, not even the person who is attempting to disseminate into, what is suppose is meant to be, simpler language, is able to tear himself away from the sickness, is not able to get simple.

Since I am not concerned with status, position or privilege, I find the truth of the matter in much simpler terms and thus come to a more solute ground of the issue (my wording nor word count does not have a dollar or a academic discursive value attached to its effort):

The issue is the term. Since the object can never be known in itself, we are left with only knowledge. Not knowledge of it the object, but only knowledge. Knowledge concerns the object, but because of its limitation (knowledge reflects only itself) the object thus likewise must be a condition of such knowledge, and not the converse. Such conditions designate reality according to discursive relations of meaning ( I will dispense with the Big-Name droppings since there is no profit in it in truth ), relations that correspond with Laruelle’s “coordinated positing”. Such relations cannot be known in themselves without, as Laruelle also finds, resting upon silent, or denied relations upon which the new relations are thus situated for their truth, and this is Laruelle’s philosophical “decision”. Thus, to be simple, we are not ever dealing with things in-themselves, but only terms; it is not that there may be such “decision” or “proto event”‘ but how one is oriented in knowledge toward those ‘things’. Terms are thus situated in consciousness and are revealed by the manner of their use by Beings as to their orientation upon existence- this orientation operative in the questions: Is the term equivalent to its object? Does the term express a true object? Does the Being see itself essentially integral with a common true reality designated by true objects that are conveyed through terms – what Laruelle calls “the world given to knowledge” ? When we begin to understand the issue, we will see it is one of faith; in other words, terms always rely upon an ability to express absolute truths, an object in-itself, and thus implicate, in their role of expressing truth, a transcending element. Again: We are not therefore concerned here then with what the terms may be able to express so far as absolutely true objects, but whether or how one is so oriented upon the truth that is supposed to be expressed in such terms. Hence the polemical non-philosophical and philosophical projects – which I see as better expressed as ‘philosophical’ and ‘conventional- methodological’, respectively.

It appears that Laruelle in his efforts is like Sartre in that he is attempting to describe a true world. We may find over time and repeated returns to this type of philosophy ( or non-philosophy, as the case may be), that they are indeed giving us a comprehensive picture of reality as it is/was at the time of the position. We will have then another way to view reality in existence as another sort of style or fashion. So far, in as much as every expression is an exact reflection of existence at that moment, at least, we have Sartre’s description and now we have Laruelle’s. The problem is in their bad faith of being able to present a description of a real, true world; they end up only giving us a picture of a world that existed for a moment – but without the irony that would allow their proposal to give a picture of the eternally true world.
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I am honored if indeed anyone has continued with me this far; I must assume that if you are still here then I have been speaking to the right person.

But chances are none have ventured this far.

Nevertheless, I have only to continue, regardless.

But right now, I’ve to go to the snack stand….

IDirection 3.20: The summary of Francois Laruelle’s Non-Philosophy, with further commentary.

The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing deals with the explanation of non-philosophy. In regular circumstance, this link would have been posted at the beginning of Constructive Undoing, but this is highly irregular, so, here is the link ( or at least the address, since it may not have transcribed the active link) to Laruelle’s own summary of non-philosophy:

Click to access laruelle_pli_8.pdf

That is the official summary. The Direct Tangents reflect a process of coming to terms with Non-Philosophy, since, what non-philosophy is is really part of the issue of figuring out how Francois Laruelle has situated his terms upon the point of contention. This post addresses the meaning of non-philosophy as a step in this process; Constructive Undoing is the revealing of the limitations of non-philosophical principles through aphilosophy. Please see my subsequent posts.

With that, here we are at an early phase of coming to terms.

Right off, I dare anyone to read the link and say ‘”wow, that was so clear as day; his meaning is so apparent”. Occasions aside; someone say that and then tell me what he is saying; that is, read it, understand it and then convey to me in regular language what he is saying. Please leave me a comment. The words appear to be simply laid, but as one reads the ideas seem to get tangled up somewhere. Even as one attempts to wrap their head around his concepts, it becomes difficult to really get ahold of what he is saying.

Now, my issue is why did he use such ridiculously dense and opaque language? I have to ask, why the Greek words? I have to open a dictionary and encyclopedia just to figure out the meanings of those words and then i have to ask why didn’t he just use the French, or in translation, English words. And what’s up with this ‘radical’ business? Its like I’d have to study his works or something, but, as I have been informed, not only that, I would have to study philosophy first in order to really understand him.

A question of mine that aggravates or disrupts this traditional method is: How is it that I understood him at first reading? But first, the more mundane or simple consideration, one that approaches non-philosophy from it’s ‘first’ stage, that of the usual subject-object duality.

I have stated my opinions earlier, but one more easily gotten reason is that it is because he is talking to academic or intellectual-ized idiots. Now, here I now reach: To back pedal; i do not mean that these people are stupid or unintelligent, I mean only to refer to a tendency for pomposity. Though in many cases the regular meaning might apply, here I prefer the ancient Greek, roughly in the sense of “one alone” or “ones own person”, and I extrapolate this to our issue: as one might will himself into the community, and thereby resemble Jean-Paul Sartre’s picture of the waiter as an analogy for ‘bad faith’, he thereby remains an ‘individual’ alone and separated: an idiot. Of course, idiocy abounds everywhere, but one must suppose that he is primarily speaking to an audience of academics. What I mean is, many of the people who would be interested in non-philosophy are so caught up in terms of privilege (read: educated jargon) that even the academics don’t know what they are saying beyond the jargon. They are actually speaking a language the meaning of which they cannot reduce to actual life; they are speaking of such high matters that practical application to being human and human knowledge has no baring in their purpose, except maybe in the sense of poetry. Yet, the idiocy is because it doesn’t matter; they are making a living or establishing a position or identity speaking this way and so it doesn’t matter if what they are saying makes any sense. In fact, it only makes sense because they are establishing an identity and or making a living doing it. Because they then have an identity by their jargonizing, their nonsense is very important, and the proof of this is they take no criticism from non-academics or people who may not appropriate the jargon, because they are ‘educated’ royalty who have worked so hard that they deserve to talk about nothing because it is very important – and because in many cases, all those other identical based thinkers turn to them for their great skill at thinking (such philosophy I call methodology because it has to do with coming up with methods based in an assumption of ethics that is invisible) all the more confirming to their own sense of propriety that they indeed – yup – are making quite a valuable and significant contribution to the world. As well; one can tell how important a person is by how many people they listen to; the deaf ear is a cultivated aspect of a truly skilled and deserving member of aristocracy. At least, this is most of them; Laruelle, I have found, is one of the exceptions, maybe. (See my earlier post.)

Anyways; to me what he is saying is clear, and the jargon does not hinder the conveyance; so I attempt to make clear in Direct Tangents his most significant contribution for the rest who do not have the patience or gumption to wade through his pudding, but who nevertheless would like to venture toward the truth of the matter. He is saying that we can know ‘more’ than what we think we can know, and that reality is larger than what we know as knowledge of typical reality, and – and this is key – and this atypical and unusual knowledge can be known. There; how clear is that ? Maybe about as clear as a sink full of dishes in dirty, soapy water? We might begin to get a glimpse of the problem before us then, as well as why Laruelle’s language appears illusively simple yet confoundingly dense: we cannot rest upon metaphysical or spiritual conventions.

See, many of the academics, intellectuals and philosophers who think they understand him really do not. But that’s ok because we really are only half way to seeing what the necessary implications of non-philosophy are. And a quarter the way, here, we find that the consideration of understanding is a mute point for Non-Philosophy, that it only goes off of what people who think they understand reiterate back in their involvement with the Project. The significance here is that we have to wonder about two parallax ideas: is any communication taking place, and then, what or what kind of communication is occurring. But see: these questions do not run into each other, they no not stem from either of each other to the other. They are parallel ideas that do not combine to coalesce, except in that their separation allows for the combination of meaning intended. (And again I have explained what a ‘parallax’ might be in the context of its description: two entities which are separate but which nevertheless combine to create a single impression or meaning. This meaning is gained through the converse of the definitional meaning; which is: a displacement of apparent position depending upon line of sight. )

Then again, some may just understand him. But there is only one position that has any barring upon the non-philosophical project: those who may understand it and yet disagree with it. In this case, we have two possibilities. Either they understand and merely confirm the point of what they disagree with, and thereby set themselves in a state of self-contradiction that they are in situ – that is, in their situation being as they are right then (see, I clarified my Latin (Latin ??)) – in denial of, and thereby confirm the situation whereby non-philosophy gains its credence. In this case, any rebuttal is a tragedy, since its so obviously comic efforts would be wasted on the seriousness of the rebuttal. Or, they understand and thereby set themselves in an apparent contradiction that they do not deny and are thus in a position to rebut non-philosophy. In both, one has to doubt the question of whether communication is occurring, and then figure just where, from what orientation, this question is coming from; this is an indication that we have to step aside in to another tangent, for someone somewhere is failing in the attempt to find truth, since he or she may have already invested the truth in relativity, which is to say, invested in denial. And, if they do not see this irony – that they cannot understand how there could be no communication, and yet they have not been communicated to through reading my posts – then I can only say that my proposition is true (Laruelle is in bad faith by the presentation of non-philosophy) and their doubt, again, is orientatively and concordantly wrong. But then I have to consider if a tangent on this point is even worth the compassion, since those I would be attempting to educate or enlighten have already decided against finding the truth of the matter, so accustomed and acclimated to darkness they have become. Yet, if there be light, what a comedy this has been!

We will see what post forms in the intermission.
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For a more thorough addressing of the issue at hand, check out “Non-philosophy and Aphilosophy”.  Avaliable in eBook here: Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.