This issue of Oraxiom seeks to interrogate the past and future trajectories of non-philosophy by better understanding its
relationship to the history of philosophy. Put otherwise, for this issue, we seek to explore the possibility of a non-philosophical
history of philosophy. Though Laruelle is broad in his reference to philosophers, theologians, mystics and scientists, he punctuates his history of philosophy by way of proper names in parenthetical remarks: (Plato), (Kant), (Nietzsche), (Husserl), (Heidegger), (Derrida), (Deleuze), etc.. With these graphic signatures, the philosophical pierces through the non-philosophical text. These parenthetical punctuations are ripe for analysis and rigorous explication.
But first: Quid juris? By what right can we ask to drag the non-philosopher back into the history of philosophy from which they fought so hard to escape?
“But to what end?” Laruelle asks himself in the introduction to his 1985 work Biography of the Ordinary Man. An assertion precedes this question, and it is an assertion that constitutes the core of all of Laruelle’s work: “There is every reason to revolt against philosophers”. It is this conviction that provides continuity throughout each phase of the non-philosophical project. The most prominent of the reasons for rebellion from philosophy have come to the fore in the vast majority of scholarship on Laruelle and Non-Philosophy: The Principle of Sufficient Philosophy that affirms philosophy’s auto-justifying self-assuredness; the Philosophical Decision that eviscerates immanence from itself resulting in fever dreams of transcendence; and of course, the systematic degradation of man-in-person that proliferates throughout and even propels forward the history of philosophical production. Though these answers to the question “why rebel” have been mulled over and developed upon, the content of the question that precedes them has not: Towards what end does one rebel from philosophy? In addition to examination of the tactics and essence of non-philosophical rebellion, we must develop a more detail-oriented understanding of that from which the non-philosopher rebels: Philosophy. The mechanics of the philosophical text may be generalizable, but the problem of the proper name, the problem of the philosophical signature, remains within the non-philosophical text. What is the non-philosopher to make of these lingering remains?
In our current issue we seek a return to the perilous landscape of philosophy in order to better understand philosophy as Laruelle reads it. This in turn clarifies Laruelle’s own rebellions while simultaneously contextualizing future Non-Philosophical pursuits. The idea is that better understanding the philosophy from which the non-philosopher rebels draws into sharper focus the positive program of the Non-Philosophical project. Our gamble is that working through the specificity of Laruelle’s readings of the history of philosophy can point toward a more robust discursive exchange between philosophy and Non-Philosophy.
• Non-Philosophical methodology.
• Non-Philosophy, Plato, Neo-Platonism and the philosophies of Late Antiquity.
• Non-Philosophy and philosophies of immanence (Spinoza, Nietzsche, Deleuze, etc.).
• Non-Philosophy and German Idealism (Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel).
• Non-Philosophy and (Post-)Marxism.
• Non-Philosophy and phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Henry).
• Laruelle and his contemporaries (Derrida, Deleuze, Henry, Badiou).
• Laruelle and the Scientists (Euclid, Mandelbrot, Plank).
• Non-Philosophy, comparative philosophies (MacIntyre) and comparative historical analysis (Bendix, Skocpol)
• The philosophical “pre-history” of Non-Philosophy (e.g. philosophy in Philosophy I).
• Non-Philosophy, Theology and the history of religion.
• Non-Philosophy and philosophy of history.
• The possibility of a philosophical future of Non-Philosophy.
Essay submissions should be up to 5,000 words in length and formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
Oraxiom also invites creative and artistic material. Poetry, manifestos, visual arts, and other non-standard experiments related to Non-Philosophy are welcome.
We also invite high quality submissions on all topics relating to Laruelle and Non-Philosophy for inclusion in this issue. We also encourage authors who reach out regarding books on topics relevant to Laruelle and Non-Philosophy for possible review.
Please send papers prepared for blind review and short biographical note with contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov 1, 2021.
Cities and their design are loci for re-imagining ways of relating and living together. The city and urban space also bring systemic challenges into sharp focus, such as, accelerating spatial injustice, climate change induced effects and capitalist exploitation. The current Covid crisis intensifies this imperative by demanding reevaluation of how the city and its design might be presently approached. Taking this provocation further, we seek to consider how the current epoch shakes the very ground of philosophical thought substantiating notions of the city,
and in turn, its attendant imaginative possibilities?
This special-themed issue examines ways François Laruelle’s non-philosophy and non-standard theory bears upon concerns within practices and theories associated with city making. Non-philosophy opens a space for radically immanent, democratic experiments with thought without subservience to the particular philosophical circularity upon which city-thinking is found. Analogous to how Laruelle (2012) posits non-philosophy as, “…not a conceptual art but a concept modelled by the art, a generic extension of art”, could we consider ‘generic extensions’ of how the city is thought?
We suggest non-philosophical encounter in this context performs a critical spatial practice potentially relating the built environment to a mode of ‘decolonised thought’. We seek to critically explore what and how this non-philosophical agency is performed or demonstrated within the built environment fields and related spatial arts and practices. We are therefore interested in how non-philosophy is used, or what it can do. Accordingly, this issue gathers ways spatial practices experiment with the modelling of concepts, and performing non-standard thought in the context of various urban histories and places. Concurrently, occasions of non-philosophy’s transmutation is of interest.
The issue will be organised across the following three tracks:
TRACK I: Non-philosophy and disciplinary knowledge: Limits and Borders
Here we question the disciplinary boundary. We ask how spatial relationships can be re-evaluated beyond any common regulation, as well as the situated meaning and expression of a heretic position within each of the fields of built environment practices. We also seek to examine how this affinity plays out to extend the capacities of creating new theoretical knowledge in this context that is indifferent to philosophy or theories external to them.
TRACK II: Non-Philosophical humanity: Ethico-ecological comportment
Here occasioning’s of non-philosophical humanity and non-ecological thought in built environment practices are opened to questions of relationality and nature beyond anthropocentric humanisms. Laruelle writes, “It is urgent that we test with new principles the knowledge we are able to have about life and recenter ethics and epistemology on the “encounter,” as we now say, with the animal and plants. This encounter calls for a new concept of MAP equality, a reevaluation of the notion of “human nature” and its degree of destruction” (Laruelle 2020). What might non-philosophical encounters avail for architectural and related practices in addressing forms of exploitation of the earth, plants and animals. How might non-philosophical humanity influence built environment practices towards greater care and equity in the city?
TRACK III: Non-philosophy as method: Thinking writing knowing designing with
Non-philosophical practice offers a method of bringing the real—pure immanence—into built environment thought, whereby the real is never claimed but is, rather, cloned. Such approach addresses legitimacy, self-assertion of identity (“The stranger”, l'Étranger) and identity-in-the-last-instance (the utmost self (the real) thereby disrupting notions of the individual and the inherited ontological contexts constructing built environments of living in the city. Here we seek to discover variants of urban thought practice that ‘bypass’ binaries defining the real and unreal and ensuing ontological categorisation. Submissions may include methodological strategies to ‘think-with-write-with-live with-design-with’ the city immanently, thereby triggering reimaginations of the city and forms of the human that exceed the possibilities of self-reflective consciousness and free-will. Questions involving truth, evidence, narratives and beliefs and how they evolve in processes of defining identity, building and living in the city are anticipated.
We welcome contributions from academia, professionals and practitioners across architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, urban design, urban planning, environmental studies, geography and related spatial arts.
Submissions can take a variety of forms including, but not limited to:
Refereed Articles/Essays (4000-6000 words)
Provocations (~1000 words)
Visual Submissions (~300 word explanation)
Please submit your Paper by
15 October 2021 Nov 8, 2021 to Hannah.email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org