From Decision to Heresy: Experiments in Non-Standard Thought

François Laruelle
December 2012
Edited by Robin Mackay
Translated by Miguel Abreu, Taylor Adkins, Ray Brassier, Christopher Eby, Robin Mackay, Nicola Rubczak and Anthony Paul Smith
Paperback 115x175mm, 512pp
ISBN 978-0-9832169-0-2

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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 in the shape of 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 It is also partly Marxist: how much of philosophy can be transformed through practice, how much of it can be withdrawn from its 'ideological' use?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 meaningless, or at best profoundly misleading, because non-philosophy is 'performative', its capacities being entirely those of an immanent practice rather than a programme.

From Decision to Heresy provides a collection of English translations of the writings of one of the most creative and subversive, yet least well-known French philosophers working today. The book opens with an introduction based upon an in-depth interview with the author that traces the abiding concerns of his prolific output. The eleven newly translated essays that follow, dating from 1985 to the present, range from the origins of 'non-philosophy' to its evolution into what Laruelle now calls 'non-standard philosophy', providing the most comprehensive 'reader' for Laruelle's project to date. Two appendices present a number of Laruelle's experimental texts, which have not previously appeared in English translation; and a transcript of an early intervention and discussion on his '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.

Contents

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 Foundations of Human Color
What the One Sees in the One

Appendix II
Transvaluation of the Transcendental Method

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