Forms-of-Life

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. Continue reading “Forms-of-Life”

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Intersectionality, but Post-Identity?

As part of an ongoing conversation on Utopia or Bust, I tried to laid out the Deleuzian position.  I think I’m still missing key parts, but I think it’s a good start.  Comments would be greatly appreciated.

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a key term for understanding identity according to deleuze would be ‘singularity’.

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this example should feel basic and self-evident.  rather than looking at wood from the perspective of a mill, which tries to reduce all wood to varying grades of lumber (based on grain, knots, warps), a whittler or woodworker pays attention to the unique surface of each piece of wood.  every protruding knot and channel of grain serves to produce a truly singular piece of art.
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philosophically, this means resisting both Plato and Aristotle.  plato would note that a universal Form exists in an ideal transcendental order, from which each piece of wood exists as a degraded form.  some pieces of wood are ‘more perfect’ than other.  and the hidden criterion of perfectness would likely be less knots, less warp, straighter grain – all images of a piece of wood that expresses a few essential properties with no deviations or differences.