These are excerpts from Serge Valdinoci's work on a theory of invention, grounded inside immanence and, as such, understood as a mystical lived experience of being. Valdinoci's translations into English are very rare. Jesse Newberg's website has now desappeared from direct access. They are thought to be interesting for anyone having concerns about immanence, invention, but also intersubjective visceral experience of Civilization, Laruellian Non-Philosophy, or Psychiatric Ontology...
Serge Valdinoci, Vers Une Méthode d’europanalyse (Paris :L’Harmattan, 1995) : 5-10.
February 18, 2013, translated by Jesse Newberg
source : <https://web.archive.org/web/20130422180523/http://cups.zxq.net/>
The Introduction into europanalysis (Paris: Aubier, 1990) attempted to found philosophy in europanalysis. The term connotes as much a new method as a new conceptual framework, like psychoanalysis for example, within which concepts can be developed. It signifies a new general approach to the real. In the work that follows, however, we study the europanalytic method. We also prepare ourselves for this method, justifying the expression: Towards a method of europanalysis.
Why baptize this method “europanalysis,” or why “europe” and not some other name? The progressive response to this question will allow us to draw out four principles that are needed to understand this practice. They will also strengthen the project.
In order to justify the signifier “europe” in europanalysis, we start from Europe (with a capital E), that is to say, European culture. “Europe” is a cultural a priori, having initially a Greek center, then Greeko-Christian, then, in the 20th Century, Greeko-Judaic. Only Europe is philosophical, philosophy being the European spirit (ressort), one could say, its infrastructure. This means that philosophy, in Europe, is not one activity among others, nor even above all the queen of science, but constitutes the European a priori. Furthermore, this signifies that other cultures on the planet are not philosophical in this radical sense, even though the philosophical model has the tendency to export itself like a commodities do or a political ideas. However European imperialism, if it exists as strongly as is believed, doesn't transform the cultural a priori of any country of Africa, of Oceania, etc. What is more, other cultural a priori are not at all taken pejoratively. There exists at the level of these a priori of cultural fields (ressorts) which, while not “the” philosophy, play the same cultural role. We are discovering a common structuration that is interesting. Indeed and in every case, a place is left vacant, outside culture: it is the real(2). We will return to this.
(2) The real is not absolutely separated from culture. It is the real of a culture. Nonetheless the perception that a culture has of itself does't go until its root of reality. Culture remains caught inside representations of self, from a distance to self.
Only Europe is philosophical, here is the first principle. The second comes to the real: the cultural is not the real, although the real is presupposed by the cultural. Freud had begun to introduce us to this truth. Civilization and its Discontent signifies that culture is the collection of unconscious representations, of which collection the macrocosm is structurally identical to the microcosm of man. Culture is the site of a malaise (Discontent), of a battle between two major drives. However, in Freud, this fate of culture encloses and digests the reality principle. This principle is psychologized, culturalized. For us, it is useful to retain Freud’s idea of the work of culture, inside which a denied structure coexists with its sublimating function. His work is to be replaced in the following manner: as we pass by Freudian psychologicization, so the univocal relation of the cultural to the real takes on a simple meaning. Indeed, Europe operates above all — beyond the Freudian context — by violent removal and isolation of a problematic of knowledge (connaissance) charged to rule over the real. This local problematic is however the implementation of a work denying the authority of the real. And this keep creating difficulty.
It is useful to go a little further into detail. In the Greek and even the Greeko-Christian, the problematic of knowledge turns around representations, and does not avoid that the authority of knowledge eventually turns to absorb the real by knowledges. Such is the Logos, in which the real is only a feature in the representation. The real is denied. Ethics, Politics, Aesthetics, Physics—this classification being close to that of Stoics—must deal with the hegemony of the question of knowledge. The scientific sciences themselves, much later, will be impacted by the cleavage introduced by the set of the representational sphere on a pinnacle.
We have come to examine the denegating reversal of the real, this in the Greek and Greeko-Christian cases. In the 20th Century meanwhile, the second principle, that of the hegemony of representation, is discredited. In effect, in the name of the Other, Greko-Christian identity is relativized. Following F. Laruelle commenting on Derrida, the Other signals the coming into play of the Judaic that breaks the closure of representation. Heidegger had already begun to deconstruct the greek, that which Derrida and Levinas for example continue from the Judaic Other.
However this work of the Other still comes from a cultural field (ressort), even though the culture has changed. And the field of the real is not to be confused with the cultural field. Europe-Philosophy, indeed recombined and rearranged, is of little relevance for thought. Let's illustrate this idea first through a few formations of thought that assure the transition between Europe-Philosophy and its real kernel, which we call europanalysis (3). Nietzsche who criticizes the intrinsic nihilism of the metaphysics of “hinter-worlds” is still held in a turning: his critique of European nihilism does not truly surpass itself in the forgetting of its own position as critique. Only the scantly outlined doctrine of the Eternal return of the same — to be reconciled elsewhere with the concept of the will to power—would guide us in a theory of general immanence, immanence that finally would not be a position defined by opposition to a transcendence. Husserl undoubtedly comes closest here, but his approach to the truth is always dependent on a turning. In The Crisis of European Sciences, Husserl concludes by invoking an ethics of theory in order to preserve the rationality of philosophy. It is less a “step back” (Schritt zurück) to Plato than the preservation of a life-world (Lebenswelt) to be extended to Reason that makes Husserl convincing. Our concept of europe is also based on the Husserlian notion of a living european humanity, distinct from Europe-Philosophy beginning with Plato. The european humanity of Husserl — our europe — is not historical, but eternal. The immanence of the real is europe. It is the enlargement of the absolute of immanent consciousness that Husserl found in Ideas I as the result of the epoché. In addition, while Husserl looked only to preserve this living europe outside of Europe, we investigate it in itself. For the real core of Europe, europe is the heading of researches that are of crucial interest, on condition of assuming the complete separation of Europe and europe, the latter holding the real relevance for the former.
(3) The cultural Europe-Philosophy develops with prolonging the european real kernel. Nonetheless this operation distorts the law of the european real kernel. Indeed, it does not really distort the kernel, but produces distorting representations. The malaise (Discontent inside philosophy is only constitutive of the latter).
The second principle is that cultural Europe, as framed by philosophy, univocally depends on the real of europe. This europe is no longer a proper noun, but the common name for the real around which gravitates Europe, this well know proper name that we argue so much over especially in our era. What exactly does the necessity to begin from and in the real signify? First, one must stop focusing on the problematic of knowledge, which is as we have seen the job of Europe philosophy. Quit representing the real, what is more, quit confusing the real and representation. This is the third principle. In the immanent real, thought is life and refers back to the internal phenomenon of living (vivid) thought. This affirmation should not be taken in the spirit of the romantics, who confuse knowledge and sensibility in denying the laws of perception established by Kant. In effect, we found ourselves in immanence, far from the relation to transcendence, which legislates perception. We will speak of an immanent endoception in place of perception. Under these conditions, the privilege of knowledge, which depends on the prominence of the problematic of perception, disappears. The separation of knowledge, into Ethics, Politics, etc., in post-stoic cultures merits a total reconsideration(4). That the real is no longer a res (thing) sometimes exterior and opaque, sometimes interior and again closed in on itself, an imperceptible thing in itself upon which we act, know more or less, or premeditate, etc.
The third principle, which takes precedence over our all-encompassing insertion into the immanent real, demands a reconsideration of the question of language. In Europe philosophy, and again in linguistics, language is this partes extra partes that generates a universal partes extra partes. We must review this entrenched prejudice. Heidegger helps us to think language. For him it carries Being and is not a utensil constitutively bound to indication. We would say that language, properly understood, is the presentation of the things themselves by themselves, and not the representation of things by a philosophical subject or a subject of the enunciation. Indication, in reality supported by a cultural visualization that privileges extension or the partes extra partes, is finally relativized. A europanalysis devisualizes and recognizes the real identity behind identifications to a space.
(4)An answer would be thus given, via immanence, to the worried outcry about the disintegration of Thought. Of course this consideration doesn't give back to Philosophy its escutcheon of "Queen of Sciences." Everything is possible, but otherwise and in immanence.
Do not forget the fact that europanalysis is analysis. We thus reach the fourth principle. Kant is decisive; his critique of metaphysics founded on the synthetic judgement a priori exceeds the historico-cultural situation of its author. The end of metaphysics connotes, according to us, the liberation of the spirit of analysis that gradually begins to govern so many other doctrines.
However, europanalysis no longer mixes analysis and synthesis, or doesn't settle for ensuring analysis to prevail over synthesis, like numerous theories and current philosophers still do. In europanalysis synthetic action is radicalized intoa pure analytic activity, signaling the entrance into a new domain — vaguely outlined by Husserl — that of absolute passivity. Without temporality, passivity said to be absolute is the law of thought when it is grasped from the in internal, that is to say inherently to the very “thickness” of the immanent real itself. When philosophers see in passivity an inert domain, animated by time (Husserl) or transfixed by the Judaic Other (Lévinas), we conceive on the contrary that it is anything but opaque. Passivity needs to be liberated from its historical proximity to the matter (hylè) of human experience. Passivity is not opacity except by a measure that it is not sufficiently emancipated from the anthropological given of man in the world.
To conceptualize passivity, the immediate given of which appearing to us as opaque because culturalized, it is interesting to transform, to despatialize the biological concept of differentiation. It is no longer a matter of the differentiation of organs in an embryological context where at first reigned the law of equipolarity. Differentiation is qualitative and is the key here to the advent of concepts in their endoceptual form in the core of the real(5). The is a very interesting situation: it lets us think the notion of a real analysis that is liberating, that is to say, productive. In the undivided real foments a differentiation that is no longer at all a division or a simple cut.
The conditions are given for europanalysis to be clarified as a method of the real and a method in the real. We say that cultural analysis, or division, is trans-substantialized.
(5) The endoceptual form is the genuine status of concept. Conceptualization, or the relegation into distances of concept and of the real, is a cultural formation.
Valdinoci on Laruelle and Heidegger
Serge Valdinoci’s La science première (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1997): 401.
December 14, 2012 translated by Jesse Newberg
The peeled raw [à vif] character of our era is not disastrous: it testifies to the fact that tact is ground [é-craser], churned up from beneath the fabric of ideas, integrating the symbolic and in return breaking the possibility of philosophical systems (relational con-tacts). This reductive disintegration is a problem for the neo-philosophers who rekindle, albeit philosophically, contact with living tact. They pass from a convenient defeat of Identity over to a theory of the Other, and the ensemble propagates pandemically, at least in France. In this they miss the gesture of their favorite thinker, Heidegger, who we speak of first simply because he came first historically. Heidegger comes after medieval ontology and the Logical Investigations of Husserl. He had a deep appreciation for the meaning of Erfüllung (fulfillment of donation). His last position (withdrawal as reduction) or Ausfüllung (emptying, voiding) was not a militant one, in contrast to Derrida who denounced self-presence as fulfillment, even though it pertains by right to the pathic Hebung [lifting/accentuation]. In Heidegger the event (Ereignis) of withdrawal is dispensation. So the terminal primacy accorded to the Ausfüllung is a structural moment in the real, the mystical identity of donation and reduction. Thereby, we do not interpret Heidegger but return to him his own thought; he will understand then that this only a preliminary.
The other thinker is Francois Laruelle who closes the cultural century because his implantation is in the real, the One according to his terminology. The thought of Laruelle works mystically as well even if it tries to capture the essence of scientific or distinctive science. To simplify without caricaturing, we could say that Laruelle produces the theoretical equivalent (cf. representation as non-thetic reflection) of Heideggerian withdrawal. He disassociates general tact, isolates a sphere of effects of the affect of the One, a sphere submitted to unilaterality, a “unilaterality” which Heidegger began to grasp only at the end of his life and then only incompletely. In Laruelle there is an Ausfüllung in regards to the One—which grants the possibility of science. A significant point: paradoxically, due to the Ausfüllung—or withdrawal in relation to the One—theory is said to be giving, but without fulfillment, of course. Donation is removed from the given, the real One. Theory is essentially decompensated in relation to the real. This is of interest to non-philosophers, not to neo-philosophers who try to compensate for this decompensation. The final, dual situation is this: in his work theoretical space is a: (without relation (One) ; relations (theory)). This position is impeccable for preserving the “without-relation,” but risks confining itself to this preservation, at least grosso modo (cf. despite all the experimental non-philosophical variations on philosophical themes). Laruelle perfectly illustrates what we named: the blind differential of living reduction. He “misses” the extent of the differential of translation, which is immune, in its interior, to relations, and which participates in a broad process of communication, again immune, without intersubjectivity, since it is the inventing invention.
Valdinoci on Laruelle and the Last Instance
From Serge Valdinoci, La Science première, Ibid., 274.
September 9, 2012, translated by Jesse Newberg
For his part, Laruelle does not interrogate immanence, since this leads us, ineluctably, to the interrogation of an object. Nor is he caught in the unthought of a Question, as with Heidegger. Immanence is emblematic, aproblematic. The One is not opposed to anything. It is without counterpart. The gravity, the sobriety of Laruelle in this regard is remarkable. Theoretical gesticulation is completely voided in favor of immanence. We could suggest the, albeit cramped, image of the One as an immense point (without relation to a line or a surface), upon which the dimension of representations depends unilaterally. This is why there is nothing to say about the One-in-One directly. The science of the One is retroreferential, occurring within the (non)-One and on the occasion of a material. It is a surplus that the One can do without. This “black mass” of the One, to speak like the cosmologists, is its indisputable anchor. Bataille would reproach Laruelle for closing this mystic given in on itself by opening it absolutely. And no matter what reasons are given along these lines—due to the indifference of the One or the equivalence it makes of transcendence and immanence—it appears to us that the Lebenswelt of the One, the din of the human, is not sufficiently implanted by Laruelle. The point is not ultimately a question of playing with extremes, like in Bataille, but involves showing that the given (the performed) is energetically performing; since this is what is actually required by invention, benefiting Laruelle’s science only subsequently. Under pain of succumbing to “factalism” he must, from the “point of view” of Laruelle himself, “let be” the real in its becoming. And certainly, the Logos can not capture this real. The last instance of inventive immanence requires our approach, without which the instance, precisely, is no longer absolutely last but finds itself returning in the data (and not the given) of cultural facts—facts in the sense of being manufactured. The instance becomes last only relatively, as in structuralist ideology. The last instance is determined by its inventiveness.