Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni


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Table of contents

Duration is constantly open to change and this can produce further change. Deleuze has to manage the concept of eternal return [to preserve this notion of constant unending variety], and uses it against both cyclic and linear time [apparently Kant attempted to define standard time, based on regular movements]. This notion of time has been challenged in modern physics, but it also needs to be rethought in philosophy. Humans are not subject to preexisting time or space, but rather 'create [s] the spatial temporal milieu which it expresses like a spider exuding a web' 77 [fancy language and metaphors instead of argument].

Kant saw time in terms of the static synthesis of events, but Deleuze wants to consider time as a whole, as a pure form [Aion] [genuine obscurity here, as usual]. Breaking from the usual order of time liberates us, and we are forced to manage it by action.

There is something about escaping the past as well, to avoid repeating it, and reconstructing the world instead by synthesizing singularities in a different way]. We become aware of our own image as others and how they affect current action. We can see how nonsense precedes sense. This insight proceeds according to the activities of the automaton [here described as 'the second order automaton of the human body - brain rhizome' We become aware of the operation of duration. All this can happen in a very small internal circuit, the immediate, something insignificant in real time.

These processes can begin as a result of a mirror image which triggers an awareness of the constituting effects of all the layers and strata of the past, through the 'brain - rhizome - affect - percept - concept continuum', which persists through all its determinations [through the usual irritating stuff about operating at infinite speed and so on]. Deleuze's rhizome structure adds dynamism to Bergson's image of the cone in describing time, and sees each layer as a loop, connected transversally [what else?

Gilles Deleuze: The Intensive Reduction (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy)

Thought itself produces this ensemble of elements derived from several sheets of the past [and there is a lot of phraseology that refers to brains and their lobes, 'cerebral membranes' and the like, 80—referring to Deleuze , which might be the one on Bergson? The style of this collection is particularly annoying because it doesn't actually list Deleuze's works anywhere].

Subjective time involves this connection between the past and the present [sounds like the through and through interconnectedness of subjective time to me], and there is also the need to distinguish the virtual from the actual to get the lived present. The virtual is 'the form of cerebral time' These two interrelate and exist at the same time, they are 'double', both body and mind, and the normal human subject can only be understood in terms of the split—not a permanent one, likely to be returned to the process of becoming and returning.

This necessarily involves the disappearance of any independent objects, and installs the notion of description and narration into philosophy, a necessary concession to 'the power of the false' 82 [but that can have creative consequences too as we know from the work on cinema]. Becoming can be illustrated in the form of the diagram. Particular singular forms of the diagram are produced by forces from the outside, including the throw of the dice [the example is the development of the prison from an entire disciplinary diagram].

The process of going back from singularities to diagrams is a creative act, possibly an hallucination, to imagine the unimaginable.


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It is necessary to think of subject and objects as images, as in cinema—'the passion of the subject' Differences of intensity lie behind actualization, including that of the idea [concept? The idea retains an excess as a result, a complex which produces an ideal half in the virtual and the actualized half. Can we conceive the subject in the same way as an ideal I and an actual me?

Lectures by Gilles Deleuze: On Spinoza

Subjects arise from passive synthesis initially [that is habit] which manages the effects of duration, and eventually leads to the construction of the usual conceptions of past and present. We have to return to the notion of intensity to get to 'time immemorial, beyond the active synthesis of memory' 83 , and to the idea of the multiplicity which persists 'through all of time' Deleuze cannot abandon the notion of the subject altogether because he wishes to preserve the idea of interiority as internal multiplicity and continuity—the subject then becomes a cut or an interval in this continuity [then more stuff on the brain and subject, this time referenced to What is Philosophy , as a fold of the world, as a physical nervous system 'in topological contact with its own exterior' 84 ].

So the subject can be seen as a split between the virtual and the actual and their folding together. Actual individuals can still be seen as singularities produced by nomadic distributions. Subjects can deindividuate, however, pursuing disjunctions and ambiguities: this takes the form of the will to power [the reference is to Difference and Repetition ] and involves rethinking the processes that condense singularities, including the recognition that chance plays a major role.

In this way, we can connect singularities back to virtual and past dimensions.

This will also dissolves the conventional notion of the I, however. It raises the question of how things begin in the first place, which, for Deleuze and Guattari, involves grasping the idea of the chaos with directional components, which connect up singularities in series and ensembles [with the usual annoying metaphors about vibrations and music—in the latter case, chaos is halted in particular milieux, where we find repetitions, managed by rhythm]. The milieux can communicate with each other and this can shape a new 'component or dimension: a mutant form, or perhaps a malformation' 85 , or produce a line of escape.

Chaosmos can be modelled as a membrane, managing chaos with 'nonlocalisable rhythms and webs' 85 , and not located in time or space but in Aion [as another example of pseudery, one among so many, try this: 'This Aion lifetime we are disjunctively continuing, immersed in strange waters of the afterlives' 85 ]. So partially stable bits take place between chaos and order, producing a repetition.

Recognizing this forces us to think and to philosophize. We cannot rely either on the past which is inaccessible, or the future which is excessive. The world appears as 'an irrational remainder' Thinking of what lay in the beginning [chaos and all that] undermines a sense of identity and agency, and replaces them with an awareness that we are simply a part of being.

Gilles Deleuze

To combine this with a will to power is inevitably paradoxical and must be borne as a necessity—we have to forget our origins. We have to affirm becoming, 'An ontoethical game' 86 [philosophical heroism], and we are constantly threatened by irruptions of both future and past.

About this book

We are threatened by the intrusion of an outside, but only the interior can manage this and make everything whole. Even so, we are forced to think of 'what cannot and must be thought' 87 [philosophical paradoxes such as realizing that the past affects us even though it can't return, that the actual and a virtual are connected and both real, although they cannot exist at the same time for us, that what we take as fixed and stable is simply an aspect of an overall diagram or abstract machine, that new actualizations are possible.

It is rhythm that produces consistency, the only kind of repetition, providing a milieu [and this milieu is defined as the Idea sometimes]. This leads to the BWO as a plane or underlying substance through which intensities pass [but Canning wants to bang on about rhythm again, and identifies intervals in these intensities as singularities which are linked to inside and outside space].

The plane is a cut or section through chaos, and chaos acts as the limit, the infinite, the indiscernible. Through it, we discover 'pure empty time before creation' 89 , and an absurd origin of everything, a mere series of singularities, the potential for everything. There is 'a pointless origin of all sense and sensibility' Thought makes connections between series [resonance as a metaphor here], if one pursues a suitably [delirious] style to connect thoughts and intensities', to develop the imagination and so on.

We get to realize that time is a playful throwing of dice. Apparently, we should think about the BWO to clarify this game, and Aion. I think this means that we consider what perception itself might be rather than tying it directly to objects or subjects, perception is becoming and metamorphosis, to begin in the middle of indiscernibility. Music is the model because it deterritorializes the voice [liberated from just speech], and of course it shows the effects of rhythm and desire. Deleuze describes chaos as a system of crowned anarchy. It is not that there are no rules at all, but rather that the rules change with every move, every thought.

Repetition as a form of synthesis is no longer available to us [as philosophers] to manage the future. We can at least prevent the past from determining our actions by realizing that there are no fixed rules, no foundations. This leaves us only with situational ethics, an affirmation of divergence and incompossibility.

Further, everyone likes the idea of the death of the egoistic and oppressive subject reducing and dominating the other, but apart from that post structuralists actually vary. Deleuze has done much to criticize the conventional subject, but his actual theory of subjectivity is dispersed throughout his writings. One key element is the idea of the fold, '"the inside as the operation of the outside"' [I think this is best described in Deleuze's commentary on Foucault —see the last chapter].

Recent attempts to replace the subject with the notion of narrative must also be criticized, especially if they are based on phenomenology or hermeneutic. Both still assume that the subject itself somehow constructs the narrative. But subjects can be self-deceived by ideology. Selves and narratives can also be fragmented and multiple narratives generated—why should the phenomenological self be prioritised? For Deleuze, 'narrativization is serialization' It all starts with a disjunction which produces singular points in diverging series.

However, serialization is zeugmatic, both in content and expression. The example given in the online dictionary is: 'after a day's fishing, he had caught three mackerel and a bad cold'. I bet this gives you lots of fun if you are a French philosopher, and avoids saying exactly what you mean]. This gives a rather contingent series and bundles of series, and affects the way the original disjunction allows divergent series to communicate and resonate with each other.

We can extract an overall theory of subjectivity from Deleuze's texts, remembering that the various segments will be zeugmatically related. Deleuze creates series which might converge and diverge, indicate compossibilities, and resonate with each other [resonance is quite an important term, and Delanda tries to argue that Deleuze is using this in the same sense that scientists do to describe harmonies arising between different sequences of noises.

However, as usual, I personally find it a much more metaphorical notion in Deleuze, although sometimes he does seem to take the view that things like human brains actually do resonate with each other in an electronic sense]. We have to find the series going across books. We can identify several according to the problems addressed: The Hume series —how does the mind become a subject?

The Bergson series —how is the subject produced from prepersonal and preindividual singularities and events? The Leibniz series —what is individuality? Is it simply asserted? What is its concept? The Nietzsche - Foucault series —how can we develop the notion of interior subjectivity through the idea of a fold and the internalisation of outside forces which will avoid both internal and external determinism?

The Nietzsche- Klossowksi series —how can we reconcile the idea of the subject with the notion of inclusive disjunctions and incompossible worlds?

Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni
Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni Isolated Experiences: Gilles Deleuze & the Solitudes of Reversed Platoni

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