All Thoughts Are EqualLaruelle and Nonhuman Philosophy

All Thoughts Are EqualLaruelle and Nonhuman Philosophy

John Ó Maoilearca

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780816697342

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

All Thoughts Are Equal is an introduction to the work of French philosopher François Laruelle and an experiment in nonhuman thinking. For Laruelle, standard forms of philosophy continue to dominate our models of what counts as exemplary thought and knowledge. By contrast, what Laruelle calls his “non-standard” approach attempts to bring democracy into thought, because all forms of thinking are equal in value. Philosophy–the discipline that posits itself as the power to think at the highest level–does not have a monopoly on reason. Such democracy clearly has relevance for the nonhuman, too. If non-philosophy hopes to extend what we mean by thinking beyond the boundaries set by classical approaches, then such a project has important implications as regards the existence and value of nonhuman forms of thought. This study strives to see how philosophy might appear when we look at it with non-philosophical and nonhuman eyes. And it does so by refusing to explain Laruelle through orthodox philosophy, opting instead to follow the structure of a film, Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions, to introduce the non-standard method. Von Trier’s documentary is a meditation on the creative constraints set by film, both technologically and aesthetically, and how they can push our experience of film, and of ourselves, beyond what is normally deemed “the perfect human.” All Thoughts Are Equal adopts those constraints in its own experiment by showing how Laruelle’s radically new style of philosophy is best introduced using our most nonhuman form of thought, that found in cinema itself.