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…
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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.”
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…