28 July 2012

Recorded Lecture: François Laruelle, "Pour une philosophie dite ‘contemporaine’ (Towards a Philosophy Deemed ‘Contemporary’)"

Hiroshi Sugimoto Lightning Fields 168, 2009, © Hiroshi Sugimoto, Courtesy The Pace Gallery
Courtesy of the London Graduate School and the Backdoor Broadcasting Company, we can now enjoy the ambitious and compelling project canvassed by François Laruelle in his talk on 9 May of this year, entitled "Pour une philosophophie dite 'contemporaine'". Designed as a preface to a lecture he delivered at Goldsmiths the next day ("Non-photographie, vers une interprétation quantique"), Laruelle here carefully anatomises the arguments underpinning his call for a form of contemporary philosophy which rebalances the relationship between philosophy and mathematics, and predicates itself on the vectorial and the quantic rather than the object.

His talk, a most useful foreward to his other dense works (some of which have recently or will soon be published in English translation), is equally a series of departures as it is actively propositional. Concerning the arc of his project at large, he notes: "I had to limit philosophy to give way to mathematics; and I had to limit topology to give way to algebra". Indeed, Laruelle underscores decisive points of divergence away from theorists such as Deleuze, Derrida and Meillassoux alongside his deviation from the mascroscopy of the "modern" (i.e, Plato, Decartes, Spinoza, Badiou) in preference of a "contemporary" philosophy which is worked through a relation with the physical by means of "vectoriality". He enquires:
"[W]hat can be invented with history's heritage, what do we do with it? Do we reproduce, remember, smooth, clean the glass or the mirror of language, leaving as always philosophy to be reflected in itself and to auto-model itself? Or do we incline it, 'encline' it (being 'enclined towards', the inclination as Leibnizian concept) and so free up its inventive forces rather than those forces of repression? I put myself in the position of a scientist or an artist for whom philosophy is at once object and materials ... Generic humanity is not a tradition, but an orientation that comes or under-comes"
The lecture can be found archived at the Backdoor Broadcasting Company, where a pdf of the English translation (also distributed to his listeners on the day) can also be downloaded. Laruelle adds, digresses and extrapolates in the talk itself, thus it is worthwhile to both read and listen.

No comments: