Human-in-the-last-instance? The concept of “man” between Foucault and Laruelle

Sutherland, Thomas and Patsoura, Elliot (2015) Human-in-the-last-instance? The concept of “man” between Foucault and Laruelle. Parrhesia, 24 . pp. 285-311. ISSN 1834-3287

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Although he has been publishing since the early 1970s, François Laruelle’s project of non-philosophy has only recently received any sustained attention in English-language scholarly work, spurred in large part by the writings of Ray Brassier (along with Alexander Galloway, Katerina Kolozova, John Mullarkey, and Anthony Paul Smith, amongst others). Yet Brassier’s nihilistic anti-humanism has tended to colour this reception in a manner inimical to Laruelle’s stated intentions. The purpose of this article, then, is to focus upon one of the most important, but perhaps also one of the least discussed aspects of Laruelle’s fascinating (if abstruse) non-philosophy: his theory of man, and his claim to have recovered a truly ordinary mode of thought, which he associates with the figure of the One. The task of non-philosophy, Laruelle claims, is not to think about the One (which would be to reduce the human individual to Being), but to think according to the One, whereby the auto-positioned sufficiency of philosophy is suspended, and it is instead understood as occasional material that is determined-in-the-last-instance by the radical immanence of the One, which is not a subject in the philosophical sense, but a living human ‘in flesh and blood’. Over the course of this article, we will examine Laruelle’s (non-)humanist intervention in relation to Michel Foucault’s announcement of the forthcoming ‘death of man’, perhaps the single most notable example of philosophical anti-humanism.

Keywords:Michel Foucault, François Laruelle, humanism, man, JCOpen
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:24307
Deposited On:27 Sep 2016 10:57

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