I can’t help but keep my eye on updates from that mischief-maker Laruelle

a revenge of art against philosophy

I’ve written about his ideas on photography here and here. He’s a leftist that reverses hierarchies at least in interesting ways. Rather than photography conforming to the scrutiny of philosophy, he looks at philosophy through the camera so to speak. And recently someone translated some of his writings where he does this with music.

He does this with both art and science. Usually philosophy is the one looking at THEM. He turns this around. In the case in question he asks if philosophy is perhaps not bad music. I like him despite the fact he’s a dyed-in-the-wool French Leftist because he’s nonetheless a “thinker of the outside”.

He has a point here about music

the plane of expressivity, an unconscious and profound plane which had the tendency to escape from conceptual investigation.

He tries to make particular arts “sovereignties” unto themselves. What he calls non-aesthetics.

He’s consistent too- he put his “theorizing” into practice by writing an opera which he claims is music translated into concepts.

Puts me into one of those rare moods where I reflect on how maybe we shouldn’t liquidate the French right off the bat when we replace humanity with the superhuman.

Do you remember how there are satirical elements within the compositions of Shostakovich? That’s the only way Laruelle could be MORE consistent, if he actually created music that satirized philosophy. Doing it with concepts is still moving in that direction though.

It’s a tetralogy

If the first part of our project (the first three books) was to philosophically treat music through an ascending dialectic, albeit without giving way to an aesthetics, the second part is to this time musically treat philosophy

I’m just remembering now that Pessoa does something similar with his poetry too. This is the true dialectic, when philosophy is not responded to on its own terms. It’s humorous because they out-do philosophy in epistemology when they do this. “You know truth? I know Truth by not responding to you in your own language.”

Then there’s a potential feedback-loop here as well. Philosophy can appropriate non-philosophical languages into itself.

Laruelle moves from the “philosophication” of music to “musicating” [musiquant]. And he calls this the “entombment” of philosophy, very nice. Learning how to die, isn’t that what Socrates said it was supposed to be about?

He more than most theorists makes me feel excited

the project of a musical writing of philosophical concepts… our experimental texts as musical truths of the future

Does music even seek “truth”? See, you start thinking like him and pushing him farther. That’s still one with the hegemonic vortex of philosophy to expect them to be “truths”.

The book he carries this out in is titled Tétralogos if you want to google around for it (it’s not translated yet).

Remember that Laruelle writes in the shadow of Badiou who is a math-supremacist. Laruelle sees it as a type of Maoist totalitarianism, and he pits other ways-of-knowing against it, like quantum physics for instance, and in this case music. A leftist gesture that is eyebrow-raising nonetheless. Who’s to say anyway that everything should ideally be grounded in math rather than something else? We take it for granted, and generally trust the math experts on this without even understanding their reasoning for it. I do something similar to Laruelle with historiography- because when I look at how compromised other human disciplines are by being confined within the historiographical horizon I naturally wonder if what goes by the name of “math” these days is also not suspect. This is super obvious when you see Badiou “mysteriously” justify run-of-the-mill liberalism with ~set theory~. You use that as a political weapon, Badiou! (I mean, so did Plato probably SHHHHhhhh).

Maybe I thought of Laruelle today subconsciously after writing yesterday about surpassing the Germans, because he “gets around” Heidegger better than anyone I know.


[Heidegger] conserves the ideal of philosophy as the common place of the submission of man to the service of philosophy, and [Badiou] conserves philosophy by mathematical means… philosophy is the “passing game” (Heidegger) or “ball game” (Althusser) of recommencements or bringing philosophy back into play whose sportive monotony could enthrall a Greek stadium filled with the “big children” that we remain.


I like to imagine that if we ever make it out of here on a spaceship the people on board will already see philosophy the way we see theology today.

Laruelle can sound like a degenerate at times, I get his point here though

We require new unexpected amorous dualities to… engender the three avatars of the aleatory lived, the clones and messiahs, our protagonists, all these messiahs who are even more bastardized or illegitimate in the eyes of philosophy

He’s arguably still in submission to the service of philosophy like Heidegger here if you think of how normies already do the same thing except without bothering to feel the judgment of philosophy on them at all. Amorous dualities between sovereign disciplines seems like they could reproduce interesting results though.

If Laruelle is your style I just found a bunch of translations I’ve never seen here. (You’ll see he has a concept called the “non-political” there too.)

Can’t really argue with this

we favor the submission of philosophy to the Universe rather than the inverse

Descending down to earth though, the reason non-philosophy is important is because philosophy is arguably the main weapon against the establishment, and we need to know what that weapon is, and non-philosophy helps with that. Or put differently, if philosophy is what is used to dissolve the theological-political horizon we need to make sure that philosophy itself isn’t its own theological-political horizon. Laruelle makes us suspicious of that in his own way.

These are the characters of his opera- the last one seems most bizarre to me

Apparently there’s a “beauty contest” between philosophy and music.

Hmm more on the feedback-loop possibility

a philo-musical cogito, which reinterprets silence, and allows the musical fabric to be heard differently… a vast reflection on the musical meaning of human life.

This is a highly creative concept if nothing else. The revenge of art against philosophy- what could music “say”?

People usually think of a pretentious guy in a turtle-neck in a museum talking about a painting when they think of aesthetics. This is like hyper-aesthetics. An art talking about aesthetics itself…

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