Representation as the essence of world-thought

Sutherland, Thomas (2017) Representation as the essence of world-thought. In: Without World: François Laruelle, 7th April, 2017, Kingston University and The London Graduate School.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
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In his critical project, Kant ascribes the possibility of cognition (which he carefully delimits from thought in a broader sense) to two primary conditions: the receptivity of impressions, and the spontaneity of concepts – the former referring to the givenness of representations through the faculty of sensibility, and the latter to the subsumption of said representations under determinate concepts. In doing so, he attempts to eliminate the transcendental amphibology whereby the concepts of the understanding come to be conflated with objects of experience, presuming the capacity to cognize objects on the basis of a purely conceptual reason. For Laruelle, however, even Kant’s project remains trapped within a broader amphibology – that of language and perception; lógos and aísthēsis – the ceaseless mixture of these two terms ensuring that the world given to us through the decisional structure of philosophy can never extricate itself from the specular redoubling of representation.

In this paper, I wish to examine further the role that representation plays in Laruelle’s non-philosophy, considering it in relation to the representationalist model of experience posited by Kant (and the response to this model from his idealist critics, especially Fichte and Schopenhauer). Both Kant and Laruelle enclose the world within the sphere of representation whilst simultaneously affirming the irreducibility of thought to such representation. Whereas Kant, however, conceives of noumena that do not proceed from the givenness of representation largely as boundary concepts, indicating merely the limits of cognition, Laruelle by contrast posits non-philosophy as a means for thinking philosophy from outside the confines of representation – a thought from, rather than of, the noumena. By thematizing auto-positional representation-thought as constitutive of philosophical World-thought in toto, Laruelle acts as a useful corrective to the critiques of representation that saturate post-Heideggerian continental philosophy, foregrounding instead the role of communicability within philosophical discourse.

Keywords:non-philosophy, metaphysics, François Laruelle, Immanuel Kant, J.G. Fichte
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:26932
Deposited On:10 Apr 2017 08:22

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