Speaking-in-the-last-instance: Non-Standard Usage, Superposition, and the (H)interlinguistic State

Calum Hazell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper invokes the concept of ‘interlanguage’ towards a new presentation, or ‘postural mutation’ of the operative (super)positionality of François Laruelle’s non-standard approach. Just as, in one way, the coordinates of the non-philosophical paradigm are developed out of superimposing philosophy and science onto one another, following the example of Alexander R. Galloway’s Against the Digital, this paper aims at the superimposition of ‘Laruelle onto [interlanguage]’, for demonstrating the fundamental ‘plasticity’ of the non-standard architecture. Whilst Laruelle is critical of the auto-positioning, or ‘game of positions’, that he identifies as the ‘constitutively reflexive element’ of ‘philosophy’s all-encompassing specularity’, his usage of the concept of ‘superposition’ – drawn from the field of quantum mechanics – names the suite of non-standard procedures through which ‘all possible’ philosophical ‘vocabularies’ and ‘materials’ are ‘reworked’. As Galloway describes, ‘[w]hile in a state of superposition, discrete states superimpose and virtualize into each other, obviating their relative distinction.’ It is according to this non-logic that non-philosophy repurposes the material at hand, such that philosophy is exposed simultaneously to nominally discrete procedures of ‘expansion’ and ‘degrowth’ and that non-philosophy functions as ‘software’ for the philosophical ‘hardware’ that it ‘never enters’ or needs escape.

In its established usage, as David Crystal writes, the concept of an interlanguage names the

‘linguistic system created by someone in the course of learning a foreign language, different from either the speaker’s first language or the target language being acquired. It reflects the learner’s evolving system of rules, and results from a variety of processes, including the influence of the first language (‘transfer’), contrastive inference from the target language, and the overgeneralization of newly encountered rules.’

Here, it is important to remark upon a central aspect of Crystal’s definition from which our discussion of interlanguage should be seen to depart. Whereas this standard explication arranges the speaker’s ‘first language’, the intermediary site of the developmental system, and the ‘target language’ in a teleology of acquisition, this paper develops a reworking of the concept of interlanguage adequate to the engagement of non-standard superpositionality, and as a blueprint for a new model of the latter. Non-standard usage is rendered initially as ‘object’ language for the subject saturated in the ‘auto-speech’ and ‘ventriloquism’ of the ‘philosophical logos’ which is itself rendered both ‘object’ and ‘material’ for ‘suspension’ and remodelisation by the non-philosophical apparatus. This paper then moves to conduct a non-standard experiment upon the concept of interlanguage itself, in order to effectuate and establish its own mutation (as (h)interlanguage.) Ultimately, the ‘symbols’ produced out of this non-standard practice are nominated as ‘non-philosophisable’ vocabulary for the generic subject and ‘verbal and conceptual’ materials of (least) resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTUJ Philosophy Lecture Series
Number of pages12
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
EventFrançois Laruelle and Non-Standard Philosophy: The Path of Least Resistance - Centre Interdisciplinaire d’Étude des Religions et de la Laïcité (CEIRL), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 8 Feb 20199 Feb 2019


ConferenceFrançois Laruelle and Non-Standard Philosophy: The Path of Least Resistance
Internet address

Cite this