The Limits of Realism: Correlationism and the Principle of Sufficient Philosophy

Speculative Realism is synonymous with the rejection of ‘correlationism’, or the Parmenidean Axiom, which claims that thinking and being are irrevocably bound. The formula of correlationism, according to Meillassoux, is that ‘to be’ always means ‘to be for-thought’ or ‘to be given to thought’. This rejection can take the form of a rigorous immanent critique of this formula, as it does in Meillassoux, or of a flat-out denial of this problem as poorly stated, as with the approaches of Levi and Graham.

How does non-philosophy deal with correlationism? Like Levi and Graham, it also rejects correlationism as a false problem, yet it does so on rigorous grounds. For non-philosophy, correlationism is merely an intra-philosophical contention, whereas the former is more broadly concerned with the structure of philosophy in general, be it correlationist, object-oriented, or whatever.

The target of non-philosophy is not primarily the correlation or amphiboly of thought and being, but rather, what Laurelle calls the Principle of Sufficient Philosophy, or the philosopher’s spontaneous faith. The structure or formula of this principle, which is also called the Philosophical Decision, is far more complex than that of correlation, and attempts to provide an explanatory hypothesis for all philosophical thought. What is this complex structure?

It can roughly be broken down into five elements or ‘levels’, within which immanence and transcendence are hybridized or ‘mixed’:

Structure of Decision

1) Immanence 1: Ontic-Empirical levelphysical, phenomenal, a posteriority; empirical datum.
Philosophy begins by taking the given world, the immanence of the world, as its object.

2) Transcendence 1: Ontological-Metaphysical levelideal, a priori condtions of the empirical; transcendental faktum.
Yet philosophy does not passively or uncritically take the given immanence of the world at face value, merely dwelling within it or ‘taking it for granted’. Rather, the first properly philosophical gesture occurs when we attempt to account for the givenness of the given, or the conditions under which the given is given. Immanence here is made immanent to a transcendent set of standards that are not themselves immanent in the world.

3) Immanence 2: Transcendental Synthesisimmanent synthesis of these two levels, their reciprocal givenness in a third term.
Yet philosophy would do no better if it ceased here, feeling comfortable that it has discovered the conditions of givenness. The problem now is of accounting for the relation between empirical and a priori levels. Otherwise, it is hard to understand why the conditions of the given are more than generalities or statistical regularities derived from the given, or ‘traced from the empirical’ as Deleuze says. Philosophy now must posit a reciprocity or bilateral givenness of condition and conditioned, their mutual immanence or co-implication. Here, the immanent datum and transcendent faktum are the terms of a transcendental synthesis such that immanence and transcendence become inseparable moments of a dyadic unity or unification. In this synthesis, the empirical datum or given is taken as presupposing its a priori condition, while that condition or faktum posits that which it conditions. The empirical, in this way, is self-given or auto-donated by way of presupposing that which gives it, while the ideal is self-posited by way of positing itself as presupposed, insofar as it posits the given object as given-by-way-of its conditioning or givenness.

4) Transcendence 2: Transcendental Indivisiontranscendent unity of the third term as absolute, unlimited by the synthetic relation.
Here, however, philosophy must own up to its own hybridization of immanence and transcendence. Philosophy began within the immanence of the given, which it then bound to transcendental givenness. Yet in order to perform this amphibolation, philosophy had to posit a second immanence that tied together immanence and transcendence, and this is the immanence of transcendental synthesis. This third ‘synthetic’ term, as co-immanence of empirical and ideal, is taken as both the intrinsic synthesis of these terms, and an extrinsic unity that they divide, but which remains indivisible or is in other words not exhausted by this division. The immanence of immanence and transcendence is at once immanent in their division and transcendent to it. Here we face the proper moment of the ‘absolute’ or without-relation, which is expressed in the relations of given and givenness but which is already-given without these dyadic separations. It is the One that takes no heed of philosophy’s separating and synthesizing activity. Whereas the first immanence remains immanent to the hybrid or mixture, the second immanence is transcendent to this mixture, even in giving it.

5) Decisionthe philosophical separation and synthesis of transcendence and immanence as sufficient to immanence as-One or transcendent unity.
It is only in this final moment of Decision that philosophy is properly consummated as such; yet this moment is also co-constitutive of the others, which do not formally coalesce until this final moment. This final element is far simpler than the others, and amounts to the philosophical gesture of claiming authority to speak of the absolute as-One, or claiming the sufficiency of philosophical thought to that absolute. This sufficiency does not necessarily take the form of the arrogant claim to have ‘access to the absolute’, nor the ‘weak correlationist’ claim that we cannot know the absolute even while we can think it, nor the ‘strong correlationist’ claim that there is no being without-relation to thought, or in other words, that thought itself is absolute; although these are all instances of Decision. Decision can equally take the form of the claim that thought can think the world as it would be or as it is without-relation (in other words, realism). The characteristic gesture of decision is the hypostatization of the absolute, the implicit or explicit claim that the without-relation is indeed something without relation to other things, especially thought. This nonetheless implies that the absolute has a relation to itself, or is something with a definite unity or ontological consistency, whether or not we can directly ‘know’ or describe this consistency. By way of this gesture, philosophy poses as the true witness of the absolute, in its presence or in its withdrawal, and thereby limits its activity through this criterion of sufficiency. Philosophy, by way of decision, claims to give the absolute, even if this mode of givenness is unknowability or the closure of thought upon itself. Philosophy falls short of thinking a radical immanence that is given-without-givenness, that is One-without-unity and Separate from the transcendental amphiboly without being given as separate by this amphiboly. Philosophy betrays its insight into a radically separate and already given immanence at the fourth level, by making this immanence nonetheless given by way of philosophy.

Non-philosophy begins by separating radical immanence from its hypostatization in philosophical sufficiency, claiming that as without-relation, it is not therefore a self-same, self-given and self-posited unity or entity, but rather One-without-unity; it claims that philosophy is incapable of giving us the absolute in any mode of givenness, be it knowable or unknowable, thinkable or unthinkable; individual objectality or preindividual field; the same or the different. Yet this suspension of the sufficiency of philosophy in giving the absolute allows us to posit philosophy itself as given by Real immanence, or the One.

If it is not yet clear, non-philosophy is aiming at more than a ‘critique’ or ‘rejection’ of correlationism. Correlationism is but one mode of many taken by Philosophical Decision, and non-philosophy aims to suspend Decision in general, not one amongst others. Realism is as much a ‘target’ of non-philosophy as correlationism. Yet here we must qualify what we mean by ‘target’: non-philosophy is certainly not, for all that, a ‘critique’ or ‘rejection’ of philosophy itself in favor of some crude scientism or vulgar materialism, positions which themselves rely upon Decisions. What non-philosophy aims to do is not to eliminate but to liberate philosophical thought, to raise the restrictions or limitations imposed by Decisional sufficiency. The most obvious form of such limitation is that every great Philosophical Decision rejects or invalidates all previous Decisions as sufficient unto the Real. It may appropriate or integrate elements of prior Decisions, or critically restructure them, but a given Decision is always monolithic; it always redefines what ‘counts’ as legitimate philosophy.

What non-philosophy does is put all Decisions on equal footing, such that their elements – concepts and their architecture and strategic deployments – become equivocal and non-exclusive materials for thought. Non-philosophy, rather than allowing Decision to exclude and reject the force of thought and its various creative manifestations, opens thought to a radically egalitarian theoretical praxis capable of working with radically incompatible philosophical materials. All concepts are welcome, so long as they leave their implication in Decisional sufficiency at the door.

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24 Responses to The Limits of Realism: Correlationism and the Principle of Sufficient Philosophy

  1. kvond says:

    I would just like to point out that there is an embrace of the Parmenidean equation of thought and being which is not that of correlationism, and that is panpsychism.

  2. reidkane says:

    Kevin,

    I’m aware, and I admit I’m quite interested in the ‘weird Spinozism’ you’ve been working on. I’ve been dabbling in some pseudo-panpsychist thoughts that I will post soon, that are related to a non-philosophical cloning of Graham’s ontology.

  3. kvond says:

    I look forward to your thoughts on panpsychism, pseudo or otherwise. No doubt they will add in some way to my own attempt.

  4. Pingback: Reid on Non-Philosophy « Larval Subjects .

  5. Pseudonym says:

    I appreciate that philosophy does not adequately scrutinize the process through which it claims a determinate relationship with the Real, whether that determinate relationship is one of indeterminacy, correlationism, realism, etc. But I have trouble seeing what is to be gained by suspending this claim, and how it avoids leading directly to a form of skepticism that can’t even articulate itself as skepticism for fear of entering into Decision. What use are philosophical claims that stop short of establishing a relationship to the Real? I’m reminded of the critiques of Deleuze that accuse him of being unable to evaluate philosophical claims beyond their aesthetic value.

    • reidkane says:

      Pseudonym,

      Two points here. First off, you say “What use are philosophical claims that stop short of establishing a relationship to the Real?” This may seem like dodging the issue, but these are not philosophical claims, but rather non-philosophical claims. The difference here is that non-philosophy is content to leave philosophers to their own sufficiency, the better for the production of a new material for thought. Non-philosophy in this sense enjoys a relative autonomy from philosophy. It is not afraid of decision, nor does it want to avoid decision. There is also here the question, however, of a non-philosophical intervention within philosophy, or of a philosophy that explicitly employs a non-philosophical organon. (I don’t really know how to approach these questions yet.)

      You say: “But I have trouble seeing what is to be gained by suspending this claim, and how it avoids leading directly to a form of skepticism that can’t even articulate itself as skepticism for fear of entering into Decision.”

      Non-philosophy avoids this kind of skepticism because it does not claim we cannot or do not enter into a relation with the Real (philosophically or otherwise). The difference is basically that whereas philosophy attempts to bilaterally relate to the Real, or to reciprocally determine it (to determine what the Real is, etc, while also claiming to be determined by that Real), non-philosophy posits a unilateral relation such that philosophy relates to the Real as something distinct, while this distinction is not in the Real itself. Or in other words, the Real determines philosophy, but non-philosophy suspends the corresponding claim that philosophy determines the Real.

      This amounts to introducing into thought a symbol marking the foreclosure of the Real to philosophical determination, while at the same time taking that symbol as the determining action of the Real on philosophy. The Real, in this sense, determines philosophy by way of exclusion from philosophical determination.

      I don’t know if that complicates or clarifies matters (or both). Basically, non-philosophy’s claim about the Real as foreclosed would amount, within a given philosophical decision, to a skeptical position. But we must distinguish this claim from such a (skeptical) philosophical claim about the Real: non-philosophy’s claim or hypothesis is one about philosophy and the pretension of philosophy, not directly about the Real. In this sense, even the skeptical position is a pretention, because it claims that the Real is not already given to thought – it claims to not have the Real and hence to not know it. For non-philosophy, the Real is already Identical to thought, despite the fact that thought distinguishes itself from the Real.

      I hope that makes sense to some extent…I know its rather scattered.

      • Pseudonym says:

        Thanks for the clarification. The rigor of this approach appeals to me and seems useful as a sort of pre-philosophical operation, but while the “philosopher’s spontaneous faith” is a pretension, it is also possibly philosophy’s greatest asset.

        “It may appropriate or integrate elements of prior Decisions, or critically restructure them, but a given Decision is always monolithic; it always redefines what ‘counts’ as legitimate philosophy.”

        This claim to exclusive validity is obviously why philosophy matters, allowing it to move beyond aestheticism and make determinate speculative arguments. I probably just need to see Non-Philosophy directly critiquing something (does it do this?) rather formalizing how philosophy operates in general to understand what exactly it’s doing and what’s to be gained from it.

        • reidkane says:

          I certainly agree that decisional hubris is philosophy’s greatest asset – as you say, it is the condition of speculative arguments and so on. Without this, philosohpical creativity would be empty.

          As for direct ‘critiques’, such work constitutes the bulk of Laurelle’s writing since he developed non-philosophy. Many of his ONphi compatriates are also doing so. Unfortunately, none of this work has yet been translated. The only case of such a non-philosophical operation in English that I know of is Brassier’s dissertation (I think Levi posted a link to it recently, if you haven’t seen it), which deals directly with Kant, Henri, Deleuze and Guattari, Quine, and Churchland. That work is at times highly saturated with obscure technical terminology, which can be off-putting, but it is certainly worth the slog if you are up for it.

          I’m also working on such critiques (or in non-phi terms, clonings) of Levi’s onticology, as well as of Graham Harman and Badiou, which I’ll be posting here. I also have my sights on D&G, Lacan, and Agamben in the long run.

  6. Another quick question Reid: What does Laruelle make of science? In your post you mention that “crude scientism” itself relies upon a decisional structure, but what about less crude variants (Brassier for example)? Also, in liberating philosophical thought from its claims to sufficiency, don’t we thereby lose the libidinal-intellectual component which drives the desire to use philosophy full stop (i.e.- that THIS particular analysis enables us to reach towards some kind of truth)- though I suppose Laruelle opens philosophy out into a kind of playfulness- previously incommensurable philosophical systems become de-legitimated and thereby on an equal footing… which is pretty much what blog-theory practice actually emerges as (what one of my friend’s disparagingly terms “Lego-block philosophy”) but which I am obviously not averse to. But what IS philosophy outside of spontaneous decisional faith- and moreover, what can we do with it? Does it become something like an abstract art form?

    • reidkane says:

      I know Laurelle, in his earlier formulations, directly identified non-philosophy and science, seeing it as a scientific approach to philosophy, taking the latter as its empirical datum. He later abandoned this position in favor of seeing non-phi as a ‘unified theory of philosophy and science’, both of which make claims on the Real, but only by way of the Real’s withdrawal or foreclosure to them. They can only speak about the real as it is for a given conceptual or empirical investigation, and not the Real itself. The non-decisional gesture is simply to identify the Real with this foreclosure to decisional determinations.

      I unfortunately have not yet had access to Brassier’s Nihil Unbound (too expensive!), and have only read his dissertation, so I’m not really clear on what he’s doing with science.

      I like your question about the decisional libido. I think here it would be instructive, however, to analyze this libido and that of non-philosophical non-closure in light of Lacan (albeit a non-decisional Lacan; I do have some questions about to what extent Lacan is already moving in a pseudo non-philosophical direction, but those are for another time).

      Again, non-philosophy doesn’t claim philosophy is wrong, guilty, or ‘unhealthy’ do to this decisional jouissance, and is perfectly willing to recognize its important consequences. Non-phi simply has a different libido that ‘traverses the decisional fantasy’ if you will.

      As for ‘suspended’ philosophy, or what becomes of philosophical practice after having accepted non-phi, a few points. First off, I doubt all philosophers will ever be swayed by non-phi. There will likely always be some recourse to decision, and that’s great, all the more material for non-phi.

      As for non-phi itself, I think its a bit more ‘serious’ than playfulness, although I like the idea. I do think it is akin to the kind of play Agamben talks about, and its corollary of a pure study of law without enforcement of law. Or again, I think it is ‘more’ than an art form, as it has explicit practical implications for philosophy.

      So again, what becomes of philosophy after suspension? What does a non-decisional philosophy look like? I’m trying to figure this out right now, its what I’m aiming at with my anontology. Philosophical claims are still made, but they are never aimed at exhaustively determining or authoritatively speaking about the Real. They become something like expressions or productions of the Real that work together in different ways, producing in turn all sorts of effects in the world, which for non-phi is itself identical to decision.

      The real force of non-phi is then a kind of suspension not simply of philosophical claims, but of the coherent and structured worlds they describe and found. It is in this sense that Laurelle’s strange identification of the non-philosophical organon and ‘Utopia’ begins to make sense. He says for example that non-philosophy offers a chance for an effective Utopia. This must mean that, in performatively suspending the self-sufficient closure of decisional worlds, the non-phi community is constituted by and enacts a utopian praxis of solidarity at the margins of every world, at the edges where every law, science, knowledge and belief begins to fray and loosen.

      Non-philosophy is then above all a practical doctrine of solidarity that undermines the kind of partisan identification with given philosophical positions, in favor of suspending the sufficiency of such positions in general. Laurelle likes science because he sees the scientific community, generally, as already operating in such a manner (although this is threatened by Capital’s appropriation of science as R&D, etc). This suspension of partisan identification can go not only for philosophy and science, but for art, for politics, for religion, for economy, and so on.

      So my talk of the kind of playful ‘misuse’ of philosophical concepts is not really the aim of non-phi, so much as a consequence of its practice. I realize this talk of non-partisan solidarity and so on treads dangerously close to Capital on the one hand, and a kind of ineffective agnosticism that refuses to pursue Truth, on the other. As regards the latter, I think again the example of the scientific community should be proof that this is not the necessary conclusion: scientists are more than capable of making claims, pursuing answers and debating results without dogmatically accepting a given position as authoritative or exhaustive regarding the Real. Science must always, in the last instance, allow itself to be determined by the Real. And regarding the former danger, Capital’s indifference to any given partisan position is still an effect of the dogmatic acceptance of the market mechanism and so on.

      I like your last point about the theory-blog community as a possible example, to some extent, although there is clearly still a good deal of resentment, dogmatic partisanship, and emphasis on individual accomplishment over collective praxis (I’m certainly not innocent here). That’s not to say non-philosophy wants to do away with individual projects and so on, but only to submit them as a material for a collective experimental praxis.

      Sorry, I really started rambling there. I hope that was helpful to some extent, and I really appreciate the comments.

  7. In a certain sense of course all philosophers do a certain version of what you describe towards the end of this piece: suspend the monolithic claims of a given philosophy towards total and exclusive conceptual sufficiency, so as to scavenge through the systemic carcass for usable components for their own work- what Laurelle enables, perhaps, is the removal of the decisional character of THIS activity… though what guide does he give towards how we select amongst the conceptual wreckage left in the wake of Non-Phi? Its easy to see why Derrida in that famous interview with Laruelle accused him first of being a deconstructionist, and later a philosophical terrorist!

    • reidkane says:

      I don’t think Laurelle wants to guide us in such a selection, so much as open up its possibility to the collective endeavor of non-philosophers. Really, anything is possible here. The question is not what do we appropriate, but what effects to these appropriations have in the world or on the world, or in other words, on the non-philosophical community? As for deconstruction, it seems to me that, while non-philosophy certainly owes a certain debt to Derrida, it also has a genuine practical goal, that of creating a non-philosophical community (or democracy-of-Strangers as Laurelle puts it; I’m more partial to something like a communism-of-Strangers, but that’s beside the point…). Deconstruction seems to fall short here, making any kind of effective praxis too problematic to undertake. Maybe I’m wrong there, I don’t know.

  8. Thanks for responding so fulsomely Reid, really appreciated. I think the science-capitalism thing is something which people like Brassier will inevitably have to address (ie- how the neurobiological utopia to come will be impossible to conceive under current capitalistic regimes- I know James Trafford is working towards a kind of Cybernetic post-human Marxism to attempt to deal with these sorts of issues…). Vis-a-vis Non-Phi, it is the case that philosophy already is a production of the real in a certain sense, though its theoretical claims position it transcendentally to its decisionally constituted thought-world… so it makes sense that in suspending their sufficiency we break down the structural integrity of their systematicity (with D&G this was interestingly always possible, via the tool-box notion, though many Deleuzoguattarians spend so long learning the system they never “get out” so to speak, and certainly in the case of Badiou his immense baroque system needs to be pulled apart to get anything useful out of it, in my opinion at least, I’ve been talking of treating Badiou as if he were D&G…) The problem with the science allusion is that science’s determination by the real occurs via empirical evidence, it is this which will determine (eventually) for example whether string theory is actually correct or not. Philosophy on the other hand begins with faith-like intuitive decision making. How would the kind of philosophy which Brassier or Ladyman (or even Metzinger?) work from a Laruellian perspective? Suturing metaphysics to scientific theory and (ultimately) empirical determination by the real certainly seems one way to break through, to enable the real to seep into theoretical determinations, to practically invert the usual relation. If you could point me towards any material in English by Laruelle (or about him) and the relationship between Non-Phi, philosophy, and science, that would be really helpful… I also know Laruelle has written on non-Marxism, but am pondering the whole notion (from a xenoeconomic perspective) of not merely labour as the foreclosed real in economic relations, but capital itself as absolutely foreclosed, and how we can begin to theorise about it outside of either Marxism or neo-classical economic paradigms…

    • reidkane says:

      I’m really quite unsure about these questions of science at this point. I think the point of non-phi is that, while science is directly determined by empirical evidence, and philosophy is determined by intuitive decisional faith, non-phi is determined by philosophical decisions as its empirical evidence. This of course still raises the question of doing philosophy ‘after’ non-phi, so to speak.

      I agree with your remarks about D&G and Badiou, and such attitudes are what motivate my work with schizoanalysis, which is doing an awful lot of conceptual pilfering from Badiou.

      As for texts, I have very little. Everything I have access to is via Speculative Heresy, and from that selection there isn’t much on the Laurelle/science question. Brassier’s dissertation is the first place I’d go, if you haven’t already read it. These texts might also be of interest; they don’t directly address the question of science, but do begin to shed light on the question of ‘doing philosophy’ after non-phi.

      Laurelle on Non-Marxism

      Laurelle: “A New Presentation of Non-Philosophy”

      Laurelle: “What Can Non-philosophy Do?”

      I’m also working on a xenoeconomic post of my own, inspired by your most recent post, which I greatly enjoyed. So keep an eye out.

  9. Cheers for these– I did read parts of Brassier’s thesis last year, but skipped over the Laruelle for reasons of time (obviously now planning a much deeper investigation…). I found his article in Radical Philosophy somewhat (perhaps necessarily) gnomic (whereas Mullarkey’s chapter on Laruelle in Post-Continental Philosophy was clear but it appeared Mullarkey only had a vague grasp of Laruelle). My friend has a copy of Nihil Unbound, which I am (finishing) reading this week. I’m looking forwards to your elaboration of schizoanalysis as praxis, its badly (or perhaps even smugly) theorised at present by D&G acolytes, though the idea (esp. in its Guattarian articulation, in the early essays on transversal institutional analysis and the later stuff in The Three Ecologies and Chaosmosis) obviously has a great potential (but its not finished as a task just yet- I liked your solution to the paralysis of groups- with other groups operating upon them…) And I agree that schizoanalysis (and Guattari’s work more generally) feels cruelly foreshortened, half finished, a sketch needing filling in…

    • reidkane says:

      Alien Theory is intensely gnomic. But as I recently told Levi at Larval Subjects, I get a weird kind of jouissance from deciphering dense, cryptic writing, which is probably in part the reason behind my recent Laurelle obsession.

      I agree about Mullarkey, although I have to appreciate the fact that he is one of maybe three or four english-speakers willing to engage with Laurelle’s work.

      And yea, I feel the same about schizoanalysis, which is why I’ve been so intent on developing it theoretically and practically.

      By the way Alex, I’ve been loving your recent posts on the HCC and wonky, especially the most recent post linking it back to xenoeconomics. I’m actually working on a post inspired by the latter. I wish I could make it to that discussion you just posted about, but unfortunately I’m confined to the States for the moment. (We’ll see about grad school)

  10. mo says:

    Ok this is probably a naive question, but I dare to ask! (Well, I just started with speculative realism & non-philosophy … )

    Then, if non-philosophy is targeting the philosopher’s spontaneous faith or Principle of Sufficient Philosophy, how does it differentiate to the Derridean attack against logocentrism in philosophy.

    • reidkane says:

      Mo,

      Good question. Laurelle is in fact quite close to Derrida, and non-philosophy has a close genealogical relationship with deconstruction. I can’t really explicate on it now, but I’d just say that Derrida attempts to draw philosophy to its limit, whereas Laurelle is attempting to reflect on philosophy itself from a non-philosophical position. Derrida remains within the structure of philosophical decision, if only to internally perplex it, while Laurelle wants to suspend it altogether. There is actually a discussion between them dealing precisely with this issue available online, so I’d recommend checking that out. I think Laurelle’s book on philosophies of difference is currently being translated as well, so look out for that next year.

      • mo says:

        reidkane,
        Thanks for replying.
        Do you remember where this discussion between Laruelle and Derrida is located? I guess, it’ll help me to identify the different perspectives.

        thx

  11. Pingback: Laruelle and the Non-Concept of Matter « Larval Subjects .

  12. mo says:

    Well, I think I found it the very next moment!

    I guess its this one: http://blog.urbanomic.com/dread/archives/laruelle-derrida.pdf

  13. Pingback: Non-Philosophy 1: The Use of Philosophy « Planomenology

  14. Pingback: Does Speculative Realism Exist? « Planomenology

  15. HI reidkane. Your blog is certainly interesting. But I have few clarifications here though I’m afraid these are belated. (The last active comment here was three years ago).

    While it sounds consistent to say that the Real can only be inscribed within radical immanence which opens itself for recognition (that is, in a mode available to cloning) and thus to an immanent reduction of the One to a duality that folds on itself (the one-in-One), the subject that performs this reduction (this Laruellean stranger-subject) already implicates a certain notion of immanence that somehow dictates its mode of relation to something it cannot know, the Real. In this sense, the Real cannot be radically immanent. Nonetheless, it takes a decision to reduce the Real into a radically immanent kind. Obviously, this kind of decisionality belongs to the sufficiency of philosophy, sufficient to its decision to remain paradoxical. On the part of philosophy a decision has been made. The decision in question is the reflexive paradoxicality of human decision that since Kant has taken philosophy hostage to its immanent logic. Arguing from this decisional logic, the Real becomes a relational category that promises to be inexhaustible if we agree that relations operate on a certain notion of desire.

    To break this reflexive circularity philosophy has come to a point where it has to make another decision, this time to extract its last determining instance, as Laruelle puts it. But this is where I find non-philosophy problematic, at least in this aspect. As I see it (I’m currently working on problematizing Lacan from the standpoint of non-philosophy, but initially taking off from Deleuze) this decision cannot render itself to a certain practice of suspension. For ‘suspension’ is too weak to challenge the overdetermining circularity of desire. It is what desire feeds on. The proper decision, I think, is earlier suggested by Deleuze–to reduce desire to a machinic anomaly, something akin to the Greek notion of phusis, hence, an extraction of what is already there but ignored by philosophy. To a certain extent Deleuze strongly suggested a return to this kind of radical immanence, phusis which may be linked to his concept of BwO (with Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus). What makes this machinic anomaly attributable to phusis can be immediately grasped: phusis reacts to the investment of truth-values to bodies. And it reacts in a way that reactivates the immanent aleatory kernel of all bodies, namely, in Sartrean language, freedom. In other words, by reducing desire to its machinic anomalous nature (anomalous in the sense that it hints at the absolute contingency of origins) desire is rescued from an invested circularity. Perhaps, in the language proper to non-philosophy, desire is rescued from the investment of philosophy. Nonetheless, it cannot mean that after this rescue desire is totally silenced unless we are imagining a kind of extracting a determination in the last instance that is messianic in character.

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