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Posts Tagged ‘bergson’

metropolis
This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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space-time
This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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bergson

All questions concerning the mode of the survival of the past will dismiss from the outset any psychological theory trying to locate recollections within the cerebral matter of the brain.To say, with Bergson, that the brain is a mere “central telephonic switchboard” transmitting movements is also “to say [that] it is in vain to attribute to the cerebral substance the property of engendering representations” (ibid.). In fact the final conclusions of Matter and Memory run as follows:“Questions relating to subject and object, to their distinction and their union, must be put in terms of time rather than of space” (ibid., 74/71, emphasis in original). As Frédéric Worms insightfully points out, we are here witnessing a crucial reversal of the relationship between the body and memory.Whereas from a practical point of view, the body is occupying the foreground in the theory of perception, it gets relegated to the background in the theory of memory. Similarly, while memory remains secondary from a practical point of view, it returns as primary with the reintroduction of time, which is to say, of becoming.Worms writes,“At bottom, the stakes are the following: the body, whose existence had been posed as an absolute in the first chapter, now depends on memory for its conservation in time!”26 This is the key to the Virtual informing the Bergsonian unconscious.

Valentine Moulard-Leonard, Transcendental Experience and the Thought of the Virtual, 31

 

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grid
Yesterday, Matt asked a wonderful question about my theory of subjection in Empire and its relevance to Massumi’s use of “the grid” in the introduction to Parables For the Virtual.

Let me first preface this by saying that I believe Empire has already overcome the problem of the grid. It’s now just a problem for cultural studies and other disciplines that linger on old models of social analysis. In contrast to Empire, subjection in The Social State is absolutely indicative of a grid-type model of power, as are parts of the Modern State. ***Therefore: struggles against hierarchy and binary exclusion may benefit Empire rather than confront it.***

At the beginning Parables, Massumi claims that most cultural studies uses a social model premised on structural positions (“feminine,” “black,” etc). This is an application of an argument he inherits from Anti-Oedipus, where Deleuze and Guattari develop an elaborate critique of certain Fruedo-Lacanian psychoanalytic models that use a grid. They spare Lacan himself (Guattari was once the heir-apparent to Lacan’s ecole freudienne and remained under analysis even after the publication of AO), but are not so kind to his more dogmatic followers, such as Serge Leclaire.

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This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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Too much peddling in ‘flat ontology’ when it should really be process ontology.

(not to even mention the impossibly pernicious ‘paracite‘ of D&G that claims ‘ontology first’ when it’s really ‘politics first’ –> “For politics precedes being. Practice does not come after the emplacement of the terms and their relations, but actively participates in the drawing of the lines […]” ATP, 203).

To put the false Deluezism of ‘flat ontology’ to rest, I present to you a wonderfully strong philosophical reading of the rapport between the molar/molecular in ATP. Note, this does away with any lingering base/superstructure that may have tinged Anti-Oedipus. Rather, it’s the ‘telescopic’ doubling also called reflexive clearly articulated through Hjemselv, but found in other places like Luhmann, and expanded into the general D&G metaphysics, but missed by DeLanda… (more…)

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affect: a definition

‘affect’ describes both (i) the power of bodies to combine and (ii) the felt effects of power in the body. the content and expression of affecting and being affected. bodies combine in a very concrete sense, like nourishment or poison, to produce passional sensations of joy or sadness.

affect is caught like one catches a cold: through contagion. it can’t be quantified any more than freud was able to quantify libido. and when it’s qualified, felt as ‘emotion’ for instance, its measurement still comes out dull like a nurse taking your temperature. (more…)

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What is the reasoning, perceptive, ‘singing’ monad that is only in the passions, affection, and perceptions that it expresses?

Claire Colebrook suggests it’s a queer passive vitalism. Consider this:

In concrete terms, we might begin by thinking of gender. Active vitalism, at least in the form that Deleuze and Guattari trace back to Kant, regards all concepts and categories as originally imposed by the subject upon an otherwise meaningless life. Active vitalism might regard gender as one of the ways in which life or the social ‘constructs’ categories that differentiate an otherwise general or undifferentiated humanity: so the criticism of stereotypes (as clichés or rigid forms imposed upon life) would lead to an overthrow of rigid categories in favour of what we really are (as unique individuals) or would expose that there are no such things as individuals, only effects of gender as it is represented. Genders and kinds are known in the vague and general opposition between male and female, distinctions that are imposed upon life and that need to be reactivated by being traced back to their social and familial origins. By contrast, for Deleuze and Guattari’s passive vitalism genders, kinds and stereotypes are not categories imposed upon life that might be overcome or criticised in the name of a universal and self aware humanity; instead, it is life as a multiple and differentiating field of powers that expresses itself in various manners. (more…)

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Heres a _rough_ version of the paper I gave at the Marxist Literary Group – Institute on Culture and Society 2010 in Antigonish at St. Francis Xavier University:

Forget The Dialectic

Too many

Movement philosophers,

not enough

moving philosophy.

The curse of

Movements

without

movement.

Politicos

make a motion,

fake e-motion.

We need more

Loco-motion.

Ideas

dancing

furiously

in the heat

of resistance.

–Ron Sakolsky, Swift Winds

********

(more…)

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