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Showing posts from September, 2012


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,

An anarcheology of the polemos

My book on Heraclitus and anarcheology is almost out. As a taster in English, a bit of an article I wrote about the polemos: Heraclitus developed a resolute taste for fire. For him, since his old days, things are inherently flowing. His ontology was one of interactions, of contrasts, of perspectives and also of the polemos. His old fragments (2009) are often presented with struggle or conflict – sometimes war – figuring in the place of the polemos. Fragment 53 talks about it as what made some slaves while making some masters. It is like the burning of the fire. But the polemos is not presented as a ex-nihilo creator – but rather also what made some gods while making some mortals. Slavery but also mortality is driven by the polemos. It is the vulnerability of all alliances. All things come to being through polemos, says fragment 80. I take it to be an overall centrifugal force that ignites what it finds. It is the force of dispute, the engine of all polemics. The force of polemos is t

Desire beyond the pale (or virtuality and the extensive continuum)

The image of feuds and government contention is a good one to consider the virtual (and the contingent). Governments operate within borders, they are devices of limited scope and they make use of centrifugal and centripetal forces. Governments are unable to flee from internal rebellion as their focus are within their department - inside their feud. They have to engage in diplomacy (or external war) in order to do so. They craft alliances with outer governments whose governed areas overlap with their feuds. There is no government that is fully alien to a government area - to assemble a working machine among governed cogs, one needs virtual collaborators. Nick Land, in Machinic Desire, presents Anti-Oedipus´ desiring machines as if they promoted an industrial revolution in process philosophy. No cosmos but a technocosmos where everything is production. The socius acts as a self-preserving machinery that reproduces instead of replicating by trying to be isolated from the forces of the

The ontology of recursive feudalism

One of the greatest contributions to the crossroads (or similarity) of ontology and politics that Laibniz provided is the idea that each substance has a scope for its expression, a jurisdition, a governed area. A body. It is, clearly, a robust way to resist materialism and, as such, I guess it is a useful ingredient for all sort of process philosophy. Each substance governs a territory (a department, is the suggestive terminology used by Deleuze) by making alliances with the local autorities. It is an ontology of colonial powers ruling over local Maharajas or, if we want, an ontology of recursive feudalism. Government is a crucial element of such an ontology. Leibniz had that relations were preestablished and that made the whole (world) prior to each substance as each relation depends on the rest of the world. In a process philosophy take, this virtuality is rather built through alliances and alliances themselves appeal to networks of further alliances recursively. The government of

Contingency and the plurality of logics

I´ve been rehearsing, at least since Beirut, the idea that there is a link between contingency and some kind of dependence. The link can be presented in terms of the notion of virtual that Deleuze uses to understand Leibniz´s notion of contingency in Le Pli (see previous post here). A judgment is virtual if its truth depends on the rest of the world - and not if it depends on an infinite series. So, "Adam sins", Leibniz´s example, is true due to Adam, to sin but also to the Eden, to the serpent, to whatever else is there in the world. The stronger way to understand this - which I take to be the most interesting - is that contingent truths are truths which truth-maker is the whole world. In contrast, necessary truths display some degree of independence: their truth-makers is less the whole world. We can maybe think of logical truths as independent of all circumstances (like Kant wished ethical necessity to be). We don´t need to appeal to the whole world to find out that 2 + 2

Virtuality and the rest of the world

After months of a disturbing strike I´m back to the lecturing business and discussing the beautiful early chapters of Le Pli. Deleuze has an interesting account of the virtual that connects with the ontology of the fold that he reads in Leibniz and also with what I have been calling (in my work with Manuel on holism without priority monism) global occasionalism. An ontology of the fold is presented as an alternative to the appeal to ascriptions and instantiation: the connection between basic undefined elements and things is one of folding and refolding and not of instantiation. Interesting to compare this with the relation between eternal objects and the rest of the world in Whitehead (but I guess Whitehead is closer to the idea of instantiation). By the way, last week I went to the Metaphysics conference in Natal where I presented some remarks on how to build a process philosophy by turning Leibniz inside out. It is interesting to notice that in the movement of turning Leibniz around