Post-modernism’s Worth. 

When we are too close to an event, we talk about it as from a distance. That is, what we say is automatically distanced from the event, a maximum distance. The event is thus, by this occurrence, an object. As opposed to our psychotherapeutic model, the closer we are to an event, the more dishonest we are about its true bearings, that is, the truth of the matter, why it is that the (the wholeness of the) event has occurred the way it has. The impetus and the reaction can be come upon as an included item, a truth in-itself, only when we are distanced from the event. The truth of an object, as opposed to the True Object, can only be viewed in its truth from a distance. The equation is thus of inversion, of ratio.

Here then we may have a basis upon which to properly view foundational post-modern writers, namely, Derrida, Deleuze and Guittari, but others also.  To wit: Their descriptions were from a basis too close to the event, such that they attempted to quickly and finally establish a ground for the event; the event being thus so profound and significant, they were compelled to offer a reason.

They were not wrong, only rash. 

It is analogous to an explosion. We have now the data from the explosion, having encountered it ourselves, but also come across the initial first hand rationalization and fact crunching reports of the explosion itself – with that, subsequent explosions, and now the reports and experience of the aftermath(s) of explosions, we can now safely report upon the truth of the whole event. 

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Tangent 4.19: what gives? The possibility of Communicating.

What gives? This is the question.

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

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

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

* *

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Direct Tangent 4.13: A Particular Addressing.

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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