Non-Philosophy and the Technicity of Reduction

Or is it too early to attempt a non-non-philosophy? Questions in lieu of non-philosophizing

I. On the status of life

While it sounds consistent to say that the Real can only be inscribed within radical immanence which opens itself to a subject’s recognition (in a mode available to cloning) and thus opens itself up to an immanent reduction of the One to a duality that folds on itself (the one-in-One), it must be the case that the subject that performs this reduction (this Laruellean stranger-subject) is somehow forced to imagine a certain notion of immanence that dictates its mode of relation to something it cannot absolutely know, the Real. In this sense, the Real cannot be radically immanent unless what is immanent is taken as the object of a certain practice of radicality. Obviously, it takes a decision to reduce the Real into a radically immanent kind regardless of the Real itself. One simply has to recognize that he or she is an aleatory subject, and as such can proceed from something toward anything. For Laruelle, this kind of decisionality belongs to the sufficiency of philosophy, sufficient to its decision to remain paradoxical. The decision ex hypothesi is the reflexive paradoxicality of human decision that since Kant, as Meillasoux has shown, has taken philosophy hostage. 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.

II. On the goal of incomprehensibility

This promise is also decisionality, ultimately a fractal decision whose aim is to exhibit the aleatory nature of Man, as aleatory as the lack of permanent geometrical shapes of clouds, mountain landscapes and coastlines, or what have you. The more he desires knowledge the more sophisticated this knowledge has to become for him until it becomes absolutely incomprehensible, such as how science began and is poised to become; an example is how the language of physics is increasingly alienating physics itself.

Incomprehensibility is therefore the necessary affirmation of the absolute, the knowledge that Man is aleatory. His search for wisdom is therefore not an innocent undertaking. It is rather timing one’s death. It is taking on the last instance of finitude—the challenge of embracing the pure dark side of the pre-aleatory eventuation of Man (by seeking the ultimate answer to the question why there is being rather than nothing). There is therefore nothing extraordinary and brilliant in Nietzsche’s intuition of Man’s would-be death. The death of God prefigures a more innocent death which is the infinite assertion of life that Schelling had announced in German idealism. This God is the displaced figure of the suicide of philosophy that has effectuated the belief that man has to assume this suicide, that is, man as the subject of philosophy; according to Laruelle “Philosophy is what constructs God and the Subject, and philosophy fells them in one direction” [Theorems and the Good News).

A word on Schelling (courtesy of Iain Hamilton Grant’s wonderful essay “Does Nature Stay What-it-is? Dynamics and the Antecedence Criterion,” in Speculative Turn): Life resists change. It resists being reduced into non-life as it already is reduced to that extent by the emergence of Man. What could we then make of Laruelle’s reduction of philosophy to non-philosophy assuming this comparatively minor form of reduction belongs by any means to a radical reduction of the sort that alters life into non-life? What could we make of man-in-man, the last instance of Man, vehicularizing this reduction as a cloned subject? Could it be that this subject of non-philosophy is simply made to announce a fresh hermeneutic of stipulating that Man can be immortal and thus by a forceful implication life can be made to provide the stage for this infinite reduction? Does it not make non-philosophy the most anti-scientific discipline ever to be conceived by Man? Non-philosophy does not believe that Man is forever trapped in finitude. The more intense and self-absorbed Man performs this reduction the less life becomes in relation to itself; the more life can be aleatory to itself. Nietzsche had seen this before. He called it the metaphysics of subjectivity imputing a doer behind every deed, human, or, if it can be said at all, esoteric to the non-human (for instance, the obsession of object-oriented ontology, specifically in the style of Harman, that attributes autonomy to the thing that things.

III. On the goal of extraction in the last instance

To break its 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 this decision cannot render itself to a certain practice of extraction in the last instance. For, as Laruelle also raised it, because Man is too innocent (in our interpellation of this concept, too knowledgeable about his immanent being as a cloned subject—he knows he is too innocent, he knows he is a transcending immanent, knows the extent to which he can manipulate the listener, Socratic innocence?), extraction cannot be not too innocent if only to save Man in the last instance, in the instance of radicalizing his being a unilaterized duality, a one-in-One, the singularized (individually cloning) being that is in-one (note that the ‘one’ in in-one is already cloned), a cloned subject (of the One), or what is better expressed in Camus, the figure of the absurd. This is to say that to save philosophy is to extract its innocence, its innocence being the subject of philosophy itself, the too innocent and therefore supra-rational subject, ultimately a non-subject to itself, which connotes a certain level of self-mastery (but mastery in the form of cloning). To save Man by saving philosophy however cannot guarantee that this Man will not repeat the mistakes he made for Man as the son of Man, those mistakes that make claims otherwise to his non-aleatory nature. Isn’t this already a desire to sacrifice life in favor of a certain notion of immortality?

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, and, let us not forget, its ultimate radical expression in non-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. By reducing desire to its machinic anomalous nature, the expressive capacity of the aleatory capable of resisting truth (which makes it anomalous: what kind of being is that which resists closure?) desire is rescued from an invested circularity. Perhaps, in the language proper (this time) to non-non-philosophy, desire is rescued from the investment of philosophy (and non-philosophy as well). Nonetheless, it cannot mean that after this rescue desire is totally silenced unless life is sacrificed for immortality which means the total destruction of phusis.

Indeed, as Laruelle would agree, non-philosophy is not the end of philosophy. It is otherwise the beginning of the determination of a too innocent philosophy, a non-philosophy, a supra-rational innocence, which could only expressly mean the immortalization of the Logos through the extraction of all its radical conceivability in history, already practiced or imagined, the only reason, ne plus ultra. Derrida appeared too benevolent if not chic when at one point he accused Laruelle of espousing philosophical terror. I think Laruelle is more than that.


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