François Laruelle  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

François Laruelle (born 1937) is a French philosopher, formerly of the Collège international de philosophie and the University of Paris X: Nanterre. Laruelle is notable for developing a science of philosophy that he calls "non-philosophy". He currently directs an international organisation dedicated to furthering the cause of non-philosophy, the Organisation Non-Philosophique Internationale, and has been described by Scottish philosopher Ray Brassier as "the most important unknown philosopher working in Europe today" (Brassier, 2003, p. 24) and was described by Gilles Deleuze, in a footnote to What Is Philosophy?, as one of the most interesting contemporary philosophers.

Philosophical and Non-Philosophical Development

Laruelle divides his work into three periods: Philosophy I (1971-1981), Philosophy II (1981-1995) and Philosophy III (1995-present).

The work comprising Philosophy I finds Laruelle attempting to subvert concepts found in Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze and Derrida. Even at this early stage one can identify Laruelle's interest in adopting a transcendental stance towards philosophy.

With Philosophy II, Laruelle makes a determined effort to develop a transcendental approach to philosophy itself. However, it is not until Philosophy III that Laruelle claims to have started the work of non-philosophy.


Laruelle claims that all forms of philosophy (from ancient philosophy to analytic philosophy to deconstruction and so on) are structured around a prior decision, but that all forms of philosophy remain constitutively blind to this decision. The 'decision' that Laurelle is concerned with here is the dialectical splitting of the world in order to grasp the world philosophically. Laruelle claims that the decisional structure of philosophy can only be grasped non-philosophically. In this sense, non-philosophy is a science of philosophy.

Selected Bibliography

Articles translated into English:

François Laruelle, 'A Summary of Non-Philosophy' in Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 8. Philosophies of Nature, 1999.

François Laruelle, 'Identity and Event' in Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 9. Parallel Processes, 2000.

François Laruelle, 'The Decline of Materialism in the Name of Matter' in Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 12. What Is Materialism? 2001.

Philosophie I

Phénomène et différence. Éssai sur l'ontologie de Ravaisson [Phenomenon and Difference: An Essay on Ravaisson's Ontology], Klinskieck, Paris, 1971.

Machines textuelles. Déconstruction et libido d'écriture [Textual Machines: Deconstruction and Libido of Writing], Seuil, Paris, 1976.

Nietzsche contra Heidegger. Thèses pour une politique nietzschéenne [Nietzsche contra Heidegger: Theses for a Nietzschean Politics], Payot, Paris, 1977.

Philosophie II

Philosophie et non-philosophie [Philosophy and Non-Philosophy], Mardaga, Liège/Brussels, 1989.

En tant qu'un. La non-philosophie éxpliquée au philosophes [As One: Non-Philosophy Explained to Philosophers], Aubier, Paris, 1991.

Philosophie III

Théorie des Étrangers. Science des hommes, démocratie, non-psychoanalyse [Theory of Strangers: Science of Men, Democracy, Non-Psychoanalysis], Kimé, Paris, 1995.

Principes de la non-philosophie [The Principles of Non-Philosophy], PUF, Paris, 1996.

Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie [Dictionary of Non-Philosophy], François Laruelle et Collaborateurs, Kimé, Paris, 1998.

Éthique de l'Étranger. Du crime contre l'humanité [Ethics of the Stranger: Of The Crime Against Humanity], Kimé, Paris, 2000.

Introduction au non-marxisme [Introduction to Non-Marxism], PUF, Paris, 2000.

Philosophie IV

Le Christ futur, une leçon d'hérésie, Exils, Paris 2002.

L'ultime honneur des intellectuels, Textuel, Paris 2003.

La Lutte et l'Utopie à la fin des temps philosophiques, Kimé, Paris 2004.

Mystique non-philosophique à l’usage des contemporains, L'Harmat, Paris 2007.

Other Works Cited

Ray Brassier, 'Axiomatic Heresy: The Non-Philosophy of Francois Laruelle', Radical Philosophy 121, Sep/Oct 2003.

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