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GILLES DELEUZE BERGSONISM PDF

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"Bergsonism represents an important moment in Deleuze's development." - Review of Metaphysics. Gilles Deleuze. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara. What is needed for something new to appear? According to Gilles Deleuze, one of the most brilliant contemporary philosophers, this question. Reyes Abstract: This paper aims to explicate Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of Bergsonism. Specifically, I expound on Deleuze's reconstruction of Bergson's.

Bergson's Creation of the Possible Pete A. It is therefore surprising that this essay has suffered from relative neglect. In The New Aspects of Space and Time, Milic Capek writes, "Space does not permit us to discuss here the precise meaning of the Bergsonian views on possibility which, in appearance were seemingly contradictory" Unfortunately, Capek never responded to this challenge. The proceedings of the Bergson Conference of the centennial of Bergson's birth contain at most only brief allusions to the possible. But Deleuze if brilliantly reconstructs Bergson's ideas to suit his own views

In The New Aspects of Space and Time, Milic Capek writes, "Space does not permit us to discuss here the precise meaning of the Bergsonian views on possibility which, in appearance were seemingly contradictory" Unfortunately, Capek never responded to this challenge. The proceedings of the Bergson Conference of the centennial of Bergson's birth contain at most only brief allusions to the possible. But Deleuze if brilliantly reconstructs Bergson's ideas to suit his own views In the concluding section, I will point out some of the difficulties in Bergson's position as stated in "The Possible and the Real" and then show how, based on his earlier writings, Bergson believed that these problems could be overcome.

Against Prior Possibility Bergson's argument against preexistent possibilities is linked by him to two other dubious notions: that of substantive "nothing" and that of absolute disorder. All three ideas possibility, nothingness, disorder have the same behavioral source and lead to the same unexamined assumption. The positive name for that genetic condition is the virtual, which Deleuze adopts from the following Bergsonian argument.

We then reverse the procedure and think of the real as something more than possible, that is, as the possible with existence added to it. By contrast, Deleuze will reject the notion of the possible in favor of that of the virtual. Rather than awaiting realization, the virtual is fully real; what happens in genesis is that the virtual is actualized. The fundamental characteristic of the virtual, that which means it must be actualized rather than realized, is its differential makeup.

For instance, Deleuze criticizes Kant for copying the transcendental field in the image of the empirical field.

That is, empirical experience is personal, identitarian and centripetal; there is a central focus, the subject, in which all our experiences are tagged as belonging to us. Deleuze still wants to work back from experience, but since the condition cannot resemble the conditioned, and since the empirical is personal and individuated, the transcendental must be impersonal and pre-individual.

The virtual is the condition for real experience, but it has no identity; identities of the subject and the object are products of processes that resolve, integrate, or actualize the three terms are synonymous for Deleuze a differential field. The Deleuzean virtual is thus not the condition of possibility of any rational experience, but the condition of genesis of real experience. As we have seen, the virtual, as genetic ground of the actual, cannot resemble that which it grounds; thus, if we are confronted with actual identities in experience, then the virtual ground of those identities must be purely differential.

Gilles Deleuze

A typological difference between substantive multiplicities, in short, is substituted for the dialectical opposition of the one and the multiple. To these he added a trio of pre-Kantians, Spinoza, Leibniz and Hume, but read through a post-Kantian lens. There are many Spinozist inheritances in Deleuze, but one of the most important is certainly the notion of univocity in ontology.

The result is a Spinozism minus substance, a purely modal or differential universe. In univocity, as Deleuze reads Spinoza, the single sense of Being frees a charge of difference throughout all that is. In univocal ontology being is said in a single sense of all of which it is said, but it is said of difference itself.

What is that difference? In social terms, puissance is immanent power, power to act rather than power to dominate another; we could say that puissance is praxis in which equals clash or act together rather than poiesis in which others are matter to be formed by the command of a superior, a sense of transcendent power that matches what pouvoir indicates for Deleuze.

In the most general terms Deleuze develops throughout his career, puissance is the ability to affect and to be affected, to form assemblages or consistencies, that is, to form emergent unities that nonetheless respect the heterogeneity of their components.

This is the point where one begins to consider the virtual domain on its own account, freed from its actualization in a world and its individuals. First, God is no longer a Being who compares and chooses the richest compossible world; he has now become a pure Process that affirms incompossibilities and passes through them. Third, selves or individuals, rather than being closed upon the compossible and convergent world they express from within, are now torn open, and kept open through the divergent series and incompossible ensembles that continually pull them outside themselves.

In other words, if Deleuze is Leibnizian, it is only by eliminating the idea of a God who chooses the best of all possible worlds, with its pre-established harmony and well-established selves; in Deleuze, incompossibilities and dissonances belong to one and the same world, the only world, our world. First, rather than seeking the conditions for possible experience, Deleuze wants to provide an account of the genesis of real experience, that is, the experience of this concretely existing individual here and now.

Second, to respect the demands of the philosophy of difference, the genetic principle must itself be a differential principle. However, despite these departures, Deleuze maintains a crucial alignment with Kant; Difference and Repetition is still a transcendental approach. Transcendental philosophy in fact critiques the pretensions of other philosophies to transcend experience by providing strict criteria for the use of syntheses immanent to experience. Three further preliminary notes are in order here.

First, as we will discuss in section 4 below, the Capitalism and Schizophrenia project of Deleuze and Guattari will bring to the fore naturalist tendencies that are only implicitly present in the still-Kantian framework of Difference and Repetition. It is the experience by human subjects of this individual object in front of it, and it is the experience enjoyed by the concretely existing individual itself, even when that individual is non-human or even non-living.

Bergsonism gilles pdf deleuze

Second, then, in the demand for genetic principles to account for the real experience of concrete individuals, Deleuze is working in the tradition of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. We are now ready to discuss the book itself. Deleuze inverts this priority: identity persists, but is now a something produced by a prior relation between differentials dx rather than not-x.

Difference is no longer an empirical relation but becomes a transcendental principle that constitutes the sufficient reason of empirical diversity for example, it is the difference of electrical potential between cloud and ground that constitutes the sufficient reason of the phenomenon of lightning.

Let us take up the first four postulates. The first postulate concerns our supposed natural disposition to think; the denial of this is what necessitates our being forced to think. The second and third postulates concern subjective and objective unity.

Gilles Deleuze (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Here difference is submitted to a fourfold structure that renders difference subordinate to identity: 1 identity in the concept; 2 opposition of predicates; 3 analogy in judgment; and 4 resemblance in perception. Finally, the relation of substance to the other categories is analogical, such that being is said in many ways, but with substance as the primary way in which it is said.

Here we see the dynamic genesis from intensity in sensation to the thinking of virtual Ideas. Each step here has a distinct Kantian echo. Intensity is the characteristic of the encounter, and sets off the process of thinking, while virtuality is the characteristic of the Idea. With the notions of intensive and extensive we come upon a crucial distinction for Deleuze that is explored in Chapters 4 and 5 of Difference and Repetition. Extensive differences, such as length, area or volume, are intrinsically divisible.

A volume of matter divided into two equal halves produces two volumes, each having half the extent of the original one. Intensive differences, by contrast, refer to properties such as temperature or pressure that cannot be so divided.

However, the important property of intensity is not that it is indivisible, but that it is a property that cannot be divided without involving a change in kind. Drawing on these kinds of analyses, Deleuze will assign a transcendental status to the intensive: intensity, he argues, constitutes the genetic condition of extensive space. Intensive processes are themselves in turn structured by Ideas or multiplicities.

An Idea or multiplicity is really a process of progressive determination of differential elements, differential relations, and singularities. Let us take these step-by-step. Finally, these differential relations of an individual language determine singularities or remarkable points at which the pattern of that language can shift: the Great Vowel Shift of Middle English being an example, or more prosaically, dialect pronunciation shifts.

For another example—and here, in the applicability of his schema to widely divergent registers, is one of the aspects of Deleuze as metaphysician—let us try to construct the Idea of hurricanes.

Deleuze pdf gilles bergsonism

These flows qua differential elements enter into relations of reciprocal determination linking changes in any one element to changes in the others; thus temperature and pressure differences will link changes in air and water currents to each other: updrafts are related to downdrafts even if the exact relations the tightness of the links, the velocity of the flows are not yet determined.

Finally, at singular points in these relations singularities are determined that mark qualitative shifts in the system, such as the formation of thunderstorm cells, the eye wall, and so on. But this is still the virtual Idea of hurricanes; real existent hurricanes will have measurable values of these variables so that we can move from the philosophical realm of sufficient reason to that of scientific causation.

A hurricane is explained by its Idea, but it is caused by real wind currents driven by real temperature supplied by the sun to tropical waters. To see how Ideas are transcendental and immanent, we have to appreciate that an Idea is a concrete universal. The second case, on the contrary, defines a differential Idea in the Deleuzean sense: the different colors are no longer objects under a concept, but constitute an order of mixture in coexistence and succession within the Idea; the relation between the Idea and a given color is not one of subsumption, but one of actualization and differenciation; and the state of difference between the concept and the object is internalized in the Idea itself, so that the concept itself has become the object.

White light is still a universal, but it is a concrete universal, and not a genus or generality.

Bergsonism

Indeed, Deleuze adopts a number of neoplatonic notions to indicate the structure of Ideas, all of which are derived from the root word pli [fold]: perplication, complication, implication, explication, and replication.

Similarly, the Idea of sound could be conceived of as a white noise, just as there is also a white society or a white language, which contains in its virtuality all the phonemes and relations destined to be actualized in the diverse languages and in the remarkable parts of a same language. We can now move to discuss Chapter 5, on the individuation of concretely existing real entities as the actualization of a virtual Idea. In isolating the conditions of genesis, Deleuze sets up a tripartite ontological scheme, positing three interdependent registers: the virtual, intensive, and actual.

Simply put, the actualization of the virtual proceeds by way of intensive processes. Tying together the themes of difference, multiplicity, virtuality and intensity, at the heart of Difference and Repetition we find a theory of Ideas dialectics based neither on an essential model of identity Plato , nor a regulative model of unity Kant , nor a dialectical model of contradiction Hegel , but rather on a problematic and genetic model of difference. From these examples we can see that Ideas structure the intensive processes that give rise to the behavior patterns of systems, and their singularities mark the thresholds at which systems change behavior patterns.

In a word, the virtual Idea is the transformation matrix for material systems or bodies. When structural coupling between an autopoietic structure and its environment takes place, then an entirely new extended, autopoietic entity comes into being. By virtue of language and culture, the human organism extends itself into the autopoietic network of the social group. Higher human consciousness, a special category of cognitive dissipative-structures, appears in this context of the extended, social, autopoietic network.

We can begin to see, then, how Capra helps us to see the body and the mind as structures which have duration built into them as an ontological ground — not as representation, but as progressive differentiation of the dissipative-structure itself.

Aspects of this qualitative differentiation are accessible to our bodies because they are built into the very structure of our bodies. The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy; the soul is the prison of the body. Even those who have objected to its implications have often been at a loss when it came to saying why.

The reason for this is that it is, of course, true — in the sense that the subject is a product of disciplinary regimes. But it is also false in that it does not give any sense of the paradoxical quality of discipline itself. It closes off creative possibilities, locks the body into repetitive cycles of habit, compulsion and morality.

Jean Baudrillard pointed to the dangers of such a course more than two decades ago. Nor is real freedom and creativity to be found in psychotic breakdown. He argues that deep in the ordered regime the islands of activity would be too small and isolated for complex behaviour to propagate across the system. Deep in the chaotic regime, on the other hand, the system would be too sensitive to small perturbations to maintain its organization.

This, then, is not all simply speculation; the maths works. But what about consciousness on the edge of chaos? What I am going to argue here is that discipline is a form of structural coupling.

It links the intra-organismic dissipative-structures of the individual organism with other dissipative systems and inert structures to create even more complex inter-organismic and organic—inorganic structures. As we have seen, all such encounters leave their mark in the structure of the organism — the organism is duration.

So while discipline is a basis for remote control of the organism it also — paradoxically — extends its structural complexity; its repertoire of dissipative, structural modulation is further extended with every structuralcoupling.

The more structural-couplings the organism has, the more it can do with the raw materials of the chaotic, dissipative environment it inhabits. All organisms learn. The untrained encounter with chaos is rarely productive or liberating. In truth they have a certain uncanny unpleasantness about them, but they will never amount to a great deal in the history of human creativity. The same is not true of Deleuze himself.

He was a great philosopher precisely because of what his training and his discipline allowed him to create. Discipline has created this creature within the environment of the human body and nervous system. Language, culture and discipline take the human body well beyond what evolution on its own provided for.

If by behaviourism we mean an attempt to explain human behaviour while pretending that consciousness, meaning, processes of interpretation and so on do not exist, then of course this is not behaviourism. It is precisely a monist, materialist explanation of the nature, emergence and properties of human consciousness. The virtual, then, is the source of the new, the hybrid, creativity. It is the source of our sense of aliveness, our vital spark.

Freedom has real material roots in the dissipative-structures within the human body. But our need for discipline always leaves us open to the possibility of remote control. We must understand the nature of social and psychological systems as dissipative-structures. In this context social control should be seen in terms of structural-coupling, and autonomy and creativity in terms of autopoiesis. As we have seen, the two are inextricably linked in the forging of subjectivity, as structural-coupling lays down the vast array of dissipative-structures which provide the conditions of possibility for ever more complex, autopoietic processes.

This allows us to reassert the art of the cultivation of subjectivity as the route to freedom, autonomy and creativity none of us would be academics working with, and cultivating, ideas if we did not believe this somewhere in our hearts.

1. Against Prior Possibility

But we must also take note of the other side of this equation. Brian Massumi has already commented very astutely on the capacity of the hyperreal to manipulate individuals and groups affectively at a level well below consciousness. In addition, the progress of neuroscience and neuro-pharmacological technologies means that the dissipative-structures of consciousness and the rest of the body will also be the direct site of the next wave of social-control technologies.

Such control offensives as Ritalin, Prozac and the minor tranquillizers are only the beginning. Nanotechnologies are already being envisaged, in which the autopoietic capacities of the human body and nervous systems will be the object of direct and calculated assault.

Our existence as dissipative-structures is a real not a socially constructed fact. It is what makes us potentially free and creative creatures; it is also what leaves us open to potentially mindless control.

Notes 1. Paul and W. Palmer, Zone Books, New York, , p. Patton, ed. Dennett, Consciousness Explained, Penguin, Harmondsworth, , p.

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