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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Neoleibnizianism

Today we finished the discussion of Deleuze´s Le Pli in my Leibniz course. Deleuze ends up presenting elements of what can be called Neoleibnizianism that revolve around capture instead of clausure. The notion of predicates as events, as well as that of actualizing the virtual that is in darker zone (i.e. in an extensive continuum), is preserved as part of an ontology of folds. Additionally, the barroque or neobarroque element expressed in some sort of musical composition associated to the way series are disposed - the way an event opens up to the virtual. Leibniz introduced the (recaptulationist) idea that individuals are an allegory for something bigger - namely for their world. Ontological allegories are preserved in Neoleibnizianism even if wholes are exorcized. Deleuze then goes on to say that the two main differences between Leibnizianism and this Neoleibnizianism that attempts to turn Leibniz inside out. First is that selection of worlds has no longer a place. As a consequence, monads are no longer closed, enclosed, in a clausure but rather they are half-open, as if kept open by sticks. This is because they have to find out what else is happening, they have to find out about the world they´re in. Compossibility is an affair to do with the rest of the world and the rest of the world is not preestablished.

Maybe the difference can be put in terms of the nature of individuals (i.e. monads). Individuals in Leibniz are fully attached to a world. In fact, in chapter 5 Deleuze sketches a version of a counterpart theory of individuals in different possible worlds - the Adam that doesn´t sin is not the one from this (possible and actual) world. Neoleibnizian individuals that are half-open are rather associated to several worlds and capable of transworld identity. The difference then would be the one between a Lewisian notion of individual and a Kripkean one. Process philosophy in general could be made to fit this idea of individual. But it has no much room for singularities that are preserved in different worlds. Latour, for instance, has that an actant as a singularity is established in each test of force. However, if an individual is made to remain fixed, it can be taken to another possible world. In any case, half-open monads are such that they can act in ways that open different courses of events while being the same individuals. The relation between any individual and any other is such that it admits of a plurality of worlds.

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