Draft Translation of an Interview with François Laruelle from Actu Philosophia

I was having a bit of writer’s bloc the other day and in an attempt to break it I decided to translate a recent interview conducted with François Laruelle by Florian Forestier for Actu Philososphia. I have posted that draft translation for you below and have compiled this as a PDF for those who prefer to read the interview that way. This is a once through translation, so some rough patches and bits I may have missed, but generally I like translating Laruelle’s interviews as I feel less constrained to retain the syntax of his writing for which there are good theoretical reasons but often frustrating English formulations. Anyway, I would not use this for citation purposes, but feel free to share.

Interview with François Laruelle: Author of Christo-Fiction

By Florian Forestier

Saturday, January 17th 2015


Draft translation by Anthony Paul Smith

Longtime professor at the University of Paris-X Nanterre, François Laruelle is behind a difficult and abundant oeuvre, boasting more than twenty books, amongst which Le Principe de minorité, Une biographie de l’homme ordinaire, Philosophies of Difference, En tant qu’Un. La « non-philosophie » expliquée aux philosophes, Principles of Non-Philosophy, Future Christ: A Lesson in Heresy, Introduction aux sciences génériques, Philosophie non-standard: générique, quantique, philo-fiction, and more recently Christo-fiction, a book we will explore in detail. His recognition internationally grows strongly, as shown by the colloquium La philosophie non-standard de François Laruelle held at Cerisy in September 2014 and bringing together researchers coming from different disciplines and different countries, form Russia to the United States and as far as Taiwan

If this recent rediscovery of François Laruelle’s work is in particular due to the vitality of what is commonly called speculative realism (regardless of the precision of this term), the perspectives and preoccupations of which François Laruelle is indirectly associated, it is necessary nevertheless to examine his thought in its particularity, a thought which, with the risky term non-philosophy, attempts to set up a new use for philosophy and a new use for what Laruelle characterizes as philosophical material. In an article published in 2003, Ray Brassier described François Laruelle as the most important unknown European philosophy, in that he develops not an original thesis on this or that classical object of philosophy, but a way of thinking and appropriating philosophy.

According to the formulation offered in the Cerisy colloquium announcement, non-philosophy or “non-standard philosophy” develops a new theory and new practice of the philosophical act, outside of its traditional norms of self-modeling. It puts variables that can be conjugated to work together, a traditional philosophical structure like the transcendental structure and a kernel of thought extracted from quantum physics. It is not, however, concerned with a philosophy of science but rather with an association in equal parts of philosophy and current [actuelle] science.

My thanks to François Laruelle for his receptiveness and generosity during the interview he granted me. Continue reading “Draft Translation of an Interview with François Laruelle from Actu Philosophia”

“Man-in-person: Critique of the Trinity”: Selection from Laruelle’s Le Christ futur

Below is a translation of a section entitled “Man-in-person: Critique of the Trinity” from Laruelle’s Le Christ futur. I’ve posted it for two groups of people – the theologians and philosophy of religion types who may be interested in another, very different Continental philosophy of religion and for the Speculative Heresy group that may find this section interesting in so far as it illuminates what Laruelle means by Man-in-person. Reading Laruelle on the Trinity I can’t help but be nagged by the same question I’ve had since I started getting interested in him – is he genius or just insane? You will note that there is no footnotes in the book at all and he rarely shows his learning in these matters. Those wanting a bit more context for this should consult this set of definitions translated by Taylor Adkins at Speculative Heresy. There are some other translations there and a list of pdfs in the resources section for those with even more interest.

In so far as Ray Brassier has been the main, nearly sole, English-language progeny of Laruelle’s work most have tended to focus on the realist and materialist aspects of Laruelle’s philosophy. In so far as Laruelle has engaged quite a bit now with religious ideas, and largely though the mystical tradition of Christianity (in its theological and philosophical forms), I wonder if such a view should be modified in some way. Does Laruelle truly shorn matter from any constituent relation of thought in a way that could be recognized in the old style? Or does his obvious interest in religion (of the particularly weird and fucked up variety) not point to some kind of other realism and some other matter? Do not be lead on; I don’t pretend to have an answer to that.

From François Laruelle, Le Christ futur. Une Leçon d’hérésie (Paris: Exils, 2002). 40-42. Original translation Anthony Paul Smith, 2008

Man-in-person: Critique of the Trinity

Christianity, but more so gnosis, indicates to us Man-in-person as final identity for a theory of religious experience. Continue reading ““Man-in-person: Critique of the Trinity”: Selection from Laruelle’s Le Christ futur