God-without-Being: definition by An und für sich

For another definition to Laruelle’s dictionary, check out An und für sich’s definition here. Keep it up, and thanks for sending me the missing pages in advance!

By the way, these definitions are an excellent practice in translation techniques and just fun in general, so I encourage everyone who might enjoy it to try their hand at more. At the moment, I may take a break from the dictionary for a short while to focus on Laruelle’s essay “Reflections on the Meaning of Finitude in the Critique of Pure Reason.” It’s only about 14 pages in the French, so I think it should be finished by next week. There is also a Heidegger essay that I’d love to get my hands on….I think both these sorts of translations along with selections from En tant qu’un (non-philosophy explained to philosophers) would go a really long way in making Laruelle’s thought a little less strange (and hostile? perhaps…) to more traditionally oriented philosophers.

Anthony, if you have the latter, you should try your hand at that too…the presentations at the beginning are all around 5 pages…not much more than a definition. Its economy is restrained in a much different way too…

2 thoughts on “God-without-Being: definition by An und für sich

  1. I will for sure try my hand at a few more. Who knows… in a year or so we may have all of them and can have a nice pirated pdf to pass around the internet (though I’m sure Laruelle would be happy for that it would be doubtful to find a publisher for it).

    Technical question – is Laruelle doing something technical with en tant que that should be noted when translating this phrase. It seems to come up more than usual in his writing (maybe I’m wrong about that).

  2. No, you’re actually not wrong about that phrase….in one of the definitions, he stresses [en tant que et non comme tell]…
    which is sorta difficult to translate for a number of reasons.

    I proceeded to say–since it was related to the Other–“this is the Other such as it is and not as such”

    Now, granted, “such as it is” is a very literal rendering, but he was forcing me there to distinguish and point to the French. Usually, the “en tant qu'” is translated as…”as”

    This is adequate most of the time…for example, “en tant qu’un” is As One…

    Now, on the other hand, sometimes when it is used to connect two more or less independent clauses, I have had to translate “en tant que” as “insofar as,” which isn’t the only French phrase that can be rendered that way.

    Now, having said that, I would stress that the use may be technical and maybe even overdone, but insofar as Laruelle is consistent with his claims about syntax taking some sort of primacy in the non-philosophical process, it makes sense that he would grow some attachments to these prepositions and connectors, etc.

    After looking back over the definitions, in the definition of auto-position, he talks about “Philosophizing” being “concentrated in the inasmuch and the as [l’en tant que et le comme]”

    This is a very strange statement…because he takes these two syntactic connectors which are typical of philosophy and turns them into nominatives… now, the comme could be, of course, like–since he’s talking about the Same, so recognition/representation, etc.–and the en tant que could be translated a number of ways, that one definitely not the prettiest in context. But I’ve noticed Brassier using it in some of his translations of Laruelle (yes, I was trying to get some pointers…), and I think that use gathers more of the sense of the equivalence of the same than some of the other renderings..

    Also, going back to “en tant que vs. comme tel”, perhaps the comme tel–the as such–is reminiscent of autoposition, and thus has to be foreclosed for a more suitable rendering… such as it is instead referring to uni-lateral duality…that may be a stretch!

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