Vitale on Srnicek’s Laruelle, Derrida

As you can tell from my posts today, I’m getting out a bunch of links I’ve had saved up while traveling last week. First, here’s Nick Srnicek’s excellent “Capitalism and the Non-Philosophical Subject.”

But then there’s this from Vitale:

I can’t help but think that Laruelle is the anti-Derrida. That is, his thought is thoroughly deconstructive of the philosophies it uses as its raw materials, even as it proposes its own ‘non-philosophical’ view of the world to take the place of previous philosophies. Notions such as Real, in-the-last-instance, cloning, decision, these are certainly concepts of a quasi-philosophical sort, non-philosophical terms similar, in their way, to Derrida’s non-terms such as the trace, differance, etc. But whereas Derrida seems to me to be an ultimately destructive philosopher, Laruelle leans to the more constructive. His neutral, so similar to Derrida’s, is less pessimistic, it seems to me, it lends itself to more work in this world. Or course, the extent of this remains to be seen.

I just gave a talk on Derrida’s “The University Without Condition” last week and I could say more, but outside a moment or two in the 70s, I never understand this view of Derrida as “destructive”—especially when compared to an anti-philosophy. Of course, Derrida never tired of defending himself on this claim, but the proof is in his construction of a 40-year-long oeuvre that ultimately was less about a hyper-critique of the past than an attunement to what he called in Of Grammatology the “monstrosity of the future,” that is, practices that left open a future worthy of the name. To some, of course, this itself could be problematic for all sorts of reasons, but destructive it’s not.



  1. And here I was excited thinking you guys were going to talk about Laruelle! But, for what it is worth (very little? almost nothing?), I agree that Derrida isn’t “destructive”.

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