the speech i was looking for

youtube.com/watch?v=a_hifamdISs

on art being an act of resistance in itself because it contains no communication of information

and some other stuff about the nature of cinematography vs philosophy etc
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I found this helpful,

Deleuze's main project was a complete overthrow of what he termed 'the dogmatic image of thought'. By this I believe he meant to really overthrow the shadow of transcendental idealism and essentialism in philosophy: the notion that beyond appearances there are pure essences which somehow should govern the way in which we construct subjectivity and the manner in which we organize our values. In other words, an ethical question. It is , in one sense, an attack on idealism, in the sense that philosophy implies that there is some a priori, essential and constitutive quality to consciousness or 'being' that transcends or somehow precedes all the other faculties. He finds this fault in Kant, to a certain extent, and also in Hegel.

Deleuze believes that this is bad philosophy. It causes us to place all of our faith in an ineffable transcendent something that escapes mundane and lived experience. It suggests that lurking beneath the surface of appearances in life is some transcendent unity which is achievable through adequate purity of thought or action. It is as absurd as looking for the 'essence' of music by breaking open a radio. If we remain trapped within notions of transcendent essences and a priori causes, thought becomes a means of creating images that then torment us with our comparative imperfection. We are never the ideal, always the simulacra, a poor copy of some distant and perfected original. Deleuze completely refutes this idea, and the thought of any resolution of human being into transcendent unities or essences. There is no underlying unity that undergirds consciousness, in Deleuze. You can't break open consciousness and discover some sort of animating essence behind it. Instead he proposes something radically different.

Deleuze's critique of the dogmatic image of thought actually runs parallel in many ways to Foucault's critique of the 'Empirico-transcendental doublet'. Foucault's point in 'The Order of Things' was- to grossly oversimplify- that the transcendent ideal we see in representation and representational thought has become a tool for governance and ultimately oppression. We are indoctrinated into and strive for an ideal- often represented as a normative medical 'model'- which is often represented for us as an unattainable image. This produces extremely rigid regimes of reproduction and representation that get mistaken for social reality. We are told that representations and models are forms of ultimate truth, and that our own experiences are unreliable. The 'image' of thought thus becomes dogmatic. From this proceed overly restrictive moral codes, hierarchies and hegemonies of violence, fear and shame, unnecessary taboos, regimes of normativity and so on.

This includes, of course, the image of the transcendent judgmental God. Note that Deleuze and Guattari borrow the term 'body without organs' from Antonin Artaud, who said in his radio play 'To Be Done With The Judgment of God": When you have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions
and restored him to his true freedom." So from the very start, I believe, Deleuze's project- how to teach people to build a body without organs- is a profoundly ethical one. He is showing a way toward constructing a new subjectivity, one that doesn't rely on essences or on transcendent ideals . A subjectivity that doesn't feel impelled to rigidly model itself on stale representations.

So what does Deleuzian subjectivity rely on? It relies on difference in itself. Difference in itself is really the key radical concept in Deleuze. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to understand unless you have some notion of the Bergsonian notion of time. For Bergson, the quality of a thing is not separate from its place in time: there is no way to separate them. This includes human subjectivity. Bergson's notion is that by abstracting human qualities we completely miss their actual pragmatic intent and functioning. Time is a component of becoming. Nothing comes into being without time elapsing. The one constant of time elapsing is that it perpetuates continuous change. So an acorn is never a static acorn, it is also, somewhere along its timeline, a sprout, a fully grown tree, a decaying log. So in this sense, an acorn differs-in-itself. It's latent potentiality of becoming, it's radical differentiation from its current form, is already present within it. It is already in the process of becoming what it is not. Human beings are exactly the same. We differ inherently from what we are ineluctably changing into.

Keep in mind, also, that Deleuze adopts Spinoza's completely immanent view of nature as one infinitely extended substance. Thus there is no transcendence in Deleuze. There are temporary hierarchies and strata of different intensities that come into being, but ultimately everything is coextensive with everything else. We might see 'everything' as a vast immanent folding and unfolding continuum, something that unfolds over time and allows 'difference-in-itself- to unleash itself into multiplicities of being. Difference in itself pushes matter into the animal which unfolds into the human which then unfolds into the supra-human. We are not discrete essences powered by transcendent hierarchies, we are complex continuums of intersecting lines of becoming- animal, human, technological, oneiric, material- forever shifting and aggregating and coming apart in an extended quantum field. This is the body without organs, in essence: viewing the self as a continuous series of shifting assemblages of intersecting transverse lines that create temporary congruences and resonances that then generate more connections and differences and multiplicities. For Deleuze, the universe is an extremely busy 'machine' which continuously produces an abundance of different connections.
Deleuze explains this connectivity through his reading of the Nietzschean 'eternal return'. Nietzsche's eternal return has been seen as some as the ultimate test of 'amor fati'. Would you gladly relive your life if you had to do it all over again in exactly the same way, reliving every detail? Deleuze however, reads it slightly differently. Deleuze uses Nietszche’s concept of the eternal return, but only to show that what returns it not the same, but 'difference in itself'. What recurs for us, over and over again, is more difference, more multiplicity. We appear to be solid and consistent, but we are not. Rather we 'flicker' into being like a zootrope, a seeming solidity that is actually infinitessimal moments of return. We return, but with a difference. You can either be active and affirmative of this return, embracing its uncertainty by rolling the dice over and over again knowing for sure that difference is the only thing that is guaranteed. Or you can become reactive and negative, losing yourself in ressentiment, reading the return of difference as the cold uncertainty and chaos of meaningless existence. Both are ethical choices.

This is why Deleuze placed such a huge emphasis on art and thought. He saw them as the only activities in which the full and positive play of difference-in-itself could be explored. Only the artist gets to fully play the paradoxical game of uncertainty, of difference-in-itself and multiplicity as games of abundance and overflow. Time cannot be reversed and experience can not be grasped directly, but one can, through the magic of cinema and literature, create models of experience that are somehow more than the original experience. This explains his fascination with both cinema and Proust.

So what are Deleuzian ethics? Well, it requires a complete rethinking of subjectivity. You can't think of yourself as one thing, or as the emanation of a fixed essence. Nor can you really think of yourself as beholden to a transcendent power that somehow holds sway over your actions. You have to start thinking of yourself as an assemblage, a convergence of the infinite lines that result in you as you are at this moment reading this silly answer. Then you have to let go of it and do it all over again, moment after moment after moment. Continuous arising from a vast field of which you form a part but which also extends far beyond your understanding. To my mind it is a very contemporary rendering of early Mahayana buddhist models of interdependence and codependent arising of the self from 'emptiness'.

One of the consequences of viewing the world in this way, I've found, is that you tend to become radically individualistic. Experimentation and freedom become paramount. You need lots of freedom in order to construct your particular body without organs- your extended continuum of thought-action-doing-becoming - without being weighed down with dogma. You are not separate from anyone, but your position is always, by definition, unique and continuously evolving. You become less interested in beating other people over the head with your particular idealisms. You start to understand that the universe simply doesn’t work that way.
 

woops

is not like other people
havent read the whole thread yet still coming down from 62 pages of dematerialisation. so i don't know if this has been posted yet.

i personally can get into just the frenchness of it all. but i don't think it requires too much intellectual engagement with whatever it all is too be interesting.


(this is the first one, they go right through the alphabet and he freestyles on the topics)
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The conventional, linear depiction of time — at least as old as Newton, with philosophical roots reaching as far back as Aristotle — presents it as a straight line in which each passing moment recedes behind the present, just as each approaching moment arrives from a future stretched out in front of us along the time-line we are travelling. It is surprising how pervasive and apparently convincing this depiction is at first blush — given that it is simply not true to our experience of time at all. For the past exists for us as a whole, not strung out along a line: to retrieve a past moment from six weeks ago, we don’t have to rewind the entire chain of events to get there: we jump immediately to the last days of summer. And we can jump from there to any other past moments, without having to trace out or locate those moments on any linear time-lines. The past is, if you will, omni-present to itself. At least that’s the way it seems to us. But then the question becomes: is this true only of our experience of the past? — or is it true of the past itself

[…]

At least that’s the way it seems to us. But then the question becomes: is this true only of our experience of the past? — or is it true of the past itself? In other words, how do you get from phenomenology (or how things appear) to ontology and how things actually are? To be sure, past events co-exist in memory — we can scan the past and access this event or jump to that event, without having to replay the entire succession of moments between them. But how do we get from this psychological experience/recollection of the past to the notion that past events themselves co-exist ontologically? This is where Deleuze draws on Henri Bergson. The past for Bergson is not the repository of a linear series of passing presents, but an a-temporal bloc where each and every past event co-exists with all the others. For Bergson, it is not just in memory that one event can be connected with any other, irrespective of their respective places on a time-line: in the Bergsonian past, past events themselves co-exist, inhabiting a realm that Bergson calls the virtual: the past as a virtual whole […] (or as a bloc) is the condition for actual events to take place in the present, just as — for example — the language-system as a virtual whole (or what the structuralists call a structure, langue) is the condition for actual speech acts to take place in the present. This view of the past as a condition for the actualization of the present connects with the privileging of becoming over being that Deleuze adopts from Friedrich Nietzsche. Being is merely a momentary, subsidiary, and largely illusory suspension (or “contraction”) of becoming, according to this view; becoming is always primary and fundamental. This means not merely that each and every thing has a history — rather, each and every thing simply is its history: apparent being is always the temporary but actual culmination or expression of real becoming; it is the present actualization of antecedent conditions contained in the virtual past. In the terminology of A Thousand Plateaus, the process of actualization is called “stratification.”

-- Excerpt From: Eugene W. Holland. “Deleuze and Guattaris: A Thousand Plateaus.” iBooks.
 
Who wrote that summary version? It’s good.

Having read less than 20 pages of anti-Oedipus its a reckless and intense undermining of sensemaking and authority and single perspective. Seems built into their collaborative writing method too. Non sense and non self. One of the reasons it’s maybe difficult to say what it’s about is that it’s intentionally written for multiple and diverse readings? They’re taking the master micro discourse of Freud and the master macro discourse of Marx, these analytical models that aim to facilitate our desire for transformation, and they blend and contrast them and amplify their errors into this strange inter disciplinary fractal thing celebrating subjectivity and revolutionary desire to produce new realities. Something about machines too. Let me know if you have any questions by the end of the week before sufi closes the thread.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
How come the French are like this? Did it all start with Descartes.

Damn foreign sceptics with their undermining of objective reality. :mad:
 

catalog

Active member
the way i was told it, from a uni teacher, is that modern french philosophy all stems from existentialism, which came on strong cos of the post-ww2 feeling, there was a deep feeling of guilt, cos of the collaboration that happened, which permeated everything, then people tried to forget it, but couldn't. so their objective reality had moved from under them. so it's relatively modern, if you buy that modern interpretation. but it does help (me) to think about ppl like sartre (who ive not read tbh), de beauvoir (who i have read), levi strauss (read a bit), foucault (read), derrida (not read), d&G (not read) etc.

so basically it would make sense that french post war philosophy is so obsessed with revealing to people that there's nowt underneath them.

i mean, could be wrong...
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
That makes sense. A wiki on French philosophy says:

"Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533–1592) may have been Catholic, but his anti-dogmatic stances made him the father of the anti-conformist French spirit. "
 

woops

is not like other people
well, i did. but i've said before on here i don't get much of this stuff, even though i would have liked to, and tried a fair bit.

i also came at it with not much grounding in marxist thought or reading nietzsche or kant or whatever.

so i can't shine much light beyond barthes' media interrogation, foucault's generalisations that specialise on bizarre 18th century texts, plus he's bloody boring to read, lyotard's aphorisms and lacan's incomprehensible equations.

derrida is ridiulously difficult too. i don't know whether or not to be skeptical of people who name check him. derrida himself is a master name checker - on the first page if writing and difference or whatever you'll find him casually list in brackets (aristotle, schopenhauer, hegel...) (the ... is very gallic) leaving me at least immediately lost.

deleuze and guattari were not mentioned one single time by any lecturer on the course.

and that's about as much as i have to say about any of that to be honest.

there are better people, who studied other subjects, to ask and they may even make some sense.
 

woops

is not like other people
part of the difficulty is the french intellectual's love of his own style - barthes in particular i'd single out as engaged in a literary undertaking as much as a theoretical one. vive la france
 

catalog

Active member
well of course, if we really want to answer the question, we should also probably read in the original french
 
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