Thursday, May 15, 2014

the essence of Multiplicities: on Laruelle and the One beyond Multiplicities

This late spring/early summer I've been re-reading some Laruelle, in addition to listening to some lectures by Alex Galloway on Laruelle (Galloway has some fantastic material out there, be sure to look it up).

Laruelle expresses “disappointment in the philosophies of difference” (as conceived in the 19th and 20th centuries, so Nietzsche, Deleuze, Derrida, and Heidegger) and is instead enchanted by the Absolute “as such.”  From reading Laruelle, it is interesting to consider the way in which his Absolute admits difference “deeply” as an "in-One."  It seems that for Laurelle, as he points out, that ontological difference is not relative but is continuous among and between multiplicities such that multiplicities are not “static” but are always immanently “in relation” in-One.  From these comments I am inspired to read more about Laurelle’s criticisms of Deleuze especially (see here:

For Laruelle, the One is without unity save for difference; it is “beyond” Being – and taking that step beyond Being we go not into the emptiness of difference but a “beyond filled” with  the multiplicity of difference.  Against this notion philosophies of difference only provide “relative” multiplicities however, contained within hypostases of Being, of the Idea.  What we need then is a “new” philosophy of difference, one free of the same false promises and enslavement to multiplicities traditionally conceived.

About Laruell’s deep monistic-pluralism Terry Blake writes “The Absolute is not won through to by active and willful negation, but is attained more passively and patiently, by letting go, allowing oneself to be convinced, letting oneself be enchanted…”  In the words of Laruelle, “Consenting at last to the One as to that which keeps the multiplicities beyond Being itself.”  Enchantment is central for his project in terms of how one is to grasp the sort of difference he wants to portray.

“Relative pluralism,” so says Laruelle, is not enough.  One must consider instead a “non-relativist essence of Multiplicites.”  Philosophical thought, or better, “non-philosophical thought,” is “thought of the multiple and of becoming, of dispersion and of dissemination” and it is at work in the “contemporary hopes of an overflowing…Representation” with a “thought of the Absolute … a thought of the One, but of the One without unity, beyond the Idea, the Logos, even of Being.”

This pluralism is more deeply committed to a deeper sense of ontological difference and relation found among and between multiplicities; it seeks non-philosophically to consider a deeper general essence that is, in some sense, “beyond” the multiple “in-One” as a generality of Being.  This seems to be a greater sense of true generality that is in-One or in-different, perhaps the One as such as multiple difference.

For more thoughts on Laruelle's non-relativist plural monism see Agent Swarm on "The Renunciation of the Mentors" HERE and "Non-Philosophy, Disappointment, and Enchantment" (HERE).

In a post from last year I've posted some introductory materials about Laruelle HERE.