François Laruelle: Anti-Badiou: On the Introduction of Maoism Into Philosophy (2011/2013)
“This compelling and highly original book represents a confrontation between two of the most radical thinkers at work in France today: Alain Badiou and the author, François Laruelle.
At face value, the two have much in common: both espouse a position of absolute immanence; both argue that philosophy is conditioned by science; and both command a pluralism of thought. Anti-Badiou relates the parallel stories of Badiou’s Maoist ‘ontology of the void’ and Laruelle’s own performative practice of ‘non-philosophy’ and explains why the two are in fact radically different. Badiou’s entire project aims to re-educate philosophy through one science: mathematics. Laruelle carefully examines Badiou’s Being and Event and shows how Badiou has created a new aristocracy that crowns his own philosophy as the master of an entire theoretical universe. In turn, Laruelle explains the contrast with his own non-philosophy as a true democracy of thought that breaks philosophy’s continual enthrall with mathematics and instead opens up a myriad of ‘non-standard’ places where thinking can be found and practised.
Originally published as Anti-Badiou: sur l’introduction du maoïsme dans la philosophie by Éditions Kimé, Paris, 2011
Translated by Robin Mackay
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, London/New York, 2013
ISBN 1441190767, 9781441190765
Up until Badiou, philosophy was educative and pedagogical; with him, it is re-educated by mathematics.
– Francois Laruelle, Anti-Badiou
Just began reading Laruelle’s new book on Badiou tonight. Already he sets up an oppositional thematics with Badiou’s philosophical project seen as a re-education of philosophy that incorporates a conservative and authoritarian stance: “mathematicism is the condition of communism, with the authoritarian Platonist model finding a new lease of life in Maoism.” 1 As Laurelle states it, “Is this not a new, Maoist, avatar of universal Aufhebung, a manner of conserving philosophy through its re-education by means of dismemberment, redistribution and subtraction?”
Against such authoritarian re-education Non-philosophy, according to Laruelle, “seeks a way of depotentializing philosophy and making another use of it, but via other, more positive and less authoritarian procedures— formerly on the “non-Euclidean” model, and at present through a scientific (physical) experimentation and performation of philosophy— not at all through…
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