Neofinalism

By Raymond Ruyer. translated by Alyosha Edlebi

Available from University of Minnesota Press

Although little known today, Raymond Ruyer was a post–World War II French philosopher whose works and ideas were significant influences on major thinkers, including Deleuze, Guattari, and Simondon. However, with none of his books available in English, Ruyer has until now generally appeared only as a beguiling reference in the works of more famous philosophers. With the publication of this translation of Neofinalism, considered by many to be Ruyer’s magnum opus, English-language readers can see at last how this seminal mind allied philosophy with science.

Unfazed by the idea of philosophy ending where science began, Ruyer elaborated a singular, nearly unclassifiable metaphysics and reactivated philosophy’s capacity to reflect on its canonical questions: What exists? How are we to account for life? What is the status of subjectivity? And how is freedom possible? Hailed by Deleuze as “the latest disciple of Leibniz,” Ruyer allied philosophy with science in a unique fashion. His work melded new scientific discoveries with philosophical speculation in a way that departed radically from other thinkers in the continental tradition.

Neofinalism offers a systematic and lucidly argued treatise that deploys the innovative concepts of self-survey, form, and absolute surface to fashion a theory of the virtual and the trans-spatial. It also makes a compelling plea for a renewed appreciation of the creative activity that organizes spatiotemporal structures and makes possible the emergence of real beings in a dynamic universe. 

Raymond Ruyer (1902–1987) was a professor of philosophy at the Université de Nancy. He was the author of over twenty books in French, including Elements of Psychobiology, The Genesis of Living Forms, and Cybernetics and the Origin of Information.

Alyosha Edlebi is the translator of Theory of Identities by François Laruelle and Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction by Quentin Meillassoux.