examine scientific and non-philosophical aspects of the real critique of Difference.The seventh chapter moves past the specific problematic of Difference to develop thetheory of the philosophical Decision using the tools uncovered through the precedingstudies.It is in order to move past the aporias of both Greek-Occidental and Jewish-Occidental philosophy that non-philosophy undertakes its transcendental science. Thisis not primarily a criticism of philosophy, but a critical introduction to the practice of non-philosophy.
Chapter 1 – Introduction: From the aporias of Difference tothe Vision-in-One
The first section is entitled, “How Difference became a philosophical decision”.Difference is understood here as a name for the constellation which assembles certaincontemporaries in complex relations but nevertheless remain in proximity to oneanother. This means Nietzsche and Heidegger but also those who follow after them(Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida). Difference is the shadow of the old Greco-occidentalworld. The dominance of “Being” on thought came to be replaced, partly due toHeidegger’s own thinking, by “Difference”. Difference isn’t an Idea or a category, butrather a syntax and concrete invariant of philosophy.“Difference is a syntax, a manifesting of articulating philosophical language. It is alsoa thesis of reality, a certain experience, itself multiple, of the real (16).” It is afunctional unity of both syntax and experience which elevates it to the level of a principle – real and “transcendentally” logics – and in this way is an instance of the philosophical Decision that can be found in other such principles (Contradiction,Existence, Structure).Laruelle then summarizes the historical ascendency of Difference in 20
Century philosophy, tracing its importance in diverse fields like semiotics and phenomenology. This arises at the same time as the “thinking of limits” occurs in Nietzsche and Heidegger as inscribed in the metaphysics of “End” and “Limit”. For all that it still appears as yet another variation within philosophy itself of the philosophical Decision that has the invariant structure of claiming to close thenetwork on its own openness, but it does so by supplementing this way with thealterity that renders it preferable to anterior attempts.How does Difference become a real principle or a philosophical decision? First, itelaborates the properties of its syntax and this gives it a real and transcendentalessence. Secondly, now raised to the level of a transcendental it joins the ranks of “Being” and “Unity”. As a category it assumes some pregiven ontic reality, yet it risesto the level of decision when it is freed from this double subjection and becomes itself that Unity, capable of (at the same time) bringing itself about, determining its syntax,its own transcendental experience of reality, and of carrying out the genesis of empirical reality. Thirdly and finally it must thematize its syntaxical structure.So Laruelle will concern himself with the question of uncovering the syntax that wecall “Difference” and how to distinguish it from other syntaxs, like “Dialectics”.Further to that question Laruelle asks what is the specific experience, or rather
, of the real that animate that specific syntax and render it concrete? Whatkind of real is it that articulates and specifies it each time? Is it Being, Subject, Spirit,Power [
], the Other and if so, what Other?