Introduction: Laruelle Undivided


One day, after I had completed my studies, I sat at my
desk, and I cleared away all the books, everything that had
already been written. I started again with a new blank
sheet of paper, and I began to search myself.

—François Laruelle

It’s an episode easily disavowed as a moment of weakness,an intellectual lapse on the part of the reader of philosophy: glancing up from the page, one undergoes a jarring shift of perspective. All-encompassing conceptual edifices abruptly concertina into the localised precincts of a life of which they now seem an inadequate and tendentious caricature. Who will admit to having indulged this momentary discomposure, as if it could have some pertinence to the practice called ‘philosophy’, and the endless repetitions and reexaminations to which that practice seems consigned? Perhaps only a naive reader, but perhaps also one perturbed by a creeping sense of circumscription, a sense of being compelled and interpellated by systems that serve some other authority. François Laruelle’s work ultimately stands for the courage to take hold of this moment of ‘naivety’; to bring this perturbation to bear upon the powers of philosophy, patiently and delicately drawing out the threads of thought from their philosophical warp according to the rectitude of its ‘weak force’…