Direct Tangent: 3.14

Somehow we have to get to the point of this whole matter. Physicists,I understand, have discovered the Higgs boson particle; which is, if I am correct, the ‘Higgs’ boson, as opposed to some other type of boson; I figure some guy named Higgs predicted that there should be this particular kind of particle – and now they have found one. It has something to do with being responsible for matter.

Now, I am no physicist, but I do understand one thing: I cannot possibly understand what a boson really is unless I’m a physicist. I can only estimate for my thinking – but I should be careful because any further postulatizing I might do about the boson will be based upon my near complete misunderstanding and so would be most likely false. As far as I know, there are particles that have no qualities about them except that they have a sensible effect somehow, and that these particles ( I have to keep in mind that though they call them particles they are in no way like a grain of sand or a cracker crumb on the floor) combine in such a way as to allow for parts of an atom that eventually (in theory anyway: in the theory that involves me using the term ‘eventually’ as if to imply a temporal movement that occurs out of time and only in the logical linkage of thoughts) become particles in the way I typically think of them: having mass and energy, occurring uncertainly as a wave in one instance and a particle proper in the next – but really at the same time.


Now, I’m using this example to attempt to indicate what Laruelle is proposing. He is proposing that there is something beyond our ability to have particular knowledge about, as to quality, of which we can only have knowledge about that it must be there. He is saying that there is a knowable aspect, if you will, of being human, that informs ones ability to know things, and because this aspect informs what can be known, it is not knowledge of the same quality as that of knowledge proper, that is, what we typically understand as knowledge and the object. By this move, Laruelle is indicating a distinction of knowledges.

But in order to make this distinction, one has to speak very carefully – and even then we still get the more keen observers who do wade through his rhetoric and ask him: ” how do you know this”. In as much a Laruelle is framing the possibility of reality by his distinction, he simply answers: “because it is real”.

Who is being the smart-ass? Is it the question or the answer ?

See, the question is asking: if knowledge is knowledge, is what we know, then how can you know of something apart from knowledge ? In other words: isn’t then such knowledge merely more knowledge? So they say: ” How do you know this.”

But then Laruelle’s answer, part of the postulates of Non-Philosophy, is the distinction; he proposes it by the evidence that knowledge ( which he limits and delineates as ‘philosophy’, in order to specify and example by confining his attack to a noticeable and specific target) never gains its object, in fact, it keeps arguing and asserting the same premises, objectives and conclusions under different terms. So, for one, there has to be something else, that can only be called knowledge, that is able to notice this fact: This noticing must be of a knowledge that is somehow apart from the rhetoric which it recognizes. Laruelle thus says: “Because it is real”, meaning because it makes sense logically, but also because he knows it prior to logic.


If one does not see Laruelle’s argument that philosophy repeats itself, then that one will rebut to Laruelle: how do you know this? Because such a one is caught up in the progress that is asserted by thoughtful problem solving, he thereby sees that there is nothing outside of knowledge and so Laruelle’s proposition too is but a situating of knowledge – and a situating that is incorrect, to boot, because it indicates a contradiction of terms, and contradiction indicates fallacy, falsity. Yet, ironically, it is the veracity of this argument that gives Non-Philosophy it’s credence.

* * *

For now, I will let the irony try to work its magic, and will return with more later.


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