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    Gilles Deleuze (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Johnathan R. Razorback
    Johnathan R. Razorback

    Messages : 18036
    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
    Localisation : France

    Gilles Deleuze (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Empty Gilles Deleuze (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback Mer 23 Fév - 15:37

    "[Deleuze] characterized himself as a “pure metaphysician.” In his magnum opus Difference and Repetition, he tries to develop a metaphysics adequate to contemporary mathematics and science—a metaphysics in which the concept of multiplicity replaces that of substance, event replaces essence and virtuality replaces possibility."

    "Rather than seeking the conditions for possible experience, Deleuze wants to provide an account of the genesis of real experience, that is, the experience of this concretely existing individual here and now. Second, to respect the demands of the philosophy of difference, the genetic principle must itself be a differential principle.

    However, despite these departures, Deleuze maintains a crucial alignment with Kant ; Difference and Repetition is still a transcendental approach. Here we should remind ourselves that the terms “transcendent” and “transcendental” have opposing significations. Transcendental philosophy in fact critiques the pretensions of other philosophies to transcend experience by providing strict criteria for the use of syntheses immanent to experience. On this score, at least, Deleuze aligns himself with Kant’s critical philosophy.

    Three further preliminary notes are in order here. First, as we will discuss in section 4 below, the Capitalism and Schizophrenia project of Deleuze and Guattari will bring to the fore naturalist tendencies that are only implicitly present in the still-Kantian framework of Difference and Repetition. So, although there is some risk of reading backwards in this formulation, we can say that the “of” in the phrase “the experience of this concretely existing individual here and now” is both subjective and objective. It is the experience by human subjects of this individual object in front of it, and it is the experience enjoyed by the concretely existing individual itself, even when that individual is non-human or even non-living."

    "Normally, difference is conceived of as an empirical relation between two terms which each has a prior identity of its own (“x is different from y”). Deleuze inverts this priority: identity persists, but is now a something produced by a prior relation between differentials (dx rather than not-x). Difference is no longer an empirical relation but becomes a transcendental principle that constitutes the sufficient reason of empirical diversity (for example, it is the difference of electrical potential between cloud and ground that constitutes the sufficient reason of the phenomenon of lightning)."

    "The individuation of entities is produced by the actualization, integration, or resolution (the terms are synonymous for Deleuze) of a differentiated virtual field of Ideas or “multiplicities” that are themselves changed, via “counter-effectuation,” in each individuating event."

    "With sensibility, pure difference in intensity is grasped immediately in the encounter as the sentiendum, that which can only be sensed. In the differential theory of the faculties, sensibility, imagination, memory, and thought all “communicate a violence” from one to the other—here Deleuze works with the Kantian notion of the sublime as discordant accord of the faculties. The “free form of difference” in intensity moves each faculty and communicates its violence to the next, though in this case there is no supernatural vocation that will redeem the conflict of imagination and reason, as there is in the resolution to the discussion of the sublime in the Critique of Judgment. Rather than a reconciliation of the faculties, with thought, a “fractured self”—here Deleuze takes up Kant’s notion of the split between the empirical ego and the Transcendental subject—is constrained to think “difference in itself” in Ideas."

    "Intensity is the characteristic of the encounter, and sets off the process of thinking, while virtuality is the characteristic of the Idea."

    "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. If a volume of water whose temperature is 90º is divided in half, the result is two volumes at the original temperature, not two volumes at 45º. 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. The temperature of a volume of water, for instance, can be “divided” by heating the container from below, causing a temperature difference between the top and the bottom. In so doing, however, we change the system qualitatively; moreover, if the temperature differences reach a certain threshold (if they attain a certain “intensity” in Deleuze’s terms), the system will undergo a “phase transition,” losing symmetry and changing its dynamics, entering into a periodic pattern of motion—convection—which displays extensive properties of size: X centimeters of length and breadth. Drawing on these kinds of analyses, Deleuze will assign a transcendental status to the intensive: intensity, he argues, constitutes the genetic condition of extensive space. 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. “Elements” must have no independent existence from the system in which they inhere; phonemes as the elements of the virtual linguistic Idea are an example Deleuze uses in Difference and Repetition. When phonemes are actualized they enter into differential relations that determine the patterns of individual languages; thus the English phoneme /p/ is reciprocally determined by its differences from /t/, /b/, /d/, and so on. Finally, these differential relations of an individual language determine singularities or remarkable points at which the pattern of that language can shift: the Great Vowel Shift of Middle English being an example, or more prosaically, dialect pronunciation shifts.

    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. The differential elements would be material “flows” driven by intensive differences in temperature and pressure but undetermined in form (neither smooth nor turbulent, neither big nor small) and function (neither forming nor destroying of weather events). 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: updrafts are related to downdrafts even if the exact relations (the tightness of the links, the velocity of the flows) are not yet determined. 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. In an early article on Bergson (“The Conception of Difference in Bergson” [1956]), Deleuze gave a particularly helpful example of this notion. In La Pensée et le Mouvant, Bergson had shown that there are two ways of determining what the spectrum of “colors” have in common. (1) You can extract from particular colors an abstract and general idea of color (“by removing from the red that which makes it red, from the blue what makes it blue, from the green what makes it green”). Or, (2) you can make all these colors “pass through a convergent lens, bringing them to a single point,” in which case a “pure white light” is obtained that “makes the differences between the shades stand out.” The former case defines a single generic “concept” with a plurality of objects; the relation between concept and object is one of subsumption; and the state of difference remains exterior to the thing. The second case, on the contrary, defines a differential Idea in the Deleuzean sense: the different colors are no longer objects under a concept, but constitute an order of mixture in coexistence and succession within the Idea; the relation between the Idea and a given color is not one of subsumption, but one of actualization and differenciation; and the state of difference between the concept and the object is internalized in the Idea itself, so that the concept itself has become the object. White light is still a universal, but it is a concrete universal, and not a genus or generality.

    The Idea of color is thus like white light, which “perplexes” within itself the genetic elements and relations of all the colors, but which is actualized in the diverse colors and their respective spaces. (Like the word “problem,” Deleuze uses the word “perplexion” to signify, not a coefficient of doubt, hesitation, or astonishment, but the multiple and virtual state of Ideas. 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]: perplication, complication, implication, explication, and replication.) 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: the virtual, intensive, and actual. Deleuze’s basic notion is that in all realms of being intensive morphogenetic processes follow differential virtual multiplicities to produce localized and individuated actual substances with extensive properties. Simply put, the actualization of the virtual proceeds by way of intensive processes. Beneath the actual (any one state of a system), we find “impersonal individuations” or intensive morphogenetic processes that produce system states and beneath these we find “pre-individual singularities” (that is, the key elements in virtual fields, marking system thresholds that structure the intensive morphogenetic processes). We thus have to distinguish the intense “impersonal” field of individuation and its processes from the virtual “pre-individual” field of differential relations and singularities that make up an Idea or multiplicity.

    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 (Plato), nor a regulative model of unity (Kant), nor a dialectical model of contradiction (Hegel), but rather on a problematic and genetic model of difference. Ideas define the being of a thing, but one cannot attain an Idea through the Socratic question “What is … ?” (which posits Ideas as transcendent and eternal), but rather through “minor” questions such as “Which one?” “Where?” “When?” “How?” “How many?” “In which case?” “From which viewpoint?”—all of which allow one to define the differential Ideas immanent in the intensive processes they structure.

    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. Bodies are determined “solutions” to the “problem” that lays out the manifold options for incarnating bodies of that nature. Ideas then respond to the question “who?” (who is it that incarnates the Idea in this case?) rather than the essentialist “what is?” (what are the properties of the substance that provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for membership in the class of which the object is a member?)

    For orientation purposes, it’s useful to consider Gilbert Simondon’s theory of individuation as a very simple model for what Deleuze calls “actualization.” For Simondon, crystallization is a paradigm of individuation: a supersaturated solution is metastable; from that pre-individuated field, replete with gradients of density that are only implicit “forms” or “potential functions,” individual crystals precipitate out. The crucial difference is that crystals form in homogenous solutions, while the Deleuzean virtual is composed of “Ideas” or “multiplicities” involving differential relations among heterogeneous components, whose rates of change are connected with each other. 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."

    "Rather than attempting to synthesize Marx and Freud in the usual way, that is, by a reductionist strategy that either (1) operates in favor of Freud, by positing that the libidinal investment of social figures and patterns requires sublimating an original investment in family figures and patterns, or (2) operates in favor of Marx by positing neuroses and psychoses as mere super-structural by-products of unjust social structures, Deleuze and Guattari will call desiring-production a “universal primary process” underlying the seemingly separate natural, social and psychological realms. 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: (1) there is no subject that lies behind the production, that performs the production; and (2) the “desire” in desiring-production is not oriented to making up a lack, but is purely positive. Desiring-production is autonomous, self-constituting, and creative: it is the natura naturans of Spinoza or the will-to-power of Nietzsche.

    Anti-Oedipus is, along with its conceptual and terminological innovation, a work of grand ambitions: among them, (1) an eco-social theory of production, encompassing both sides of the nature/culture split, which functions as an ontology of change, transformation, or “becoming”; (2) a “universal history” of social formations—the “savage” or tribal, the “barbarian” or imperial, and the capitalist—which functions as a synthetic social science; (3) and to clear the ground for these functions, a critique of the received versions of Marx and Freud—and the attempts to synthesize them by analogizing their realms of application."

    "Anti-Oedipus identifies two primary registers of desiring-production, the natural or “metaphysical” and the social or “historical.” They are related in the following way: natural desiring-production is that which social machines repress, but also that which is revealed in capitalism, at the end of history (a contingent history, that is, one that avoids dialectical laws of history). Capitalism sets free desiring-production even as it attempts to rein it in with the institution of private property and the familial or “Oedipal” patterning of desire; schizophrenics are propelled by the charge of desiring-production thus set free but fail at the limits capitalist society proposes, thus providing a clue to the workings of desiring-production.

    It’s important at the start to realize that Deleuze and Guattari do not advocate schizophrenia as a “lifestyle” or as the model for a political program. 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. Desiring-production does not connect “with” reality, as in escaping a subjective prison to touch the objective, but it makes reality, it is the Real, in a twisting of the Lacanian sense of the term. 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. The schizophrenic is a sick person in need of help, but schizophrenia is an avenue into the unconscious, the unconscious not of an individual, but the “transcendental unconscious,” an unconscious that is social, historical, and natural all at once.

    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: production, recording, and enjoyment. We can associate production with the physiological, recording with the semiotic, and enjoyment with the psychological registers. While it is important to catch the Kantian resonance of “synthesis,” it is equally important to note, in keeping with the post-structuralist angle we discussed above, that there is no subject performing the syntheses; instead, subjects are themselves one of the products of the syntheses. 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. Deleuze and Guattari propose to study the immanent use of the synthesis in a “materialist psychoanalysis,” or “schizoanalysis”; by contrast, psychoanalysis is transcendent use of the syntheses, producing five “paralogisms” or “transcendental illusions,” all of which involve assigning the characteristics of the extensive properties of actual products to the intensive production process, or, to put it in the terms of the philosophy of difference, all the paralogisms subordinate differential processes to identities derived from products.

    According to the “universal history” undertaken in Anti-Oedipus, social life has three forms of “socius,” the social body that takes credit for production: the earth for the tribe, the body of the despot for the empire, and capital for capitalism. According to Deleuze and Guattari’s reading of the anthropological literature, tribal societies mark bodies in initiation ceremonies, so that the products of an organ are traced to a clan, which is mythically traced to the earth or, more precisely, one of its enchanted regions, which function as the organs on the full body of the earth. Material flows are thus “territorialized,” that is, traced onto the earth, which is credited as the source of all production. The signs in tribal inscription are not signifiers: they do not map onto a voice, but enact a “savage triangle forming … a theater of cruelty that implies the triple independence of the articulated voice, the graphic hand and the appreciative eye” (189). Empires overcode these tribal meaning codes, tracing production back to the despot, the divine father of his people. Material flows in despotic empires are thus “deterritorialized” (they are no longer credited to the earth), and then immediately “reterritorialized” on the body of the despot, who assumes credit for all production. When tribal signs are overcoded, the signifier is formed as a “deterritorialized sign” allowing for communication between the conquered and the conquerors. Signifiers are a “flattening” or “bi-univocalization”: two chains are lined up, one to one, the written and the spoken (205–6; cf. Derrida’s notion of “phonocentrism”). The body of the despot as imperial socius means that workers are the “hands” of the emperor, spies are his “eyes,” and so on.

    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. Production is credited to the “body” of capital, but this form of recording works by the substitution of an “axiomatic” for a code: in this context an “axiomatic” means a set of simple principles for the quantitative calculation of the difference between flows (of deterritorialized labor and capital) rather than elaborate rules for the qualitative judgments that map flows onto the socius. Capitalism’s command is utterly simple: connect deterritorialized flows of labor and capital and extract a surplus from that connection. Thus capitalism sets loose an enormous productive charge—connect those flows! Faster, faster!—the surpluses of which the institutions of private property try to register as belonging to individuals. Now those individuals are primarily social (as figures of capitalist or laborer) and only secondarily private (family members). Whereas organs of bodies were socially marked in previous regimes (as belonging to the clan and earth, or as belonging to the emperor, as in the jus primae noctis), body organs are privatized under capitalism and attached to persons as members of the family. In Deleuze and Guattari’s terms, capitalism’s decoded flows are reterritorialized on “persons,” that is, on family members as figures in the Oedipal triangle."

    "A Thousand Plateaus has a much wider range of registers than Anti-Oedipus: cosmic, geologic, evolutionary, developmental, ethological, anthropological, mythological, historical, economic, political, literary, musical, and even more. Second, the results of the paralogisms of Anti-Oedipus become “strata” in A Thousand Plateaus: the organism (the unification and totalization of the connective synthesis of production, or the physiological register), the signifying totality or signifiance, which we can perhaps render as “signifier-ness” (the flattening or “bi-univocalizing” of the disjunctive synthesis of recording, the semiotic register), and the subject (the reification of the conjunctive synthesis of consummation, the psychological register). Finally, while Anti-Oedipus has a classical conceptual architecture, that is, chapters that develop a single argument, A Thousand Plateaus is written as a “rhizome,” that is, as allowing immediate connections between any of its points."

    "Deleuze and Guattari then extend the notion of self-organizing material systems—those with no need of transcendent organizing agents such as gods, leaders, capital, or subjects—to the social, linguistic, political-economic, and psychological realms."

    "A Thousand Plateaus maintains the tripartite ontological scheme of all of Deleuze’s work, but, as the title indicates, with geological terms of reference. Deleuze and Guattari call the virtual “the Earth,” the intensive is called “consistency,” and the actual is called “the system of the strata.” As the latter term indicates, one of the foci of their investigations is the tendency of some systems to head toward congealment or stratification. More precisely put, any concrete system is composed of intensive processes tending toward the (virtual) plane of consistency and/or toward (actual) stratification. We can say that all that exists is the intensive, tending towards the limits of virtuality and actuality; these last two ontological registers do not “exist,” but they do “insist,” to use one of Deleuze’s terms. Nothing ever instantiates the sheer frozen stasis of the actual nor the sheer differential dispersion of the virtual; rather, natural or worldly processes are always and only actualizations, that is, they are processes of actualization structured by virtual multiplicities and heading toward an actual state they never quite attain. More precisely, systems also contain tendencies moving in the other direction, toward virtuality; systems are more or less stable sets of processes moving in different directions, toward actuality and toward virtuality. In still other words, Deleuze and Guattari are process philosophers; neither the structures of such processes nor their completed products merit the same ontological status as processes themselves. With this perspective, Deleuze and Guattari offer a detailed and complex “open system” which is extraordinarily rich and complex. A useful way into it is to follow the concepts of coding, stratification and territorialization. They are related in the following manner. Coding is the process of ordering matter as it is drawn into a body; by contrast, stratification is the process of creating hierarchal bodies, while territorialization is the ordering of those bodies in “assemblages,” that is to say, an emergent unity joining together heterogeneous bodies in a “consistency.”"
    -Smith, Daniel and John Protevi, "Gilles Deleuze", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2020/entries/deleuze/>.

    « La question n’est pas de constater que les gens vivent plus ou moins pauvrement, mais toujours d’une manière qui leur échappe. » -Guy Debord, Critique de la séparation (1961).

    « Rien de grand ne s’est jamais accompli dans le monde sans passion. » -Hegel, La Raison dans l'Histoire.

    « Mais parfois le plus clair regard aime aussi l’ombre. » -Friedrich Hölderlin, "Pain et Vin".

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