Deleuze a Critical Reader, 1996
Introduction, Paul Patton
Concepts do not provide a truth which is independent of the plane of immanence upon which they are constructed. Thought is act of creation and truth is creation of thought.
Nomad thought rejects the ideal of philosophy as a closed system, which puts Deleuze strongly against Hegel.
Concepts has no reference, it is self-referential it posits itself and its object at the same time as it is created.
D&G say that criticism of one philosophical concept form the standpoint of another is a futile exercise. Concepts can only be assessed as a function of their problems.
What is the purpose of such concepts then? D&G proposes that philosophy is knowledge through pure concepts and it is not in knowing and is not inspired by truth.
Creation of concepts is possible only on the ground of pre-philosophical presuppositions - which they call plane of immanence.
In What is Philosophy? thought is considered as absolute deterritorialization because it is essentially creative and critical, it has potential to controvert all ideas and values.
Deleuze sees problems as the sources of all truths: problems are the differential elements in thought, the genetic elements in the true. Problems are seen not as questions which are possible to answer but underlying and unanswerable questions which governs production of knowledge in given domain. Deleuze builds on Kant, which defines Ideas "as problems to which there is no solution".
Deleuze uses also mathematical notions and describes Ideas as multiplicities defined by the internal relations between differential terms.
The transcendental empiricism implies a conception of thought as open-ended and bounded only by the historically variable set of problems with which it engages at any given time.
The concept is obviously knowledge - but knowledge of itself, and what it knows is the pure event, which must not be confused with the state of affairs in which it is embodied. The task of philosophy when it creates concepts, entities, is always to extract an event from things and beings...(Deleuze)
In WIP is philosophy described as creation of concepts, which provide knowledge of events.
Deleuze tried to explore in all his books the nature of events, it led him to attempts of creating of ontology of open multiplicities whose mode of individuation is that of events rather than essences.
Sense = pure events which are expressed in language. Language itself is the set of order-words current in a given milieu at a given time. Relation between language and the world is then rather of effectivity than representation.
Every concept shapes the event in its own way, the greatness of philosophy is measured by the nature of the events to which its concepts summon us or that it enables us to release in concepts (Deleuze)
Both concepts and events are described as virtual entities which gained consistency on the plane of immanence (pre-philosophical thought) that sections the chaos. Furthermore, the concepts are described as identical with events as the "pure sense" runs through their components. E.g: Hobbes concept of the Social Contract expresses the event of incorporation of a legal and political system. This is a pure event which cannot be reduced to its historical actualizations, it is rather the sense of immanent cause of those actual events.
Philosophy can offer guidelines for well-formed concepts but it cannot offer criteria in terms of truth or falsity. Ideally the events discovered by philosophy can lead to another future.
Philosophy extracts events from bodies and states of affairs and in doing so enables us to affirm the sense of what happens.
5 Deleuze-Bergson: an Ontology of the Virtual
Constantin V. Boundas
Only intensive multiplicities are virtual, internally differentiated structures which actualize themselves through differenciation, or again only different/cation is able to account for the qualitative heterogeneity of movement.
Riemann: Discrete multiplicities are those whose metric principle is within themselves, because the measure of their part is given in the number of elements that they have. Consequently, discrete multiplicities are quantitative and denumerable.
Continuous multiplicities are those whose metric principle is outside of them - in the forces for example, which act upon them from the outside. Consequently, continuous multiplicities are qualitative and non-denumerable.
For Deleuze, there is another definition of multiplicities:
Discrete multiplicities are extended magnitudes whose nature remains the same after they have been divided.
Continuous multiplicities are intensive magnitudes whose nature changes each time they are divided.
These definitions choose between two tendencies: extension and intensity, space and duration...
Multiplicity dos not convey the sense that Deleuze wishes, one needs a noun like "the multiplier" or gerund like "the multiplying" as a qualifier of multiplicity which is responsible to different/ciation.
Movement is to become other than itself, it makes a qualitative change.
Deleuze's critique of phenomenology: Phenomenology gives natural perception a privilege which makes movement relative to "poses". According to Deleuze (and Bergson) the starting point is a world of continuously changing movement-images - a world of matter in constant flux, with no anchorage or assignable points of reference.
Phenomenology needs the notion of subject to assign natural perception and movement. For Deleuze-Bergson movement is not subordinate to a subject which undergoes it. We are dealing with inhuman world having a privilege over the human world of phenomenology. For Deleuze-Bergson, things are luminous with nothing but themselves to light them.
Deleuze-Bergson start with the intensive singularities of the "pre-human" world which is account for the formation of closed "extended" systems inside the open-ended intensive chaosmic virtual.
Tendencies are real, not merely possible. They have the reality of the virtual which exists in order to be actualized. In opposition to the virtual, the possible has no reality. The possible has to be realized, and works under rules of resemblance and limitation. The real is supposed to be in the image of the possible that it realize. On the other hand, actualization of the virtual, we find to be ruled by difference and divergence: the actual does not resemble or represent the virtual which it embodies.
Transcendental empiricism is a method whereby the actual is divided according to its virtual tendencies which, in turn, constitute the sufficient reason of the actual.
Everything that comes to be is correlative of an order of intensity. Intensity tends to cancel itself out in extension and in quality. Self-concealing nature of intensity is what constitutes the diversity of the sensible. The fact that intensity annuls itself within extended quantitative systems does not make intensity disappear.
Deleuze calls differentiation the totality of the diacritic relations which occur inside an Idea-structure, and differenciation the process of actualization of such structure.
Elan vital is the forces at work each time that a virtuality is being actualized. Elan vital is difference passing into action.
Virtualities generate disjunctions as they begin to actualize the tendencies which were contained in the original unity and compossibility.
Duration and space are what we get when we decompose the mixture according to the procedures of transcendental empiricism. Space is a multiplicity of exteriority, simultaneity, juxtapoistion, quantitative, differentiation and difference of degree. It is discontiunous and actual.
Duration is a multiplicity of succession, fusion, heterogeneity, qualitative discrimination and of difference of nature. It is continuous and virtual.
Duration always becomes, it is always incomplete, heterogeneous and continuous emergence of novelty.
The past, which has ceased to act, has not ceased to be. The past seems to acquire the status of being itself. Once we understand duration as an intensive rather than as a discrete multiplicity, the present can no longer be thought of a becoming past after a new present has come to replace it, nor can the past be thought of a being constituted after it has ceased to be present.
Instead we must think that memory, through an active synthesis of time which belongs to it, represents the old present, qua old, in the actual present, in which case the past coexists with every new present in relation to which it is past.
The present is constituted as past at the same time that it is constituted as present.
Irreversibility of duration. No identical repetition of an event is possible, because the total survival of the past guarantees the production of difference.
Duration for both Bergson and Deleuze is the essence of things, things themselves endure.
Space can no longer be the absolute form of exteriority. Space and time cannot be separated from each other, all distances are spatio-temporal.
Deleuze: A mixture is divided into two tendencies, one of which is the simple and indivisible duration; at the same time, duration is differentiated along two directions, one of which is matter. Space is divided into matter and duration, but duration is differentiated as contraction and dilation, dilation being the principle of matter... Dualism, therefore, is overcome toward monism, but monism gives us a new dualism which, this time, is mastered and dominated. The division of the mixture and the differentiation of the simple are not done in the same way.
Duration is one of the two tendenciess; spatialization is the other. But the nature of duration is to differ from itself, that which it differs from is still duration. When the mixture is divided, we are left with duration and space. The former is the bearer of all the differences of nature, since as an intensive manifold it has the property of varying qualitatively from itself. The latter, as a discrete multiplicity, varies only according to degrees.
Difference of nature is one of the tendencies (duration) and matter is the indifferent, that which repeats itself, being incapable of changing its own nature and, therefore, varying only in terms of degrees.
From the point of view of dilation and contraction, all degrees coexist in a single nature which is expressed, on one hand, in differences of nature and, on the other, in differences of degree.
How can primacy given to duration can explain the existence of relatively stable and solid things? How the differenciation take place inside the flux of duration?
Deleuze answers the question on the basis of rhythm and movement. Duration is characterized by rhythmic contractions and dilations of varying intensity. Between the maximum contraction which corresponds to the Spirit and the maximum dilation which characterizes inertia and matter, one can find the varying degrees of intensity corresponding to the many real things.
Different degrees of spatiality correspond to different degrees of durational tension, whereas the acceleration of the temporal rhythm generates extension.
Symmetrical relation between matter and energy supports the conclusion that matter and vibrating energy are similar or, at least that matter, just like vibratory energy, must have undulatory and rhythmic characteristic. If a particle stops vibrating, it would stop being.
It follows that the initial problem is no longer how matter vibrates, but rather how vibration acquires its material aspects.