John Mullarkey “How To Behave Like A Philosopher”

John Mullarkey
(Professor in Film and TV, Kingston University, London)
2pm-4pm Friday 1st February 2013
Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, NCAD, Dublin

Newly formed art/theory collective D.U.S.T. (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought) and MA ACW join forces to present John Mullarkey (Professor in Film and TV, Kingston University, London) at NCAD at the beginning of February. Mullarkey will be delivering a talk entitled “How To Behave Like A Philosopher”, the abstract of which is below. While he is in Dublin, he will also be doing a talk at DIT on the Wednesday of the same week. Full details of that can be found on the VAI site.

In this talk I outline one way in which Laruelle’s non-standard philosophy might be introduced – through philosophical behaviourism. Images of ‘posture’ are common throughout Laruelle’s work, with the seemingly literalised use of ‘orientation’, ‘stance’, ‘gesture’, and ‘comportment’ being prevalent in his writings. Such allusions might bring to mind ideas from Ryle, Wittgenstein, Dennett, and even the early Merleau-Ponty, whereby the conscious intent of philosophers (the world each creates) is eliminated in favour of the shared behaviour, or style of thought, they manifest. Yet this would be a philosophical behaviour without ‘behaviourism’ – the overdetermined philosophy of what behaviour is (which is usually reduced to one or two variables). By expanding the notion of behaviour beyond these limits – that is, rendering it non-standard – it can be seen that the concept of philosophical ‘decision’ (the key structural invariant for philosophy, according to Laruelle) is neither intellectual nor voluntary, but a matter of orientation or posture as regards the Real. That said, what non-standard philosophy may ultimately teach, is less a new thought about the Real, or even just about philosophy, but a different category of behaviour as regards other behaviours – a re-orientation that renders behaviour indefinite.