Original Research

Speculation, philosophy and the end of religion: Save the name 'God' and the folly of this name as the queen of the sciences or the jester of academia

Johann-Albrecht Meylahn
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 35, No 1 | a811 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v35i1.811 | © 2014 Johann-Albrecht Meylahn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2012 | Published: 17 April 2014


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Abstract

In this article, Meillassoux and Laruelle were brought into conversation with Derrida concerning contingency, temporality, non-philosophy and God. The conversation between Derrida and Meillassoux focused on their respective views on trace and radical contingency, which opened towards reflections on God as either divinology (Meillassoux) or the endless desertification of language (Derrida), thus saving the name ‘God’ and keeping the name safe. One cannot think this desertification of language, ‘God’, without a reflection on khōra. This opened a conversational space with Laruelle’s non-philosophy. One of the major criticisms against Laruelle is that his non-philosophy has no worth in terms of the extra-philosophical (ethical, political or juridical) and the same could be said with regards to khōra and, specifically, Derrida’s interpretation of khōra. Therefore Derrida’s interpretation of khōra with its ‘unilateral’ relation to logos, the giving and receiving of khōra without giving and receiving anything and thus remaining indifferent, were brought into conversation with Laruelle’s unilateral duality. This unilateral duality, although indifferent to philosophy, makes all the difference to logos and thus to philosophy. The question is: what place is given to khōra and/or non-philosophy within academia? Derrida’s God can be interpreted as a kind of autodeconstructive divine violence or holy folly. What place is given to divine violence or holy folly within academia? What is the relation of non-philosophy to philosophy? Is it the non-foundational foundation that remains totally indifferent to philosophy as it does not engage in a dialectical relationship with philosophy and yet it is the theory or science of philosophy? Can academia afford to ‘give place’ to this holy folly, this non-philosophy, this khōratic theo-logic, but on the other hand, can it afford not to ‘give place’ to the queen and/or jester of academia?

Keywords

absolute; deconstruction; Derrida; différance; khōra; Laruelle; Meillassoux; non-philosophy

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