Dualysis of Francois Laurelle

Francois Laurelle thinks of dualysis . It is not our familiar analysis. We do celebrate analysis as it has produced rich results. Laurelle has given us a new method. It does not divide its object but transforms it in the mode of unilateral duality. It does so through cloning it in the mode of unilateral duality. How do we dualise? Dualizing involves building unilateral duality. Hence, we may have to ask what is unilateral duality? Laurelle gives us a form of unilateral duality: X is identical to Y, but Y distinguishes itself absolutely from X. Y is unilateral here. But Laurelle wants to be even more radical. Y is absolute and in no way distinguishes itself from X but X distinguishes itself from Y or rather is distinguished from Y by Y itself. This is the non-relation between Y and X.

Now let us take the thing in itself and the thing as known to us (representation) in Emanuel Kant. We know that thing in itself and things as known to us distinguish/ transcend themselves from each other. Besides, there is a non-relation between the two. Yet they are put in a relation by thought. They are put together in a mode of unilateral duality ( not bilateral duality). We can consider the case of citizens and nation. There is a clear distinction/ transcendence between the citizen and the nation. This means the citizen is not a nation. There is a non-relation between the two. But philosophy relates the two. Philosophy puts them together in a unilateral duality. In some way both these terms are in fact put on the mode of unilateral duality on two sides ( One-in-One) through philosophy. Laurelle calls it double transcendence. One- in- One is my description of double transcendence. It basically creates a balance between the two. This is why philosophy becomes authoritative. This is the power of sufficiency of philosophy. Laurelle wants to break this balance. He wishes to unilateralize this relation of double transcendence. In a certain sense, we might say that he is trying to ‘deconstruct’ philosophy itself through his dualysis.

Thus, coming back to our example of citizen and nation. There is a distinction between citizen and nation. This is unilateral because the nation does not care about the line of distinction with the citizens. As it is, the nation is ready to eat up the citizens. Hence, this relation of unilateral duality has to be asserted. It is a one-way relation. This means there is a non-relation between the nation and the citizen. Although it seems that the is a One-in-One relation between the nation and the citizen, it is never really so. It is always a unilateral duality. It is in-One relation. This is why citizens can be crushed by using the weight of the nation or nationalism. This politics is possible because the nation radically forecloses and excludes the citizens. This means the relation between the nation and the citizen is one of non-relation. We can also think that the nation is also in-One relation with the citizen. This unilateral duality between citizen and nation makes it possible for a citizen to bring about a revolution that might turn the nation on its head. Since both nation and citizen exist in an in-One mode of non-relation, we can have politics. Dualysis, therefore, exposes this politics and opens ways of entering this mode of politics as those that wish to resist or those that want to reinforce the same or take any other mode of participation. Dualysis is a method of doing non-philosophy that unilateralizes what appears as a One-in-One relation and manifests that it is nothing but an in-One relation and is actually also a non-relation. The in-One or relation of asymmetry or unilaterality opens us ways of entering politics. Philosophy being a decision, we have the challenge to make our intervention emancipative.

Laurelle says that Science is a good instance of dualysis. Science needs quantification. These numbers do not really constitute the reality. Therefore, there is the relation of unilateral duality between Science and Reality. Science and Reality do not exist in a relation of One-in-One relation. They exist in an in-One relation. This is why Science exhibits critical vigilance. Science is the best self-critical knowledge that we have. Philosophy is critical yet it is still dogmatic. This is why philosophy has to lose its innocence and come to second naivety where it can realistically understand it status as one of in-One relation. What philosophy has done all the way may be nothing but a philo-fiction. Hence, Laurelle takes us to what he calls non-standard philosophy and non-philosophy. The two of these are two are different ways of doing philosophy. The non in non-philosophy is like non-Euclidean geometry. The non in the non-Euclidean geometry does not really say that Euclidean geometry is invalid. It only says that it has become a special case. Euclidean geometry is not sufficient to understand the entire space. We then open up much larger ways of trying to understand we space. We then have many possible forms of geometries. This is how non-philosophy opens up several ways of thinking. In non-standard philosophy, we enlarge philosophy but de-authorize it. Abraham Robinson rehabilitated the notion of infinitesimals. He took real numbers and joined them to the neighbourhoods of infinitesimals. Let us say we take a real line and make it even more dense by adding points. We add a whole bunch of points to the real line. This method simplifies calculus. Thus, getting into the in-One relation of Philosophy, we can de-dogmatize philosophy and assemble non-philosophy and open possibilities of thinking. Dedogmatizing philosophy can also enable us to produce a non-standard philosophy. Non-standard philosophy enlarges the space of its possibilities but reduces the position of its authority. Philosophy enters aesthetic mode and becomes an art of thinking.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao