From Decision to Heresy

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From Decision to Heresy
François Laruelle

Edited by Robin Mackay
Translated by Taylor Adkins, Ray Brassier, Christopher Eby and Anthony Paul Smith

The question ‘what is non-philosophy?’ must be replaced by the question about what it can and cannot do. To ask what it can do is already to acknowledge that its capacities are not unlimited. This question is partly Spinozist: no-one knows what a body can do. It is partly Kantian: circumscribe philosophy’s illusory power, the power of reason or the faculties, and do not extend its sufficiency by way of another philosophy. It is also partly Marxist: how much of philosophy can be transformed through practice, how much of it can be withdrawn from its ‘ideological’ use? And finally, it is also partly Wittgensteinian: how can one limit philosophical language through its proper use?

But these apparent philosophical proximities and family resemblances are only valid up to a point. That point is called the real – determination-in-the-last-instance, unilateral duality, etc. – which is to say, all of non-philosophy in-person. In other words, these kinds of comparisons are devoid of meaning, or at best profoundly misleading, because non-philosophy is ‘performative’, its capacities being entirely those of an immanent practice rather than a programme.

This volume provides a collection of English translations of the writings of François Laruelle, one of the most creative and subversive, yet least well-known French philosophers working today.

For the past thirty years Laruelle has been setting out a rigorous theory for philosophy that offers a universal and abstract transcendental organon capable of conceiving the various philosophical accounts indifferent to their doctrines.

Laruelle has invented a totally new conceptual framework that transforms not only philosophical practice but even thought itself: In universalizing the theoretical conditions of philosophical theorising through his unique formal inventions, Laruelle develops a new form of thinking: one that initiates a transcendental and non-decisional theory for philosophical decision in a militant and heretical way.

From Decision to Heresy opens with an introduction based upon an in-depth interview with the author that traces the abiding concerns of his prolific output, from the origins of ‘non-philosophy’ to its evolution into what he now calls ‘non-standard philosophy.’ The volume closes with two Appendices: the first contains several of the author’s experimental texts, which have not previously appeared in English translation; the second is a transcript of an early intervention and discussion on Laruelle’s ‘transvaluation’ of Kant’s transcendental method.

François Laruelle, Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris X: Nanterre, is the author of more than twenty books, including Biography of the Ordinary Man, Theory of Strangers, Principles of Non-Philosophy, Future Christ, Struggle and Utopia at the End Times of Philosophy, Anti-Badiou, and Non-Standard Philosophy.


Introduction: Laruelle Undivided
A Rigorous Science of Man
Towards a Science of Philosophical Decision
Revolution within the Limits of Science Alone
The Transcendental Method
The ‘Non-Philosophical’ Paradigm
What is Non-Philosophy?
Philosophy and Non-Philosophy
Non-Philosophy as Heresy
A Summary of Non-Philosophy
From The First to the Second Non-Philosophy
The Degrowth of Philosophy: Towards a Generic Ecology

Appendix I
Experimental Texts, Fictions, Hyperspeculation
Variations on a Theme by Heidegger
Leibniz Variations
Letter to Deleuze
Universe Black in the Human Foundations of Colour
What the One Sees in the One

Appendix II
Transvaluation of the Transcendental Method

From Decision to Heresy
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