Disabling Philosophy

  • Mark Pingree Stony Brook University
Keywords: Non-philosophy, François Laruelle, Disability studies, Environmental Humanities, Ecology, The Anthropocene


Drawing on a Laruellean symptomatology, this paper proposes a non-philosophical theory of disability that exposes and explores the relationship between debility, illness and the biopolitics of environmental contamination. The traumatic etiology at the basis of this relation – which can be traced through the slow violence of Anthropocene politics everywhere from Flint, Michigan to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima – is now ever more pressing as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. With these end times in mind, and inspired by Laruelle’s theory of philosophical decision, the essay argues for a “disabling-(of)-philosophy” that places thought under the condition of the disabled victim-in-person, a condition that demands a radical rethinking of our species-being in response to the inherent violence of the philosophical world and its catastrophic organization of the planet. The essay presents severe cognitive disability as a paradigmatic case of a non-philosophical “radical concept” where the immanent object (the disabled body) becomes the occasion for its own non-philosophical theory, one that by necessity and out of the urge for survival must reject all forms of philosophical decision. As a non-philosophical posture of thought cloned from the Real and effectuated by symptoms in the body, the disabling-(of)-philosophy proposed here can be mobilized as a radical political position, a “weapon of last defense” geared toward disabling the capitalist forces of biospheric annihilation 

Author Biography

Mark Pingree, Stony Brook University

Mark Pingree is a PhD Candidate in comparative literature at Stony Brook University writing a dissertation provisionally titled “Disability and Ecology at the End Times of Philosophy.” Drawing on insights from his experience as a cancer survivor, this research project exposes and explores the relationship between ecological collapse and disability through the theoretical lens of François Laruelle’s non-philosophy.

How to Cite
Pingree, M. (2020). Disabling Philosophy. Oraxiom: A Journal of Non-Philosophy, 1(1), 17-30. Retrieved from https://oraxiom.org/index.php/OJNP/article/view/33