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All Thoughts Are Equal

Laruelle and Nonhuman Philosophy

2015
Author:

John Ó Maoilearca

All Thoughts Are Equal

A much-needed illumination of the “non-philosophy” of François Laruelle

All Thoughts Are Equal is both an introduction to the work of French philosopher Francois Laruelle and an exercise in nonhuman thinking. John Ó Maoilearca examines how philosophy might appear when viewed with non-philosophical and nonhuman eyes.

All Thoughts Are Equal is an original act and development of non-philosophical thinking. John Ó Maoilearca gives us a virtuoso tour of Laruellian thought and offers a highly original and significant mutation of non-philosophy in his own right.

Ian James, University of Cambridge

All Thoughts Are Equal is both an introduction to the work of French philosopher François Laruelle and an exercise in nonhuman thinking. For Laruelle, standard forms of philosophy continue to dominate our models of what counts as exemplary thought and knowledge. By contrast, what Laruelle calls his “non-standard” approach attempts to bring democracy into thought, because all forms of thinking—including the nonhuman—are equal.

John Ó Maoilearca examines how philosophy might appear when viewed with non-philosophical and nonhuman eyes. He does so by refusing to explain Laruelle through orthodox philosophy, opting instead to follow the structure of a film (Lars von Trier’s documentary The Five Obstructions) as an example of the non-standard method. Von Trier’s film is a meditation on the creative limits set by film, both technologically and aesthetically, and how these limits can push our experience of film—and of ourselves—beyond what is normally deemed “the perfect human.”

All Thoughts Are Equal adopts film’s constraints in its own experiment by showing how Laruelle’s radically new style of philosophy is best presented through our most nonhuman form of thought—that found in cinema.

All Thoughts Are Equal

John Ó Maoilearca is professor of film studies at Kingston University, London. He is author of Post-Continental Philosophy: An Outline and Philosophy and the Moving Image: Refractions of Reality and coeditor of Laruelle and Non-Philosophy.

All Thoughts Are Equal

All Thoughts Are Equal is an original act and development of non-philosophical thinking. John Ó Maoilearca gives us a virtuoso tour of Laruellian thought and offers a highly original and significant mutation of non-philosophy in his own right.

Ian James, University of Cambridge

All Thoughts Are Equal

Contents

Introduction: Five Postural Mutations of Laruelle and the Nonhuman
The Authority and Victimization of Philosophy
All Thoughts Are Equal, But Some Thoughts Appear More Equal Than Others: From Position to Representation
Performative Inconsistency
Material Thinking
The Structure of Decision and Postural Mutation
Hypotheses of Real Science
Anthropomorphism and Extended Thinking
A Film of Philosophy: The Five Obstructions
The Horror of the Nonhuman
Outline of a Structure, with Tangents

1. Philosophy, the Path of Most Resistance
The Black Box of Philosophy
Philosophy’s Dystopias: The Victims of Thought
A Non-Philosophical Tangent: The Most Miserable Place in the World
Tu Quoque; or, You Too Are One of Us
Deleuze and Badiou: Two Perfect Philosophers
The New Realism
Laruelle Is Not Kant: From Determination-in-the-Last-Instance to the Mutating Transcendental
Residual Objects and Invisible Victims: The Philosophical Essence of Cinnabar

2. Paraconsistent Fictions and Discontinuous Logic
Logic, Optics, Cuts
Performative Realism: On Derrida
A Photographic Tangent: Thinking, Fast and Slow (the Twelve-Frames Obstruction)
Logical Contradiction and Real Identity: Inside Meinong’s Jungle
From Contradiction to Paraconsistency: Trivial Explosions
The Cinema of Discontinuous Thought: A Non-Hegelian Movie
Mise-en-fiction
Philosophical Boxes and Impossible Boxes

3. How to Act Like a Non-Philosopher
Remaking the One
Five Takes on Decision
A Behavioral Tangent: Being True to the Idea (a Film du Look)
Posture, Photography, and the Game of Positions
Radical Behavior
Three Distances: Withdrawal, Hallucination, Orientation
Miming Philosophy: A Game of Postures
Crux Scenica: Philosophy’s First Position (versus the Human Posture)

4. The Perfect Nonhuman: Philosomorphism and the Animal Rendering of Thought
Every Anticommunist Is a Dog: Indefining the Human
Individuals, Strangers, Posthumans
An Idiotic Tangent: Animal Obstruction (the Stupidity of Animation)
Protecting the Human
Pet Theories: On Philosomorphism
Radical Equality
Politicized Animals: From the Man-in-Person to the Animal-in-Person
Cinematic Animals: The Horror for Nonhumans
Transcendental Idiocy; or, The Insufficient Animal
Democracy of Vision
From Cosmological Perspectivism to Radical Anthropomorphism
Toward an Animal Philosophy: From Sloterdijk to Flusser
Equal Intelligences

5. Performing the Imperfect Human
A Performance Philosophy
A Performative Tangent: This Is How the Perfect Human Falls (the Radically Passive Obstruction)
The Spectra of Performance: From Nonart to Not-Acting
The Specter of Performance
Hopeful Monsters: Evaluating Performance
Thinking Personally: Non-Philosophia ad Hominos
Reflection as Mutation: Unconditional Reflexes (a Final Tangent)

Conclusion. Making a Monster of Laruelle: On Actualism and Anthropomorphism

Coda. Paradise Now; or, The Brightest Thing in the World: On Nonhuman Utopia

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

All Thoughts Are Equal

UMP blog - Thinking In Equality: On Laruelle's Democracy of Thought

Equality and inequality are fast becoming commonplace themes, given our straitened times and recent efforts to uncover not only the vast social inequities around us but also the origins of such inequality.