Prolegomenas to Any Future Science That Would Present Itself as Human
Laruelle. “Prolégomènes à toute science future qui se présenterait comme humaine.” La Décision philosophique 7 (1989: 7-37).
Translated by Taylor Adkins
An alternative to the conflict between philosophy and the human sciences
For those who endeavor to lay the foundations for a science of man, two already explored paths immediately come to mind. A new metaphysical and political version of man, a version of dogmatic humanisms (Hobbes, Locke) or critical humanisms (Rousseau, Kant, Fichte); a doctrine of synthesis that is empiricist and tainted by philosophy, leading the existing “human Sciences” back to a new deal, give or take a supplement of “reflection” and “culture,” of “dialectics,” “hermeneutics,” and now “communication theory,” etc. Here, we are avoiding these two paths—sometimes alternative, sometimes mixed and complementary—in view of founding a human science of man.
It is in man himself—by ruling out the positive and explicitly philosophical disciplines that immediately offer their services—that we are seeking what can make (not merely possible and necessary but simply real) such a science that is “human” in every sense of the word. Instead of going from already existing sciences and philosophies toward man and defining man in an operative and idealist way (as the overlapping point or convergent focal point of techniques and procedures made for other objects), we are setting out from our object—man in his essence or his specificity—and we are founding a science on him that is a priori adapted to him, a “human” science that is rigorous from the start nonetheless. In the so-called “human Sciences,” human designates an object of synthesis or a very general predicate—man—which serves in this way as a universal predicate for these other predicates—Language, Power, Unconscious, etc.—that function as the veritable subjects of these sciences. This inversion of the “normal” (i.e. human) relation immediately alienates man in what is presented as his sciences. Conversely, in the formula “human science of man,” human no longer designates a residual predicate obtained by way of contrast or synthesis and obtained by convergence, but the real phenomenal content (i.e. the inalienable content) of man as subject (of the) science of man. Science is no longer taken from the non-human to be transferred to man and his predicates. The brute transfer of scientific technologies (which sum up the majority of the human Sciences) implies a de jure alienation of the subject (of) science from science itself. By taking up a science of man, of the human elucidated in its essence from the start, we find a science that a priori excludes this alienation or makes its ultimately real or human transformation possible.
The alternative to the specular couple of the human Sciences and philosophy consequently supposes a simultaneous re-elaboration of the essence of man and the essence of science which specifies him and, perhaps also—albeit this is another problem—the essence of science in its specificity and its autonomy of thought with respect to philosophy. This new path apparently could pass for an exterior or post-factum synthesis of the human Sciences and philosophy; in reality, it is a question of their identity before their disjunction into opposed and complementary decisions:
- On the one hand, a science that is human in its reality (rather than by way of hallucinatory desire) is truly an “empirical”—but not “empiricist”—science alongside, for example, the sciences of matter (empirical, i.e. a priori open—without decision or selection—to all human phenomena). Not an outright or disguised metaphysics that submits man to the preliminary authority of a philosophical decision which has already anticipated and broken the phenomenal unity of the object, but a science of elaborating and presenting the conditions of a constitution of man into a new “scientific continent” alongside others.
Man must therefore be recognized in every way as a given for this science, a given that is absolute in its order as well as contingent: a science necessarily requires a given to be presented that it has not created, a contingent “object” it must receive. But this object doesn’t merely have the necessity of contingency for it; it is from the start the synthesis—without a priori philosophical choices (exclusion or inclusion)—of all the dimensions that constitute the human phenomenon. The rule of the object’s absolute contingency implies that it is a mixture of phenomena and philosophical dimensions at the same time or in an indiscernible or undecidable, theoretico-philosophical, factual, and experimental way. Only these kinds of primordially complex or “total” facts can define—on this first level—this science as human, despite its empirical nature.
The vicious circle or begging of the question that founds both the human Sciences as well as philosophy is broken with this requirement: if they already belong to man as simple givens or material of science, they can no longer help ground, determine, or constitute this science itself, which therefore rests on another principle unknown to these sciences and to philosophy. The science of man is no longer circularly an ingredient or a part—whether abstract or concrete—of its corpus. And even if it becomes demonstrable that man is the subject (of) this science (and perhaps even of every science), there will no longer be a circle—whether philosophical in general or whatever its mode might be—between man as “subject” and man as “object” of this science. There will be an absolutely heterogeneous double givenness of man, a double givenness that will not be philosophical once again (i.e. contradictory and developing into the “object” alone) but required by the real conditions of a science without reconstituting another begging of the question.
- On the other hand, a science which is human in its reality—rather than by way of hallucinatory desire—possesses the equivalent (itself understood in another mode than the philosophical, a mode that will need to be clarified) of philosophy’s transcendental power. Here, transcendental means that this science is related to the real itself, to the very essence of man rather than to the (philosophical or other) representations of him; and it means that science is related to the real by itself, autonomously, without passing through the mediation of any decision whatsoever. This is to completely exclude—whatever the style of this transcendental dimension may be—that this science is constituted by a simple transfer, extension, or protraction of existing sciences, which are most often merely empiricist and quite rarely really empirical (empiricist, i.e. concealed philosophical decisions that refuse the transcendental dimension, which alone would make it possible to understand what a contingent given or an object is). These mixtures of philosophical decision and mathematization are ignorant of themselves in their mixed nature and remain content with functioning brutely–brutally exerting their autonomy in a positivist way, which is furthermore not elucidated by science–and a priori deciding on their object, carving it out by way of empiricist decisions instead of receiving it and letting itself be affected by it.
Consequently, if an empirical science of man (and perhaps even every science) can be “transcendental” despite everything, then it is certainly not transcendental in the manner of philosophy, which is now rejected in every way from the side of the material or from man-as-given. It is always a question of the identity of this relation to the real itself (of man) and the autonomy of this relation—the two traits together make this science into an authentic “thought.” But this identity is no longer mediated by philosophical decision, by its “difference” and its “circularity,” and by their various modes. Then what will this identity be, this foundation of the empirical science of man? It is perhaps too soon to present it on the basis of this requirement alone. Perhaps it will still be necessary to pose the problem of this science otherwise and to go—as we said—from man to (the) science (of man), rather than the other way around.
It is indeed a question of liquidating the spontaneous idealism of the philosophers and epistemologists who believe that it is science—i.e. here, in the case of the human Sciences, the idealism of techniques and procedures without real foundation—that determines its object, whereas the “inverse” alone founds (in-reality rather than in-philosophy) the autonomy of science without moreover returning to a (this time anthropological) dogmatism that would be nothing but a new version of the metaphysical dogmatism of man such as he is found in classical philosophies and such as he forms their humanist side. Whatever this foundation may be—transcendental and not dogmatic, real and therefore not idealist or criticist—it will demonstrate that the reality of this human science (its science posture with respect to the real, its procedures, and its objects) cannot be acquired from outside by transference from and in coalition with the human Sciences, nor cobbled together from within by means of reflexive, hermeneutic, or deconstructive decisions; that it must be acquired and perhaps even given in its foundation before any decision, rather than acquired by a philosophical or epistemological decision of science. No more than this science dissolves the reality of its object man (what philosophy does in representations which in reality do not describe his essence but belong merely to the human phenomenon as simple given), its own reality or autonomy is not dissolved in the possible of philosophical decisions or the technologies of the human Sciences. There is not just the autonomy (as contemporary thinkers believe) but also the reality of man and of science: both must be taken into account together.
Only a sort of phenomeno(logy)—a sort of description outside philosophical codes or the logos—of phenomena can rediscover amidst the jumble of philosophical decisions this immanent phenomenal identity of a science of man capable of being given man two times and no longer one alone. On the one hand, his purely empirical givenness, which integrates into human phenomena the philosophical or ideological decisions brought down upon him or associated with him in history and social action. On the other hand, the givenness (this time purely transcendental) of the real or of the essence of man to which this science is related from the start, but, as we shall say, in the last instance alone.
This solution is therefore not an external or empiricist synthesis (or an internal-external and philosophical synthesis) of the human Sciences and philosophy but the identity that generates the former and the latter on the mirror of philosophy based on the disjunction of a philosophical decision. Such a synthesis would not procure any veritable change of terrain, any real mutation, simply a supplementary “revolution” in place. The key to a science that would be human due to its very essence and its object (understood in a general sense, not in the precise sense of “given”) can only be found in its object, insofar as the science of this object requires its double givenness in the most general conditions that guarantee the reality of man and of science: the condition of their absolute identity.
Regarded from the exterior, outside itself, for example by a philosophy, such a science will naturally be received as a still philosophical but self-contradictory attempt. The dissolution of the amphibology of man and decision, of the real and the possible, of immanence and transcendence will be felt as the attempt at a monstrous synthesis: in every case as Other-of-philosophy. Certainly, this is to describe the exact—more than inverse—relation that science deals with: it is philosophy that is the Other of the subject (of) science, not science that is the Other of philosophy. Man is the measure of all things—of the All itself, of Transcendence, of Nothingness, of Reason, of the Other, etc.—on condition (this is obvious) that he stop being measured by a decision-of-totality, by a philosophy, and that the measure stop being reciprocal or reversible. This science is identifiable neither with an existing empirical human science—for it has a radical transcendental root, one so radical it breaks the philosophical circlet or doublet—nor with a philosophy, for it is veritably an empirical science alongside others.
The essence of man qua subject (of) science
The question is not: what is man if…? if he can be the object of a science and even its subject? And still less: what can man do? But: given man as identical to science, as subject (of) science, what is the result for a science of man? As we know, here the rule is not to again begin to subsume him under a philosophical decision that is too general and too particular for him. Rather than several sciences for one unique man, a well-founded science for men in their multiplicity. Rather than “the sciences of man,” “the science of men.” Here, only a science founded in its object can resolve the paradox of the existence of the human-being as identically solitary and multiple and avoid the unitary loop of man through science and vice versa.
Man—what we can understand with this word from the perspective of a human science—must be described in line with this previously posited rule: to go from man such as he is given to science rather than from the existing sciences to an alienated, divided up, hypothetical man. What does this rule mean, this primacy of the object insofar as it already—but really, without circularity, not in a philosophical or fantastical way—contains the science (of) itself? What does the identity of man and science mean, an identity that is necessarily accompanied (without contradiction) by a double givenness of man? Ultimately, what must the essence of man be for him to be able to be given two times in a heterogeneous way, and not (in the philosophical manner) a single time, even “divided”?
In order to be both a simple contingent given for a science and the real that he knows but in the last instance alone (i.e. without science philosophically confusing the real and the given, the real and representation), man must first be given as real or in his essence and in a mode that (for positive reasons) excludes mixed “human phenomena,” which will be the simple objects of this science and which are phenomena in the midst of which the human Sciences proliferate. Because man is given (to) himself in a mode which is that of immanence alone (outside any relation-to, intentionality, and transcendence, outside any nothingness, scission, or self-alienation, without the mediation of the logos or decision), he is this relation (-to-the-) real or non-relation, the real in its indivision and strictly on-the-hither-side-of every “internal relation” (Husserl, Wittgenstein), which is always decisional: a non-self-decisional and non-self-positional real. The immanent “phenomenon” of man is on-the-hither-side of any phenomenality described by phenomeno-logy as well as on-the-hither-side-of any criticist decision.
In truth, the truth of man is not on-the-hither-side-of (standing reserve, backstep), it is of another nature and order, that of the positivity of real immanence rigorously thought. Rather than a factum in the analytico-critical mode, a mixture of the a priori and the empirical that auto-develops like philosophy itself, man (is) given non-thetically (to) himself. He is thereby given in a transcendental experience, rather than one that is aprioritic and meant for an empirical experience. He experiences himself in a non-self-decisional lived experience rather than in a decision or a transcendence. As subject or “transcendental,” here he loses his functional status (functional for transcendent experience), is emptied definitively of his worldly and transcendent contents in general—like reason qua decision—and is filled with himself or becomes real. “Vision-in-man” is the experience—man’s indiscernible experience itself—that the human is no longer, has never been (if not by way of philosophical illusion) a simple predicate, or a mode, or a difference…, a becoming or a bridge…toward something else. This is an absolute experience—i.e. real, inherent (to) self—in which the human as such is given (to) man. Man is his own object without passing through the Other man or intersubjectivity (another form of submission to the universal). He is the lone being who brings a radical, ante-logical Identity with himself. Far from being a wolf or a god for man, he is human “for” and above all “in” himself. Against the anthropological images which populate the heavens and earth of philosophy and which are all internally divided, problematic, and prolific, we oppose man as this transcendental idiot who, rather than on the margins of the World, remains within himself before the world, in the simplicity of his immanence. From man’s antropo-logical images to immanent lived experiences as lived experiences (of) immanence: such is the trajectory or reduction science imposes.
Man’s nothing-but-immanent being precisely makes him the subject (of) science. Qua object of the science of man—object understood in the broad sense, not in the sense of a simple inert given—man is first the subject (of) this science. This is what the great anti-idealist (but also, as we now see, anti-positivist) rule means when it prescribes going from man to science rather than the other way around. To determine a science by its “object” means nothing unless it is no longer pre-included empirically in the element of exteriority or politico-anthropological transcendence but is given in the element of radical immanence and thereby becomes the real (to) which science is related on-the-hither-side-of representations and knowledges. The science of man obliges us to take the word “object” in two senses without any measure in common: as inert given and as subject (of) science. In this non-decisional subject—identity of man as this One of radical immanence—resides the primitive, philosophically inviolate unity of man and the science of man, rather than the always broken and derived unity of man and philosophical decision.
The empirico-transcendental doublet or circle is definitively broken in this way—not “in itself” and in philosophy where it remains what it is, but for a science. Nothing—not the least bit of poilitico-anthropological, philosophico-worldly man—is retained or included in man’s radically immanent essence. Unlike what philosophy believes, man is not just the empirical support of a transcendental function or dimension for…experience. He is this living anti-philosophical paradox of being a transcendental “in-itself” by dint of being non-self-thetic, a lived experience (of the) transcendental that is played out before any “intellectual intuition,” the minimal conditions of which are not met here. Man’s being is already real before being realized; it is given (to) self in an immanence that escapes any intuition (which is always objective). This is a transcendental reality, but it is nothing but transcendental or immanent, not a transcendent-transcendental mixture. Man is the reality and therefore the immanent legitimacy of this so-called “philosophical absurdity” of which Husserl spoke with respect to transcendental realism, insofar as he confused it (like any coherent idealist) with a mixed (both transcendent and immanent) realism. By way of his essence, man is more than a philosophical absurdity and an incomprehension of critical or phenomenological idealism: he is the philosophically unreceivable, the first non-philosophizable. In all truth and all irony, he deserves the name transcendental idiot. He finds within himself—in his essence, which is more than a simple a priori factum—how to ground his own science in-reality, how to finally make it human or non-alienating.
The most radical phenomenology is one that discovers there’s the possibility of renouncing the logos itself and that endeavors to describe phenomena with it or its content of representation, but without still claiming to constitute them or deconstruct them by it. A radical science of phenomena describes them and is described as deprived of “logical” or “ontological” phenomenality. Consequently, a scientific description of man, of his phenomenal reality, uses the logos but is not reduced to it. In reality, this reduction of the logos or of phenomenality by the phenomenon itself—in its absolute autonomy—is only possible if the phenomenon is definitively saved from its empirico-positivist status and described as the lived experience (of) absolutely (and not relatively) immanent givens, as the One’s specific Erlebnis. That man’s being is radically immanent and sufficient due to this very reality is identically the existence, the non-self-thetic givenness of such phenomenal givens deprived of any form of transcendence, both of critical or decisional transcendence as well as finitude or withdrawal-transcendence.
This man, led back into his essence—of which it’s worth taking the time to remark that it is no longer the “illuminated” form of intellectual intuition—signs the end or, more exactly, the loss of validity and the displacement (the achieved transcendental reduction) of classical and critical humanism, of the philosophical figures of man in general, figures which are always partially external and transcendent. To simplify a bit in the manner in which Fichte, for example, characterized idealism and materialism so as to oppose them, we could say that there are only two possible interpretations of man’s being; either by way of transcendence and decision (or one of its mixed forms)—this is idealist humanism, always somewhat “revolutionary” or “negative,” etc.; or by way of immanence alone, the non-self-decisional and non-self-positional lived existence alone of immanent givens or phenomena—this is the scientific interpretation of man, at least such as we have outlined it as absolutely anterior to the disjunction (which is itself philosophical) of the human Sciences and philosophy, of positivism or criticism, etc. And yet, the escapeway is impossible: it’s enough to conceive a whatever form of transcendence as belonging to man’s essence so as to make his essence a simple mode of transcendence or of universal entities he refuses to be. Philosophy has no “ontological” means of realizing what it would like to make man ethically: an absolute. Philosophy can but contradict itself here by making him a mode of something else that is not his ultimate reason in himself. For example, humanist Idealism is first idealism before being humanist and finishes also by playing its part in man.
Consequently, man is nothing but supposed or supposed given by philosophy, i.e. (he who is defined first by the most accomplished immanence), given at the end or by means of transcendence, with his essence then being defined by the power of transcending. If science can think him based on himself, withdrawing from him this capacity of overcoming that reveals his real philosophical glory and misery, philosophy only thinks him based on something else: Cosmos, Physis, Substance, Reason, Being, Unconscious, Other—precisely as a mode of transcendence. It’s not surprising that man has always been claimed by philosophy as its (if not ultimate, at least obligated) object, forbidding him from anything that ends with science. This is not surprising, for this philosophical appropriation of man is the same thing as the repression of science, an attempt at splitting, at dividing the unity (however concrete) of homo sive scientia. In particular, the concept of “absolutely immanent givens” or of “radical immanence” is poorly understood by philosophy. Taken in its purest form (one only science knows), it is simply denied, repressed, and, toward this end, theoretically falsified by the surreptitious reintroduction of transcendence and by the accusation (which has consequently become inevitable) of mysticism and “intellectual intuition.” One in fact always combines it with a philosophical decision which, by definition, is always responsible for coming to co-determine immanence or the real. This is then to suppose that the real and immanent givens are still a philosophical object, a mixture of transcendence and immanence, of which man is no longer but a mode, an epiphenomenon [écume]—the mode of a transcendence too ancient for him, the epiphenomenon of a nothingness more original than him, the effect of a decision or an anti-decision, of an undecidable more singular than him, the offshoot of an unconscious more universal than him.
Against this dispersion or dissolution of man by every form of transcendence—even freedom-transcendence, even the nothingness beyond natural particularities (for man in his being is an absolutely radical individual anterior to every natural or social particularity)—against his dissemination (as if the deconstruction of teleological humanism were also the deconstruction of man himself), science opposes the destruction of the amphibology of philosophy and man, of the amphibology that would dissolve man’s being. Homo sive scientia: every man is non-thetic man (of) science before being man of logos.
Man’s double givenness or duality
And yet this philosophically unintelligible identity of man and (“empirical”) science, an identity without a counterpart in a decision, also has a non-self-decisional and non-self-positional effect: a new duality (which follows without breaking it) of this identity or of this essence that communicates its non-decisional nature to it and follows from it statically without returning to it anymore. This is a duality without analysis or synthesis, de jure anterior to the analysis that would produce it and to the synthesis that would reunify it in a meaning of history or an ultimate humanist finality. This duality has two extreme poles: the One or man’s essence, the non-self-decisional on the one hand; and, on the other hand, what this essence reduces in its validity and transforms to the state of contingent given: the mixture of “human phenomena,” socio-politico-analytico-etc.-philosophical mixtures. Duality of double givenness, which is not that of man’s being, but of man. The essence of the origin of this duality is called dual: on the one hand, the essence of the non-self-decisional, the One (-of-) man, indifferent by way of absolute autonomy (albeit non-exclusive or negational) to every transcendent given; and, on the other hand, as a result, this essence devoted to the radical contingency of the material or of the “object” in the strict sense. This is why more-than-factum man (his essence) requires datum-man (reduced to the state of simple given for a science).
Conversely, a nothing-but-transcendental science (at least due to its essence-of-science), having broken—or having dualyzed, rather—the specular doublet of the empirical and the transcendental (the a priori factum), can function only as the equally radical reduction of the most general form of decision and the reduction of its most constant mode: objectivation. But, insofar as it requires the indifference and equivalence of all philosophical decisions, a science rejects them to the state of simple “given-object” and thereby gives itself a material that contains these decisions as a whatever manifold and no longer as the very form or syntax of the object. What is therefore given to a science rather than by a philosophical decision of empiricism, its datum, contains the very undecidability between man and his associated representations, particularly the most general representations (the philosophical ones).
Thus, philosophy in every way (without mentioning a special science that would be devoted to it) is an integral part of the simple objects of a science of man and can no longer claim to be a science of man or the veritable remedy to the human Sciences. The philosophies or representations that accompany it and are inseparable from it (despite their peripheral, invisible, even “withdrawn” nature”) must belong in turn to the manifold of this universal materiality, which requires a science suitable for its material. Even philosophical humanism as well as, for example, juridical and critical rationalism belong to science’s object rather than to science’s essence.
A science therefore has objects which no longer have the form of man’s objectivation or alienation at all, since this form in turn is nothing but a manifold in a more universal “materiality.” To summarize this: philosophy attempts to alienate man, believes that it succeeds in alienating him, but fails to do so; on the other hand, there are true alienations, including philosophical ones; finally, a science of man is the science of these alienations, but a science that is itself non-alienating. Everything of man that depends on philosophy, everything that is philosophizable in him belongs solely to the object, which requires a science that is non-philosophical by itself. For example, the more or less undecidable observer-observed relation is indeed “real.” But here this word means “existing” or “effective.” Only man by his essence is real, human phenomena are merely effective. As such, this relation belongs to the object of a human science (but not to the latter’s essence-of-science) and cannot help define it, save to once again dissolve its reality into universal instances (Reason, Being, Duty, Language, Communication, Spirit, Matter, etc.). The subject (of) science is not reduced to the observer, and the latter belongs to the object rather than the essence of science. The non-decisional duality of science is never related to the subject in an objectivating way: philosophy is what does this and what attributes this baseness to science.
Science—it’s worth taking the time to point this out—is consequently a duality-without-scission: it does not break effectivity “in two”; for example, it does not intend to “break the history of humanity” and of philosophy “in two”…It passively describes a static duality that was already there before its description and that guides it as a simple non-constitutive description. And, in a general way, it does not intervene in effectivity itself. A science of man describes man in his dual-ity but does not thereby add a supplementary division, a new philosophical decision to the weight of divisions humanity bears.
The crux of philosophical humanism is obviously the problem of man’s unity (soul/body; matter/form; reason/sensibility; sovereign/subject; man/world, etc.). This unity is impossible the moment that, through philosophy, man becomes a mixture, an aporetic and problematic being, and the moment that this misery of humanism is conflated with a misery of man. Man is the only non-mixed being of creation, the only “existent” deprived of contraries. Even philosophers feel his division to be scandalous or absurd, a division which they cannot ignore (because they are the ones who put it in him) and, despite this, which they cannot overcome. Rather than mixed, man is dual; rather than dividing-divided place, rather than Da-sein, he is the lived experience of radical Identity, and it is this Identity (rather than Being) that he brings to the World from the outside-the-World. That he is also found in the World, subject to all the obstacles and divisions, but the fact that these remain definitively contingent and do not reach his essence itself, is something other than a new avatar of philosophical decision: this is the dual or the double givenness that forms a system with the most intimate requirements of science. This duality of givennesses is not “in the World” or “effective,” it is the solely human duality of the real and effectivity, a scientific and therefore nothing-but-transcendental (rather than philosophical or empirico-transcendental) type of reality. Man’s effectivity, his multiple being-divided, is no longer his reality, it is only one of the two sides of the dual and his contingent side of “given” or “material.” For science, there is no problem of the soul and the body, of their unity “in itself.” This “in-itself” is formed by the structures of philosophical decision, and the soul/body unity is a philosophical or effective problem, not a real problem. The real is the “in-man” rather than the “in-itself” or the “for-itself.” It is concerned with this duality whose origin or nature is other, a duality that does not go back over unitary philosophical breaks because their origin and nature globally reject these breaks as one of their poles, the most external one. Man’s two givennesses (as One and as divided-One) therefore does not overlap with the divisions of the soul and the body, of matter and spirit, of reason and sensibility, of self and non-self. These divisions are just a number of divided teleological closures and aporias, whereas the dual, the duality that instead derives from them, is a radical opening anterior to these divided anthropological images inscribed there in the state of simple materials to be transformed. Man-as-One—this is its proximate object—is in fact accompanied by an immediately infinite (rather than progressively opened or folded/unfolded) opening that precludes the philosophical attempts of suture, normalization, closure of the opening.
“The dual” is man himself, this “articulation”—this positive non-articulation—of the two givennesses of man. Far from any philosophical decision, this is a question of a non-decisional and non-positional duality. We will not say above all that man is the Other, the vanishing, opening, or resistance point of nature, of the city, and of every closed system, the ultimate opening of a supplementary synthesis that would more or less refuse to be closed. Man is precisely the only being without contrary because he is given two times in a non-unitary, non-mixed duality, a duality that can no more self-contradict itself than dialectically realize itself.
The dual, then the duality of man as subject and object (of) science, therefore breaks—this is obvious—the circularity of the subject and the object, and supposes—this is also obvious—another experience of the subject than the philosophical experience of the human Sciences in accordance with their new distribution onto non-unitary, non-decisional dualities. As for the allocation of the empirical and the transcendental onto a duality that excludes outside it the empirico-transcendental doublet, it parallelly implies remodeling both the empirical and the transcendental. This is the simultaneous end of transcendental idealism and empirical realism; the first is replaced by a transcendental realism, the second by a scientific and no longer philosophical empiricism. Together they involve the non-relation, the irreversible “relation” of static duality rather than the reciprocal or circular relation of philosophical decision.
The human dual ultimately signifies that man is the real base, in some sense the ultimate phenomenal content of every possible “infrastructure,” and that it is on that base and by way of science and knowledge that it becomes possible—really and ethically possible—to transform the social, political, philosophical, etc. aspects of man.
Such is science: it starts with man as an absolutely given due to his essence to go to object-man as a supposed given or at least as a contingent given, rather than doing it the other way around, which is the idealist and philosophical trajectory. To go from man’s untrasformable reality (incapable of progress, of perfection or destruction, whether racist or otherwise) to what makes it possible to transform effectivity by means of knowledge, rather than starting with effective man, already interpreted and transformed by philosophy a little more. Nothing—if not good will—distinguishes man’s perfecting from man’s destruction; and nothing—if not philosophical decision qua ultimate authority subjecting man—distinguishes good will from the pure will to power. One must ultimately choose: either the ultimate authority and violence of philosophy, which decides on man’s essence and conflates science and decision, science and will; or a human science that will have over philosophies the advantage not just of theoretical rigor but also of ethical rigor: the advantage of considering man as un-transformable in his essence and of thereby possessing an absolute standard of measure of the transformations it is scientifically and therefore ethically possible to make of transcendent human phenomena.
The universal opening or the humanity of the Uni-verse
A fundamental phenomenon flows from man’s double givenness: an aprioric structure of experience but (just as we have said) delivered from the auto-positional form of factum. Man in his very essence possesses (without being affected by it) a radical opening which he is alone to condition, which does not determine him in return but which is the only type of opening that can flow from a non-self-decisional autonomy. This is an opening without decision, an opening without horizon or project, a unity without synthesis, a transcendence without operation of transcendence—that’s the only space of static opening, an opening which is really infinite without internal limitation, without transgression or surpassing, with neither progress nor perfectibility: the only opening that (because it is no longer blended with man’s essence, the only transcendence which, because it is founded in the latter without resulting from it by an operation of nothingness or transcendence—as a redoubling or a fold of transcendence) can be the just-as-autonomous “correlate” (albeit relatively to it) of man’s absolutely autonomous being.
Man’s being is without fold, but also without content, probably too uni-versal to allow itself to be fulfilled by the time-to-come, duty, or labor. Against the operation with which philosophy is accustomed, we have simplified and un-folded man’s essence; we have emptied him of his universal determinations, which are all founded on transcendence (of the World, of Being, of Reason, etc.), thereby reaching man in his roots, man as the Radical that precedes every philosophical radicalization, as the lived indivision that constitutes the individual or that is its only absolutely real phenomenal content. And, consequently, we have symmetrically been able to empty the universal opening of its foldings, of its particular contents (equally World, Being, Reason, Nothingness, Existence, Communication, etc.) that would close it in an ecstatic-horizontal way, that would fold it back on itself. We have universalized the opening, we have simplified and un-folded it, making it into a hyper-philosophical “generality.” In opposition to the cosmo-logical or cosmo-philosophical closure, let’s call this the Uni-verse—the non-thetic Universe. We will say that man is a transcendental idiot who is given the Universe from the start.
A dimension of really universal representation therefore accompanies man’s being. The science (of) man is in fact the simple corelate-of-description or (non-constitutive) representation of man-as-One. Such a science protects this space of universal representation by emptying it of its anthropological and philosophical models; it “makes the void” to leave way for the knowledge of man, whose nature is more universal than philosophical representation. The former is as simple as the very being of man, not divided-folded; the latter is always divided, refolded, doubled, and stuffed with its own proliferation.
If the dual distributes the transcendental and the empirical according to original relations and primarily original non-relations, these give rise (by means of this radical opening) to a so-called causality of “determination in the last instance,” but which is the real phenomenal content of what Marxism intended by this formula. This scientific form of causality is what reigns in the dual between the two modes of man’s givenness, whose definitively unitary, anthropological, or humanist concept is therefore excluded. A science of man that respects the specificity and autonomy of its object can only imply the theoretical rejection of philosophical humanism.
In fact, as in any science, the problem is that of the relation of discourse to its object. While a philosophy puts between them a reciprocal or reversible determination and therefore claims that discourse co-determines the object’s reality, a science that proclaims itself as only a science and is not conflated with a philosophy will say that its discourse of knowledge describes or explains its object in the last instance alone or without claiming to also constitute it. It will distinguish between its objects of knowledge (which it constitutes) and its real object (which it knows without constituting). A science does not co-belong to its object or is not a part of it, but irreversibly de-rives from it. While philosophy puts a reciprocal determination between them, a science puts between them a determination in the last instance.
A science thereby avoids having to fall back under philosophical legislation, having to sink into the circle of decision and see its reality dissolve therein. On the contrary, it protects the space of really infinite opening, absolutely deprived of all teleology, a space which is the space of knowledge, one deprived of contraries or divisions (material/ideal; object/concept), just like man himself. If man has no contraries, then neither does science: neither in itself, nor outside it, where philosophy winds up opposing itself to it.
Consequently, there is no synthesis awaiting this duality, no progress or teleology, no sense of human history or horizon, no ultimate teleology (like Nothingness has always been, whether as positive or as Being’s nothing). Man, such as he is at least included in science and detached from philosophical decisions and teleologies, is a being-without-past because he has nothing but himself to take-charge-of—he is his own being-to-take-charge-of. And a being-without-advent, because his autonomy is so radical and so sufficient that it can but open directly onto the future itself in the achieved or static state and directly experience the Uni-verse as the most universal. We will therefore conflate the aporia of philosophical decision—which, in this sense, never closes itself, or only opens itself to close itself or, in the best of cases, only closes itself to open itself—and this uni-versal opening that accompanies man. We believe we’re on the verge of breaking in a non-founded and non-contradictory way with the critical and sometimes Judaic half-solutions (accentuation of alterity, exteriority, and resistance). This uni-versal space is an opening of structure that is non-ontological from the start, i.e. not ecstatic-horizontal. This is an abstract space with respect to the concrete or filled space of philosophy, it is empty of all Structure, Difference, Dialectic, but also empty of every project with its dimensions of Duty, Time, Faith. From this point of view, juridical rationalism (Fichte’s, for example) is a still restrictive solution that submits man to humanism and projects a particular—“rational”—content into the Self and its opening, forcing us to confuse them and then to confuse them with Reason. Fichte does not completely eliminate logic—what essentially remains of it as the logos, transcendence, or decision—and once again sinks into the transcendental Illusion he had nevertheless denounced, but which he made into an overly narrow concept. The entirety of his philosophy therefore develops as a logic of philosophy instead of being an “empirical” science of it and is once again achieved in the identification of the being-of-man with an ecstatic-horizontal opening that is still—measured against the Uni-verse that accompanies radical being-immanent and considered in its intimate structure—a closure. Every philosophy of man can do nothing but return to Fichte; a science will only return to Fichte as though to a symptom and a standing reserve of indications rather than as though to this science itself. Fichte represents the maximum of what a philosophy can critique of Being and program in the future in man’s favor. Furthermore, he does not sufficiently radicalize the real’s non-decisional essence, nor does he give transcendental Illusion its fullest extent beyond “dogmatic” metaphysics alone. The Uni-versal, correlate of the being-of-man, is thereby equipped with a philosophical decision, contracted by a fold and restricted to the particularity of transcendent contents, like the moral Law, the Time of the project, and Faith.
Only a really uni-versal non-Ficthean thought—where Fichteanism would no longer be but a particular case or a material—can recognize the real individual in man and save him, the immanent human phenomenon, from philosophical apparatuses. While Fichte brings philosophical decision to the limits of what it can do without breaking the last restrictions of humanist imagery—of man’s philosophical figures—and while he thinks man within the limits of humanity, the problem of a science of man is completely different: to conceive man within the limits of science and identically science within the limits of humanity. And yet these limits of science are not those of Reason. Science is not rational in the philosophical sense of this word—perhaps the only one—it is from the start real, what is perhaps the best way of saying that it is not irrational. “Reason” is a mixture whose limits are therefore simultaneously internal and external, immanent and transcendent; science is an intrinsic finitude that contains and maintains man in himself and that stops making him into a project being but which makes possible an abstract and uni-versal space, somewhat contingent with respect to man’s intimately finite being, a space that “destroys” down to the pro-ject as divided/refolded space, as closed opening devoted to progressivity or infinite perfectibility.
Critical humanism and philosophy in general, even deconstructions, postulate the (lived and transcendental) reality of the infinite and attribute to man the philosophical vicissitudes of God, whereas “dual separation” completely de-finalizes the project of every metaphysical or onto-theo-logical dimension. Humanism remains a transcendent theory imposed on man; he is nothing but the subject—as always, in the Copernican Revolution, which is not a science of the subject but a theory of objectivation by the subject and of it—; he is not its subject in the sense of the subject (of) science.
Like any philosophy, humanism identifies two activities that a science distinguishes: to elucidate man’s essence, but also to claim to make man advene to his essence by way of this operation of elucidation. While “philosophical decision” is the amphibology of these two operations, a science keeps the first, renounces the illusions of the second, and replaces the aberrant and dangerous project of a transformation of the real (of man’s essence) with that of a real transformation of effectivity (for example, that of man), that which founds (in essence and more rigorously than any transcendental ethical postulation) the limits of possible action on the human being. Veritable humanism is not a supplement of decision to man’s being, it is what founds man himself there where he is really only subject: in science rather than in philosophy. This is why man must be protected not only from dogmatic metaphysics but, beyond that, from every form of transcendence—from philosophy as such. Ethical and juridical rationalism does not appear as strong as the goals it sets: precisely because it perhaps still reasons in terms of finality, or because only a human science frees man from philosophical finality and, contrary to which is ordinarily done, submits philosophy to man by means of a human science and a scientific pragmatics of philosophy.
The theoretical and practical weakness of this humanism is demonstrated by the fact that it cannot simultaneously account for the contemporary avatars of philosophical decision (of anti-humanist nihilism and of the complementary theory of the over-human, for example, and, one can imagine, of the post-human as the last effect of the Post-modern) and not reject them. And their rejection—even by exclusion—is inseparable here from their registration as ultimately valid, from the thesis that post-modern anti-humanism is not indifferent but effective on the reality of man. Like any philosophy, it is obliged to under-estimate and over-estimate its de facto adversaries (even when it makes them into its adversaries), whereas all these decisions are ineffective on man’s being and therefore equivalent. Man himself makes indifferent or equivalent—at least with respect to his essence, not his effectivity—all these decisions and transforms them into simple materials for his knowledge.
If critical rationalism could demonstrate that it is true non-illusory knowledge—finally outside transcendental Illusion—and that everything that has followed is again taken into it, then it would be necessary to admit that it is the solution to the problem of man. But since it has never been able to convince the rest of philosophy with which it is interminably condemned to wage war, just as it has never been able to do what a science (and here, a human science) does—to send these anti-humanist philosophies back into error or into the simple contingent particularity of a material, which itself also remains just as “arbitrary” as any other decision, just as imprisoned as the others by transcendental Illusion—its explicit entry into Illusion signifies a radicalization and an extension of Illusion it no longer masters.
We will therefore keep ourselves from saying here that it rests on non-elucidated or non-deconstructed axioms, that it is in some sense a resistance…to the Other “as such,” a form of non-interrogated logocentrism, etc. For, inversely, its deconstruction is no better with respect to man himself, who requires the indifference and equivalence of humanist and anti-humanist decisions. A science founded on the existence of absolutely immanent givens can require only what we call the Principle of equivalence of philosophical decisions (with respect to the real). However, within this reduction of critical humanism to the rank of simple material for a science of man, certain nuances can be formulated: it is philosophy alone that merits—alongside psychoanalysis but in another way—that we treat it as a privileged index-material. We can therefore treat it like contemporary philosophies, which believe that—to be “great” thoughts or “actual” and post-metaphysical thoughts—it is necessary to have treated them with a conservative metaphysics, a disguised theology, a dangerously contaminated ideology…If that is true (or more exactly real), this would be just as much to treat all of these philosophies themselves.
Critique of communicational reason
Men are undivided-dual solitudes rather than individual solitudes [solitudes individu-a-les plutôt qu’individuelles], achieved and positive rather than abstracted from a universal mixture. If by their essence they are multiple from the start, if they are positive solitudes that express no need, then their solitude is not an abstraction outside-the-World or outside-Reason; it makes communication useless, useless and uncertain for man’s essence and merely receivable as material for an effective science of man or in the World. As subject (of) science, man neither requires nor negates communication but indifferentiates it or sterilizes it. In this sense, the problems of consensus (contemporary form of the problem of Reason), of positive and dogmatic or even critical and positive humanism, of common sense and community, etc. are problems that constitute a symptom and no longer a reason. Inversely, a non-philosophical science of man is ungraspable in the horizon of Greco-ontological presuppositions: man thinks from his own depths (vision-in-man) without passing through the mediation of this horizon. Also, the necessary defense of man cannot be limited to the struggle against certain philosophies, contemporary ones, for example. With man himself, elucidated in his essence, every philosophy must be called back into question, i.e. put back in place: beyond man, faraway…within the Uni-verse.
Vision-in-man therefore forces us to conclude that the “communicational” hypothesis is useless and uncertain. Let’s then consider the objection of chaos and mute anarchy: if communication does not belong to man’s very being, if the “communicational” predicate does not determine him in any way and in a privileged way, it becomes impossible to speak of him, think him, teach him, philosophize him, etc. All philosophers—this is philosophy in person itself—associate or connect the individual with a universal plan(e) of communication, of language, of thought, of logos, or of reason, etc. Leibniz and Fichte—who associate a monadology with the monads out of fear that they can no longer communicate or conspire—are not exceptions. For other philosophers, it’s the Polis, or Spirit, or the perceived World and its possibilities, or the Eternal return of the Same or Judgment and a priori Consensus, which are responsible for balancing chaos and constituting the universal plan(e) of rationality, perhaps of dialogue and of peace, without which man would not be human. Modern humanism is unitary because it programs the amphibological identification of the radical or objectless subject, man, with communicational Reason as the form of every objectivity. Copernicanism finds in the communicational a relay that fundamentally changes nothing in its objective falsification of the subject.
In reality, for a science of man, communication is a contingent material or occasion like the others, its sole privilege being to constitute a symptom or conjuncture. It alone can ground a purely scientific or immanent practice that would bear on the material of communication rather than being intra-communicational. This displacement and this emplacement of communicational Reason—like, moreover, all other forms of reason—find their basis in man himself insofar as he refuses by essence to be cloven/doubled by Reason, to pass through the communicational fold.
For a science in general and a science of man in particular, the empiricist and rationalist problem of the chaos of individuals constrained in their social or national and private particularity of communication, the problem of an establishment of communication by the ethical, by right, or by pragmatics and ultimately by a supplement of philosophical decision is therefore not posed or is only a problem called on by philosophy itself, one that allows it once again to reintroduce itself. Some reason, always some more reason! Some philosophy, always some more philosophy! The problem of Reason, of communication, and of philosophy is only posed when it has already been resolved, already posed viciously, as “in-itself” and then left to its own requirement of auto-development or auto-affirmation. There’s no need to will Reason or communication—if they alone can be willed in this way and established as teleologies—there are already rules, pure-transcendental rather than empirico-transcendental rules founded in man-real, taking their strength [force] from him vis-à-vis experience. They do not exist in themselves, do not form an aprioric or empirico-aprioric given, a factum that would auto-analyze itself (division/redoubling) in the manner of the philosophical type of rationality and, like it, that would never stop ungrounding itself in the inessentiality and unreality of its own circle. Everything that the dogmatic or critical rationalists can invoke—and from this point of view there is no longer a difference between a system of transcendent rational contents (dogmatism) or even a system of a priori rules drawing their necessity from their systematic rational form (criticism)—supposes what is in question, namely, the existence of a chaos in the absence of Reason, whereas in reality there’s no chaos of this type in the real-One, but precisely a minimum of rules whose origin is purely transcendental rather than mixed.
In this form, chaos is one of philosophy’s rhetorical and strategic arguments; its only validity is to inspire fear and obligate man to rank himself under the philosophical order. The contents of knowledge invoked as a priori rules—which are still, albeit not from science’s point of view, such a content and an empiricism of necessity—obviously constitute this fear through their chaos and are responsible for investing man from inside and out. Their strength, moreover, does not exceed the problem such as it has been posed; it is confused with strength, i.e. the extreme weakness and unreality of the philosophical circle. This strength lacks reality or immanence, and it cannot fail to once again vanish into transcendence, cannot once again fail to flee into the renewal or hunt for progress in knowledge. Science is only what it is—recognized in its identity of science rather than as a philosophy or a deficient mode of it—only because it stems from the real—but obviously from a real of the last instance, not from presence or perception: from the rules of objectivity. In all rigor, a philosophy of the sciences is impossible—save as hallucinatory—and the main epistemological obstacle to science is epistemology itself.
Now, how could philosophies suspect the vicious nature of their hypothesis, its nature of begging the question, since the position “in itself” of rational communication—already legitimated in this way as essence—is the philosophical gesture itself? Since the universal’s auto-position—independently of man—is philosophical decision in person? Philosophy—this is its specific difference from science—consists in supposing given, in itself or in and by transcendence (which can only give rise to supposition or presupposition) an empirico-aprioric factum like Reason, Being, logos, communication. For these entities are not simple contingent givens (data) in the manner of materials for a science but claim from the start to be essences or pre-sences that are already the real itself and that have in them the power to auto-develop themselves, the becoming-philosophical itself…Auto-position, the supposed-given, the in-itself or transcendence, the factum rather than the datum—all of this constitutes and characterizes the philosophical style, the vicious or specular style of the already resolved problem: these entities are the already achieved solution in itself of the problem, not the problem itself, which would require a real transformation of data—of simple data. Philosophy is the teleological practice of already resolved problems. And the concepts of Reason or communication are worth neither more nor less from this point of view than those of Power, Writing, Unconscious, etc.
Philosophers are always uselessly given too-much-at-the-same-time—the One/Dyad mixture, i.e. a factum that can no longer be but supposed given, i.e. given in an uncertain way. It would suffice to be given the One: but in an absolute and non-relative-absolute way, in and by its immanence and not supposed given in and by transcendence. If afterwards something else presents itself, it will therefore be contingent, a simple datum rather than a factum. And, despite its contingency, it will be given with a scientific and no longer philosophical “certainty,” the certainty which is that of the condition of the object of a science. Thought gains in simplicity, in reality, and in rigor by abandoning the mixture or middle-term—the breeding-ground of all circles and all conflicts—and by being given, each in their specific mode, the real qua non-self-decisional transcendental experience, and the empirical/data. If there is something like a middle-term or an a priori (and there will be one), it will this time be derived and produced (the objectivity produced on the basis of the real rather than the other way around, as philosophy’s spontaneous idealism of philosophy desires). There will be a priori structures or a scientific objectivity, but the a priori will no longer be redoubled or folded back on itself (the factum); it will be simplified. And, on its side, the transcendental will no longer be a simple tracing or a double of the a priori; it will be con-fused with the real’s absolute autonomy.
It is therefore not a question of globally negating communication—another unitary and philosophical gesture—but of showing, one the one hand, that its problem is not posed on the level of man’s essence; that man’s essence is autonomous and ante-rational or ante-communicational; that man’s essence refuses the unitary amphibology of the real and the rational, of the real and the communicational, of the subject and the predicate—philosophy itself…—; and, on the other hand, that communication or Reason, deposed as factum, are not destroyed but subsist in the necessary state of contingent given for a science and that the only problem concerns their real transformation: by man. The aprioric structures of communication stop auto-positing themselves preliminarily as essence or reality (of man, of the subject (of) science); they stop giving rise to philosophical decision and are reduced to the state of material. For a science, communication is communicationally inert, reason is rationally sterile, etc.; they cannot divide themselves once again in view of redoubling themselves, re-posing themselves, re-affirming themselves, etc.
Philosophical Reason—and its historical modes—is this strange object, the only one at this point probably that claims to be also science of itself or the subject of its own science, to contain in it the conditions of a rigorous self-knowledge, that makes this simultaneity or this circularity into its essence. This “auto-scientific” claim, which is the heart of philosophy, of this manner for the dyad of factum-Reason to want to unitarily fulfill and suture the scientific dual and its universal opening, is like the monotheistic auto-affirmation of the Jewish God according to Nietzsche: if this is only instead to make the other sciences—the veritable sciences—die from laughter, then it at least constrains them to take refuge in this positivist posture of refusal and to thereby still mimic philosophy.
In-reality, i.e. in-man, the problem of communication and Reason is not posed in its philosophical form, that of a human need of reason, of a reciprocal belonging of man and universal communication. Only philosophy presupposes or is given man as already-divided and already-doubled by Reason, as already this pre-human animal and this stupid being that has need of these assistances. This Reason comes simultaneously from inside and out. Philosophy under-determines or sub-humanizes man so as to over-determine or over-humanize him through Reason, i.e. through itself. It composes man ex machina from pieces and morsels derived from transcendence (society, world, power, language, etc.) all the better to remain master over this synthesis and to make the synthesis work on its behalf. And it derives a surplus value of reason, communication, power, mean, etc. from the labor of these pieces.
Humanist imagery and man as transcendental Idiot
Humanism is the set of philosophical images of man rather than the knowledge of man. This insufficiency does not stem from him but from the philosophy in him. Philosophy is a transcendental Imagery understood in a very general sense as the operation of the synthesis of contraries or as One-of-the-Dyad. Image can be called the most general product of the reciprocal speculation of contraries, insofar as the image is always a double or divided reflection to which science can be opposed as simple reflection, a unilateral or non-speculative reflection (of the) real. This is not to injure or denigrate philosophy but to say that it lacks spirituality and inner sense, that it is an operation of transcendence and therefore of projection of pure images, that in particular it does not know man but simply representations of man. That’s what the Soul, the substance Thought, Reason, the Self = Self, Spirit, Overman, etc. are: philosophical humanoids.
That’s because ordinary man or man as One is for the philosopher the object of a double operation: he is divided by the philosopher, who is excellent or universal man; he is therefore sub-humanized; then man is redoubled by him, redoubled as both singular and universal, common and philosophizing man. This operation is the absolute condition of every humanism: with every man is associated or connected a philosopher as excellent and universal form of man. Humanism is what the philosopher thinks of man, it is not what man thinks (of) himself. The famous critical slogan “to think by oneself and put oneself in the other’s place” has a very precise real meaning: to double the other by thinking in his stead and for him; and vice versa: to allow myself to be doubled by he who thinks in my stead. This exchange or reciprocity is the real phenomenal content of “communication,” the recognition of the reciprocal mastery and slavery of men.
That which, without being opposed to it, denudes this operatory and techno-logical humanism or reduces it to transcendental Illusion is what we call “vision-in-man,” the transcendental and not aprioric fact (factum) that man thinks, acts, or prescribes on the basis of himself, with his own thought rather than with the aide of some (other) Thing (Reason, Right, etc.) or some Other (thing) (Other person, Unconscious, etc.). Vision-in-man is the affirmation that man has no need for the assistance of predicates to be what he is, no need of the predicate of Reason or of this new predicate after Language, Power, Writing, which is Communication. Man does not think outside of him, with the prisms of Reason or the crutches of a supposedly universal Communication, which is not in any way compared to the radically open space of scientific knowledge. He thinks from his own depths, which is his intrinsic finitude, a sufficient human finitude that is no longer the pathological affection of Reason but an absolute immanent given lived as such by man. From this finite depths, he draws his power of thinking that instead makes use of Reason and Communication as simple occasions. Hardly as tools: that would be a technological absurdity concerning man’s essence. Finite—therefore uni-versal—pragmatics is scientific, its order is not technological and transcendent. By the sufficiency of his finitude, man defines an absolute, ante-communicational sphere of reality more radical than any ante-predicative, the sphere of vision-in-man that lacks nothing, above all Reason.
Rather than a god or a demon, man is the only being that brings science’s reality to the World from the World’s before. Against philosophical divisions, man is the only being that conjugates reality (i.e. indivision) and the transcendental immanence of lived experience. He is defined by a non-decisional lived experience (of) indivision. What we in turn call (with precaution) “transcendental realism” is the “spontaneous philosophy” of man himself, what he thinks of himself before philosophical images or representations. This realism—this reality, rather—certainly does not mean that we have derived transcendent man from philosophy, from humanoid images, from a trait judged as remarkable: Reason, Language, Communication or any other predicate so as to then give him a transcendental function, i.e. here, a function of total unification of experience. This realism is mixed, transcendent as well as transcendental; it is one philosophical position among others and the fully designated adversary of transcendental Idealism. But man himself makes these philosophical positions equivalent or indifferentiates them, he decants from himself the radical identity of his being or his radical and ante-philosophical identity, and then the duality of his essence and his effective existence. It is also necessary to extract the non-self-thetic or the non-self-decisional from its ontological and phenomenological dregs and think him in his human purity.
From this point of view, man particularly invalidates two antithetical philosophical positions. On the one hand, a phenomenological humanism that still associates the “non-self-thetic” with an ontology of transcendence and an intentionality devoting humanism to become what it is: a sub-product of ontology. On the other hand, the deconstruction of that humanism and of other humanisms: man is not the Other man, the real is not the impossible delimiting ontology and phenomenology, it is vision-in-man, i.e. “in itself” or, more exactly, “in-One.” More than an Undeconsstructible, man is that which indifferentiates the undecidable decision of deconstruction and makes it contingent.
“Non-humanism” or vision-in-man
Humanism therefore claims to impregnate man with philosophical images. It wants to fill him with transcendent and maladapted models (transcendence in general, which is made for Cosmos, Physis, Ousia, Duty, etc. but not for man). It associates him with the strength of speculative representations of which he has no need. This Principle of sufficient human (sufficient to…man) leads to submitting man to a capital of philosophical decisions, a capital of sense, truth, and values called “humanist” or meant to guarantee the transformation of man’s essence in accordance with Being, Reason, Spirit, Revolution, etc. A human science of men instead rediscovers man’s power to transform philosophy. And philosophy’s human transformation is more-than-the-inverse of man’s humanist exploitation. This remains to be explained.
Precisely, an analysis of the invariant structures of philosophical decision that does not stop midway, i.e. at transcendence, can only indicate that the immanent phenomenon of the individual—as One—is regularly presupposed by transcendence itself but not elucidated by it; that it is required to make philosophy real and not simply possible, yet without being described itself in its intimate constitution by philosophy. The non-Copernican individual that transcendentally precedes philosophical decision has nothing to do with its anarchist avatar, which is a mode that results from the decomposition of this decision. Only a metaphysical absurdity concerning the One, concerning science, concerning their unity in the subject (of) science can make us believe that the One of vision-in-One is the “transcendental Unity” of philosophies, either its complementary or its empirical double. The individual philosophy—every philosophy, even humanist criticism—thinks about is ontologically a mixture; the man of vision-in-man is this transcendental Idiot whose ante-decisional simplicity has never needed decision.
The ensemble of these new perspectives on man constitute—rather than an anti-humanism—a sort of “non-humanism,” i.e. a science of man more universal than any philosophy that can integrate philosophy as a simple “human phenomenon.” Critical and juridical humanism, for example, is one decision among others (save for the standing reserve of its particularly actual symptom-function), a representation that requires being “rectified” in a knowledge destined to describe vision-in-man itself. The non-humanism that results from this and that is the ensemble of rigorous knowledges relating to man is not the negation of humanism but the effect of the universal space that accompanies man and that can no longer be filled by determined philosophical decisions. Humanism is a restrictive thought of man; it is subtended by a unitary postulate that a science alone can suspend: one and each time one humanist thesis alone, one and each time one humanist decision alone is associated with man. A science of man is founded on the suspension of this postulate, which is not necessary for man’s being, and substitutes another postulate for it: no particular humanist decision necessarily corresponds to man, who is nothing-but-man; or there corresponds to him (albeit as contingent) an infinity of decisions, some of which can be called quite particularly “humanist.”
Vision-in-man is therefore not a new humanism: precisely because it takes man and his immanence, rather than a philosophical decision, as the sole guiding thread. The usage of language, of philosophy, and even of humanist representations can be on this basis re-elaborated in accordance with man’s positive solitude. What does humanist discourse become and what is it worth for man himself insofar as he is affected by it and insofar as he receives it? Humanism, completely obsessed with the project of transforming man in his essence, hardly allows this problem to be posed. Whence the following formula: humanist decision must advene there where man is and thereby be made human.