Stop Making (Philosophical) Sense: Notes towards a Process Organizational‐Thinking beyond “Philosophy”

John Mullarkey

in Process, Sensemaking, and Organizing

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594566
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595721 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives on Process Organization

Stop Making (Philosophical) Sense: Notes towards a Process Organizational‐Thinking beyond “Philosophy”

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What happens when a new philosophy emerges from a supposedly non‐philosophical field? Must it follow the norm whereby a form of philosophy is recognized to be at work in this area (by a recognized philosopher, but one operating as an outsider), or by some kind of philosopher manqué (a native within the field) being discovered at work there (by this same outsider)? In other words, can something only be deemed “philosophical” in view of an implied subject who thinks in a particular way, discovering thoughts similar to those found in established positions of philosophy? What, alternatively, would it mean to think of a supposedly non‐philosophy realm, such as process organization theory, as immanently philosophical? This chapter explores the conditions by which, far from merely illustrating or applying extant philosophy (“Theory”), Process Organization Theory might actually be seen to create its own novel philosophical thoughts, immanently. By examining the non‐philosophy forwarded by François Laruelle, and the manner in which time and process resist any attempts to theorize them (to make sense out of them), we will outline a way of seeing process as a kind of resistant thinking (an idea first put forward by Henri Bergson) and, therewith, Process Organization Theory as a new form of philosophy. Interdisciplinary thought, on this view, is not about applying philosophy, but consists in philosophy renewing itself (making itself unrecognizable) by acknowledging how non‐philosophical realms (art, technology, science) might be capable of creating new philosophical thoughts. With that, however, must also come a transformation of what we mean by philosophy and even thought itself.

Keywords: non‐philosophy; Henri Bergson; François Laruelle; Process Organization Theory; Nathan Widder; David Wood; Paul Rabinow

Chapter.  6813 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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