A New Presentation of Non-Philosophy

Let me begin in traditional terms: what is the essence, what are the possibilities of non-philosophy? From the outset, it originated from four concerns that were coupled two by two; and hence from dualities. It continued to develop in terms of dualities, constantly calling them into question but never dispensing with them entirely. Its current possibilities or themes are merely a continuation or development of this (non-) essence…



…Thus, my point of view here will be historical and systematic. This reconstruction after the fact cannot avoid appearing to be a piece of retrospective self-interpretation, but since fidelity here is not to a historically predetermined meaning or truth, but to a last instance, and hence to the spirit of dualities, I stop short of anything that could draw us into a hermeneutics.



The genealogy of non-philosophy is problematic. Born, like everything else, of the intersection between two original and loosely coupled problems –whose coupling was not quite as arbitrary as the encounter between Poros [Expediency] and Penia [Poverty]1 – non-philosophy has always refused to be their synthesis, and hence their offspring. Philosophy was born of the one-sided encounter between a sleeping being (Poros) and the desire for a child (Penia), but as a philosopher Plato ultimately remains beholden to biology –he does not get right to the bottom of Poros sleep, because he still attributes it to drunkenness and closed eyes, to a merely slumbering intelligence. Similarly, he does not get right to the bottom of Penias poverty, because he still attributes her desire for a child to her sighting of Poros. Plato does not go beyond the pharmakon as coupling, as condition for the couple or procreation.



This filiation is not that of non-philosophy. Like every child, she consents to be born according to biological conditions, but she refuses the continuity of birth; she is an orphan and it is she who decides to be born “according to X”. She sees in the drunkenness of her father merely the symptom of mans blindness, of an un-learned knowing; and sees in her mothers desire for a child the symptom of the impossible desire for being-blind. Not refusing the past, but refusing to be determined by it, presenting herself as the daughter of man, her problem is that of being and remaining ahead of the image of the newborn. It is in this simply human manner that she escapes from the biological and familial cycle and provides –without founding a new family or some sort of new city– the basis-in-person for a new type of organization: an organization of heretics, of sons or daughters of man who are continuously newborn, grateful orphans of philosophy and the world. As for the act of birth, whereas philosophy is destined to parricide and is only capable of acknowledging its filiation through this founding crime, non-philosophy tries to avoid the synthesis of expediency and poverty that is parricide. Born according to X, which is to say, according to man as the unknown, non-philosophy joins its parents to the city of brothers and sisters, elevating its own filiation to utopian status.



In actuality, the structure (but not the origin) of non-philosophy consists of a principal duality and a secondary duality. The principal duality is the following:


1. The enigmatic character of the One, of its essence, its origin; the fact that it is forgotten and subordinated to Being. The Heideggerean preoccupation with Being and the Lacanian and Derridean preoccupation with the Other rendered this forgetting of the One more crucial, as though the circle of philosophy had not been fully covered in its entirety. Philosophy continuously talked about the One, presupposed it, invoked it, but without properly thematizing it.

2. There was another kind of forgetting in the guise of philosophys abusive attitude, its abuse of power in general; the way in which it laid claim to reality and truth, but also to domination; the arbitrary nature of its questioning. How was such a form of thinking possible? One that claimed to be undeniable without furnishing any credentials other than its own practice and tradition, rather like an unfounded and interminable rumour?

So, on the one hand an entity that reigns without governing: the One; and on the other a discipline that claims to provide a theoretical domination of the world and of other forms of thought to such an extent that it presumes to have a proprietary claim on “thinking”. I found myself faced with a new and apparently artificial duality, since in normal circumstances the One was, after all, merely an object of philosophy. But this duality was accompanied by another, which seemed to graft itself upon it necessarily, as though it provided the means for realizing it. This was the duality of science and philosophy, which I have up until now tended to privilege as a guiding thread when recapitulating the history of non-philosophy, and which continues to hold sway in the idea of non-philosophy as a discipline. There is a sense in which I have never exited from this space, from its type of duality and internal unity; even if, as I hope to show, it has undergone contractions and expansions –and above all redistributions. My problem was never that of the one and the multiple, even if I often evoked it. But in non-philosophy one must be wary of confusing the object with which one struggles, and the essence of the struggle, the former frequently occluding the latter. My problem has been that of the One and the two, in the sense in which the two is something specific and not synonymous with the multiple. My problem has to do with a tradition that differs from, or is parallel to, that of philosophy. It has to do with the struggle with philosophy. It is a transcendental mathematics, but one that will have to abandon the Platonic or philosophical form of transcendental numbers, and stop being a divine mathematics (Leibniz). Thus, it is a struggle on two times two fronts: that of the One and that of the two, that of the definition of philosophy and that of science. That makes at least four fronts. This quadripartite structure of the struggle is the dimension within which I have confronted another quadripartite, the one constituted by the philosophers who ‘influenced me, as they say. When reconstructing the history of non-philosophy, I have often confused this second quadripartite with the first, committing a category mistake by according it an excessive influence, when in fact it was already no more than the material for the first, or a terrain for the struggle. These problems were resolved as I came to understand that instead of trying to unify these four sides philosophically by binding or suturing them together in a relational exteriority, I could do so through another kind of unity, one effected through a radically immanent cloning. As a result, the notions of ‘struggle and ‘front undergo a transformation. What was required was a unilateral leap, which is to say, abandoning all pretension on the side of the One, no longer positing it as one of the sides or terms of the quadripartite, acknowledging its collapse or non-consistency. This meant giving up at the same time the idea of a ‘head to head struggle and elaborating the notion of a unilateral front. That every struggle engages two fronts but only puts one combatant into play was a riddle that was resolved when it turned into its own solution. This involves a shift from the divine Logos to a practice placed under the name-of-man.

The problematic of the quadripartite, of its binding or cloning, has the advantage of allowing a synoptic overview of all the stages –even the most rudimentary– in the research that led to non-philosophy, and of not dismembering it in terms of historical distinctions. Before being non-philosophical, the magma from which non-philosophy emerged has all the characteristics of a pre-philosophical chôra, from its deepest to its most superficial layer, like a landmass or conglomerate rising up when the tectonic plates underlying the philosophical continent start breaking up. The division of non-philosophy intro three stages privileges a historical overview and should be inscribed within the structure of the quadripartite.



I will confine myself here to sketching an outline and drawing a continuous guiding thread for the development of non-philosophy, while passing over two kinds of circumstance that played a part and affected this development. On the one hand, the innumerable hesitations, misgivings, amendments and variations in the binding of these two terms. For in the beginning it was question –as it is for every philosopher– of identifying the point of suture between the two sides of this duality, which philosophy had summarily realized or admitted in the form of systems and their traditions. On the other hand, there were the personal conditions under which non-philosophy existed, adverse institutional circumstances, all sorts of phantasms, various interests that exceeded the bounds of philosophy alone –these do not need to be recalled here since we are trying to identify a structure and the history contained in it.



For the moment, it is still a question of binding rather than of cloning. These dualities were already present in the initial series of works grouped together under the heading Philosophy I, but were still being resolved to the benefit of the side of philosophy and binding, and to the detriment of the One and science. The shift to Philosophy II occurs by way of an overturning: it is now the One which becomes the principal theme and assumes the mantle of the real, and philosophy that is evaluated in terms of the Ones capacity for being conceived ‘for itself and as such, or as immanent. This is the gist of Le principe de minorité [The Minority Principle (1981)]. But…


… Non-philosophy does not effectively or successfully begin until Une biographie de lhomme ordinaire [A Biography of the Ordinary Man (1985)], because it is there that the problem of how to bind the four sides together is thematized and basically formulated –albeit not without difficulties– through the notion of unilaterality. The conditions for this solution are that the One acquire a radical autonomy with regard to philosophy, that it stop being a philosophical object, and that the latter is revealed to be a transcendental appearance. It is as though an over-neoplatonization of the One was accompanied by a corresponding over-kantianization of philosophy as appearance…


…Formulated in this way, without satisfying the pretensions of philosophy vis-à-vis the One, the problem increased in difficulty. We had deprived ourselves of every philosophical solution. Nevertheless…


…the germ of the solution resided in this excessive separation between the One and philosophy, which amounted to a sort of Platonic chorismos. In effect, the cause of their exteriority or reciprocal autonomy, and hence of their unity, could no longer be philosophical or one that operated through transcendence. Moreover, the One in question was no longer epekeina-physical, or beyond being, so that, on the contrary, what caused this separation had to be its radical immanence. But how could radical immanence be reconciled with exteriority?


At this stage, as my path momentarily crossed that of Michel Henry, the other half of the problem remained unresolved –specifically: how could one still use philosophy –which was not designed for this end– to speak of this One or radical immanence? The initial project of a theoretical domination of philosophy and of a critique of its transcendental appearance reappeared in a new form: that of the transformation of philosophical statements or phrases. This was the Idea of a theoretical discipline with philosophy as its object. All of Philosophy I and a large part of Philosophy II is devoted to a twofold task. On the one hand, to a more and more precise binding of the duality which is outside every system or synthesis by combining three requirements: that of the Ones radical immanence; that of the unilaterality this duality; and finally that of the reduction of the logos to the status of a structured appearance or material. On the other hand, to the search for a discourse that would no longer be the logos and whose resources (despite this discourse being appropriated by the causality of the One) would be provided by philosophy alone. Thus, to the constitution of a discipline of philosophy in view of thinking the One.



But to present non-philosophy in this way, in terms of a problem of binding, is to tip the scale in favour of philosophy once again –albeit philosophy as the object of a discipline. It may be that this is a step forward. And I admit that it is possible to freeze the development of non-philosophy at one or other of its stages, so long as its essential conditions of existence are acknowledged. I believe much of the work that will be presented to you today develops this aspect and this concept of non-philosophy as a rigorous discipline of philosophy –an aspect which, let me repeat once more, is very real. Nevertheless, there is obviously the risk of an excessive formalization of the rules governing this practice, in the manner of a universally recognizable corpus guaranteeing a certain epistemological coherence…


…Non-philosophy is neither a universal method taking over from deconstruction, nor an immanent process in which method and material, rational and real, are fused together, as in Hegel. Everything depends on how unilaterality binds –if I may be allowed to continue using this term– the opposing terms. Although non-philosophy has a disciplinary aspect, it is not just another discipline.



For it is in fact the other side, that of the One, which must, by definition, have primacy over philosophy from the outset, and it is according to it that one should unilaterally balance or unbalance the quadripartite as a whole. The One is not just the condition of possibility for non-philosophy –this formulation is too Kantian and empirico-idealist. It is however its presupposed, and as such is not once again at the service of philosophy. Unlike a condition or presupposition, which disappears into the conditioned, the presupposed has an autonomy that is irreducible to the conditioned. Whence the necessity of developing this side of the One so as to turn it into, if not the centre, then at least the principal aspect of non-philosophy. In fact, the essential gains, those that condition the theory, were made on the side of the One –not the One alone, but precisely this logic of unilaterality which goes together with the One and its immanence. And it so happens that the successful adjustment of the second duality –that of philosophy and science– depends on the kind of solution one has found for the first.



How is one to reestablish the structures unilateral equilibrium? Uni-laterality should no longer be understood in a Hegelian sense as abstraction of one side at the expense of the other. It has to be understood as a formulation close to two others used by contemporary philosophers. It is similar to 1) ‘no-relation in Lacans ‘there is no sexual relation. The real in Lacan as well as in non-philosophy is without relation in the sense that it excludes symbolic and linguistic relation. It is generally foreclosed to relation, as is required by radical immanence or the fact that, as Lacan says, the real always comes back to ‘the same place. It is also similar to 2) ‘relation-without-relation in Derrida, who puts the absence of relation or the Other who is without relation at the heart of relation, i.e. the Logos. In other words, Lacan and Derrida are moved by antithetical motives with regard to the real: the former wants to exclude all relation, while the latter is content to differentiate relation through its other and hopes to find the real in an affect of absolute Judaic alterity. Their difference can be situated between two conceptions of the other, but it does not basically touch on the real. Both conceive of the ‘without-relation in the same way: the former (Lacan) as opposed to relation, or as non(-relation); the latter (Derrida), more subtly, as at the very least indissociable from relation. In either case, psychoanalysis or deconstruction, relation is presupposed as that in terms of which the real must be posited. And relation is transcendence or a certain kind of exteriority. Both cases remain within the realm of philosophy and seek immanence, the without-relation, through opposition or in terms of an ultimate reference to transcendence. Under these conditions, the real cannot be radically relationless, even in Lacan where the real and the symbolic are linked through topology. Can one follow Lacan but go beyond Lacan by positing a real that is de-symbolized, un-chained from the signifier, unconditioned by it; yet one which, as in Derrida, nevertheless continues to have a proven effect on the logos or symbolic realm in general?



What I have called uni-laterality is the solution without synthesis to this problem. It is the only kind of relation tolerated by the real as immanence and primacy over philosophy. On the one hand, it is essentially a radical non-relation, as in Lacan –but one which is genuinely radical this time because its non-relationality follows from its immanence. More than ever, the real returns to the same place, to such an extent that it no longer defines one and is u-topic through and through. But on the other hand, it does not remain alone because it is separated (from) the logos or the world –it is also an Other, but without relation to transcendence, which would otherwise continue to define it and constitute it. It is Other-than…relation, rather than Other to…relation, whether as opposed to it (Lacan), or partially internalized by it (Derrida). There is an alterity that goes with the One but it is itself One or radical immanence. There is no longer an Other of the Other as there necessarily is in psychoanalysis and philosophy. This is why I use the term ‘unilation instead of the word ‘relation. This the place of the non-philosophical concept of uni-laterality: between Hegel who reduces it to an abstraction of the understanding; Lacan who ultimately does not understand it and tolerates it only in order to cancel it in the signifying chain through which he thinks he acknowledges it; and Derrida and others, who try to give it a status but still within the realm of philosophical exteriority. The radical has primacy over the uni-lateral, but primacy is not itself a relation.



More concretely, consider a philosophical system, i.e. a dyad of terms that are opposed or correlated through a third term which is itself divided between an immanent or transcendental One and a One that transcends the dyad. We move to a unilateral duality in the following way. The One is no longer divisible into real and transcendental, it is real and takes the place of one and only one term in the dyad: it now constitutes one of the two terms as indivisible and is simply immanent to the new duality. But the status of the second term in the dyad is also immediately transformed. It is no longer face to face with the One, which is immanent even from the perspective of this second term, and yet it exists and makes up a duality with the One without being face to face with it; hence without entering into relation with it. We will say that this second term is also in-One or immanent even though it is expelled from the One, which it does not constitute. More precisely, we will say that it is expelled only insofar as the One is radically separate from what it gives or manifests. This is why I continue to repeat that philosophy, which is the second term, is given in a radically immanent fashion or in the mode of the One, even as it is expelled from the One…



…The unilateral duality excludes the two major types of traditional solution: the theory of relations and the theory of judgments. It is not a relation, whether internal or external, and it is not a judgment, whether analytic or synthetic. It is precisely because it has none of the characteristics of a system that non-philosophy, which excludes synthesis as well as analysis, possesses the quasi or non-analytic power of systems and their subsets, as well as the quasi or non-synthetic power of the systems which it brushes up against in each of their points. We use the term ‘dualysis to designate this activity carried out through unilateral dualities, which analyze without an operation of analysis and synthesize without an operation of synthesis. Non-philosophical statements are neither contained analytically within those of philosophy nor added synthetically to them. It is not a matter of complex judgments and interpretation, but of transformation through the force of unilaterality.





Unilaterality proceeds through two stages. The first is that of the real, whose immanence is no longer that of a punctual, still transcendent interiority, but a being-separate from what it expels, or rather that which it is separated from. The second is transcendental and takes this other term into account. It relates to philosophy, which, expelled-in-One so to speak, now calls for help from the real. In the first phase, there is already duality, but on the basis of the One and its primacy: the second term is mentioned without yet being referred to. In the second phase, duality is explicitly present but on the basis of philosophy –although it does not go so far as to constitute a two.



The immanence of the One and the transcendence proper to philosophy are now so tightly and intimately bound together that there is no longer any relation but only an alterity of the One, which is an immanence without relation to philosophy –even though it gives or manifests philosophy while separating itself from it…



…The work undertaken since the book on non-marxism [Introduction to Non-Marxism (2000)] has sought to carry out this intimate binding of the two sides and to justify the discipline devoted to philosophy through the primacy and uni-laterality of the One.



Thus, as I have already said, I accept that it may be necessary to isolate aspects or moments of non-philosophy in order to examine them, or even –why not– develop them into independent disciplines. Nevertheless, one should bear in mind non-philosophys indivisible duality, the fact that it is structured in phases, so as not to separate in an abstract fashion the One from philosophy, and vice versa. But we have seen why this indivisibility or intimacy of non-philosophy is not that of a system. The truth is that we find ourselves here at the heart of the non-philosophical solution. By striving to bind and suture together opposed terms, we are forced to realize not only that that they were not really opposed, but that they are not bound together and that the genuinely guiding problematic for us may not be philosophical –we have been trying to prize it free from philosophy piece by piece. Non-philosophy, which began as a problem of binding, unbinding and rebinding, is radically fulfilled as something that we could never have imagined, since we were deceived by the exteriority of philosophy. It is fulfilled as a cloning. If all philosophy comes down to a question of binding, non-philosophy comes down to a question of cloning, which is also the answer to the question of binding. The One gives its identity to philosophy precisely insofar as the latter refuses it –an identity which philosophy both refuses and requires. We could say –parodying Lacans famous formula about love by inverting it in favour of the giver rather than the receiver– that the One withholds itself, thereby giving itself to philosophy, which requires it by refusing it. If non-philosophy attains a point of unilateral equilibrium, of fulfillment proper to it, it is through this inversion of binding into its point of immanence, which is not a dead-end but rather the point at which there is a radical interiorization of the real and an inversion of philosophy. A bind forms a point of immanence, but its principle is not radical immanence –it is rather a combination of the two, through topology for example. I spent a long time looking for such a point: the point of the cogito, the point of Nietzschean transmutation, the point of critique. Non-philosophy may well be philosophys critical point, but it is not critique that makes the point; it is the ‘point that critiques. I consider this long hunt for immanence to have reached its goal when immanence gives itself as and through a unilateral leap –that of the (non-)One, which is the key to the hunt. Cloning assembles and retroactively legitimates all those hesitant investigations, all those contradictory hypotheses about the problem of the theorys internal coherence.



Consequently, with regard to philosophy there was, strictly speaking, no overturning but rather a displacement. But a displacement without an operation can only be a utopia. And what is displaced is philosophy as such, because displacement here resolves itself into a ‘en-placement. There is no non-philosophical gesture, just the leap or unilateral operation whereby human utopia affects every possible site and frees or furnishes a ‘space for the subject.



It will be objected that binding is more intelligible than cloning. But these solutions are neither opposed nor complimentary. The real difficulty with this objection is that binding is not straightforwardly and uniquely mathematical but also transcendental, and that such a combination, which is difficult because it is an internalized topology, is precisely what calls for the solution of unilateral duality in which cloning takes binding as its object. This is what explains the possibility of taking philosophy as object for a real that does not objectify it, but transforms it.



Non-philosophy is obviously not a theory of knowledge or a system in general. It is a real-transcendental science of the world. The only way of discovering it is by relativizing the exclusive primacy of the logic that hides it and prevents one noticing it in philosophy, even of the non-analytical kind. We could say, in our customary style, that it is a transcendental logic that is real-and-nothing-but rather than logical; one that is without-logic or non formal, so to speak. Contrary to the logicist reduction of philosophy, which leaves the hidden prerogatives of philosophical sufficiency intact, specifically in the form of positivity and hence of a kind of dogmatism, this non-philosophical reduction of philosophy is at once real-transcendental and capable of a wide variety of realizations, not only in terms of logic but in terms of the sciences in general. There is an instance that is more radical than logic, and this is the real. Not that it is possible to replace logic by just any science while maintaining the same privileges for the latter. It is the universal posture of science that must take the place which in philosophy is held by the restricted universality of logic. Non-philosophy shatters the strictures of logic and analytical reduction, just as it dissolves the residues of a compulsory, exclusive and primary logic in the transcendental logic of philosophers, granting the transcendental the sole support of the radical real, and hence the possibility of entering into combination with each of the sciences. Non-philosophy is unified theory: a radical extension of philosophy beyond transcendental logic, but one that deprives it of its traditional pretensions. As a result, it is philosophy and its logical organon that lose their prerogatives by being turned into a simply real-transcendental organon.



Thus, it is necessary to take the expression ‘non-philosophy quite literally, so to speak. It is not just a metaphorical reference to ‘non-Euclidean. It is possible for the One and the (non-)One to be identical because we are no longer operating in the realm of transcendence. Nothingness is transcendent but the non- is the One in all its immanent uni-laterality. Non-philosophy is the inversion of philosophy; it is the ‘non- addressed to philosophy by man, who is the presupposed that philosophy cannot get rid of. It is not that there is philosophy first, which then has to be denied –philosophy is given from the outset as suspended in the future by the future, and this is the determining condition for its becoming the object of a new discipline.



As for the trilogy of real, philosophical material, and unilateral syntax (or determination-in-the-last-instance), to which non-philosophy is often reduced, there is a sense in which it bears a marked resemblance –despite the difference in content– to the Lacanian trio RSI, and like the latter, it is merely a structural base for non-philosophy. I too could say, like Lacan, that the latter is not an all-purpose grid, but rather a sort of vade-mecum, dangerous to the extent that it traces the structure of the philosophical system by simply distorting it. It has to be said that this trilogy was placed at the head of INPhO in the form of three axioms so as to allow the latters constitution and functioning, but at the cost of a certain approximation and the risk of encouraging a new kind of scholastic common sense or formalism. A large part of my research has been devoted to putting this trilogy into practice and extending it to new materials. But the principal task has been trying to achieve a parallel adjustment of these instances so as to bring them all into play; tuning and adjusting the instrument; coordinating and recalibrating the apparatus. INPhO was constructed like an un-tuned instrument, in which everyone wants to play their part with the instrument they have cobbled together themselves, preferring a free interpretation of the axioms to their free effectuation. There is a fundamental problem concerning the articulation of these three instances. Two tasks need to be carried out. The new articulation of the three terms will have to 1) undo their topological and hence structural organization, overcome the appearance that they are three by showing how they are each time two, and that each of these two is ultimately ‘one while remaining ‘two from the viewpoint of one of them; 2) define boundaries or degrees of freedom in the ‘preparation of this apparatus, but in a way that does not end up destroying it.



In any case, non-philosophy did not invent ‘the real, or the One, or man (every philosopher can take some credit for the latter), or even the idea of a ‘radical immanence (there is Michel Henry and perhaps others as well –Maine de Biran? Marx?). On the other hand, non-philosophy exists because it invented the true characteristics of the latter, because it took the requirements of radicality seriously and distinguished between the radical and the absolute. It has had to carry out a complete overhaul of the entire philosophical apparatus even when it seemed closest to it. These characteristics are:

1. the full sense of immanence as real ‘before it assumes a transcendental function;

2. the necessity of treating immanence through immanence, rather than through a transcendent overview. It is at once a structure and an immanent knowing of this structure, or what I call ‘the vision-in-One;

3. philosophys being-already-given in-One, its unilation rather than external relation to the real;

4. the structure of real immanence as uni-laterality, uni-lateral (duality), as other than… or alterity through immanence, rather than as a metaphysical point;

5. the coupling of real determination and determination-in-the-last-instance or transcendental determination (cloning), and the thesis that Marxs concept provides a symptom of the latter;

6. the unilateral duality of man and of the subject as a function with the world as free variable;

7. the discovery of radical immanence or uni-laterality as human Messianism or immanent future, its vocation to utopia and fiction;

8. the two aspects of the future language spoken by non-philosophical subjects: axiomatic or mathematical, and philosophical or oracular.




Non-philosophy is a human mathematics –a formulation I would oppose to Leibnizs conception of philosophy as a ‘divine mathematics. Radicality should be understood in terms of these principles or modes of operation, which prevent one from mistaking it for the radicality invoked by Descartes or Husserl. Everything can be summed up in terms of the distinction between the radical and the absolute.



Lastly, a few words about these new possibilities.



Non-humanist. With topological binding, philosophy remained in the hands of a deus ex machina: the philosopher or infant-king, who surveys and arranges the former like a handyman assembling and destroying scale models of worlds, or a demon whispering answers to Socrates. With cloning, it is finally man and man alone who is implicated in philosophy. But man is not implicated in the way being is implicated as bound up with the question of being. Man is the real or the answer, the minimal but insufficient condition necessary for local resolutions. Non-philosophy is the primacy of man as non-immanent over being and nothingness. It is to man and man alone, not to matter or religion that it falls to reduce humanism, for example, along with the problems of which humanism is symptomatic. Non-philosophy is the discovery that man is determining, and that he is determining-in-the-last-instance as subject.



Non-theological. Insofar as man gives the world while remaining separate from it –but not separate as an exception to it– non-philosophy invalidates all metaphysical problems such as that of the creation, procession, emanation, or conversion of the world –the entire philosophical dramaturgy. Man is a grace for the world. This is an inversion of the philosophies of transcendence and of the divine call addressed to man, because it is now the world that calls on man. Where philosophy knows exception, non-philosophy knows –dare I say it– the miracle, but one that has been mathematized, shorn of its theological transcendence.



Non-historical. The immanent real-one is also given as other than…or separated; as the future that precedes the past and the present. Man is not consciousness, he is the force of utopia or of immanent Messianism that accompanies his confrontation with the world and inverts every possible course of history. Nietzsches overhuman ‘yes has to be included in the ‘no- that accompanies man from the depth of his immanence.



Non-literary. Non-philosophy is an activity of fiction both in thought and language; it crowns the discipline of philosophical theory. New terms should surge forth from the non-philosophical understanding in the way essences surge forth from the divine understanding according to Leibniz. They should combine the enigmatic authority of the oracle with the clarity of the theorem.



Ultimately, I see non-philosophers in several different ways. I see them, inevitably, as subjects of the university, as is required by worldly life, but above all as related to three fundamental human types. They are related to the analyst and the political militant, obviously, since non-philosophy is close to psychoanalysis and Marxism –it transforms the subject by transforming instances of philosophy. But they are also related to what I would call the ‘spiritual type –which it is imperative not to confuse with ‘spiritualist. The spiritual are not spiritualists. They are the great destroyers of the forces of philosophy and the state, which band together in the name of order and conformity. The spiritual haunt the margins of philosophy, gnosticism, mysticism, and even of institutional religion and politics. The spiritual are not just abstract, quietist mystics; they are for the world. This is why a quiet discipline is not sufficient, because man is implicated in the world as the presupposed that determines it. Thus, non-philosophy is also related to gnosticism and science-fiction; it answers their fundamental question –which is not at all philosophys primary concern–: “Should humanity be saved? And how?” And it is also close to spiritual revolutionaries such as Müntzer and certain mystics who skirted heresy. When all is said and done, is non-philosophy anything other than the chance for an effective utopia?
Let me begin in traditional terms: what is the essence, what are the possibilities of non-philosophy? From the outset, it originated from four concerns that were coupled two by two; and hence from dualities. It continued to develop in terms of dualities, constantly calling them into question but never dispensing with them entirely. Its current possibilities or themes are merely a continuation or development of this (non-) essence…



…Thus, my point of view here will be historical and systematic. This reconstruction after the fact cannot avoid appearing to be a piece of retrospective self-interpretation, but since fidelity here is not to a historically predetermined meaning or truth, but to a last instance, and hence to the spirit of dualities, I stop short of anything that could draw us into a hermeneutics.



The genealogy of non-philosophy is problematic. Born, like everything else, of the intersection between two original and loosely coupled problems –whose coupling was not quite as arbitrary as the encounter between Poros [Expediency] and Penia [Poverty]1 – non-philosophy has always refused to be their synthesis, and hence their offspring. Philosophy was born of the one-sided encounter between a sleeping being (Poros) and the desire for a child (Penia), but as a philosopher Plato ultimately remains beholden to biology –he does not get right to the bottom of Poros sleep, because he still attributes it to drunkenness and closed eyes, to a merely slumbering intelligence. Similarly, he does not get right to the bottom of Penias poverty, because he still attributes her desire for a child to her sighting of Poros. Plato does not go beyond the pharmakon as coupling, as condition for the couple or procreation.



This filiation is not that of non-philosophy. Like every child, she consents to be born according to biological conditions, but she refuses the continuity of birth; she is an orphan and it is she who decides to be born “according to X”. She sees in the drunkenness of her father merely the symptom of mans blindness, of an un-learned knowing; and sees in her mothers desire for a child the symptom of the impossible desire for being-blind. Not refusing the past, but refusing to be determined by it, presenting herself as the daughter of man, her problem is that of being and remaining ahead of the image of the newborn. It is in this simply human manner that she escapes from the biological and familial cycle and provides –without founding a new family or some sort of new city– the basis-in-person for a new type of organization: an organization of heretics, of sons or daughters of man who are continuously newborn, grateful orphans of philosophy and the world. As for the act of birth, whereas philosophy is destined to parricide and is only capable of acknowledging its filiation through this founding crime, non-philosophy tries to avoid the synthesis of expediency and poverty that is parricide. Born according to X, which is to say, according to man as the unknown, non-philosophy joins its parents to the city of brothers and sisters, elevating its own filiation to utopian status.



In actuality, the structure (but not the origin) of non-philosophy consists of a principal duality and a secondary duality. The principal duality is the following:


1. The enigmatic character of the One, of its essence, its origin; the fact that it is forgotten and subordinated to Being. The Heideggerean preoccupation with Being and the Lacanian and Derridean preoccupation with the Other rendered this forgetting of the One more crucial, as though the circle of philosophy had not been fully covered in its entirety. Philosophy continuously talked about the One, presupposed it, invoked it, but without properly thematizing it.

2. There was another kind of forgetting in the guise of philosophys abusive attitude, its abuse of power in general; the way in which it laid claim to reality and truth, but also to domination; the arbitrary nature of its questioning. How was such a form of thinking possible? One that claimed to be undeniable without furnishing any credentials other than its own practice and tradition, rather like an unfounded and interminable rumour?

So, on the one hand an entity that reigns without governing: the One; and on the other a discipline that claims to provide a theoretical domination of the world and of other forms of thought to such an extent that it presumes to have a proprietary claim on “thinking”. I found myself faced with a new and apparently artificial duality, since in normal circumstances the One was, after all, merely an object of philosophy. But this duality was accompanied by another, which seemed to graft itself upon it necessarily, as though it provided the means for realizing it. This was the duality of science and philosophy, which I have up until now tended to privilege as a guiding thread when recapitulating the history of non-philosophy, and which continues to hold sway in the idea of non-philosophy as a discipline. There is a sense in which I have never exited from this space, from its type of duality and internal unity; even if, as I hope to show, it has undergone contractions and expansions –and above all redistributions. My problem was never that of the one and the multiple, even if I often evoked it. But in non-philosophy one must be wary of confusing the object with which one struggles, and the essence of the struggle, the former frequently occluding the latter. My problem has been that of the One and the two, in the sense in which the two is something specific and not synonymous with the multiple. My problem has to do with a tradition that differs from, or is parallel to, that of philosophy. It has to do with the struggle with philosophy. It is a transcendental mathematics, but one that will have to abandon the Platonic or philosophical form of transcendental numbers, and stop being a divine mathematics (Leibniz). Thus, it is a struggle on two times two fronts: that of the One and that of the two, that of the definition of philosophy and that of science. That makes at least four fronts. This quadripartite structure of the struggle is the dimension within which I have confronted another quadripartite, the one constituted by the philosophers who ‘influenced me, as they say. When reconstructing the history of non-philosophy, I have often confused this second quadripartite with the first, committing a category mistake by according it an excessive influence, when in fact it was already no more than the material for the first, or a terrain for the struggle. These problems were resolved as I came to understand that instead of trying to unify these four sides philosophically by binding or suturing them together in a relational exteriority, I could do so through another kind of unity, one effected through a radically immanent cloning. As a result, the notions of ‘struggle and ‘front undergo a transformation. What was required was a unilateral leap, which is to say, abandoning all pretension on the side of the One, no longer positing it as one of the sides or terms of the quadripartite, acknowledging its collapse or non-consistency. This meant giving up at the same time the idea of a ‘head to head struggle and elaborating the notion of a unilateral front. That every struggle engages two fronts but only puts one combatant into play was a riddle that was resolved when it turned into its own solution. This involves a shift from the divine Logos to a practice placed under the name-of-man.

The problematic of the quadripartite, of its binding or cloning, has the advantage of allowing a synoptic overview of all the stages –even the most rudimentary– in the research that led to non-philosophy, and of not dismembering it in terms of historical distinctions. Before being non-philosophical, the magma from which non-philosophy emerged has all the characteristics of a pre-philosophical chôra, from its deepest to its most superficial layer, like a landmass or conglomerate rising up when the tectonic plates underlying the philosophical continent start breaking up. The division of non-philosophy intro three stages privileges a historical overview and should be inscribed within the structure of the quadripartite.



I will confine myself here to sketching an outline and drawing a continuous guiding thread for the development of non-philosophy, while passing over two kinds of circumstance that played a part and affected this development. On the one hand, the innumerable hesitations, misgivings, amendments and variations in the binding of these two terms. For in the beginning it was question –as it is for every philosopher– of identifying the point of suture between the two sides of this duality, which philosophy had summarily realized or admitted in the form of systems and their traditions. On the other hand, there were the personal conditions under which non-philosophy existed, adverse institutional circumstances, all sorts of phantasms, various interests that exceeded the bounds of philosophy alone –these do not need to be recalled here since we are trying to identify a structure and the history contained in it.



For the moment, it is still a question of binding rather than of cloning. These dualities were already present in the initial series of works grouped together under the heading Philosophy I, but were still being resolved to the benefit of the side of philosophy and binding, and to the detriment of the One and science. The shift to Philosophy II occurs by way of an overturning: it is now the One which becomes the principal theme and assumes the mantle of the real, and philosophy that is evaluated in terms of the Ones capacity for being conceived ‘for itself and as such, or as immanent. This is the gist of Le principe de minorité [The Minority Principle (1981)]. But…


… Non-philosophy does not effectively or successfully begin until Une biographie de lhomme ordinaire [A Biography of the Ordinary Man (1985)], because it is there that the problem of how to bind the four sides together is thematized and basically formulated –albeit not without difficulties– through the notion of unilaterality. The conditions for this solution are that the One acquire a radical autonomy with regard to philosophy, that it stop being a philosophical object, and that the latter is revealed to be a transcendental appearance. It is as though an over-neoplatonization of the One was accompanied by a corresponding over-kantianization of philosophy as appearance…


…Formulated in this way, without satisfying the pretensions of philosophy vis-à-vis the One, the problem increased in difficulty. We had deprived ourselves of every philosophical solution. Nevertheless…


…the germ of the solution resided in this excessive separation between the One and philosophy, which amounted to a sort of Platonic chorismos. In effect, the cause of their exteriority or reciprocal autonomy, and hence of their unity, could no longer be philosophical or one that operated through transcendence. Moreover, the One in question was no longer epekeina-physical, or beyond being, so that, on the contrary, what caused this separation had to be its radical immanence. But how could radical immanence be reconciled with exteriority?


At this stage, as my path momentarily crossed that of Michel Henry, the other half of the problem remained unresolved –specifically: how could one still use philosophy –which was not designed for this end– to speak of this One or radical immanence? The initial project of a theoretical domination of philosophy and of a critique of its transcendental appearance reappeared in a new form: that of the transformation of philosophical statements or phrases. This was the Idea of a theoretical discipline with philosophy as its object. All of Philosophy I and a large part of Philosophy II is devoted to a twofold task. On the one hand, to a more and more precise binding of the duality which is outside every system or synthesis by combining three requirements: that of the Ones radical immanence; that of the unilaterality this duality; and finally that of the reduction of the logos to the status of a structured appearance or material. On the other hand, to the search for a discourse that would no longer be the logos and whose resources (despite this discourse being appropriated by the causality of the One) would be provided by philosophy alone. Thus, to the constitution of a discipline of philosophy in view of thinking the One.



But to present non-philosophy in this way, in terms of a problem of binding, is to tip the scale in favour of philosophy once again –albeit philosophy as the object of a discipline. It may be that this is a step forward. And I admit that it is possible to freeze the development of non-philosophy at one or other of its stages, so long as its essential conditions of existence are acknowledged. I believe much of the work that will be presented to you today develops this aspect and this concept of non-philosophy as a rigorous discipline of philosophy –an aspect which, let me repeat once more, is very real. Nevertheless, there is obviously the risk of an excessive formalization of the rules governing this practice, in the manner of a universally recognizable corpus guaranteeing a certain epistemological coherence…


…Non-philosophy is neither a universal method taking over from deconstruction, nor an immanent process in which method and material, rational and real, are fused together, as in Hegel. Everything depends on how unilaterality binds –if I may be allowed to continue using this term– the opposing terms. Although non-philosophy has a disciplinary aspect, it is not just another discipline.



For it is in fact the other side, that of the One, which must, by definition, have primacy over philosophy from the outset, and it is according to it that one should unilaterally balance or unbalance the quadripartite as a whole. The One is not just the condition of possibility for non-philosophy –this formulation is too Kantian and empirico-idealist. It is however its presupposed, and as such is not once again at the service of philosophy. Unlike a condition or presupposition, which disappears into the conditioned, the presupposed has an autonomy that is irreducible to the conditioned. Whence the necessity of developing this side of the One so as to turn it into, if not the centre, then at least the principal aspect of non-philosophy. In fact, the essential gains, those that condition the theory, were made on the side of the One –not the One alone, but precisely this logic of unilaterality which goes together with the One and its immanence. And it so happens that the successful adjustment of the second duality –that of philosophy and science– depends on the kind of solution one has found for the first.



How is one to reestablish the structures unilateral equilibrium? Uni-laterality should no longer be understood in a Hegelian sense as abstraction of one side at the expense of the other. It has to be understood as a formulation close to two others used by contemporary philosophers. It is similar to 1) ‘no-relation in Lacans ‘there is no sexual relation. The real in Lacan as well as in non-philosophy is without relation in the sense that it excludes symbolic and linguistic relation. It is generally foreclosed to relation, as is required by radical immanence or the fact that, as Lacan says, the real always comes back to ‘the same place. It is also similar to 2) ‘relation-without-relation in Derrida, who puts the absence of relation or the Other who is without relation at the heart of relation, i.e. the Logos. In other words, Lacan and Derrida are moved by antithetical motives with regard to the real: the former wants to exclude all relation, while the latter is content to differentiate relation through its other and hopes to find the real in an affect of absolute Judaic alterity. Their difference can be situated between two conceptions of the other, but it does not basically touch on the real. Both conceive of the ‘without-relation in the same way: the former (Lacan) as opposed to relation, or as non(-relation); the latter (Derrida), more subtly, as at the very least indissociable from relation. In either case, psychoanalysis or deconstruction, relation is presupposed as that in terms of which the real must be posited. And relation is transcendence or a certain kind of exteriority. Both cases remain within the realm of philosophy and seek immanence, the without-relation, through opposition or in terms of an ultimate reference to transcendence. Under these conditions, the real cannot be radically relationless, even in Lacan where the real and the symbolic are linked through topology. Can one follow Lacan but go beyond Lacan by positing a real that is de-symbolized, un-chained from the signifier, unconditioned by it; yet one which, as in Derrida, nevertheless continues to have a proven effect on the logos or symbolic realm in general?



What I have called uni-laterality is the solution without synthesis to this problem. It is the only kind of relation tolerated by the real as immanence and primacy over philosophy. On the one hand, it is essentially a radical non-relation, as in Lacan –but one which is genuinely radical this time because its non-relationality follows from its immanence. More than ever, the real returns to the same place, to such an extent that it no longer defines one and is u-topic through and through. But on the other hand, it does not remain alone because it is separated (from) the logos or the world –it is also an Other, but without relation to transcendence, which would otherwise continue to define it and constitute it. It is Other-than…relation, rather than Other to…relation, whether as opposed to it (Lacan), or partially internalized by it (Derrida). There is an alterity that goes with the One but it is itself One or radical immanence. There is no longer an Other of the Other as there necessarily is in psychoanalysis and philosophy. This is why I use the term ‘unilation instead of the word ‘relation. This the place of the non-philosophical concept of uni-laterality: between Hegel who reduces it to an abstraction of the understanding; Lacan who ultimately does not understand it and tolerates it only in order to cancel it in the signifying chain through which he thinks he acknowledges it; and Derrida and others, who try to give it a status but still within the realm of philosophical exteriority. The radical has primacy over the uni-lateral, but primacy is not itself a relation.



More concretely, consider a philosophical system, i.e. a dyad of terms that are opposed or correlated through a third term which is itself divided between an immanent or transcendental One and a One that transcends the dyad. We move to a unilateral duality in the following way. The One is no longer divisible into real and transcendental, it is real and takes the place of one and only one term in the dyad: it now constitutes one of the two terms as indivisible and is simply immanent to the new duality. But the status of the second term in the dyad is also immediately transformed. It is no longer face to face with the One, which is immanent even from the perspective of this second term, and yet it exists and makes up a duality with the One without being face to face with it; hence without entering into relation with it. We will say that this second term is also in-One or immanent even though it is expelled from the One, which it does not constitute. More precisely, we will say that it is expelled only insofar as the One is radically separate from what it gives or manifests. This is why I continue to repeat that philosophy, which is the second term, is given in a radically immanent fashion or in the mode of the One, even as it is expelled from the One…



…The unilateral duality excludes the two major types of traditional solution: the theory of relations and the theory of judgments. It is not a relation, whether internal or external, and it is not a judgment, whether analytic or synthetic. It is precisely because it has none of the characteristics of a system that non-philosophy, which excludes synthesis as well as analysis, possesses the quasi or non-analytic power of systems and their subsets, as well as the quasi or non-synthetic power of the systems which it brushes up against in each of their points. We use the term ‘dualysis to designate this activity carried out through unilateral dualities, which analyze without an operation of analysis and synthesize without an operation of synthesis. Non-philosophical statements are neither contained analytically within those of philosophy nor added synthetically to them. It is not a matter of complex judgments and interpretation, but of transformation through the force of unilaterality.





Unilaterality proceeds through two stages. The first is that of the real, whose immanence is no longer that of a punctual, still transcendent interiority, but a being-separate from what it expels, or rather that which it is separated from. The second is transcendental and takes this other term into account. It relates to philosophy, which, expelled-in-One so to speak, now calls for help from the real. In the first phase, there is already duality, but on the basis of the One and its primacy: the second term is mentioned without yet being referred to. In the second phase, duality is explicitly present but on the basis of philosophy –although it does not go so far as to constitute a two.



The immanence of the One and the transcendence proper to philosophy are now so tightly and intimately bound together that there is no longer any relation but only an alterity of the One, which is an immanence without relation to philosophy –even though it gives or manifests philosophy while separating itself from it…



…The work undertaken since the book on non-marxism [Introduction to Non-Marxism (2000)] has sought to carry out this intimate binding of the two sides and to justify the discipline devoted to philosophy through the primacy and uni-laterality of the One.



Thus, as I have already said, I accept that it may be necessary to isolate aspects or moments of non-philosophy in order to examine them, or even –why not– develop them into independent disciplines. Nevertheless, one should bear in mind non-philosophys indivisible duality, the fact that it is structured in phases, so as not to separate in an abstract fashion the One from philosophy, and vice versa. But we have seen why this indivisibility or intimacy of non-philosophy is not that of a system. The truth is that we find ourselves here at the heart of the non-philosophical solution. By striving to bind and suture together opposed terms, we are forced to realize not only that that they were not really opposed, but that they are not bound together and that the genuinely guiding problematic for us may not be philosophical –we have been trying to prize it free from philosophy piece by piece. Non-philosophy, which began as a problem of binding, unbinding and rebinding, is radically fulfilled as something that we could never have imagined, since we were deceived by the exteriority of philosophy. It is fulfilled as a cloning. If all philosophy comes down to a question of binding, non-philosophy comes down to a question of cloning, which is also the answer to the question of binding. The One gives its identity to philosophy precisely insofar as the latter refuses it –an identity which philosophy both refuses and requires. We could say –parodying Lacans famous formula about love by inverting it in favour of the giver rather than the receiver– that the One withholds itself, thereby giving itself to philosophy, which requires it by refusing it. If non-philosophy attains a point of unilateral equilibrium, of fulfillment proper to it, it is through this inversion of binding into its point of immanence, which is not a dead-end but rather the point at which there is a radical interiorization of the real and an inversion of philosophy. A bind forms a point of immanence, but its principle is not radical immanence –it is rather a combination of the two, through topology for example. I spent a long time looking for such a point: the point of the cogito, the point of Nietzschean transmutation, the point of critique. Non-philosophy may well be philosophys critical point, but it is not critique that makes the point; it is the ‘point that critiques. I consider this long hunt for immanence to have reached its goal when immanence gives itself as and through a unilateral leap –that of the (non-)One, which is the key to the hunt. Cloning assembles and retroactively legitimates all those hesitant investigations, all those contradictory hypotheses about the problem of the theorys internal coherence.



Consequently, with regard to philosophy there was, strictly speaking, no overturning but rather a displacement. But a displacement without an operation can only be a utopia. And what is displaced is philosophy as such, because displacement here resolves itself into a ‘en-placement. There is no non-philosophical gesture, just the leap or unilateral operation whereby human utopia affects every possible site and frees or furnishes a ‘space for the subject.



It will be objected that binding is more intelligible than cloning. But these solutions are neither opposed nor complimentary. The real difficulty with this objection is that binding is not straightforwardly and uniquely mathematical but also transcendental, and that such a combination, which is difficult because it is an internalized topology, is precisely what calls for the solution of unilateral duality in which cloning takes binding as its object. This is what explains the possibility of taking philosophy as object for a real that does not objectify it, but transforms it.



Non-philosophy is obviously not a theory of knowledge or a system in general. It is a real-transcendental science of the world. The only way of discovering it is by relativizing the exclusive primacy of the logic that hides it and prevents one noticing it in philosophy, even of the non-analytical kind. We could say, in our customary style, that it is a transcendental logic that is real-and-nothing-but rather than logical; one that is without-logic or non formal, so to speak. Contrary to the logicist reduction of philosophy, which leaves the hidden prerogatives of philosophical sufficiency intact, specifically in the form of positivity and hence of a kind of dogmatism, this non-philosophical reduction of philosophy is at once real-transcendental and capable of a wide variety of realizations, not only in terms of logic but in terms of the sciences in general. There is an instance that is more radical than logic, and this is the real. Not that it is possible to replace logic by just any science while maintaining the same privileges for the latter. It is the universal posture of science that must take the place which in philosophy is held by the restricted universality of logic. Non-philosophy shatters the strictures of logic and analytical reduction, just as it dissolves the residues of a compulsory, exclusive and primary logic in the transcendental logic of philosophers, granting the transcendental the sole support of the radical real, and hence the possibility of entering into combination with each of the sciences. Non-philosophy is unified theory: a radical extension of philosophy beyond transcendental logic, but one that deprives it of its traditional pretensions. As a result, it is philosophy and its logical organon that lose their prerogatives by being turned into a simply real-transcendental organon.



Thus, it is necessary to take the expression ‘non-philosophy quite literally, so to speak. It is not just a metaphorical reference to ‘non-Euclidean. It is possible for the One and the (non-)One to be identical because we are no longer operating in the realm of transcendence. Nothingness is transcendent but the non- is the One in all its immanent uni-laterality. Non-philosophy is the inversion of philosophy; it is the ‘non- addressed to philosophy by man, who is the presupposed that philosophy cannot get rid of. It is not that there is philosophy first, which then has to be denied –philosophy is given from the outset as suspended in the future by the future, and this is the determining condition for its becoming the object of a new discipline.



As for the trilogy of real, philosophical material, and unilateral syntax (or determination-in-the-last-instance), to which non-philosophy is often reduced, there is a sense in which it bears a marked resemblance –despite the difference in content– to the Lacanian trio RSI, and like the latter, it is merely a structural base for non-philosophy. I too could say, like Lacan, that the latter is not an all-purpose grid, but rather a sort of vade-mecum, dangerous to the extent that it traces the structure of the philosophical system by simply distorting it. It has to be said that this trilogy was placed at the head of INPhO in the form of three axioms so as to allow the latters constitution and functioning, but at the cost of a certain approximation and the risk of encouraging a new kind of scholastic common sense or formalism. A large part of my research has been devoted to putting this trilogy into practice and extending it to new materials. But the principal task has been trying to achieve a parallel adjustment of these instances so as to bring them all into play; tuning and adjusting the instrument; coordinating and recalibrating the apparatus. INPhO was constructed like an un-tuned instrument, in which everyone wants to play their part with the instrument they have cobbled together themselves, preferring a free interpretation of the axioms to their free effectuation. There is a fundamental problem concerning the articulation of these three instances. Two tasks need to be carried out. The new articulation of the three terms will have to 1) undo their topological and hence structural organization, overcome the appearance that they are three by showing how they are each time two, and that each of these two is ultimately ‘one while remaining ‘two from the viewpoint of one of them; 2) define boundaries or degrees of freedom in the ‘preparation of this apparatus, but in a way that does not end up destroying it.



In any case, non-philosophy did not invent ‘the real, or the One, or man (every philosopher can take some credit for the latter), or even the idea of a ‘radical immanence (there is Michel Henry and perhaps others as well –Maine de Biran? Marx?). On the other hand, non-philosophy exists because it invented the true characteristics of the latter, because it took the requirements of radicality seriously and distinguished between the radical and the absolute. It has had to carry out a complete overhaul of the entire philosophical apparatus even when it seemed closest to it. These characteristics are:

1. the full sense of immanence as real ‘before it assumes a transcendental function;

2. the necessity of treating immanence through immanence, rather than through a transcendent overview. It is at once a structure and an immanent knowing of this structure, or what I call ‘the vision-in-One;

3. philosophys being-already-given in-One, its unilation rather than external relation to the real;

4. the structure of real immanence as uni-laterality, uni-lateral (duality), as other than… or alterity through immanence, rather than as a metaphysical point;

5. the coupling of real determination and determination-in-the-last-instance or transcendental determination (cloning), and the thesis that Marxs concept provides a symptom of the latter;

6. the unilateral duality of man and of the subject as a function with the world as free variable;

7. the discovery of radical immanence or uni-laterality as human Messianism or immanent future, its vocation to utopia and fiction;

8. the two aspects of the future language spoken by non-philosophical subjects: axiomatic or mathematical, and philosophical or oracular.




Non-philosophy is a human mathematics –a formulation I would oppose to Leibnizs conception of philosophy as a ‘divine mathematics. Radicality should be understood in terms of these principles or modes of operation, which prevent one from mistaking it for the radicality invoked by Descartes or Husserl. Everything can be summed up in terms of the distinction between the radical and the absolute.



Lastly, a few words about these new possibilities.



Non-humanist. With topological binding, philosophy remained in the hands of a deus ex machina: the philosopher or infant-king, who surveys and arranges the former like a handyman assembling and destroying scale models of worlds, or a demon whispering answers to Socrates. With cloning, it is finally man and man alone who is implicated in philosophy. But man is not implicated in the way being is implicated as bound up with the question of being. Man is the real or the answer, the minimal but insufficient condition necessary for local resolutions. Non-philosophy is the primacy of man as non-immanent over being and nothingness. It is to man and man alone, not to matter or religion that it falls to reduce humanism, for example, along with the problems of which humanism is symptomatic. Non-philosophy is the discovery that man is determining, and that he is determining-in-the-last-instance as subject.



Non-theological. Insofar as man gives the world while remaining separate from it –but not separate as an exception to it– non-philosophy invalidates all metaphysical problems such as that of the creation, procession, emanation, or conversion of the world –the entire philosophical dramaturgy. Man is a grace for the world. This is an inversion of the philosophies of transcendence and of the divine call addressed to man, because it is now the world that calls on man. Where philosophy knows exception, non-philosophy knows –dare I say it– the miracle, but one that has been mathematized, shorn of its theological transcendence.



Non-historical. The immanent real-one is also given as other than…or separated; as the future that precedes the past and the present. Man is not consciousness, he is the force of utopia or of immanent Messianism that accompanies his confrontation with the world and inverts every possible course of history. Nietzsches overhuman ‘yes has to be included in the ‘no- that accompanies man from the depth of his immanence.



Non-literary. Non-philosophy is an activity of fiction both in thought and language; it crowns the discipline of philosophical theory. New terms should surge forth from the non-philosophical understanding in the way essences surge forth from the divine understanding according to Leibniz. They should combine the enigmatic authority of the oracle with the clarity of the theorem.



Ultimately, I see non-philosophers in several different ways. I see them, inevitably, as subjects of the university, as is required by worldly life, but above all as related to three fundamental human types. They are related to the analyst and the political militant, obviously, since non-philosophy is close to psychoanalysis and Marxism –it transforms the subject by transforming instances of philosophy. But they are also related to what I would call the ‘spiritual type –which it is imperative not to confuse with ‘spiritualist. The spiritual are not spiritualists. They are the great destroyers of the forces of philosophy and the state, which band together in the name of order and conformity. The spiritual haunt the margins of philosophy, gnosticism, mysticism, and even of institutional religion and politics. The spiritual are not just abstract, quietist mystics; they are for the world. This is why a quiet discipline is not sufficient, because man is implicated in the world as the presupposed that determines it. Thus, non-philosophy is also related to gnosticism and science-fiction; it answers their fundamental question –which is not at all philosophys primary concern–: “Should humanity be saved? And how?” And it is also close to spiritual revolutionaries such as Müntzer and certain mystics who skirted heresy. When all is said and done, is non-philosophy anything other than the chance for an effective utopia?




1[ Cf. Plato, Symposium, 203, b-c]