On the authoritarian and minoritarian uses of language in François Laruelle

Sutherland, Thomas (2017) On the authoritarian and minoritarian uses of language in François Laruelle. In: London Conference in Critical Thought, 30th June-1st July, London South Bank University.

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


In Une biographie de l'homme ordinaire (1985), François Laruelle declares that ‘minorities are the immediate givens which precede power games, language games, philosophical games: they are therefore the real critique of the Authorities’. Indeed, Laruelle’s primary aim in this book is to develop a conception of minoritarian thought that is not aligned with difference, becoming, or any other such ontological attribute, but which instead expresses the lived experience of the ‘ordinary’ individual, the real that precedes the authoritarian impositions of power, language, and philosophy. This minoritarian thought, he argues, is a theoretical or scientific thought, making a non-ontological and non-philosophical usage of philosophical language whilst remaining entirely irreducible to linguistic signification.

Accordingly, in this paper I wish to explore the ways in which this equivalence that Laruelle perceives between language and authoritarian repression underpins his broader (and at the time still nascent) project of ‘non-philosophy’, focusing specifically upon this notion of the ‘ordinary’ individual – the human-in-human, without remainder – as the (finite, rather than absolute) One that remains wholly indifferent to the totalizing horizontality of the philosophical logos, and instead acts as the foundation for a transcendental science whereby language is derived from philosophy and yet simultaneously deprived of its philosophical sufficiency. In doing this, I will reflect upon the contemporary utility of the politics of radical passivity and finitude that forms the basis of Laruelle’s work, and its connection to this formulation of a subject that makes usage of language without ever being an object of language.

Keywords:philosophy, difference, individuality, minority, language, finitude
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
Related URLs:
ID Code:27760
Deposited On:04 Jul 2017 10:01

Repository Staff Only: item control page