Gilles Deleuze and Communication Studies - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication
5 days ago [BOOK] Gilles Deleuze Difference And R PDF Book is the book you are looking for, by download Gilles Deleuze Difference And Repetition Translated By Paul Patton COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS NEW YORK Deleuze, Gilles | Internet Encyclopedia Of Philosophy Name Date Class LESSON The Cambridge Companion to Deleuze - edited by Daniel W. Smith September Print publication year: ; Online publication date: December May 23, Deleuze conceived of philosophy as the production of concepts, In his magnum opus Difference and Repetition, he tries to develop a Academic Tools ; Other Internet Resources; Related Entries is the success of a number of conferences in Asia (to date, Taiwan, India, Singapore, and South Korea).
He was the son of an conservative, anti-Semitic engineer, a veteran of World War I. Deleuze's brother was arrested by Germans during the Nazi occupation of France for alleged resistance activities, and died on the way to Auschwitz. Due to his families' lack of money, Deleuze was schooled at a public school before the war. When the Germans invaded France, Deleuze was on vacation in Normandy and spent a year being schooled there.
In Normandy, he was inspired by a teacher, under whose influence he read Gide, Baudelaire and others, becoming for the first time interested in his studies. In a late interview, he states that after this experience, he never had any trouble academically.
His first book, Empiricism and Subjectivity, on David Hume, was published inwhen he was Over the next ten years, Deleuze held a number of assistant teaching positions in French universities, publishing his important text on Nietzsche Nietzsche and Philosophy in It was also around this time that he met Michel Foucault, with whom he had a long and important friendship.
When Foucault died, Deleuze dedicated a book-length study to his work Foucault InDeleuze's doctoral thesis, comprising of Difference and Repetition and Expressionism in Philosophy: This was also the period of the first major incidence of pulmonary illness that would plague Deleuze for the rest of his life. InDeleuze took up a teaching post at the 'experimental' University of Paris VII, where he taught until his retirement in These texts were considered by many including Deleuze to be an expression in part of the political ferment in France during May During the seventies, Deleuze was politically active in a number of causes, including membership in the Groupe d'information sur les prisons formed, with others, by Michel Foucaultand had an engaged concern with homosexual rights and the Palestinian liberation movement.
Deleuze's final collaboration with Guattari, What is Philosophy? Deleuze's last book, a collection of essays on literature and related philosophical questions, Essays Critical and Clinical, was published in Deleuze's pulmonary illness, byhad confined him quite severely, even making it difficult for him to write.
He took his own life on November 4th, The History Of Philosophy Deleuze's whole intellectual trajectory can be traced by his shifting relationship to the history of philosophy.
While in later years, he became quite critical of both the style of thought implied in narrow reproductions of past thinkers and the institutional pressures to think on this basis, Deleuze never lost any enthusiasm for writing books about other philosophers, if in a new way. Most of his publications contain the name of another philosopher as part of the title: Deleuze expresses two main problems with the traditional style and institutional location of the history of philosophy.
The first concerns a politics of the tradition: The history of philosophy has always been the agent of power in philosophy, and even in thought. It has played the repressors role: A formidable school of intimidation which manufactures specialists in thought - but which also makes those who stay outside conform all the more to this specialism which they despise.
An image of thought called philosophy has been formed historically and it effectively stops people from thinking. D 13 This hegemony of thought recurrently comes under attack later in Deleuze's career, notably in What is Philosophy?
This criticism also sits well with a general theme throughout his writings, which is the immediate politicisation of all thought.
Philosophy and its history is not separated from the fortunes of the wider world, for Deleuze, but intimately linked to it, and to the forces at work there. The second criticism directed at the traditional style of history of philosophy, the construction of specialists and expertise, leads directly to the foremost positive aspect of Deleuze's particular method: The philosopher creates, he doesn't reflect. The history of philosophy isn't a particularly reflective discipline.
It's rather like portraiture in painting. Producing mental, conceptual portraits. As in painting, you have to create a likeness, but in a different material: N Perhaps such a method does not seem extremely creative, or perhaps only in a relatively passive sense.
For Deleuze, however, the history of philosophy also embraces a much more active, constructive sense. Each reading of a philosopher, an artist, a writer should be undertaken, Deleuze tells us, in order to provide an impetus for creating new concepts that do not pre-exist DR vii.
Thus the works that Deleuze studies are seen by him as inspirational, but also as a resource, from which the philosopher can gather the concepts that seem the most useful and give them a new life, along with the force to develop new, non-preexistent concepts. In an important sense, Deleuze's whole modus operandi is based in this revaluation of the role of other thinkers, and the means by which one can use them: In any case, new concepts are derived from others' works, or old ones are recreated or 'awakened', and put to a new service.
Kant and Leibniz Deleuze's book on Kanthis third publication in general conforms with the standards of an academic philosophical study. Aside from its surprising breadth, covering as it does all three of Kant's Critiques in a slender volume, it focuses on a problem that is clearly of concern to both Kant himself and the traditional reading of his work, that of the relationship between the faculties. Deleuze himself, later reflecting on Kant's Critical Philosophy, distinguishes it from the other, more constructivist historical studies: My book on Kant's different; I like it, I did it as a book about an enemy that tries to show how his system works, its various cogs - the tribunal of Reason, the legitimate exercises of the faculties.
N 6 There are, however, some distinctively creative elements even to this apparently sober study, which reflect Deleuze's general interests, two in particular.
In this text on Kant, these reveal themselves by way of emphasis, rather than out-and-out creation. The first of these is his emphasis on Kant's rejections of transcendentality at key points in the Critiques, in favour of a generalised pragmatism of reason. While Deleuze himself locates in Kant the development of the concept of the transcendental at the root of modern philosophy DRhe is quick to insist that, even as transcendental faculties in Kant, understanding, reason and imagination act only in an immanent fashion to achieve their own ends: The Critique of Pure Reason thus condemns the transcendent employment of a speculative reason which claims to legislate by itself; the Critique of Practical Reason condemns the transcendent employment of practical reason which, instead of legislating by itself, lets itself be empirically conditioned.
KCP ; NP 91 Deleuze, then, insists on the critical activity of Kant's philosophy as not only a critique of reason used wrongly, but specifies this critique in pragmatic and empiricist terms. The second Deleuzian feature of Kant's Critical Philosophy is its insistence on the creative and affirmative nature of the Critique of Judgement. This runs counter not just to a number of Kant scholars, who suggest that the third Critique is a defected work as a result of Kant's age and decaying mental abilities when he wrote it, but also other prominent French philosophers of Deleuze's generation, notably Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jacques Derridawho both consider this text primarily in terms of its aporetic nature.
Deleuze, to the contrary, insists on its central importance to Kant's philosophy. He argues not only that there are conflicts between the activity of the faculties, and thus between the first two Critiques, a moot point in reading Kant, but that the Critique of Judgement solves this problem already a controversial perspective by positing a genesis of free accord between the faculties deeper than their conflicts.
Not only are the struggles between the faculties not insoluble: When we turn to consider a much later text, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, we find Deleuze's constructivist practice of the history of philosophy developed to its fullest.
This text is not only a "portrait" of Leibniz's thought, but uses concepts drawn from it, along with new concepts based in a philosophical 'take' on mathematics, art, and music, to characterise the Baroque period, and indeed vice versa. LeibnizDeleuze argues, is the philosopher whose point of view can be best used to understand the Baroque period, and Baroque architecture, music and art give us a unique and illuminating vantage point for reading Leibniz.
In fact, one of the more astonishing claims that Deleuze makes is that the one cannot be understood properly without the other: It is impossible to understand the Leibnizian monad, and its light-mirror-point of view-interior decoration system, if we do not come to terms with these elements in Baroque architecture.
FLB 39; translation altered How is such a statement to be demonstrated? Instead of claiming that in fact there is an a priori link between Leibniz and the Baroque, Deleuze creates a new concept, and reads both of them through it: In keeping with Leibniz's theory of the monad, that the whole universe is contained within each being, like the Baroque church, Deleuze argues that the process of folding constitutes the basic unit of existence.
While there are elements of the fold already in Leibniz and the architecture and art of the period, as Deleuze points out Nit gains a new consistency and significance when used as a creative term in this manner. Throughout the book, and later, in Foucault, Deleuze uses the concept of the fold to describe the nature of the human subject as the outside folded in: In addition, in The Fold, we see a remarkable cross-section of Deleuze's whole work, expressed in a new way through the material that he analyses.
Chapters 4 and 6 give a succinct formulation of the relationship between the event and the subject one of Deleuze's perennial interestswhich leads to a new formulation of the nature of sufficient reason in line with Deleuze's concept of the virtual.
We also see a return to the question of the body that he examines with Guattari in Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Deleuze thus provides a reading of Leibniz that strikes the reader as eccentric and certainly at odds with the traditional approach, and yet which holds to both the text in all his historical studies, Deleuze cites quite exhaustivelyand to the new direction that he is working in.
I have always felt that I am an empiricist. N 88; WP 7 One can see that such a definition of empiricism differs sharply, at least apparently, from the traditional understanding canonised by Anglo-American histories of philosophy. Such a history would have us believe that empiricism is above all the doctrine that whatever knowledge that we possess is derived from the senses and the senses alone - the well-known rejection of innate ideas.
Modern views of science embrace such a doctrine, and apply it as a tool to derive facts about the physical world. Deleuze's empiricism is both an extreme radicalisation and rejection of this sense-data model: Rather, it takes a standpoint regarding the transcendental in general. Writing of Hume, he states that, We can now see the special ground of empiricism: To return to the citation from the Dialogues, there are two aspects of Deleuze's empiricist philosophy.
The first is the rejection of all transcendentals, but the second is an active element: In terms of philosophy, the creation par excellence is the creation of concepts: On the contrary, it undertakes the most insane creation of concepts ever. These two facets of empiricism are throughout Deleuze's work, and it is in this sense that his claim about being such a philosopher is clearly true. Deleuze primarily developed this point of view through the texts he wrote prior toand particularly through three other philosophers, who he reads as empiricists in the sense mentioned: Hume, Spinoza and Nietzsche.
Hume Deleuze's first publication, Empiricism and Subjectivity is a book about David Humewho is generally considered the foremost and most rigorous British empiricist, according to the general 'sense-data' model described above. Deleuze, however, takes Hume to be far more radical than he is normally considered to be.
Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995)
While this text very carefully reads Hume's works, especially the Treatise of Human Nature, the portrait that emerges is quite strikingly idiosyncratic.
On Deleuze's account, Hume is above all a philosopher of subjectivity. His central concern is to establish the basis upon which the subject is formed. All the well-known arguments about habit, causation and miracles reveal a more profound question: Deleuze argues then that the relation between human nature and nature is Hume's central concern ES Deleuze develops this argument by asserting precisely the opposite of the traditional reading of Hume: According to Hume, and also Kant, the principles of knowledge are not derived from experience.
But in the case of Hume, nothing is transcendental, because these principles are simply principles of our nature. ES Kant proposed transcendental operations of categories in order to make experience possible, criticising Hume for thinking that we could have unified knowledge of an empirical flux that we only passively receive.
On Deleuze's reading, however, Hume did not suppose that there were no unifying processes at work, on the contrary. The difference is that for Hume, these principles are natural; they do not rely upon the postulation of a priori structures of experience. The question of the subject is resolved by Hume, according to Deleuze, by the creation of a number of key concepts: Association is the principle of nature which operates by establishing a relation between two things.
The imagination is affected by this principle to create a new unity, which can in turn be used later on to come to conclusions about other ideas that this unity resembles, is closely related to, or seems to cause.
If we consider the traditional example of the balls on a pool table, the process of association allows a subject to form a relation of causality between one ball and the next, so that the next time one ball comes into contact with another, an expectation that the second ball will move is created. Thus Hume, for Deleuze, considers the mind to be a system of associations alone, a network of tendencies ES Perhaps there is no more striking answer to the problem of the Self.
The mind, affected by the natural principle of association, becomes human nature, from the ground up: Empirical subjectivity is constituted in the mind under the influence of the principles affecting it; the mind therefore does not have the characteristics of a preexisting subject. ES 29 These associations account not only for experience in the basic sense, but up to the highest level of social and cultural life: Morals, feelings, bodily comportment, all of these elements of subjectivity are explained, not by transcendental structures, such as Kant will propose, but the immanent activity of association.
Once this habitual structure of the self is in place, Deleuze suggests, the Humean concept of belief comes into play, which is resolutely a central part of human nature. It describes the particularly human way of going beyond the given. When we expect the sun to come up tomorrow, we do not do so because we know that it will, but because of a belief based on a habit.
Deleuze, Gilles | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This in turn reverses the hierarchy of knowledge and belief, and results, for Deleuze, in a, "great conversion of theory to practice. Not only is the human being thus habitual, on Deleuze's reading, but also creative, even in the most mundane moments of life.
Finally, Deleuze insists that one of Hume's greatest contributions to modern philosophy is his insistence that all relations are external to their terms: Human nature cannot unite itself, there is no 'I' which stands before experience, but only moments of experience themselves, unattached and meaningless without any necessary relation to each other.
A flash of red, a movement, a gust of wind, these elements must be externally related to each other to create the sensation of a tree in autumn. In the social world, this externality attests to the always-already interested nature of life: The ways in which habits are formed attests to the desires at the heart of our social milieu. Subjectivity, as Deleuze describes it through his reading of Hume, is a practical, passional, empiricist concept, immediately located at the heart of the conventional, which is to say the social.
Spinoza While Hume may not be a contentious name to link with a deepened empiricism, Benedict de Spinoza certainly is. Generally considered the arch-rationalist par excellence, Spinoza is most well known for the first main thesis proposed in his Ethics: His style of writing, known as the 'geometric method', is composed by propositions, proofs, and axioms.
Such a point of view hardly seems consistent with a radical construction of concepts, and an essential pragmatism: Spinoza is without a doubt the philosopher most praised and referred to by Deleuze, often with words that are rarely a part of philosophical writing. Spinoza is, for me, the 'prince' of philosophers. EPS 11 Spinoza is the Christ of philosophers, and the greatest philosophers are hardly more than apostles who distance themselves from or draw near to this mystery.
N Spinoza's greatness for Deleuze comes precisely from his development of a philosophy based on the two features of empiricism discussed above. Indeed, for Deleuze, Spinoza combines the two things into one movement: In more Spinozist language, we can refer to the thesis of a single substance instead of a plane of immanence; all bodies beings are modal expressions of the one substance SPP But not only is The Ethics for Deleuze the creation of a plane of immanence, it is the creation of a whole regime of new concepts that revolve around the rejection of the transcendental in all spheres of life.
The unity of the ontological and the ethical is crucial, for Deleuze, in understanding Spinoza, that is: Spinoza didn't entitle his book Ontology, he's too shrewd for that, he entitles it Ethics. Which is a way of saying that, whatever the importance of my speculative propositions may be, you can only judge them at the level of the ethics that they envelope or imply [impliquer].
In short, as the title of one of Deleuze's books, Spinoza: Practical Philosophy, indicates, the Ethics is only understood when it is seen, at one and the same time, to be theoretical and practical.
Deleuze considers there to be three primary theoretico-practical points in the Ethics: The great theories of the Ethics. Spinoza argues that we are not the cause of our thoughts and actions, but only assume that we are based on their affects upon us.
Deleuze insists on this point because he sees Spinoza bypassing an important illusion of subjectivity: The illusion of consciousness, for Spinoza a result of inadequate knowledge and sad affects, allows us to posit a transcendental consciousness supposedly free from the interventions of the world as in Descartes. This is in fact a blind-spot which precludes us from knowing ourselves as caused, the practical meaning of which is that we deny our own 'sociality', as one mode amongst others, and the significance of the relations that we enter into, which actually determine our power to act, and our ability to experience active joy.
The second is the critique of morality. Good and Evil, for Spinoza as for Lucretius and Nietzsche, are the illusions of a moralistic world-view that does nothing but reduce our power to act and encourages the experience of the sad passions SPP 25; LS The Ethics is for Deleuze rather an incitement to consider encounters between bodies on the basis of their relative 'goodness' for those modes that are relating.
The shark enters into a good relation with salt water, which increases its power to act, but for fresh water fish, or for a rose bush, salt water only degrades the characteristic relations between the parts of the bush and threatens to destroy its existence.
So actions have no transcendental scale to be measured upon the theological illusionbut only relative and perspectival good and bad assessments, based on specific bodies. Thus the Ethics is, for Deleuze, an 'ethology', that is, a guide to obtaining the best relations possible for bodies.
Finally, Deleuze sees in Spinoza the rejection of the sad passions. This point is linked to the last, and again closely related to Nietzsche's critique of ressentiment and slave morality. Sad passions are for Spinoza all those forces which disparage life. For Deleuze, Spinoza, denounces all the falsifications of life, all the values in the name of which we disparage life. We do not live, we only lead a semblance of life; we can only think of how to keep from dying, and our whole life is a death worship.
Rather than emphasising the great theoretical structures found in the first few sections, Deleuze emphasises the later part of the book particularly part Vwhich consists in arguments from the point of view of individual modes. This approach puts the importance on the reality of individuals rather than form, and on the practical rather than the theoretical.
In the preface to the English translation of Expressionism in Philosophy, he writes: What interested me most in Spinoza wasn't his Substance, but the composition of finite modes.
Nietzsche Aside from Spinoza, Nietzsche is the most important philosopher for Deleuze. His name, and central concepts that he created appear almost without exception in all of Deleuze's books.
It would also be accurate to say that he reads both Spinoza and Nietzsche together, one through the other, and thus highlights the profound continuity of their thought. The most significant work that Deleuze did with Nietzsche was his highly influential study Nietzsche and Philosophy, the first book in France to systematically defend and explicate Nietzsche's work, still suspected of fascism, after the second World War.
This text was and is extremely well regarded by other philosophers, including Jacques Derrida Derridaand Pierre Klossowski, who wrote the other key French study on Nietzsche in the second half of last century Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle, which is dedicated to Deleuze. While Nietzsche and Philosophy does deal with Nietzsche's polemical targets, its originality and strength lies in its systematic exposition of the diagnostic elements of his thought.
Indeed, one critique of this text is that it oversystematises a thinker and writer whose style of writing overtly resists such a summary approach. For Deleuze, however, it has been one of the hallmarks of bad readings of Nietzsche that they have relied upon a non-philosophical reading, either seeing him as a writer who attempts to assert other models of thought over philosopher, or, more commonly, as an obscurantist or proto- madman whose books have no coherence or value.
Nietzsche, for Deleuze, develops a symptomatology based on an analysis of forces that is elaborate, rigorous and systematic. He argues that Nietzsche's ontology is monist, a monism of force: Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche starts from this point, and accounts for the whole of Nietzsche's critical typology of negation, sadness, reactive forces and ressentiment on this basis.
The polemical basis of Nietzsche's work, for Deleuze, is directed at all that would separate force from acting on its own basis, that is, from affirming itself. There is not one force, but many, the play and interaction of which forms the basis of existence. Deleuze argues that the many antagonistic metaphors in Nietzsche's writing should be interpreted in light of his pluralist ontology, and not as indications of some sort of psychological agressivity.
Nietzsche's ontology, then, retains the suppleness and reliance on difference while remaining monist. Thus he, for Deleuze, is characterised as an anti-transcendental thinker. Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche demonstrates the extent to which he rejected the traditional, or dogmatic image of thought see 4 d belowwhich relies upon a natural harmony between thinker, truth and the activity of thought.
Thought does not naturally relate to truth at all, but is rather a creative act NP xivan act of affect, of force on other forces: Once again, in Nietzsche, we are confronted with the problem of considering a philosopher who is generally considered to be quite foreign to the tradition of empiricist thought, as an empiricist.
As with Spinoza, however, Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche, as he himself indicates, relies upon his characterisation of empiricist thought: Deleuze's Central Empiricist Concepts While Deleuze often refers to the central concepts of empiricism as classically formulated by Hume in the Treatise association, habituation, convention etc.
ES; LS ; DR ; WPhe also develops, throughout his work, a number of other key concepts which should be considered as empiricist. The most prominent of these are immanence, constructivism, and excess. The key word throughout Deleuze's writings, as we have seen, to be found in almost all of his main texts without fail, is immanence.
This term refers to a philosophy based around the empirical real, the flux of existence which has no transcendental level or inherent seperation.
His last text, published a few months before his death, bore the title, "Immanence: Deleuze repeatedly insists that philosophy can only be done well if it approaches the immanent conditions of that which it is trying to think; this is to say that all thought, in order to have any real force, must not work by setting up trancendentals, but by creating movement and consequences: If you're talking about establishing new forms of transcendence, new universals, restoring a reflective subject as the bearer of rights, or setting up a communicative intersubjectivity, then it's not much of a philosophical advance.
People want to produce 'consensus', but consensus is an ideal that guides opinion, and has nothing to do with philosophy. Constructivism is the title that Deleuze uses to characterise the movement of thought in philosophy. This has two senses. Firstly, empiricism, immanent thought, must create movement, create concepts if it is to be philosophy and not just opinion or consensus. Deleuze and Guattari cite Nietzsche on this point: Constructivism, moreover, does not proceed along any predetermined lines.
There is nothing that is necessary to create, for Deleuze: Empiricist thought is thus always in some sense strategic LS The concept of excess takes the place in Deleuze's thought of the transcendent. Instead of an object, a table for example, being determined and given its essence by a transcendental concept or Idea Plato which is directly applicable to it, or the application of a transcendental category or schema Kanteverything that exists is exceeded by the forces which constitute it.
The table does not have a for-itself, but has existence within a field or territory, which are beyond its meaning or control. Thus a table exists in a kitchen, which is part of a three-bedroom family home, which is part of a capitalist society.
In addition, the table is used to eat on, linking itself with the human body, and another produced, consumable item, a hamburger. For Deleuze, one can always analyse interminably in any direction these relations of force, which always move beyond the horizon of the object in question. For Deleuze, however, nothing is exceeded more than subjectivity. This is not a statement of ontological priority, but bears on the extreme privilege the conscious-to-self subject has had in the history of Western thought, it is certainly here that Deleuze makes his most significant use of the concept of excess.
Human forces having an understanding, a will, an imagination and so on have to combine with other forces: This in some sense locates him in the landscape of what is known as postmodern thought, along with other figures such as Jacques DerridaJean-Francois Lyotard and Michel Foucault. Difference And Repetition Difference and Repetition is without doubt Deleuze's most significant book in a traditional academic style, and proposes the most central of his disruptions to the canonical traditions of philosophy.
However, precisely for this reason, it is also one of his most difficult books, dealing as it does with two age-old, overdetermined philosophical topics, identity and time, and with the nature of thought itself. Difference-in-itself Deleuze's main aim in Difference and Repetition is a creative elaboration of these two concepts, but it essentially precedes by way of a critique of Western philosophy.
His central thesis is, That identity not be first, that it exist as a principle but as a second principle, as a principle become; that it revolve around the Different: DR 41 From Plato DR to Heidegger DRDeleuze argues, difference has not been accepted on its own, but only after being understood with reference to self-identical objects, which makes difference a difference between. He attempts in this book to reverse this situation, and to understand difference-in-itself.
We can understand Deleuze's argument by way of reference to his analysis of Plato's three-tiered system of idea, copy and simulacrum cf. In order to define something such as courage, we can have reference in the end only to the Idea of Courage, an identical-to-itself, this idea containing nothing else DR Courageous acts and people can be thus judged by analogy with this Idea. There are also, however, those who only imitate courageous acts, people who use courage as a front for personal gain, for example.
These acts are not copies of the courageous ideal, but rather fakes, distortions of the idea. They are not related to the Idea by way of analogy, but by changing the idea itself, making it slip. Plato frequently makes arguments based on this system, Deleuze tells us, from the Statesman God-shepherd, King-shepherd, charlatan to the Sophist wisdom, philosopher, sophist DR ; The philosophical tradition, beginning with Plato although Deleuze detects some ambiguity here eg.
DR 59; TP and Aristotle, has sided with the model and the copy, and resolutely fought to exclude the simulacra from consideration, either by rejecting it as an external error Descartes DRor by assimilating it into a higher form, via the operation of a dialectic Hegel DR However, Deleuze suggests, if we turn our attention to the simulacra, the reign of the identical and of analogy is destabilised.
The simulacra exists in and of itself, without grounding in or reference to a model: It is for this reason that Deleuze makes his well-known claim that a true philosophy of difference must be "inverted-" or "anti-Platonism" DR We might well ask here: How can we talk about the being of something that is difference itself? Deleuze's answer is that precisely there is no intrinsic ontological unity.
He takes up here Nietzsche's idea that being is becoming: Everything that exists only becomes and never is. Unity, Deleuze tells us, must be understood as a secondary operation DR 41 under which difference is pressed into forms. The prominent philosophical notion he offers for such unity is time see 4 c belowbut later, in Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari offer a political ontology that shows how this process of becoming is fixed into unitary formulations.
While this critical stance is already clearly evident in Nietzsche and Philosophy and from there throughout his work, Deleuze's revaluation of difference itself takes as its most essential form the rejection of the Hegelian dialectic, which represents the most extreme development of the logic of the identical.
The dialectic, Deleuze tells us, seems to operate with extreme differences alone, even so far as acknowledging them as the motor of history. Formed of two opposite terms, such as being and non-being, the dialectic operates by synthesising them into a new third term that preserves and overcomes the earlier opposition. Deleuze argues that this is a dead end which makes, identity the sufficient condition for difference to exist and be thought. It is only in relation to the identical, as a function of the identical, that contradiction is the greatest difference.
The intoxication and giddiness are feigned, the obscure is already clarified from the outset. Nothing shows this more than the insipid monocentrality of the circles in the Hegelian dialectic.
DR While offering a philosophical tool that sees difference at the heart of being, the process of the dialectic removes this affirmation as its most essential step. The further consequence of this for Deleuze relates to the place of negation in Hegel's system. The dialectic, in its general movement, takes specific differences, differences-in-themselves, and negates their individual being, on the way to a "superior" unity. Deleuze argues in Difference and Repetition that this step of Hegel's mistakes ontology, history and ethics.
There is no resolution of the differences-in-themselves into a higher unity that does not fundamentally misunderstand difference. Here Deleuze is clearly recalling his Spinozist and Nietzschean ontology of a single substance that is expressed in a multiplicity of ways cf. In a famous sentence, he writes: For Deleuze, history does not have a teleological element, a direction of realisation; this is only an illusion of consciousness cf.
History progresses not by negation and the negation of negation, but by deciding problems and affirming differences. It is no less bloody and cruel as a result. Only the shadows of history live by negation. DR Finally, regarding ethics, Deleuze argues that an ontology based on the negative makes of ethical affirmation a secondary, derived possibility: Repetition and Time For Deleuze, the central stake in the consideration of repetition is time.
Here difference is submitted to a fourfold structure that renders difference subordinate to identity: Finally, the relation of substance to the other categories is analogical, such that being is said in many ways, but with substance as the primary way in which it is said.
Here we see the dynamic genesis from intensity in sensation to the thinking of virtual Ideas. Each step here has a distinct Kantian echo. Intensity is the characteristic of the encounter, and sets off the process of thinking, while virtuality is the characteristic of the Idea.
With the notions of intensive and extensive we come upon a crucial distinction for Deleuze that is explored in Chapters 4 and 5 of Difference and Repetition.
Extensive differences, such as length, area or volume, are intrinsically divisible. A volume of matter divided into two equal halves produces two volumes, each having half the extent of the original one. Intensive differences, by contrast, refer to properties such as temperature or pressure that cannot be so divided.
However, the important property of intensity is not that it is indivisible, but that it is a property that cannot be divided without involving a change in kind. X centimeters of length and breadth. Drawing on these kinds of analyses, Deleuze will assign a transcendental status to the intensive: Intensive processes are themselves in turn structured by Ideas or multiplicities.
An Idea or multiplicity is really a process of progressive determination of differential elements, differential relations, and singularities.
Let us take these step-by-step. Finally, these differential relations of an individual language determine singularities or remarkable points at which the pattern of that language can shift: For another example—and here, in the applicability of his schema to widely divergent registers, is one of the aspects of Deleuze as metaphysician—let us try to construct the Idea of hurricanes.
These flows qua differential elements enter into relations of reciprocal determination linking changes in any one element to changes in the others; thus temperature and pressure differences will link changes in air and water currents to each other: Finally, at singular points in these relations singularities are determined that mark qualitative shifts in the system, such as the formation of thunderstorm cells, the eye wall, and so on. But this is still the virtual Idea of hurricanes; real existent hurricanes will have measurable values of these variables so that we can move from the philosophical realm of sufficient reason to that of scientific causation.
A hurricane is explained by its Idea, but it is caused by real wind currents driven by real temperature supplied by the sun to tropical waters. To see how Ideas are transcendental and immanent, we have to appreciate that an Idea is a concrete universal. The second case, on the contrary, defines a differential Idea in the Deleuzean sense: White light is still a universal, but it is a concrete universal, and not a genus or generality.
Indeed, Deleuze adopts a number of neoplatonic notions to indicate the structure of Ideas, all of which are derived from the root word pli [fold]: Similarly, the Idea of sound could be conceived of as a white noise, just as there is also a white society or a white language, which contains in its virtuality all the phonemes and relations destined to be actualized in the diverse languages and in the remarkable parts of a same language.
We can now move to discuss Chapter 5, on the individuation of concretely existing real entities as the actualization of a virtual Idea. In isolating the conditions of genesis, Deleuze sets up a tripartite ontological scheme, positing three interdependent registers: Simply put, the actualization of the virtual proceeds by way of intensive processes. Tying together the themes of difference, multiplicity, virtuality and intensity, at the heart of Difference and Repetition we find a theory of Ideas dialectics based neither on an essential model of identity Platonor a regulative model of unity Kantnor a dialectical model of contradiction Hegelbut rather on a problematic and genetic model of difference.
From these examples we can see that Ideas structure the intensive processes that give rise to the behavior patterns of systems, and their singularities mark the thresholds at which systems change behavior patterns. In a word, the virtual Idea is the transformation matrix for material systems or bodies.
For an example of such heterogeneity, let us return to hurricane formation, the Idea of which we sketched above. Here it should be intuitively clear that there is no central command, but a self-organization of multiple processes of air and water movement propelled by temperature and pressure differences. All hurricanes form when intensive processes of wind and ocean currents reach singular points. These singular points, however, are not unique to any one hurricane, but are virtual for each actual hurricane, just as the boiling point of water is virtual for each actual pot of tea on the stove.
In other words, all hurricanes share the same virtual structure even as they are singular individuations or actualizations of that structure. The genius of Frege and Russell was to have discovered that the condition of truth denotation lies in the domain of sense.
In order for a proposition to be true or false it must have a sense; a nonsensical proposition can be neither true nor false. Yet they betrayed this insight, Deleuze argues, because they—like Kant before them—remained content with establishing the condition of truth rather than its genesis. In Logic of Sense, Deleuze attacks this problem, first developing the paradoxes that result from the structure of sense and then sketching a theory of its genesis.
He does this using resources from analytic philosophy and the Stoics in the course of a reading of Lewis Carroll—a typically innovative, if not quirky, set of Deleuzean references.
In the first part of the book, Deleuze analyzes the structure of sense. He begins by identifying three types of relation within propositions: Designation or denotation, which is the relation of a proposition to an external state of affairs theory of reference, with its criterion of truth or falsity.
Manifestation, which marks the relation of the proposition to the beliefs and desires of the person who is speaking with its values of veracity or illusion. Signification or demonstration, which is the relation of the proposition to other propositions the domain of logic, with its relations of implication and assertion. Propositions, in other words, can be related either to the objects to which they refer, or to the subjects who utter them, or to other propositions. But each of these relations, in turn, can be taken to be primary.
Logical designation, in other words, cannot fulfill its putative role as foundation, since it presupposes an irreducible denotation. The theory of the proposition is thus caught in a circle, with each condition in turn being conditioned by what it supposedly conditions. Sense, then, would be a fourth dimension of propositions, for which Deleuze reserves the term expression.
Deleuze suggests that it was the Stoics who first discovered the dimension of sense when they distinguished between corporeal mixtures and incorporeal events.
Sense thus has a complex status. On the other hand, it is attributed to states of affairs or things, but it cannot be confused or identified with state of affairs, nor with a quality or relation of these states. It turns one side toward things, and another side toward propositions. But it cannot be confused with the proposition which expressed it any more than with the state of affairs or the quality which the proposition denotes.
The first is the paradox of regress, or indefinite proliferation: I can never state the sense of what I am saying, but I can take the sense of what I am saying as the object of another proposition, whose sense in turn I cannot state, ad infinitum. This first paradox points both to the impotence of the speaker my inability to state the sense of what I am saying and to the highest power of language its infinite capability to speak about words.
The second paradox is that of sterile reiteration or doubling: Thus extracted from the proposition, Deleuze argues that sense has the status of a pure ideational event, irreducible to propositions and their three dimensions: But how can sense be said to engender the other dimension of the proposition?
This is the second task of a logic of sense: In the second half of Logic of Sense, Deleuze analyzes what he calls the dynamic genesis of language, drawing in part from texts in developmental psychology and psychoanalysis. Deleuze distinguishes three stages in the dynamic genesis, which at the same time constitute three dimensions of language: The first stage of the dynamic genesis of sense, the primary order of language, is found in the newborn infant.
Deleuze draws from a tradition of developmental psychology whose insights are expressed in the vivid image of Daniel N. But in the midst of this world of intensities, there also appears a particular noise: Long before the infant can understand words and sentences, it grasps language as something that pre-exists itself, as something always-already there, like a Voice on high. But for the child the Voice has the dimensions of language without having its condition.
Adults have the same experience when they hear a foreign language being spoken. For the infant to accede to the tertiary arrangement of language denotation, manifestation, significationit must pass through its secondary organization, which is the production of the surface dimension of sense. How does this construction take place? From the flow of the Voice, the child will extract differential elements of various orders phonemes, morphemes, semantemes and begin to synthesize them into diverse series.
At this point, Deleuze isolates three series or syntheses: We can clearly see that the constructions of this secondary organization of sense are not yet the fully formed units of the tertiary arrangement of language on high, but they are no longer merely the bodily noises of the primary order. Before the child has any understanding of linguistic units, it undertakes a vast apprenticeship in their formative elements.
Moreover, since sense lies at the frontier of words and things—it is expressed in propositions and attributed to states of affairs, but it cannot be confused with either propositions or states of affairs—it engenders both the determinate dimensions of the proposition denotation, manifestation, signification as well as its objective correlates the denoted, the manifested, and the signified. The domain of sense is necessarily subject to a fundamental fragility, capable of toppling over into nonsense: The reason for this is clear.
Sense is never a principle or an origin; rather, it is an effect, it is produced, and it is produced out of elements that do not, in themselves, have a sense. Sense, in other words, has a determinate relation with nonsense.
Deleuze, however, distinguishes between two very different types of nonsense. But there is a second type of nonsense, which is more profound than the surface nonsense found in Lewis Carroll. This is the terrifying nonsense of the primary order, which found expression in the writings of Antonin Artaud. Sense is what prevents the sonorous language from being confused with the physical body noise.
Collaboration with Guattari Following his work in the philosophy of difference, Deleuze meets Guattari in the aftermath of May Days of general strikes and standoffs with the police led the French President Charles de Gaulle to call a general election. The government response to May changed French academic life in two ways. First, institutionally, by the creation of Paris VIII Vincennes where Deleuze taught; and second, in the direction of the philosophy of difference, which became explicitly political post It became, in fact, a politics of philosophy dedicated to exposing the historical force relations producing identity in all its ontological and epistemological forms.
In other words, the philosophy of difference now set out to show how the unified objects of the world, the unified subjects who know and hence control them, the unified bodies of knowledge that codify this knowledge, and the unified institution of philosophy that polices the whole affair, are products of historical, political forces in combat with other forces.
In purely philosophical terms, the works with Guattari naturalize the still-Kantian framework of Difference and Repetition. By the time of Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus Deleuze and Guattari explicitly thematize that the syntheses they investigate are fully material syntheses, syntheses of nature in geological as well as biological, social, and psychological registers Welchman Who does the earth think it is? Reading Anti-Oedipus can indeed be shocking experience. It breathes, it heats, it eats.
A fourth element is the gleeful coarseness of the polemics. Desiring-production is thus not anthropocentric; it is the very heart of the world. Besides its universal scope, we need to realize two things about desiring-production right away: Desiring-production is autonomous, self-constituting, and creative: Anti-Oedipus is, along with its conceptual and terminological innovation, a work of grand ambitions: In pursuing its ambitions, Anti-Oedipus has the virtues and the faults of the tour de force: The schizophrenic, as a clinical entity, is the result of the interruption or the blocking of the process of desiring-production, its having been taken out of nature and society and restricted to the body of an individual where it spins in the void rather than make the connections that constitute reality.
In Lacan, the real is produced as an illusory and retrojected remainder to a signifying system; for Deleuze and Guattari, the Real is reality itself in its process of self-making.
In studying the schizophrenic process, Deleuze and Guattari posit that in both the natural and social registers desiring-production is composed of three syntheses, the connective, disjunctive, and conjunctive; the syntheses perform three functions: We can associate production with the physiological, recording with the semiotic, and enjoyment with the psychological registers. The syntheses have no underlying subject; they just are the immanent process of desiring-production.
Positing a subject behind the syntheses would be a transcendent use of the syntheses. Here we see another reference to the Kantian principle of immanence. The signs in tribal inscription are not signifiers: Empires overcode these tribal meaning codes, tracing production back to the despot, the divine father of his people.
Capitalism is the radical decoding and deterritorialization of the material flows that previous social machines had zealously coded on the earth or the body of the despot.