“Philo-Fiction,” from Philosophie non-standard

Philosophie non-standard: générique, quantique, philo-fiction (Paris: Kimé 2010), p.91-94

A typically “philosophical” difficulty is that in order for the Matrix to invent generic amplifications from the original model, it must itself be invented from all pieces and utterly confounded with one of its effects, subject to having to repeat philosophy. Ours is a theory of radical invention, not absolute invention. The imaginary number and the generic gesture come to help us make this leap. By radical, we mean in any case that it is not speculative or philosophical, like that of absolute chance [hasard] or the Eternal Return of the Same. Since its beginnings, philosophy wanted to be an invention, either as the absolute or infinite self-foundation (Hegel) or the foundering foundation as finite (Heidegger). Philosophy either presents itself as a machine inventing itself, or as a finitude powerless to create or found itself, sinking into the opacity of miraculous origins. A radical invention implies that philosophy exists as a model of thought, that there is no hypothesis to make about its essence, and that the only possible thing is to invent another thought from this material and one that has no example within the material. The generic point of view is this: because there is already philosophy, we are obviously condemned to invent another thought which would either be an autonomous extension, an amplification, or an transformation of philosophy and without relation to it, otherwise being capable of transforming it as a last reference. We do not have to invent a new philosophy, but we have to invent on its basis and on the basis of science a thought irreducible to the two “old” ones, yet by giving them a certain intelligibility. Standard philosophical invention, for instance the invention of systems, positions, and doctrines, lead to the symmetrical slogans of the death or excess of philosophy, but this is not at all our problem, which isn’t to follow suit to these slogans which otherwise deal with the conjuncture or make an affirmative critique of it. It is this standard or sufficient framework of thought which must now be “superseded,” if one wants to keep to this bad term which extends the evil of sterility – it must be transformed, rather, for a new invention. We concentrate this refusal, this programme, and their first effective realization within the elaboration of a “non-standard philosophy” which we state the protocols of here (philosophical protocols but assisted by a quantum contribution). The non-philosopher is this Socrates who undoubtedly gives birth to new philosophies without assisted procreation.

What does it mean to invent the possibility of invention? The point is not to philosophically invent non-philosophy, but to invent it with or under philosophical conditions thanks to the quantum. A vicious circle is avoidable if one presupposes the generic as integrating the form of a science capable of becoming a non-reflexive or, generally, non-philosophical subject. Hence, this complex apparatus, the generic “matrix,” that we have provided the most general following 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 thought. If this coalition is not already included within the generic framework given a priori, it leads at best to making the generic a phenomenon of the margin or the contingent predicate of another thought (for example philosophical and materialist thought). Our problem is different: to invent a consistent generic thought, one capable of carrying on [relayer] philosophy without negating it. Said otherwise, the generic must already itself be a “subject” carrying out [opérant] new thoughts. Why is the quantum here the necessary science for the generic, and no longer especially the non-Euclidean style? The latter is first mathematical and does not allow us to comprehend the imperative of immanence nor to establish a radical critique of philosophy. The quantum is a subtraction done to the sufficiency of presence, leaving its ontological operativity to decipher mathematics, but utterly, the quantum is what (under)-determines philosophy or makes it a generic knowledge in-the-last-instance.

Mathematics as the foundation of Being is too absolute. It avoids philosophy without nuance which, on philosophy’s side, does not force mathematics, but reads it flush with [la lit au ras de] its positivity. Here, the quantum conserves mathematics’ materiality and transforms it. If quantum principles read within and through the One-as-immanence are the equivalent of set theory, then one could write quantum = generic ontology, but there is also a transformation of the quantum through the matrix as soon as it is translated with philosophical language. With physics, it is impossible to do what the set-theoretical reading does, which wants to be positive albeit ontological. The philosophical must be able to enter the quantum but not enter into the essence of the generic as such – which is indeducible – or, rather, the quantum must enter the generic with perhaps the philosophical behind it. It is this set under quantum conduct with philosophical help thus piloted by a science that constitutes the new posture that we seek, a machine-subject for any invention of “non-philosophies,” a sort of “conceptual” automaton.

Therefore, the generic is the a priori (the “immanental”) of the reception of the quantum and philosophy, and it is the a priori of the production of new combinations. But it takes a “return of science,” a re-quantification, to give us the means of radical immanence under the form of superposition. Forcing is a method to produce concepts which still have a “family resemblance” (Wittgenstein) with concepts of standard philosophy, but these new concepts represent standard philosophical concepts’ amplification as the transformation or “intensification” of their transcendental or classical mechanism. The nuance of the “new” is difficult to grasp here. The new opposes itself as the producible to the deducible, the transformed to the transferred, the “amplification” to the “implification”[1] or restriction. The employment of these terms (that are, by definition, inadequate) is inevitable, and they will need to be interpreted each time since they are materials furnished by the philosophical model. The future generic notions are formed through philosophical material but in such a way that they would be radically independent of philosophy thought in-ultimate-reference to it: the material would no longer be transcendental, or they lose their philosophical meaning. They then will be indetermined or floating, neutralized, but, at the same time, they receive another essence which will not negate a second time or dialectically negate their indetermination, but they will “positivate” [positivera] it as radical immanence (or the immanental) by connecting or en-semblizing [en-semblisant][2] them. Finally obtained through superposition, generic immanence acts as the immediate = immanent neutralization or negation of the transcendental trait, for the transcendental was already a certain forcing for new knowledges through the data of experience but was limited or still presupposed analytic and logical reason as Kant admitted. Forcing is an operation of a very general type as “extension and limitation,” but thought here in-immanence. We seek an immanent forcing using the transcendental, all by neutralizing it and making the transcendental an occasion to produce a wholly other thing than it. The only non-utilizable thing in this conceptually inventive transference is less the transcendental than the transcendent that supports it through its redoubling. The generic transformation of the transcendental through immanence is the condition for there to be something new within thought. We must force the transcendental limitation itself, the “abstract negativity” (this time against the transcendental itself limited within its transcendence) through the immanence of the superposition and not speculatively supersede it or negate it through the actual infinite. In a sense, the immanental conserves the transcendental type, its “genre” of non-mechanical and non-dialectical power [force], though completes it in-immanence through the quantum. Non-Philosophy does not come to destroy philosophy but to “complete” it – to “reach” its non-philosophical destination, if such a destination is what one can thus express of themselves teleologically since the point is not to close one within themselves.


[1] Implification is a term that appears originally in Introduction aux sciences génériques (Paris: Pétra, 2008), p.81-83. Amplification concerns folding and refolding or superfolding, while implification concerns unfolding [dépli] or imfolding [implie]. In this sense, it is an immanentizing or genericizing amplification that restricts sufficiency, positivity, and spontaneity from outgrowing and encompassing the expansion and transformation of the environs of thought. – Trans.

[2] This term also originates in Introduction aux sciences génériques, p.92-93, though distinct from not only Badiou’s set-theoretical approach [ensemblism] but equally Lacan’s semblant, and describes a style of theories that are unified in-the-last-instance or generically so to prove philosophy as a semblant, a dialectical, transcendental, and objective appearance. Laruelle gives a literal meaning to the ensemble or set as that of the unilateral duality in that of the en-semble. It also reappears in Anti-Badiou (Paris: Kimé, 2011; trans. Robin Mackay, London: Bloomsbury, 2013), p.158-160 and p.177 of the English translation. – Trans.

translated by Jeremy R. Smith

taken from here

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