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and Flows: Gilles Deleuze's Philosophy in the Context of Contemporary Art It was adapted for television in a German version aired in , Meschonnic, Henri () Critique du rythme: Anthropologie historique du langage. Lagrasse: .
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Maimon found a solution to this problem in a principle of difference: Nietzsche and Philosophy , for instance, suggests that Nietzsche completed and inverted Kantianism by bringing critique to bear, not simply on false claims to knowledge or morality, but on true knowledge and true morality, and indeed on truth itself: In Bergsonism , Deleuze develops the ideas of virtuality and multiplicity that will serve as the backbone of his later work.

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. A typological difference between substantive multiplicities, in short, is substituted for the dialectical opposition of the one and the multiple.


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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.


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  7. 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. In , Deleuze published a book on Leibniz entitled The Fold: 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. Second, the world is no longer a continuous world defined by its pre-established harmony; instead, divergences, bifurcations, and incompossibles must now be seen to belong to one and the same universe, a chaotic universe in which divergent series trace endlessly bifurcating paths, and give rise to violent discords and dissonances that are never resolved into a harmonic tonality: 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.

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    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: 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. Here difference is submitted to a fourfold structure that renders difference subordinate to identity: 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. X centimeters of length and breadth. Drawing on these kinds of analyses, Deleuze will assign a transcendental status to the intensive: 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: 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.

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

    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]: 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: 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. For an example of such heterogeneity, let us return to hurricane formation, the Idea of which we sketched above.

    Here it should be intuitively clear that there is no central command, but a self-organization of multiple processes of air and water movement propelled by temperature and pressure differences. All hurricanes form when intensive processes of wind and ocean currents reach singular points. These singular points, however, are not unique to any one hurricane, but are virtual for each actual hurricane, just as the boiling point of water is virtual for each actual pot of tea on the stove. In other words, all hurricanes share the same virtual structure even as they are singular individuations or actualizations of that structure.

    While Difference and Repetition ranges over a wide field of philosophical topics, Logic of Sense focuses on two aspects of a single issue, the structure and genesis of sense. The genius of Frege and Russell was to have discovered that the condition of truth denotation lies in the domain of sense. In order for a proposition to be true or false it must have a sense; a nonsensical proposition can be neither true nor false. Yet they betrayed this insight, Deleuze argues, because they—like Kant before them—remained content with establishing the condition of truth rather than its genesis.

    In Logic of Sense , Deleuze attacks this problem, first developing the paradoxes that result from the structure of sense and then sketching a theory of its genesis. He does this using resources from analytic philosophy and the Stoics in the course of a reading of Lewis Carroll—a typically innovative, if not quirky, set of Deleuzean references. In the first part of the book, Deleuze analyzes the structure of sense. He begins by identifying three types of relation within propositions:.

    Propositions, in other words, can be related either to the objects to which they refer, or to the subjects who utter them, or to other propositions. But each of these relations, in turn, can be taken to be primary. Logical designation, in other words, cannot fulfill its putative role as foundation, since it presupposes an irreducible denotation.

    The theory of the proposition is thus caught in a circle, with each condition in turn being conditioned by what it supposedly conditions. Sense, then, would be a fourth dimension of propositions, for which Deleuze reserves the term expression. Deleuze suggests that it was the Stoics who first discovered the dimension of sense when they distinguished between corporeal mixtures and incorporeal events. Sense thus has a complex status. On the other hand, it is attributed to states of affairs or things, but it cannot be confused or identified with state of affairs, nor with a quality or relation of these states.

    It turns one side toward things, and another side toward propositions. But it cannot be confused with the proposition which expressed it any more than with the state of affairs or the quality which the proposition denotes. The first is the paradox of regress, or indefinite proliferation: I can never state the sense of what I am saying, but I can take the sense of what I am saying as the object of another proposition, whose sense in turn I cannot state, ad infinitum.

    This first paradox points both to the impotence of the speaker my inability to state the sense of what I am saying and to the highest power of language its infinite capability to speak about words. The second paradox is that of sterile reiteration or doubling: Thus extracted from the proposition, Deleuze argues that sense has the status of a pure ideational event , irreducible to propositions and their three dimensions: But how can sense be said to engender the other dimension of the proposition?

    This is the second task of a logic of sense: In the second half of Logic of Sense , Deleuze analyzes what he calls the dynamic genesis of language, drawing in part from texts in developmental psychology and psychoanalysis. Deleuze distinguishes three stages in the dynamic genesis, which at the same time constitute three dimensions of language: The first stage of the dynamic genesis of sense, the primary order of language, is found in the newborn infant. Deleuze draws from a tradition of developmental psychology whose insights are expressed in the vivid image of Daniel N.

    But in the midst of this world of intensities, there also appears a particular noise: Long before the infant can understand words and sentences, it grasps language as something that pre-exists itself, as something always-already there, like a Voice on high. But for the child the Voice has the dimensions of language without having its condition.

    Adults have the same experience when they hear a foreign language being spoken.

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    For the infant to accede to the tertiary arrangement of language denotation, manifestation, signification , it must pass through its secondary organization, which is the production of the surface dimension of sense. How does this construction take place? From the flow of the Voice, the child will extract differential elements of various orders phonemes, morphemes, semantemes and begin to synthesize them into diverse series.

    At this point, Deleuze isolates three series or syntheses: We can clearly see that the constructions of this secondary organization of sense are not yet the fully formed units of the tertiary arrangement of language on high, but they are no longer merely the bodily noises of the primary order. Before the child has any understanding of linguistic units, it undertakes a vast apprenticeship in their formative elements.

    Moreover, since sense lies at the frontier of words and things—it is expressed in propositions and attributed to states of affairs, but it cannot be confused with either propositions or states of affairs—it engenders both the determinate dimensions of the proposition denotation, manifestation, signification as well as its objective correlates the denoted, the manifested, and the signified. The domain of sense is necessarily subject to a fundamental fragility, capable of toppling over into nonsense: The reason for this is clear.

    Sense is never a principle or an origin; rather, it is an effect, it is produced, and it is produced out of elements that do not, in themselves, have a sense. Sense, in other words, has a determinate relation with nonsense.


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    Deleuze, however, distinguishes between two very different types of nonsense. But there is a second type of nonsense, which is more profound than the surface nonsense found in Lewis Carroll. This is the terrifying nonsense of the primary order, which found expression in the writings of Antonin Artaud. Sense is what prevents the sonorous language from being confused with the physical body noise. Following his work in the philosophy of difference, Deleuze meets Guattari in the aftermath of May Days of general strikes and standoffs with the police led the French President Charles de Gaulle to call a general election.

    The government response to May changed French academic life in two ways. First, institutionally, by the creation of Paris VIII Vincennes where Deleuze taught; and second, in the direction of the philosophy of difference, which became explicitly political post Interested in the work of Swiss psychologist Ludwig Binswanger , Foucault aided family friend Jacqueline Verdeaux in translating his works into French.

    Foucault was particularly interested in Binswanger's studies of Ellen West who, like himself, had a deep obsession with suicide, eventually killing herself. In Uppsala, he became known for his heavy alcohol consumption and reckless driving in his new Jaguar car. In part because of this rejection, Foucault left Sweden. Witnessing the aftermath of the Polish October in which students had protested against the governing communist Polish United Workers' Party , he felt that most Poles despised their government as a puppet regime of the Soviet Union , and thought that the system ran "badly".

    Wracked in diplomatic scandal, he was ordered to leave Poland for a new destination. History of Madness in the Classical Age , a philosophical work based upon his studies into the history of medicine. The book discussed how West European society had dealt with madness , arguing that it was a social construct distinct from mental illness. Foucault traces the evolution of the concept of madness through three phases: The work alludes to the work of French poet and playwright Antonin Artaud , who exerted a strong influence over Foucault's thought at the time.

    Histoire de la folie was an expansive work, consisting of pages of text, followed by appendices and a bibliography. The first step was to obtain a rapporteur , or "sponsor" for the work: Foucault chose Georges Canguilhem. Although it was critically acclaimed by Maurice Blanchot , Michel Serres , Roland Barthes , Gaston Bachelard , and Fernand Braudel , it was largely ignored by the leftist press, much to Foucault's disappointment.

    The two remained bitter rivals until reconciling in In October , Foucault took a tenured post in philosophy at the University of Clermont-Ferrand , commuting to the city every week from Paris, [83] where he lived in a high-rise block on the rue du Dr Finlay. Roger Garaudy , a senior figure in the Communist Party. Foucault made life at the university difficult for Garaudy, leading the latter to transfer to Poitiers. It was written in under two months, published by Gallimard , and would be described by biographer David Macey as "a very personal book" that resulted from a "love affair" with Roussel's work.

    It would be published in English in as Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel. An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Shorter than its predecessor, it focused on the changes that the medical establishment underwent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Foucault was also selected to be among the "Eighteen Man Commission" that assembled between November and March to discuss university reforms that were to be implemented by Christian Fouchet , the Gaullist Minister of National Education.

    Implemented in , they brought staff strikes and student protests. An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. Foucault argues that these conditions of discourse have changed over time, from one period's episteme to another. Although initially accepting this description, Foucault soon vehemently rejected it. Both Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir attacked Foucault's ideas as " bourgeois ", while Foucault retaliated against their Marxist beliefs by proclaiming that "Marxism exists in nineteenth-century thought as a fish exists in water; that is, it ceases to breathe anywhere else.

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    In September , Foucault took a position teaching psychology at the University of Tunis in Tunisia. His decision to do so was largely because his lover, Defert, had been posted to the country as part of his national service. Soon after his arrival, Foucault announced that Tunisia was "blessed by history", a nation which "deserves to live forever because it was where Hannibal and St.

    Although many young students were enthusiastic about his teaching, they were critical of what they believed to be his right-wing political views, viewing him as a "representative of Gaullist technocracy", even though he considered himself a leftist. Foucault was in Tunis during the anti-government and pro-Palestinian riots that rocked the city in June , and which continued for a year. Although highly critical of the violent, ultra-nationalistic and anti-semitic nature of many protesters, he used his status to try to prevent some of his militant leftist students from being arrested and tortured for their role in the agitation.

    He hid their printing press in his garden, and tried to testify on their behalf at their trials, but was prevented when the trials became closed-door events. In , Foucault returned to Paris, moving into an apartment on the Rue de Vaugirard. A group of prominent academics were asked to select teachers to run the Centre's departments, and Canguilheim recommended Foucault as head of the Philosophy Department. Lectures began at the university in January , and straight away its students and staff, including Foucault, were involved in occupations and clashes with police, resulting in arrests.

    He refused national accreditation of the department's degrees, resulting in a public rebuttal from Foucault. He enjoyed this teamwork and collective research, and together they would publish a number of short books. The GIP aimed to investigate and expose poor conditions in prisons and give prisoners and ex-prisoners a voice in French society. It was highly critical of the penal system, believing that it converted petty criminals into hardened delinquents.

    Naissance de la prison Discipline and Punish in , offering a history of the system in western Europe. In it, Foucault examines the penal evolution away from corporal and capital punishment to the penitentiary system that began in Europe and the United States around the end of the 18th century. Foucault was also active in anti-racist campaigns; in November , he was a leading figure in protests following the perceived racist killing of Arab migrant Dejellali Ben Ali.

    This campaign was formalised as the Committee for the Defence of the Rights of Immigrants, but there was tension at their meetings as Foucault opposed the anti-Israeli sentiment of many Arab workers and Maoist activists. The Will to Knowledge , a short book exploring what Foucault called the "repressive hypothesis". It revolved largely around the concept of power, rejecting both Marxist and Freudian theory.

    Foucault intended it as the first in a seven-volume exploration of the subject. Foucault remained a political activist, focusing on protesting government abuses of human rights around the world. He was a key player in the protests against the Spanish government to execute 11 militants sentenced to death without fair trial. It was his idea to travel to Madrid with 6 others to give their press conference there; they were subsequently arrested and deported back to Paris.

    In , Italian newspaper Corriere della sera asked Foucault to write a column for them. In doing so, in he travelled to Tehran in Iran , days after the Black Friday massacre.

    Gilles Deleuze (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Documenting the developing Iranian Revolution , he met with opposition leaders such as Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari and Mehdi Bazargan , and discovered the popular support for Islamism. His articles expressed awe of Khomeini's Islamist movement, for which he was widely criticised in the French press, including by Iranian expatriates.

    Foucault's response was that Islamism was to become a major political force in the region, and that the West must treat it with respect rather than hostility. Volume two, L'Usage des plaisirs , dealt with the "techniques of self" prescribed by ancient Greek pagan morality in relation to sexual ethics, while volume three, Le Souci de soi , explored the same theme in the Greek and Latin texts of the first two centuries CE. A fourth volume, Les Aveux de la chair , was to examine sexuality in early Christianity, but it was not finished. His growing popularity in American intellectual circles was noted by Time magazine, while Foucault went on to lecture at UCLA in , the University of Vermont in , and Berkeley again in , where his lectures drew huge crowds.

    He would praise sado-masochistic activity in interviews with the gay press, describing it as "the real creation of new possibilities of pleasure, which people had no idea about previously. Little was known of the virus at the time; the first cases had only been identified in He died in the hospital on 25 June. Hundreds attended, including activist and academic friends, while Gilles Deleuze gave a speech using excerpts from The History of Sexuality.

    Foucault's first biographer, Didier Eribon , described the philosopher as "a complex, many-sided character", and that "under one mask there is always another". Eribon noted that while he was a "tortured adolescent", post, he had become "a radiant man, relaxed and cheerful", even being described by those who worked with him as a dandy.

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    Foucault was an atheist. This page has been accessed , times. The content is available under fair use. Privacy policy About Monoskop Disclaimers. October 15, Poitiers, France. The works are in French unless noted. The links following respective editions point to their online versions; where no file format is specified abbreviations stand for digital archives. Links within the wiki are in green.