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At the end of the preceding chapter I ventured the thesis that the environmental philosophies and theologies discussed do not think ecologically, that is, their thought is not ecological, because the structure of their thought makes it such that they are unable to think ecologically. In this chapter I will develop this idea by exploring the structural relationship that philosophy and theology have with the sciences, which includes ecology of course, and argue that it is the self-sufficient structure of philosophy and theology that is responsible for this inability.

The war is intractable because, by the criteria of intellectual labor, each form of thought operates or works. John Mullarkey discusses this in his own reading of Laruelle, showing how particular forms of thought that claim to be at odds with one another nevertheless all still have some level of success sufficient to allow them to believe these forms of thoughts should persist, that they are right and helpful.

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Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Badiou, Alain. Boundas and Dorothea Olkowski, London: Routledge. Brassier, Ray. Gangle, Rocco. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Principes de la Non-Philosophie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Philosophies of Difference.

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Translated by Rocco Gangle. London: Continuum. Or, How to Introduce Theory into Democracy. I had the feeling that in order to completely change the concept of philosophy, two philosophies were always necessary, as if each of the philosophers represented half of philosophy, basically, which I felt to be the non-completeness of a particular philosophy; this problem would have to be resolved each time by the combination of two philosophers.

I have followed this way of doing things, a little bit in spite of myself, always combining two philosophies as if each of them was lacking what the other had.

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You could think that this is a dialectical relation. But in fact that was not that at all, because it was, each time, two philosophies and not one philosophy and the entire history of philosophy in addition. Thus, I am part of a conjugation , I like this term a lot, of philosophies which replaced the missing concept. What was missing was the One, the One-in-One. The popularity of one figures wanes as a new industry of commentary waxes.

Of course, this criticism is largely unfair to the work of many philosophers and researchers in philosophy.

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There is still something that the critics are right to caution us against. Undoubtedly, those of us trained in the traditions of European philosophy from phenomenology to Marxism are tempted to become acolytes of the persons in our use of archives and figures that act as indexes. But there is still a real power and possibility in this use of an archive, an index or a tradition.

While perhaps the critics of Continental philosophy are clear sighted regarding the inevitable inherent pitfalls of this approach, attention is rarely given to the fundamentally communitarian tradition here. This tradition has, at its best, been better connected to the lived reality of the cultures, language and everydayness these philosophical works emerged from.

This is even true when these philosophical works are critical of that culture and, I would hazard, especially so. The most insightful and inventive thinkers in any tradition recognise the ultimately false nature of these boundaries.


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This includes philosophical ones even when they would rather not recognise themselves as relative and contingent communities of tradition. The most interesting thinkers simply go where thought is at play, including outside the boundaries of the academic guild of philosophy.

My undergraduate training in philosophy was precisely in the methods of Continental philosophy. I was taught to think through the history of thought, through the works of others, to study the archive and to deploy it in new ways.

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I was taught to translate thought from one domain to another, to take what was useful and well tested in method from here and there, in order to try and do something worth the name of philosophy. At least worth what we intend as the most beautiful about that name. For my earlier apprenticeship the most important philosophical figures were Derrida and Deleuze. Their work diverges a great deal, of course, but they both worked through the history of philosophy to answer questions that were bigger than that history.

At the same time the answer they gave differed, even on the question of difference itself.


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  • A difference regarding difference that we might index with reference to the figures of transcendence and immanence respectively. More than that, I wanted to find a more explicit development of their implicit method of working through the history of philosophy. Laruelle had worked through this problem of the way Derrida and Deleuze differ and create a complete philosophy already in in his Philosophies of Difference translated in by Rocco Gangle, author of his own critical introduction and guide to that text.

    His project of non-philosophy is a great many things but what first attracted me to study the project was the attentive and consistent way he treated philosophy and the names that populate it as simple materials for the project of thinking.


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