François Laruelle

François Laruelle
Born (1937-08-22) 22 August 1937
Chavelot, Vosges, France
Alma mater École Normale Supérieure
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Non-philosophy
Institutions University of Paris X: Nanterre
Notable ideas
Principle of Sufficient Philosophy, the philosophical decision, the One, vision-in-one, clone, determination-in-the-last-instance

François Laruelle (French: [laʁɥɛl]  (listen) ; born 22 August 1937) is a French philosopher, formerly of the Collège international de philosophie and the University of Paris X: Nanterre. Laruelle has been publishing since the early 1970s and now has around twenty book-length titles to his name. Alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure, 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.


Laruelle divides his work into five periods: Philosophy I (1971–1981), Philosophy II (1981–1995), Philosophy III (1995–2002), Philosophy IV (2002–2008), and Philosophy V (2008–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.


Main article: 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 Laruelle 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.

Reception and influence

Until a decade ago, he has been described by Scottish philosopher Ray Brassier as "the most important unknown philosopher working in Europe today"[4] and was described by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari as "engaged in one of the most interesting undertakings of contemporary philosophy."[5] English-language reception of his work owes most to the efforts of Brassier, who published an account of Laruelle's non-philosophy in Radical Philosophy in 2003 and critically incorporated aspects of that work into his own project, set out in Nihil Unbound.[6] Nowadays, Laruelle's international reception is growing with dozens of titles a year translated and published in English by such publishing houses as Edinburgh University Press, Continuum, Palgrave Macmillan, Columbia University Press, Urbanomic/Sequence and others.

Selected bibliography

Articles translated into English
Philosophie I
Philosophie II
Philosophie III
Philosophie IV


  1. John Mullarkey, Post-Continental Philosophy: An Outline, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2007, p. 4.
  2. François Laruelle, "The Generic as Predicate and Constant (Non-Philosophy and Materialism)." in: Bryant, Levi, Graham Harman, and Nick Srnicek (eds.). 2011. The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Melbourne: Re-Press. p. 237.
  3. Katerina Kolozova, The Cut of the Real: Poststructuralist Theories of Subjectivity, New York: Columbia University Press, 2014
  4. Brassier 2003, p. 24.
  5. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What is Philosophy?, Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 220n5.
  6. Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010


External links

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