Philo-fiction

I’ve transcribed and translated the first section on philo-fiction in Philosophie Non-Standard (pp. 91-4). It is the last section of “Pour Entrer dans la Matrice” and comes after an introduction to non-philosophy which serves as a propaedeutic for the rest of the book. I’ll have to translate the rest of the chapter eventually since he provides a more patient and didactic exposition here than in some of his other works. It covers many of the terms that make regular appearances without much in the way of definition or exposition such as “forcing” and his proprietary use of Marxist terminology.

I specifically wanted to tackle the issue of philo-fiction since I see it in tension with some of his recent work on gnosticism (this section also has the advantage of being short). They ultimately espouse the same thing–a non-standard or heretical philosophy–and condone a kind of rigorous or axiomized pluralism, however, the roundabout way that he gets there via Christian mysticism I find somewhat troubling. I see Gnosticism’s entrance into Laruelle’s Generic Matrix as somewhat more fraught with philosophical gymnastics. Although, at the end of the day, he admits it is merely a useful assistant for the exposition of his overarching non-philosophical themes. My selfish reason is to promote a liberal interpretation of philo-fiction that might explain/justify/apologize for(?) the recent translations of his more polemical forays that freely mix religious and proletarian musings.

Eventually I’ll translate the sections that appear in chapter 16 on philo-fiction and science fiction but I haven’t gotten nearly that far into the book. Notably, this section produced far fewer translation troubles for me although I’m definitely going to have it checked since my already bad French is a little rusty. I’ll be adjusting it periodically to make the language more natural. Anyways, here is Laruelle:

A typically “philosophical” difficulty is that the Matrix, in order to construct generic amplifications of its original model, ought to be invented from scratch and, ultimately, confuses itself with one of its effects under penalty of repeating philosophy. It is a theory of non-absolute radical invention. The imaginary number is the generic gesture which we use to aid our leap. Radical here signifies that it is not speculative or philosophical, of the totally random or Eternally returning type. Since its inception, philosophy has wanted its origination to be absolute grounding of self or infinite (Hegel) or failing (Heidegger) as finitude. Whether it presents itself as a machine creating itself or as an impotent finitide that founds itself and sinks in the opacity of miraculous origins. Radical invention implies that philosophy exist as a model of thought, it does not make a hypothesis about its essence, it implies that the only thing possible is to invent another separate form of thought from its material for which there is no existing example of in itself. The generic point of view is exactly this, because there is already philosophy we are by all accounts sentenced to create another form of thought which is an extension, an amplification or an autonomous transformation of philosophy without relationship to it in order to be enabled to transform it according to a last reference. We have not invented a new philosophy but have created upon its base that of a science, an irreducible thought of these two “Old” ideas but given a certain intelligibility. The creation of standard philosophy, that of systems, positions and doctrines, leads by symmetrical slogans of death or the excess of philosophy, it is not at all our problem that it does not follow suit with these slogans which are indeed the circumstances of our conjuncture, or to make an affirmative critique of them. It is this standard frame or sufficiency of thought which ought to now be “out-of-date” [dépasse] if we take hold of these faulty terms which prolong the harm of sterility and instead transform them for the sake of a new creation. We focus on this act of refusal, its program and its first effective realization in the elaboration of a “non-standard philosophy” whose protocols we are announcing here (philosophy but assisted by the importation of the quantum). Non-philosophy is this Socratic midwife of new philosophies without doubt but with assisted reproduction.

What does it mean to speak of the possibility of inventing invention? It does not itself act to philosophically invent non-philosophy but to invent under philosophical conditions thanks to the quantum. A vicious circle is avoidable if we presuppose the generic integrated with the form of a science capable of divining the subject but obviously in a non-reflexive or generally non-philosophical manner. This complex device, the generic “matrix,” which we have to give the following very general formula, the unity of science and philosophy under science. A simple “meta-ontological” coalition of mathematics and ontology cannot produce something like a consistent generic form of thought. If this coalition is not already included in the generic frame, it leads at best to make a margin phenomena or a predicate contingent on other thought, for example philosophical or materialist. Our problem is different, to invent a generic form of thought constant and capable of relaying philosophy without denying or negating it. In other words,  the generic ought to be already be itself “subject” operant of new thoughts. Why is the quantum the necessarily generic science here and not specifically the non-Euclidean style? It is first mathematical and does not permit one to comprehend the imperative of immanence nor does it establish a radical critique of philosophy. The quantum is the subtraction made by the sufficiency of presence, it lets presence lose its ontological operativity to decipher the mathematical, finally, it (under-)determines philosophy or produces generic knowledge in-the-last-instance.

Mathematics as the foundation of Being is too absolute, it avoids with nuance philosophy which, on its side, does not force the mathematical but rather flushes its reading with positivity. The quantum conserves Being’s materiality and transforms it, the real difference is therefore the nature of the science introduced into the generic matrix. The quantum principles read in and by the One-as-immanence are equivalent to the theory of ensembles [entanglement], one could write quantum = generic ontology, but there is also a transformation of the quantum by the matrix which is translated with philosophical language. With physics, it is impossible to do an ensemblist interpretation that itself wants positivity while remaining ontological. The philosophical ought to be able to enter into the quantum but not in the essence as the generic as such which is undeducible, or well the quantum enter in the generic potentially with philosophy in tow. And it is this ensemble under the conduit of the quantum with the aid of the philosophical while directed by science, which constitutes the new posture we are searching for, a machine subject, the patent creation of “non-philosophies,” a kind of “conceptual” automaton.

The generic is therefore the a priori “immanental” reception of the quantum and of philosophy, and the a priori of the production of new combinations, but which has fallen into “the return to science,” a re-quantification that we give the means of radical immanence under the form of superposition. Forcing is a method to produce concepts which have again an “air de famille” (Wittgenstein) with those of standard philosophy but which represent their amplification as a transformation or “intensification” of their classical or transcendental mechanism. The nuance of the “new” is here difficult to grasp, it is opposed as a production of allowable [déductible], changes and transfers, as “amplification” to “implification” or restriction. The employment of these terms, by definition inadequate, is inevitable and demands to be interpreted each time since they are the material furnished by the philosophical model. Future generic concepts are formed from philosophical material but in such a way that they are fundamentally independent of it though in-ultimate-reference to it such that they are no longer transcendental or they lose their philosophical sense. They will therefore be indeterminate or floating, neutralized, but at the same time they will receive another essence which will not deny a second moment or their dialectical indetermination but their “positivity-to-come” as radical immanence (or immanental) by connecting or by en-sembling [en les connectant out en les en-semblisant]. Generic immanence, finally obtained by superposition, acts as a neutralization or negation of immediate = immanent of the transcendental term. But the transcendental was already a certain forcing for new knowledge apart from the data of experience, yet limited or speculative by analytic reason or logic as Kant admits. Forcing is an operation of a very general type “extension and limitation” but thought here in-immanence. We search for an immanental forcing using the transcendental, but which neutralizes it and which makes of it an occasion to produce something entirely other than it. The only thing not utilizable in this inventive conceptual transfer is less the transcendental than transcendence which supports its redoubling. Its generic transformation by immanence is the condition for it to be new in a model of thought. It will force the transcendental limitation itself, “abstract negativity” (this time against the transcendental itself limited in its transcendence) by the immanence of the superposition and not the old speculative philosophy or the denial of actual infinity. In an sense the immanental conserves the transcendental type, its “genre” by a non-mechanical and non-dialectical force, but accomplishes it in-immanence by the quantum. Non-philosophy does not want to destroy philosophy but purely to “accomplish” that is to say “achieve” its non-philosophical destination, provided that we may say so teleologically so that it will not act to close in on itself.