Non-philosophy must remain an explicative theoretical hypothesis: it does not confuse itself with its object, with experience [but] it must at least also transform experience […] it is in a perpetual state of producing novelty; of opening and rectifying a specific space of knowing without confusing itself with the reality to be described.

(Laruelle, Principles of Non-Philosophy , 11)


Non-philosophy for François Laruelle ‘only claims to succeed the faith and authority of philosophy, never to deny its reality, nor to refuse it at least a “relative” autonomy’ (PoNP xxi). In this light, ‘non-standard philosophy’ is another term that Laruelle has used to configure his theoretical work, pointing to its emergence from the philosophical grounds of ‘radical immanence’ (ibid.). In doing so Laruelle proposes a unified theory of science and philosophy, wherein the real ‘is immanent to itself rather than to a form of thought’ (ibid., 5, emphasis in the text). As John Mullarkey and Anthony Smith have noted, Laruelle’s idea is that ‘thought should think of itself as immanent to the Real’ (Laruelle and Non-Philosophy , 2). In this context instead of pretending to represent, become or transcend ‘the real’ of which it speaks, non-philosophy admits that while it will never ultimately reach ‘the real’, it will maintain certain relations with it: will walk along it, will speak to it, will try not to lose sight of it and will finally attempt to transform it. Given the centrality of the philosophy/science relationship in Laruelle’s practical theory, attending to the emergence of ‘the real’ and tracing its unfolding is at the heart of the non-philosophical project.


Please reference as: Maria Tamboukou (2018) ‘Non-philosophy’,