Translation of Laruelle’s “The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

Laruelle, François. “La concept d’analyse generalisée ou de ‘non-analyse’”, Revue internationale de philosophie, vol. 43, no. 171, issue 4 (1989), p. 506-524.

The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

The Judaic Turn of Philosophy

            The undoing of philosophy by psychoanalysis seems to animate and traverse the recent history of the former more so than the latter. This is at least how it appears. It is impossible to give a list of the avatars of continental philosophy of this century without taking this struggle as our guiding thread. Primarily a secret struggle—wherein the adversaries are sought out (to the point of excluding Lacan)—then manifested and claimed as such—wherein the adversaries are recognized and in turn take on the role of enforcing the peace. From this point of view, the parties appear more and more equal. Between philosophy and psychoanalysis, it is not a question of a banal combat of positivist mastery or even of a unilaterally philosophical attempt (merely of appropriation, and merely reflexive and hermeneutic, even if this case is produced and represents a spontaneous solution), but of a conflict waged that is sometimes stronger than the adversaries themselves, of a difference that relates them to one another in the greatest distance and through a strategy of reciprocal appropriation and disappropriation (variously balanced according to the authors). This would be a unilateral and already too philosophical interpretation, like that of seeing philosophy alone leading an enterprise of conquest without nuances, and it is not always inversely psychoanalysis that brings with it the charge of alterity, of critique, and perhaps the most powerful deconstruction. The necessity and nature of this combat (superior to the parties in question) are precisely what determine the crossed becomings and command philosophy’s offensive, and not merely defensive, actions. Its most recent history, although non-hermeneutic, is that of the most enduring blows that it has attempted to launch: The History of Sexuality (Foucault), Anti-Oedipus (Deleuze and Guattari), The Postal Card (Derrida) and finally The Genealogy of Psychoanalysis (Henry) manifest an offensive will where philosophy also allows itself, as in every great combat, to be determined by the adversary. In reality this manner, this style of difference, i.e. of struggle with the angel of analysis, a struggle recognized as infinite and taking its nobility from its incapacity to conclude, began at least with Kojéve and Wittgenstein.[1]

It is useless to say that nothing allows foreseeing the treaty of a real peace, even if on Lacan’s side and after him the question of philosophy in analysis and not merely facing it is incessantly re-opened. It is indeed on the background of this combat, which surpasses them and claims to be interested by thought itself, that the particular history of contemporary philosophy must be re-examined and re-evaluated beyond every problematic of cultural “influences.” Perhaps even, going deeper, it is with Freud more so than Wittgenstein that the Judaic turn begins: this is what profoundly determines the philosophy of the 20th century and is still broader, more dissimulated than this combat with analysis, which is in some sense its mise en scène or its primary representation. We put forth the hypothesis that this Judaic turn is philosophy’s point of inexhaustible fecundity after Nietzsche and facing this sword thrust in the Heraclitean river that should remain Rosenzweig’s protestation for quite a while; to commence, for this is to forget, via Heidegger through his reactivation of the “thing in-itself” and a Kantianism impregnated by ethics; to pursue through Wittgenstein then Derrida; to set off again by infinite provocation in the interminable echoes of Levinas; to punctuate the actions of a more or less offensive resistance of Kojéve, Ricœur, Deleuze, Henry.

Whatever these avatars may be, which are of no interest to us here, thought is definitively installed in the mid-place of this Judaic turn; a new economy of relations of philosophical decision and of the Other is determined little by little so as to form the philosophers’ new common sense. Despite the heterogeneity of the possible interpretations of this Judaic provocation which philosophy has only had to internalize once and in general under the form of a turn—the thesis of a turn already being an interpretation internal to philosophy and a way of turning to the Judaic affect in general, in spite of this Greek precedence over the Jewish—it is truly from the point of view of this now infinite struggle that it is possible to access the essence of the “philosophical” such as it is currently and globally practiced: as a problem which is declared to be increasingly impossible. What does that mean?

The philosophical, in the form of what we call the invariant of “philosophical decision”, is the circular combination of the One and of the Dyad (whatever the empirical values of these variables may be), the One’s reciprocal determination and a dyad of immanence and of transcendence. This is to say that it somewhat contains in hollowed-out recesses (from the angle of this transcendence or de-cision) the possibility of a reception and an insertion of the affect of an unrepresentable alterity. This is a complicated insertion, not without damage for the Greco-philosophical and the Judaic, but a combination which can be made, which is increasingly made through a thousand conflicts and artifices and which is made on the faith of an amphibological appearance, the appearance of the identity or sameness of the Other. Between the Other who is (that of the Greco-metaphysical decision) and the Other who “is” not (that of Judaism), there is an appearance of identity reduced to its most empirical forms or data. It suffices to explain the reciprocal fascination that constitutes this Judaic turn wherein philosophy is involved by force, this negotiation with the non-negotiable to which it is led, this will to now consecrate the most inspired of its forces to this conflict.

The unexpected result of this struggle, what now becomes a symptom in the affair, is that philosophy crudely exhibits its destination to auto/hetero-dislocation. This forced will to dislocation of philosophical decision is the most telling theoretical symptom of this Greco-Judaic combat, which is obviously not a becoming-Jewish of philosophizing or its massive invasion by a culture which would have been foreign to its origin, but instead a resistance to the destruction of decision by an affect (of the) Other that would risk being stronger than it. Philosophy has had the force and has sufficiently manifested the artifice for turning this unprecedented type of encounter into a good ordeal, a surmountable ordeal—although it never stops miming its destruction, its dislocation pure and simple and maintaining this dissolution of philosophical decision within boundaries which are still those of the logos. This is a logos which is gnawed at to the end of the rope and distended but which will have resisted the infinite tractions exerted upon it quite well. What is contemporary philosophy if not, in the occasion of its quarrels with psychoanalysis, the demonstration, always recommenced and stronger than the attack, that resists the One despite all the attempts to distend the Dyad or to augment its charge of alterity? Philosophy does not give up: that it is capable of ordeals (by the unconscious, and not merely by language, logic or power) sufficiently proves it. Whence this sensation both that it has only ever been this claim and this demonstration of force, this auto-demonstration (that the One has only ever served to maintain and save the Dyad), and that if psychoanalysis has raised the bar of the ordeal and rendered the task nearly impossible (nearly: for it has made the impossible into the content of the task itself), philosophy is still capable, in an infinite revolving door, to lift this weight which would have been the heaviest.

Apart from new philosophical affects, there is thus no really new thought to be attained from this combat that philosophy leads with itself and now continues through an analysis interposed. No new thought, i.e. and this conclusion is inevitable, no real peace and no really new affect other than the affect of the philosophical. The Judaic would have been able to be—more so than the philosophical—this affect (of the) real, this real as affect. But the fact that it is tied down to philosophy is the proof or symptom that it is still nothing but the affect of the Other, of the real as impossible, not of a nothing-but-real which would no longer allow itself to be measured by the possible. The real is perhaps not the Other: what can be gained by escaping from the Greek amphibology of the real and the possible, of Being and the One, if it is to be thrown into another amphibology which now becomes the rage, that of the real and the impossible, of the One and the Other? For the problem is now this: amphibology (philosophical, analytic, philosophico-analytic, etc.) is perhaps not the only measure of thought; conflict or Greco-Judaic différance is perhaps not the only measure of man; the philosophico-analytic war is perhaps not the only measure of the most precious stakes: man and the knowledge of man.

The Generalization of Analysis

                As for the future of psychoanalysis, its “scientific” future, it is not certain that it is limited to these difficult relations with philosophy, to its exchanges and its blendings with it, not even to a reciprocal intercession or a reciprocal deconstruction. Let us suppose that we desire to “break the history of psychoanalysis in two”. If this project can no longer rigorously be that of philosophy, how would it not be that of a science? In every way—and above all if we can procure the concept of a really human science founded in its object. If the past of analysis is in its relations with philosophy, would not its future be in its new relations to science? And if analysis objects that it is already by itself a science, we will respond: no doubt, but still not veritably a science of man such that it is ultimately founded in its object. It is difficult not to imagine a real bifurcation in the history of analysis on the side of a reformulation (more rigorous and better adapted to its object) of a science of men completely distinct from the “human Sciences”. How to integrate analysis into this new scientific continent, that to which the human being herself should give rise: this is the new problem. Let us suppose that we are about to found and describe this most human science, which would also be, through its capacity to relate to the real, philosophy’s true theoretical successor, then the possibility of a new usage of analysis would probably follow from it. This is a usage that by definition would no longer represent a supplementary philosophical attempt of appropriation or disappropriation and would be a theoretical or scientific and no longer philosophical relation of generalization of this discipline. Integrating analysis into a more universal theory of man, of which it would henceforth represent a particular case or a given, would be to renounce the philosophical “bad generalization” and to distinguish it from a scientific type of generalization. There are perhaps two practices separated toto caelo but which philosophers, always unitary, wish to conflate with the label of epistemology. We will call this usage (this scientific pragmatics of analysis thus generalized within the limits of a really human science and so as to really distinguish it from “restrained” or Freudian analysis) “non-psychoanalysis”. This science would no longer conflate its object—man—with her anthropo-logical avatars or her philosophical modes, even though the ontologico-analytic war, the endlessness of a conflict that makes the adversaries progress in power rather than in the real knowledge of man, would follow a true peace treaty.

There are three possible types of “generalization” of psychoanalysis: 1. cultural, of the “All-psychoanalysis” type, which supposes its real non-importance; 2. philosophical, through reciprocal appropriation and disappropration of the unconscious and consciousness, or even of Being. Philosophical strategies vis-à-vis psychoanalysis are as diverse as philosophies themselves; like the latter, however, they obey invariants that can be identified. The chief of them is in this reciprocity (sometimes convertibility, sometimes reversibility) of Being and of the Unconscious, of the Other-outside-being and of the Other-in-Being; from this point of view, “textual” Deconstruction can pass for an ultra-analytic generalization of the “Unconscious” and of the “Conscious.” 3. lastly, the scientific through the transformation of analysis into a given or a material for a science more powerful than it. Science does not generalize theories in the manner of philosophy, which is what the latter naturally believes. Neither procedure of induction, nor procedure of appropriation by means of a philosophical decision, science a priori universalizes in a wholly other and much more radical way than the philosophical. The philosophical type of universal is always teleologically locked in or in every way associated with a mixture of a generality and a totality, i.e. a teleology (Logos, Reason, Being, Power, Desire, Language, the Unconscious, Communication, etc.); it is a folded and redoubled universal. The scientific universal on the other hand is absolutely deprived of constitutive rational (or other) norms of such a teleological fold. As for the ideological reasons for which the two are conflated, such that one does not access science’s essence as what brings with itself a non-horizontal-ekstatic opening in general but intrinsically or actually infinite, one maintains the epistemological illusion that resides in the conflation or amphibology of the objects of science and of philosophy and also of their universality.

Philosophical space, even opened to or by the Other, affected with breaking or splitting, intrinsically remains folded and thus closed more or less for the long term. This is a unitary space (subordination, subsumption, overassumption, integration, foundation, etc.) of the idealizing reduction or dissolution of science’s reality. Science is a quasi-space devoid of philosophical topologies, decisions and teloi, and precisely because of this it is capable of really transforming a more restrained theory—for example Freudian analysis—into datum-of-knowledge for a more “general” theory which removes nothing of its importance or which does not blunt its scientific point. Contrary to the philosophical and unitary model of the embodiment of theories through the hierarchization of the particular and the general, through an always hierarchizing decision, even and above all when it ends in “forces”—partial objects, flows and full bodies—we distinguish the scientific, non-hierarchical, non-decisional and non-positional model of the articulation of theories that supposes—as we shall see—another usage of theories. There is a pragmatics of theories immanent to the scientific posture. From this point of view, a science of man, far from dulling or ultimately dissolving the virulence and rigor of analysis in arbitrary philosophical teleologies and decisions, conserves them in every way up to delimiting them, but in their own point of view, which is their universal scientific “claim”. If analysis takes its greatest force of being a science rather than a cultural “grand invasion” onto Occidental ground, only another science can harness it without “resisting” it.

Indifference and Resistance

            What are we to do with analysis, with all its historico-systematic forms and not merely its Freudian form? For that, it is necessary, as we said, to define a posture rather than a strategy and a teleology; a posture of absolute non-objectifying respect of the scientific irreducibility and force of analysis, rather than of resistance or even simply of the aggravation of the alterity of the unconscious.

We distinguish between a philosophical resistance to all science, and thus to analysis as a particular case of science, and a non-philosophical, non-idealizing or rather “realizing” or “materializing” reduction of a more restrained scientific theory by a more general science. This materializing reduction (to the state of given or material) no longer proceeds by philosophical difference, interest, care or concern for…, but on the contrary through the radical suspension or indifference-indifferentiation of theories which then become inert or sterile not from their point of view, but only from the point of view of this more general theory into which they now enter as material-of-knowledge. There is a scientific indifference, a general scientific power of indifferentiation of theories whose analytic “neutrality” is a particular or restrained case. We shall thus carefully distinguish between 1. a philosophical resistance to analysis; it is resistance to science alone, if at least it does not want to be an inessential phenomenon tied to a conflict of cultural forces, a hypothesis that we exclude here as lacking real importance; 2. a “generalizing” indifference, which is itself of a scientific origin and completely foreign to resistance; this is not even a “resistance to resistance” (for example of philosophy); it has none of the traits of resistance which is always of an other-than-scientific origin and is addressed to scientific universality; 3. analytic neutrality, which is the means against resistance (whether philosophical or not), is in turn resistance to a more general science or analysis, yet a resistance which is slightly distinct from the philosophical: it is founded in an indifference that is still too restrained due to its inevitable philosophical overdetermination and the presuppositions-of-transcendence that the latter conveys.

It belongs to this new science of man[2] to thus define an expanded or generalized concept of resistance, such that “classical” analysis, which should more rigorously be called “restrained,” still fails to do because of its transcendent presuppositions. For such a science, the affect of the (relative) absolute Other, which is the real content of the Unconscious (along with its intrications with consciousness), is no doubt not entirely such a transcendent presupposition, because a science also accedes to such an affect, but it necessarily combines with a transcendence of this philosophical genre (re-divided and re-doubled, transcendence-in-transcendence, etc.) and sometimes, in certain slightly rigorous interpretations of analysis, a merely cultural and technological genre, a synthesis (without rigorous foundation) of cultural and technical teleologies. It is impossible for a philosophical decision to renounce this combat (which gives to analysis the faceless-face of the angel and sometimes of the saint) and to return to the ordeal of the Other in the limits of simple humanity. Only another science can demonstrate that the most enduring concept of the Unconscious, although more scientific than philosophical, still contains a transcendent and thus arbitrary determination; no doubt efficacious in its way, but without rigor or real foundation; a techno-cultural efficacity which therefore has nothing to do with the real transformation of the effectivity science is capable of.

Science reduces effective psychoanalysis, such as it is spontaneously thought and practiced on this transcendent basis, to the state of simple dimension of human phenomena. These are never brute phenomena, for they are absolutely primitive and undecidable mixtures of mathematizable facts and philosophical interpretations or decisions which are without reality and which only have the efficacy of teleologies. Thus a human science does not invalidate analysis in the sense that a philosophy is always tempted to (inhibit it, prevent it, dull it, hierarchically legitimate it, substitute its real object for a philosophical object which always stems from a crystallized knowledge or decision, etc.). And from this point of view the reconstitution of a mixture is definitively impossible under the form of networks, interconnections, intercession, in breaks of ruptures or différances, of philosophy and analysis, as analysts are despite everything always obliged to resolve so as to give credit to the good will of the alterity of contemporary philosophies. Making of these blendings something other than a simple given or material for a science, again giving in to the unitary drive that dreams of transforming these givens into the essence of science and thus constituting them into the theoretical conditions of their self-knowledge: this all the more shows the force of the Principle of sufficient philosophy and of the offshoot that it engenders: sufficient analysis (sufficient to man).

Is it then once again a question of constituting philosophy despite everything into the guardian of analytic innocence menaced by the returns of the metaphysical repressed? More simply: it belongs to science alone to “protect” science and to equalize (against every particular theory) a theoretical space even more universal and abstract, this abstract universality by definition not being measured by the capacity to accumulate objects and multiply theories by one another. This protection of science by itself under the form of a radical universalization turned against all its restrained forms (including its forms in a “totalizing” mode) is no doubt equivalent to this generalized analysis, but more rigorously to what we call a dualysis. And the dualysis of restrained analysis, of the analysts themselves, transforms it into generalized analysis. Generalized analysis is dualysis specified and over-determined by the material of restrained analysis.

The Objective Analytic Appearance

            Psychoanalysis is founded on the functional requisition of transcendent entities: Consciousness, the Unconscious, Self, Other, etc. without ever asking how such entities are received and lived by man as real or immanent subject of the science of man. Psychoanalysis presupposes the latter, but in a form which is itself transcendent. It is globally a technology of the Unconscious rather than a science of it. Hence the project of an immanent pragmatics, i.e. by and for the subject (of) science alone, in opposition to this transcendent pragmatics of the Unconscious, which is what analysis is currently. Analysis reposes on a non-founded axiom, if not founded by philosophical authority, which is the Principal of sufficient Consciousness, a sufficiency of the Conscious supposed to co-determine the essence of man. Even if the Unconscious does not derive from a simple negation of the Conscious, it forms a system with it, or with Being, etc. The subject (of) science uproots this principle and returns it to inessentiality, just as it returns the Conscious and the “restrained” Unconscious to the contingency of simple givens.

In reality, there is no unique-and-divided subject but a double heterogeneous givenness of the subject, or two givennesses original each time due to their respective mode of phenomenalization of a subject. On the one hand, the subject (of) science which supposes a radically immanent phenomenalization yet distinct from the Conscious and the Unconscious. From this point of view, science is neither an avatar of Conscious nor the Unconscious: it is non-decisional and non-positional (of) self. On the other hand, the subjected or cracked and cloven subject of philosophical decision, or even—but not only—of the Unconscious in the restrained and transcendent sense. The conflation of these two subjects in every psychoanalysis (even in ones that pose the question of the subject) is a type of philosophical amphibology and remains foreign to the spirit of science. With science the distinction is radical or dual, without the teleology or unitary re-closure of the subject (of) science and the subjected subject of philosophy, since the latter is a simple inert material for the former.

There is an objective appearance of the Unconscious in its transcendent and dogmatic form, an objective psychoanalytic Appearance in which restrained analytic practice is founded and which is more profound than any psychological, anthropological, sociological recuperation of analysis, etc. From this point of view, the equivalent of the factum or mixed fact, of the empirico-rational doublet that philosophies are given by presupposing their own transcendent existence, are here symptoms as productions of the Unconscious in the Conscious. But symptoms are still here utilized in accordance with this objective analytic Appearance. Conflated with it, they are supposed to contain—in approximation with an analysis, or with one analyst or another—the science of themselves at least in “outline”. Neither the analyst’s position nor transference nor what can already break every dual or specular relation suffices to obligate analysis to renounce this mythical identity, this sameness of the symptom and of the science of the symptom. On the other hand, a science of man and a non-psychoanalysis achieve dualyzing the symptom and its science without remainder. Non-psychoanalysis is rooted in the subject (of) science rather than in the subject—of the—symptom, and this latter subject is simply reduced to the state of given, which is no doubt analytic but has become “analytically” inert or sterile. The subject (of) science is the veritable “analyst” in what we call “non-analysis”, and there is no non-analyst except to be “identified” with this subject and its immanent posture. As for the symptom or the subjected subject, barred by philosophical decision or the restrained analytic decision, it has to come to the universal site of the Unconscious which we will soon define as the correlate of the subject (of) science, to be replaced by the latter and to be really transformed into the means of the knowledge of the subject (of) science, which is everything that can still serve the Unconscious once it has been purged by science, thus what one comes to see in its transcendent goals and concepts and which is generalized or which has become the immanent affect (of) an absolute loss or even (of) what we call a “uni-lateralization.” Transference consists in “bending-back” the unilaterality (of) the Unconscious through an imaginary identification that is also a denial of the subject (of) science. But its real content is simply this emplacement of the (subjected or “restrained”) subject by the generalized Unconscious.

The Generalized Unconscious and the Immanent Phenomenon of Loss

            “Non-psychoanalysis” is the science of men itself, but specified and overdetermined by psychoanalysis which serves simultaneously as its condition of existence and its material. As a scientific generalization of analysis, it definitively detaches the latter from the sphere of culture. In effect, the science of men[3] possesses aprioritic structures in the form of a purely immanent experience of the a priori. Among these a prioris, there are those of objectivity, including that of Transcendence called “non-thetic”, the a priori of a non-decisional and non-decisional affect (of) transcendence or of alterity. In order to re-insert restrained analysis into its generalized form, it then suffices to work on the signifier (for example), its logico-linguistic concept (which remains decisional and positional (of) self) in accordance with this non-thetic Other. The non-thetic Other is the means of this real transformation of the Other, in the same way that a “non-thetic Position”, another a priori of every science, allows to work on and reduce (as still transcendent or external and limitative) what subsists of philosophical positionality in the concept of the Unconscious. Inversely, as we said, the restrained analytic material operates not only as a simple given for the science that “extracts” these a prioris from it (this is the “dualysis” of the Unconscious) but also as what necessarily overdetermines them and forms their condition of existence.

Instead of philosophically re-mixing the Unconscious with Being (its withdrawal, its standing-reserve, its difference) and therefore renouncing like contemporary thought to release it from its shackles which are decision and position, its dualysis really transforms them or extracts its real kernel outside every philosophical decision and position, which only serve to overdetermine it but no longer to determine it. Instead of the Unconscious as detour, standing-reserve, angle, breaking, discrepancy, différance, etc., which are all determinations that remain inserted between decision and position, the science of man manifests and describes in two unlimited games the affect (of) An Other absolutely non-decisional and non-positional (of) self. A qualitatively new extension of the Unconscious, of the Other who exists as immanent (not psychological) affect of pure transcendence or exteriority, but who “is” not himself or who is not transcendent. A science founded in man’s immanent being therefore introduces psychoanalysis to the experience of the most uncontestable Unconscious, gives it its real object in the form of this Unconscious which, far from being determined culturally and religiously, or even mechanically and biologically, or even linguistically and logically, now is determined by a “formal” and purely aprioritic trait (which we shall describe), by an absolutely immanent requirement which is what we call “unilateralization.” The phenomenal (real-aprioritic) content of the Unconscious is this power of uni-lateralization exerted by the real, by man and his essence, upon the restrictive forms of the Unconscious and of the surrounding “concepts.” And uni-lateralization is equivalent with this irreversible indifferentiation, with this rejection of the restrained unconscious as unreal and transcendent, with this neutralizing reduction by indifference.

The restrained or psychoanalytic Unconscious is an affect of loss, but of a loss which is itself lost, which divides itself and redoubles itself, which is itself re-given or even teleologically reproduced. Freud’s restrained analysis can only go to the point of a half-loss, just as it comes to the point of a half-rediscovery. Uni-laterality, which is the phenomenal reality of the Unconscious, is on the contrary absolute loss or loss as such. Absolute: because it loses the Absolute itself, the One-real of man or the subject (of) science, which is not an object, that for which in reality it does not lose the absolute; because it is thus above all the absolute (of) loss, the absolute-loss or loss as such, that which does not recover itself or find itself again. The generalized Unconscious is the affect (of) loss, the a priori but immanent phenomenon (of) a loss without object. A loss lived as such by the subject rather than a loss affecting a subject. And if loss is an absolute and positive affect where “nothing”, neither object nor world, neither being nor Being is lost, it signifies that there is nothing to find again or make return. There is a jouissance itself (of) loss, a non-thetic jouissance of the Unconscious where everything is suspended without having to return and is thus lived in an immanent way in conformity with what is specific to man’s essence. This is why all the various heterogeneous forms of return—the return of the lost object, the return of the repressed, transference itself—, all while remaining what they are in the effectivity of the phenomenal sphere of psychoanalysis, manage to become positive hallucinations, full appearances this time from the point of view of the real of man or the subject (of) science. Losses that are nothing but losses without anything being transferred are immanent or radical lived experiences of the subject (of) science. The subject (of) science is not affected by loss but keeps it beyond any fulfillment.

The passage from restrained analysis to its generalized or non-analytic form has two effects. The first is that the Unconscious definitively loses its first transcendence, its hierarchical type of priority, which is very close to that of Being for example and to a philosophical type of hierarchy. It becomes second because, although constituted by an absolute Other, it is founded—but certainly not like in a Consciousness or a Being—in the non-decisional subject (of) science, which is something wholly other. In effect, it cannot be a question of depriving the Unconscious of its transcendence, at least of what is redoubled or folded, of its philosophical (and not merely biological or linguistic) cumbersomeness, if this would still be to posit it as second in relation to the Conscious which would be conserved: this would be a simple philosophical reversal of analysis. It is only in relation to the subject (of) science, to man in his essence-of-the-One, which is no longer the Conscious but an ordeal or affect non-decisional and non-positional (of) self that is deposed and constrained to become the second instance which is suitable to the Other, and above all to the non-thetic Other.

The dogmatism and transcendent realism of psychoanalysis are definitively liquidated by this foundation of the Unconscious in the subject (of) science or in man, a non-metaphysical foundation because man is here this real ante-conscious kernel that determines the Unconscious only in the last instance. For, fully understood, the Unconscious can only be in turn determined if it is determined otherwise, by other laws, than it can itself enact: precisely by a determination in the last instance, i.e. purely real, undivided, irreversible or non-reciprocal. This completely “passive” causality of man upon the Unconscious is thus no longer that of the conscious or of the philosophical in general.

The second effect of this generalization is that the Unconscious itself is generalized or universalized in a scientific and no longer philosophical mode (Being, the logico-linguistic Signifier, Différance, desiring machines, etc.). The Unconscious will have been purged of its mechanistic imagery only to be fulfilled by philosophers disguised as analysts, by a logico-linguistic and topological imagery. These empirical contents or these transcendent models, extracted from knowledges selected from science’s process, function like artifacts through which restrained analysis conceals the unbearable quality of absolute loss. Generalized in accordance with the subject (of) science, it is on the other hand emptied of its local transcendent contents, of its cultural and provincial representations as well as of its topologies. Continuing to fill it and ballast it with the logico-linguistic rather than imagery, or with transcendental topologies rather than Oedipal triangularity, with effectivity in general, is to remain in a divided/refolded concept of the Unconscious and is not to attain its simplest and most abstract universality, its most actual infinity. If it is not familialism that should be detached from the Unconscious, then it would be “philosophism” itself and in its greatest extension. What’s the point in de-Oedipalizing desire if only to machine it, to fold it to the ultimate restrictive code of desiring machines or to the last fold of “difference”? This combat within philosophy has nothing to do with the scientific safeguarding of analysis and of its real object. If the Unconscious knows neither contradiction nor logic, it will no longer know philosophy, which is an internalizing construction on logic and is inseparable from the latter. Neither formal logic nor combinatory logic, neither logos nor onto-logic, the Unconscious is “hopelessly” empty. It is not a question of again filling it with these substitutes of the imaginary or of the socio-structural. Rather than the last wound, the wound in the last instance or the real wound. And this is not what the Unconscious inflicts upon the Conscious, but what science does to this Unconscious still too full of metaphysical substitutes and transcendent objects; it wounds the residual narcissism of psychoanalysis.

The Concept of “Non-Analysis” and “Pragmatics of the Unconscious”

            Non-analysis implies a radical extension of the “psychoanalyzable” such as it is defined by psychoanalysis. Whereas the latter delimits it in all its contents (the Unconscious, the subject, the cure, the imaginary, etc.) by a system of decisions, reference points, divisions and procedures which all return to exclude a non-analyzable (even a psychoanalysis of psychoanalysis must reserve the rights of a non-analyzable, of an impossible-to-analyze), a generalized analysis necessarily re-introduces into the sphere of analysis everything excluded, therefore psychoanalysis itself and as such with the ensemble of its decisions of the “non-analyzable.” Non-analysis is the only analysis by right—dualysis—of psychoanalysis itself. It alone can generalize the symptom-form, which is necessarily auto/hetero-limitative, and substitute for it the non-thetic material-form on the one hand and the non-thetic objectivity-form on the other. Since both of these forms are non-thetic, they are released from the internal limitations of the “symptom” and can therefore now contain psychoanalysis itself without the least “reserve,” “margin” or “withdrawal” that still affects the symptom from within. Everything therefore re-enters—with psychoanalysis itself—into a universal materiality. The symptom is no longer merely the form of what is analyzable, it is this very form that constitutes the new material of non-analysis. The latter is thus not a refusal or negation of psychoanalysis, but solely the metaphysical limits that it gives to itself. The closure of the Unconscious by the symptom-form in turn falls into the generalized Unconscious, and this symptom-form (including the other “forms”) is no longer merely the object of a displacement and of a restrained analysis, but of an emplacement by the universal or abstract Unconscious and of a dualysis that transforms it into simple material. Thus everything is dualyzable, even “Freudian” psychoanalysis.

And this is why non-analysis, as the scientific generalization of analysis, is neither a super-analysis (in the manner of Wittgenstein) nor a meta-analysis, neither a hetero-analysis nor a deconstruction, which are all philosophical generalizations and thus always restrained or restrictive by definition. Non-analysis derives from science and the subject (of) science, not from analysis itself (duplicating it, redoubling it, deconstructing it). Non-analysis considers restrained analysis as a simple given, a function required by the science of man, such that what absolutely distinguishes it from this restrained analysis left to itself is the fact that it primarily suspends the latter’s pretension, reduces its previous validity to the state of simple belief and brackets the Principle of sufficient analysis. Whereas super-analysis, schizo-analysis, hetero-analysis, etc. begin by admitting the validity of restrained analysis for man’s essence and only denounce its illusion by supposing it to be still constitutive of man’s being despite everything, non-analysis supposes it from the start as lacking value for this being herself, for the subject (of) science, and confines it within the functions of “objective givens”. Non-analysis marks the end of analytic Authorities and the reality of Minorities, of the minoritarian style in analysis, a style that schizo-analysis and super-analysis have both lacked. Freud’s discovery had been simply internalized to the concept and raised up, or intensified, or deferred and relayed, but always on the basis of this belief in its humanly unavoidable character, which is precisely what non-analysis uproots in a definitive way.

From this point of view, although generalized analysis presents the appearance of a return to man, it is obviously not a question of a “humanist” revenge upon the Unconscious, which we have deprived of the Copernican subject. There is thus no return there, which is instead a departure in the reality of man, a taking root of the Unconscious in the vision-of-man or subject (of) science, which is the goal of every humanist pretention. Despite this non-teleological “humanization” of analysis, its real or human transformation, there is nevertheless no return to the psyche, and the destruction of every psychological point of view goes hand in hand with the destruction of meta-psychology. If absolutely necessary and if one intends to conserve the reference to the psyche, then it would be a question of a hyper-psychology. And if the Freudian Unconscious and its avatars remain somewhat analogous to an analytic imagery, the generalized or abstract, de-logicized and even de-philosophized Unconscious is the discovery of a hyper-psychological dimension.

What do we ultimately do with psychoanalysis, the object of so many desires? And why is it in any case a question of continuing to practice it despite its insertion into a more encompassing science? To avoid any misunderstanding on what has preceded and also for us to define it in relation to its philosophical neighbors, let us redesign (a little otherwise) the entire project of what we call “non-analysis” rather than “non-Freudian” analysis .

The proposed generalization of psychoanalysis above all does not end in the abandon of its current practice and theorization. Both must be pursued, but in the limits of the suspension of analytic sufficiency within the bracketing of its claim to be a “guiding” human science and above all the most adequate science of man. It is not in the intention of the preceding attempt to limit it, but instead—this is its very contrary—of delivering it, thanks to this new type of limitation, from its internal limitation which is conflated with this belief that instead arises (and this is seen when man’s essence has been elucidated for itself) from a transcendental appearance. The real kernel of psychoanalysis must be extracted from the latter and saved from its hasty appropriations. There are two sorts of these, and they are the two solutions that we avoid: 1. Its philosophical reappropriations, which can do nothing but make it lose its practical and theoretical efficacy; 2. its mathematizations, combinatory or topological, which are still a way—this time in reality proper to the human Sciences—of capturing it and restraining it without leaving it its largest space of deployment. From this latter angle, it is involved in a becoming-“human sciences” after having been forced into a becoming-“philosophy.”

Perhaps it will be said that this mathematization of analysis is the only solution which allows the renunciation of its philosophical interpretations, and that this is precisely the way to avoid letting it return to the rank of the human Sciences. It is nothing of the sort; this type of auxiliary mathematization (total, it would simply dissolve psychoanalysis) is specific to the human Sciences and is to go from Charybdis to Scylla only to avoid interpretation for the matheme. The solution proposed is of a wholly other nature: the becoming-science of analysis does not necessarily pass through a mathematization, which is certainly always possible, but through its insertion under the conditions of a general science of man which would not be devoted to any particular application and which would be the means of its really scientific generalization. Psychoanalysis is already a science or at least a rigorous knowledge of its object without being mathematized, and it can only become a real science if it is related to the essence of all science and if this essence is inscribed in its ultimate foundations.

The good generalization of analytic theory and analytic practice cannot find its necessary condition in mathematics: first, most rigorously, it would be necessary to have elucidated the essence that makes of mathematics a science, rather than having decreed, like philosophers do, that it is the model and necessary instrument of every science possible. On the contrary, this elucidation necessarily hearkens back to an essence of science whose thematization and description comprise the main content of a general science that is the only possible science of man. The universalization of analysis supposes to plunge it such as it is—without dismembering it and without interpreting it—into this general science of man. It is a question of acquiring, as has been attempted, the concept of a really empty Unconscious, i.e. the scientific concept of an Unconscious dispossessed of the matheme itself after having been dispossessed of philosophical teleologies. It is a question of dualyzing rather than mathematizing. This is obviously the only way to no longer claim to intervene effectively from the exterior into analytic practice in the name of local and regional theories or knowledges that once again (hastily and prematurely) would have been instituted in the essence of science and, therefore, of the science of man.

The scientific generalization of an existing discipline cannot have the form that philosophers habitually imagine, the form of an amphibology: that of a particular science or knowledge constituted with science’s essence, which is nevertheless a wholly other thing. The real movement of scientific generalization is the other way around: instead of transferring a local regional knowledge into the essence of science, a regional science is constituted on the real base of the essence of science and on the basis of the latter. It is necessary to stop reflecting a constituted discipline—for example mathematics—into another with the goal of constituting said discipline into a science. For example, to acquire the concept of a science of man in the broadest generality, it is advisable to set off from the essence of science and from the type of generality specific to it and which we have attempted, for example, a propos of the Unconscious. Every other procedure is circular and vicious and a priori dissolves science’s reality, which one wanted to ground, into the philosophical possible. To render psychoanalysis fully scientific is to think it under the conditions of this generalization of knowledge that lacks a common measure with the “generalization” and “totality” proper to the philosophical style. In this way one integrates analysis into the continent of a science of man—science, which analysis isn’t, but upon the generality from which it can extract a trait necessary to its existence. Such a general science of man does not program particular applications, although it utilizes—but only, as we have seen, as material and occasion—all the existing human sciences. Precisely because the latter are no longer reflected in the essence of science and this science of man, they are simultaneously safeguarded in their specific and relative autonomy. Only a science, for example, can let psychoanalysis be without resisting it through its philosophical objectification or believing to transform it into a science through the importation of regional mathematical means chosen in an arbitrary way and imposed by a scientific forcing. Psychoanalysis must advene where man exists as subject (of) science.


[1] P.L. Assoun’s exemplary work Freud and Wittgenstein (PUF) explores the knotted complexity of these relations. See also D. Nicolet, Wittgenstein disciple de Freud, in La decision philosophique, no. 3 (Osiris).

[2] On its concept, cf. La decision philosophique, no. 7 and 9 (Osiris).

[3] Cf. Philosophy and Non-Philosophy (Univocal, 2013) and La decision philosophique, no. 7 (1988) and 9 (1989) (Osiris).

5 thoughts on “Translation of Laruelle’s “The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

  1. Pingback: Laruelle Bibliography (English & French) | Linguistic Capital

    • Hey Eilif,

      Thanks, I hope that you can get something out of it :). Although Buber doesn’t show up in the essay per se, and although he’s not necessarily in the lineage of pscyhoanalysis, he does stand in the Judaic tradition that Laruelle evokes here. For Laruelle, I’m not sure how much he’s concerned with Buber himself, but the influence of Buber on Levinas is well documented, and it would be the latter that Laruelle will speak of more definitively, especially concerning his ‘difference’ from and/or proximity to Derrida. This, for example, is taken up more explicitly (i.e. Levinas/Derrida) in a section of chapter 6 in Philosophy and Non-Philosophy (which will be coming out in translation in the next week or two). It should also be noted that Laruelle edited a volume of essays on Laruelle (1980), and I wouldn’t be surprised that Buber’s name shows up in there, although I haven’t read Laruelle’s own text from that collection to know whether or not Laruelle himself references Buber there (I’m doubtful, but that’s not the most important question).

  2. Pingback: Non-Philosophy in Translation | Fractal Ontology

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