Art Disarming Philosophy

Steven Shakespeare

 

Nonphilosophy poses a challenge to philosophical thought, inspired by the work of François Laruelle. It questions the idea that philosophy, or other disciplines, can tell us what it means to think. This edited collection brings together an internationally known and interdisciplinary group of scholars, including a major new essay by Laruelle himself. Together they use nonphilosophy to cross the boundaries between philosophy and performance.

Philosophers have been busy for centuries looking for the foundations of truth, value, and reality. They try to say what it all means and how it all fits together. Areas of life like science and art have to wait for the philosopher to show up to tell them what they are really about. Theory dictates meaning: performance just puts it into effect. Nonphilosophy is different. It says that reality is not an object out there that we can think and understand. The Real is the place we stand: it is where we think from. 

Crucially, nonphilosophy understands philosophy itself to be performative. It enacts modes of thinking that do not dominate the material of thought and do not capture the Real in concepts. Philosophy is mutated by its performances; and performances themselves think, are modes of theory. What happens when we bring philosophy, art, and performance together, without hierarchy? How can they get inside and change one another? The thinkers in this collection answer these pressing questions.