READING GUIDE TO: Deleuze, G (2004) [1968] Difference and Repetition, Trans Paul Patton, London: Continuum Publishing Group

[I read this quite late in the series so it is a bit easier{!!}, or at least more familiar than otherwise. If you are new to Deleuze, this is a classic example of his appallingly obscure, rambling and elitist style and his habit of making things look really strange by using odd words and phrases. I would also want to reassure people that the style usually opens with pages of incomprehensible stuff --throat-clearing and hat-doffing -- before settling down, and things become a bit clearer at the end of each chapter or section. I was tempted to skip the expository bits where D is summarizing and criticizing Leibniz,Hegel, Plato etc,and get to the bits where he draws actual conclusions, but some sort of sense can be extracted. Nevertheless these notes are obviously very partial. I have underlined bits to introduce sections which will help me locate bits for my purposes -- sorry if this puts you off]

Preface to the English Edition

He realized that philosophers had not really thought out the notion of difference, but saw it as an aspect of identity, resemblance (if we are thinking of perception), opposition (thinking in terms of logic), and analogy (from the point of view of judgment).  Repetition is similarly mixed up with the identical, the similar, the equal, the opposed, ‘a difference without concept’ (xiv).  [This irritating phrase recurs a lot.  It is defined here as arising when ‘two things repeat one another when they are different even while they have exactly the same concept’—clear as mud.  I think it means that things display empirical differences even while they are classified under the same concept, so the ‘without concept’ bit mean something outside of the concept, not that the concept is lacking. Or it could imply both, which would be dead witty and French philosophical?  I might be completely wrong].  Deleuze thinks this means that variation is constitutive of repetition, its interior, although this is often disguised.  This further leads him to suggest that repetition and difference might be both based on one process, operating in multiplicities.

Philosophy has a relation with Arts and Sciences in that it draws upon these other disciplines for material with which to expound concepts.  Philosophy is not the same as science or arts, but has an affinity.  Philosophy does not advance the subjects, but can advance itself.  For example, there might be a concept based on mathematical differentiation [with a T] and biological differenciation [with a C] [again lots of commentaries have focused on this distinction and find it unclear.  However, the mathematical and biological differences can be translated as a difference in the virtual and in the actual, the abstract and the concrete.  The way I see it is that differentiation describes the abstract state spaces of the system, while differenciation explains how actual processes unfold in space and time [roughly what the translator of this volume says]. The differences do not always seem very important in practice,and the first one is hardly used at all. I capitalise the offending letter throughout as in 'differenCiate'

The traditional image of thought has to be challenged in order to think through difference and repetition.  Deleuze means not only the methods but the implicit or presupposed understandings of existing forms of thinking. For example, we suppose that thought possesses a good nature, and the thinker a good will (naturally to “want” the true); we take as a model the process of recognition—in other words, common sense or employment of all the faculties on a supposed same object; we designate error, nothing but error, as the enemy to be fought; and we suppose that the true concerns solutions—in other words, propositions capable of serving as answers

We have to think instead of problems beyond propositional modes, encounters beyond recognition, isolating the true enemies of thought and attempting to overcome them.  This will require a new image of thought, which Deleuze hoped to find in Proust, and which is discussed in chapter three, which he now sees as ‘the most necessary and most concrete’.


Conclusions might be best read at the start [told you so].  The issue of differences been raised currently by several philosophical projects, including structuralism, and is reflected in contemporary literature.  There is a general turn from Hegel and his notion of the identical, the negative, identity and contradiction as expressing the only possibilities for difference.  These preserve identity as the main term.  This is also a feature of conventional representations and language.  However there is now a failure of representation, loss of identity and the discovery of diversifying forces.  Simulacra have emerged as typical, and ‘all identities are only simulated, produced as an optical “effect” by the more profound game of difference and repetition’ (xvii).  We need to think difference independently of these forms of representation.

In a world of mechanical and stereotypical reproduction, we search for any new differences.  But simulacra already repeat repetitions. Meanwhile, we fail to see the secret repetitions that produce such reproduction, as an endlessly displaced difference.  The point of this book is to explore difference outside of the conventional representations of it, and to discover the secret mechanisms of repetition, ‘the more profound structures of a hidden repetition’ (xviii).  These two concerns can be seen as linked—decentring of difference corresponds to displacement and disguise of repetition.

We have to avoid dangers, including that of the ‘beautiful soul’ [a notion which celebrates difference, which sees all differences as reconcilable, ‘far removed from bloody struggles’(xviii) [Originally used by Hegel to describe Romanticism, I gather. Now the view of community workers and liberal teachers].  Searching for problems can also support this view.  However, when problems become positive and difference a matter of affirmation, ‘they release a power of aggression and selection which destroys the beautiful soul’ (xviii).  It leads us to reject the beautiful soul as a matter of mystification, and reintroduces the notion of essential struggles and destructions.  We can see for example that simulacra overturn the whole system of copies and models [which Deleuze thinks is an aggressive thought!]

He sees this book as a detective novel or as science fiction.  Concepts should resolve local situations, and also gain a coherence from outside.  This is where empiricism fits in.  It is not just an appeal to a lived experience, but creates concepts in this sense, as encounters in the here and now, as an abstract understanding that permits ever new heres and nows [I hadn't thought of this, but this is the metaphysics of empiricism!].  Concepts do not belong to human predicates or human divisions such as particular/universal.  They concern the untimely, ‘”acting counter to our time and thereby acting on our time and, let us hope, for the benefit of the time to come”’ (xix) [the quotation comes from Nietzsche].  There is a corresponding notion of a space, Butler’s Erewhon [which looks like some potential space which has always to be recreated as a here and now, which individuates.I wonder if it is related to the legendary 'any-space-whatever' of cinema --see Cinema 1 ] ‘We believe in a world in which individuations are impersonal, and singularities are preindividual’(xix).  [Sounds like a poststructuralist Creed]. The coherence of the world is not produced by humans nor by God [which makes this book apocalyptic, he says].

It is difficult to write about this, but writing is the only way to explore it, even if, for example, we have to write about science in a non scientific manner.  We need new forms of expression, more connected to the theatre or the cinema.  We should attempt to reproduce philosophy itself rather than doing conventional history of philosophy, even if this means that we talk of past philosophy as if it were imaginary, or feigned. Commentary should emphasize the past text itself and also the present text in which it is inserted, a double existence: this would help us understand one form of repetition at least.  This is how historical material is used in this book.

[OK so I will make a guess at this stage -- intensive differences in the virtual will constitute actual differences, and multiplicities will reproduce repetitions? Or both repetitions and differences?]

Introduction: Repetition and Difference

Repetition is not generality [which I think means it is not uncovered by generalizations, including statistical ones—these assess resemblance not repetition]. Generalization can be qualitative (resemblance) or quantitative (equivalence).  It implies that one particular or term can be substituted for another, whereas repetition involves something that cannot be replaced, singularities which are nonexchangeable and nonsubstitutable—‘reflections, echoes, doubles and souls’ (1).  Repetition involves behaving towards something which is unique, and this alludes to something within a singular [with an obscure literary example about whether festivals represent the event, or whether events repeat in advance the festival].  Repetition of singulars are without concept.  It is the difference between scientific and ‘lyrical’ language.  It’s also true that repetition can be represented [wrongly] as resemblance.

Generalization involves framing some law which also designates its terms [as selections--subtractions in Deleuze's terms --  from what objects present].  It is these terms that resemble each other.  There can be no laws applying to actual particulars.  As soon as we insist that objects illustrate laws, we have to reduce them, because laws meet the impossibility of [proper] repetition as soon as they try to grasp natural objects.  Laws work only in experimental conditions, but these are not natural conditions.  It is easy to mistake differences in kind for differences of degree.  Laws are also linked to each other, so that the constants of one can become variables of a more general one.  (page 2).

Earlier philosophers have tried to discuss this problem [I have not heard of any of them, so  I have to leave this out—page 3]. They have encountered permanence in nature, and see repetitions as miracles.  These examples also show the mistake of relying upon law, and the need to investigate some ‘more profound and more artistic reality’ (3).  Operating at this level helps us to see why repetition goes on 'n' times, not just once or twice, or progressively through stages—repetition in principle.  Apparently, the Stoics saw this as a matter of moving from daily life to moral duty, where laws are properly found, 4-5. This leaves an unfortunate relation between moral laws and natural laws, and the problem is that habit arises, as a second nature, rather than as a willed moral obligation.  Genuine repetition can also be seen as a matter of resemblance, at least until the habit has been acquired and perfected [as when we go through the motions with religious observance or whatever], and there is always a problem of deciding whether it is a genuine repetition in different circumstances.  Repetition is as opposed to moral law as to natural laws.

Moral laws can be overturned in two directions—ascending to  the general principles, and rendering the actual law as secondary, a usurpation; descending towards the consequences which alone are addressed [a kind of going through the motions which actually evades the law].  The first option is ironic, the second humorous [see LofS].  Repetition ‘belongs to humour and irony; it is by nature transgression or exception, always revealing a singularity opposed to the particulars subsumed under laws, a universal opposed to the generalities which give rise to laws’ (6).  [In other words, techniques to evade moral laws also tell us something about the deep structure].

[Then a discussion of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Péguy, page 6f].  All have apparently opposed repetition to generality, and have located repetition as a central concept, connected to freedom, as an act of novelty, the very point of will.  Repetition is opposed to the laws of nature, as in Nietzsche’s eternal return, which is not just a banal cyclical event, but ‘the universal and the singular reunited, which dethrones every general law, dissolves the mediations and annihilates the particulars’ (8).  Repetition involves the suspension of normal conceptions of ethics, normal thoughts of good and evil, something appropriate to the private thinker as opposed to public professors.  Habit implies a ‘little Self within us’ which can extract the new from particular cases, and the memory which can recover the particulars (8).  However, for Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, this is less important than that repetition points towards the future, escaping reminiscence and habitus.  ‘Forgetting becomes a positive power’ (9), an essential component of the eternal return, the result of a will to power, which actually means ‘attempting to separate out the superior form by virtue of the selective operation of thought’ (9) [so philosophical power not political power].

Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are very different, but they have this common argument.  They also focus on movement, not the false purely logical movement of Hegel [this whole section criticises Hegel].  This movement is to exceed representations, which are inevitably mediations, and it is to be detected at work directly in ways which ‘directly touch the mind’, in a form of theatre (9).  Neither actually produced this experience, but the theatrical analogy runs to the discussion, for example, of masks [illustrated with lots of examples page 10].  Theatre is to make body and mind move, not just concepts, dramatise ideas instead of representing concepts, display the immediate rather than mediations, using different roles and theatrical signs and masks.  ‘In the theatre of repetition, we experience pure forces, dynamic lines in space which act without intermediary’ (12).  For Kierkegaard, God has an important role, but for Nietzsche it all turns on the death of God ‘and the dissolution of the self’ (12).

Repetition is not grasped by normal conceptions of moral conduct or natural laws.  There is another problem, this time with representation.  Particular concepts, relating directly to existing things can be seen as ‘having an infinite comprehension’ (13). This is seen in the way in which predicates are attached to objects [This IS a dog—I think I can see where this is going, towards a replacement of IS by AND—see Dialogues and elsewhere].  This sort of relation informs memory, consciousness and recognition—in other words, it describes representation.  Is every determination comprehended by concepts like this?  For some approaches, the answer is positive, so differences become conceptual differences, or representations are seen as only mediations between concepts and things.

However, concepts can be blocked.  One problem is that the predicate has to be two things at once, fixed in the concept while becoming attached to a variable thing [the example is ‘animal becomes something other in man and in horse’ (13)]. This implies that the concept must also have a way of grasping these variables [maybe], and this is a notion of resemblance.  However, in strict logic this is not legitimate, and concepts become tied to and reduced to a non-variable relation [I think this is what he means by becoming blocked], while in real life, concepts can be extended to an infinity of things.  Attempting logical purity means in effect that nothing actual can fully correspond to a concept in terms of a specific here and now [maybe].  Only resemblances are available.

There is another kind of blockage too, not just arising from an attempt to purify logic.  Even if we do attempt to confine the meaning of the concept to an actual object, we are implying more general concepts [maybe].  This in turn implies the existence of other identical individuals which can be grasped by the same concept.  This in turn means that they must participate ‘in the same singularity in existence’ (14), which alludes to true repetition in existence rather than resemblance in thought.  This always happens when purified concepts have to ‘pass as such into existence’ (14) [the notion of atoms for the Epicureans is an example—helpful {not}.  I think the point is that an atom represents a distinct speck, but implies an infinity of such specks at the same time]. Words can be seen as linguistic atoms.  They can be used nominally to name specifics, but speech and writing means they can express an infinite number of such nominalizations, ‘the sign of a repetition which forms the real power of language in speech and writing’ (15).

If we consider a concept being applied to a wide range of objects, even if those objects are identical, they must display nonconceptual differences if they are to be distinct.  ‘Repetition thus appears as difference without a concept, repetition which escapes indefinitely continued conceptual difference.  It expresses a power peculiar to the existent…  Which resists every specification by concepts’ (15) [and some examples of these always available --for Kant, differences include left and right, more or less, positive or negative].  This is because concepts exist in minds and not in nature—hence nature has been seen as alienated mind [dig at Hegel again?].  Objects have no memories, so it must be minds that discover novelties and represent change, able to subtract [Deleuze doesn’t like abstract] something from repetitions in nature.

Another possibility concerns the emergence of self consciousness or recognition, remembrance in memory [typically for him, the subjective operations are seen as blocks as well].  Consciousness appears to make representations really profound, something arising from free thought, something unconfined in any of its products.  When this consciousness or memory is missing, knowledge appears to be located in the object, and representations seem unconscious [or 'natural', obvious, objective?].  Freudians developed the notion of repression, which can make repetition itself appear as non subjective, as a compulsion.  For Freud, compulsive repetition involves repression and lack of memory, whereas self consciousness points to the future and release.

Repetition can be both tragic and comic.  Theatrical heroes have to repeat it because they are separated from some essential knowledge, a blocked representation.  This may be some natural knowledge or some ‘terrible esoteric knowledge’ (17).  This knowledge must be seen by the audience to underpin all the elements of the play, although the hero cannot represent it to himself, but can only enact it.

Three types of block [go back and count them] all involve a repetition which is also a difference between objects, but one that has not been conceptualised.  This is because of excessive logical purity, the absence of memory in concepts of nature themselves, and in unconscious activities like repression, respectively.  Does this show that it is the inadequacy of concepts and representations that are responsible?  This implies a negative explanation of repetition, one that could be remedied by various acts of perception or consciousness, better comprehension.  This still privileges identity.  Perhaps logical purity could be combated by more thought, but ‘natural blockage itself requires a positive superior conceptual force capable of explaining it’ (18).

Freud was never happy with the idea that repetition is explained by amnesia.  Repression was originally a positive force, arising from the pleasure principle, but when Freud discovers the death instinct, it is connected with repetition phenomena.  The death instinct appears as something transcendental not just psychological, and it comes to be seen as a positive force affirming repetition.  It could be that repetition occurs in various disguises, as in dreamwork or symptoms, reproducing some primitive Same.  However, Freud discovers people playing roles and masks, and was on the verge of developing the notion of the unconscious as theatre.  However, he remained with notions such as the fixations of the Id: even the death instinct eventually becomes a matter of returning to inanimate matter, a physical repetition.

The notion of theatre helps us see that repetition disguises itself necessarily, proceeding from one mask to another, one point or instant to another.  There is nothing underneath the masks except other masks, no first term, only repetition itself.  It is always symbolic.  Variations do not come from relations between repression and repressed instances, but express certain ‘differential mechanisms’ themselves.  Even apparently obvious repetitions, say of obsessions, only cover more profound repetitions [with all sorts of odd examples of theatrical devices, page 20]. In this sense, what is repeated is not represented, but rather signified. Repression is really a device that enables us to experience things only as repetition in this representational way.

Freud got close by talking about primary repressions which produce representations, which enable us to live with our drives.  He thought this was the death instinct, as a positive internal principle.  He realized that curing pathological repetition involved fully installing one’s self in the past, understanding the connection between knowledge, resistance and representation.  Again this is a theatrical operation involving transference, a form of repetition which heals, where patients repeat the whole of their problems in controlled conditions.  Again it is related to the death instinct, since that is also a liberation.  It provides repetition with a positive principle, a disguising power, and a final immanent meaning ‘in which terror is closely mingled with the movement of selection and freedom’ (22) [in other words, the prospect of death focuses the mind?]

Why does repetition involve a necessary and superior positive principle?  We can take an example of artists ostensibly copying a decorative motif: in reality, what they are doing is combining elements, including elements from earlier attempts.  Only at the end can we see a stable pattern.  This tells us something about causality, both in arts and in nature—missing elements are responsible for symmetrical outcomes, and cause has less symmetry than the effects [in other words, effects emerge].  This must be so if 'cause' means more than just a logical category, an action resulting from a process, signalled by the notion of cause.  Causes must also emit signs which disguise this dissymmetry [that is lead us to ignore it?].

Referring to a lack of symmetry is not meant to be negative, because it includes the positivity of causals: it is positivity.  Causes are also two things really, one referring to the acting cause, and the other to the overall effect which emerges [as above].  There is both static and dynamic repetition [cf static and dynamic social reproduction].  The dynamic one actually reveals ‘repetition of an internal difference’ [such as class conflict] which is carried from point to point (23).  This sort of representation doesn’t reproduce a figure but an idea, and the space that corresponds to it.  This is also seen in notions of rhythm or symmetry—there is arithmetic symmetry and geometric symmetry, static and dynamic forms.  The dynamic process is the vital and positive one, ‘at the heart’ of the more static one, where dissymmetry is a genetic principle of a static network.  In rhythm, there is regular arithmetical ‘cadence repetition’, but also one determined by ‘a tonic accent, commanded by intensities’ and these produce unequal periods between metric equivalent ones (23), and these provide the distinctive points in a rhythm [the cadence is a kind of formalization?].  Bare repetitions always [?] contain these other forms of repetition which constitute them, and which are disguised by them.  There is an evolutionary example as well—evolution is a variable curve within which creatures repeat themselves more specifically.

Getting back to words [if only you had had a decent editor, mate], the example of rhyme shows a form of repetition that does not involve repeating the actual word, but rather indicating a poetic idea.  Rhymes do not mean equal intervals, but rather tonic values and rhythms.  Repetitions of specific words can therefore be seen as an example of a more general rhyme, including cases where words can express different senses, or where they can lead to an emphasis on neighbouring words [examples of great writers who do this, page 24.  They look interesting, for example apparently Roussel takes homonyms or ambiguous words and links them with a specific story.  I did not understand the example of Péguy’s style, which apparently turns on connecting contiguous points].

The Same is not reproduced by simple bodily movements, because even imitation involves ‘a difference between inside and outside’ (25).  It is not a good way of acquiring a behaviour, since it operates only with movements but not instigation of movements.  Proper learning involves not just performing an action when you see the representation, but seeing the relation between a sign and response, not repetition of the same, but ‘an encounter with the Other’ (25).  Signs are necessarily heterogeneous, in terms of their relation to the object that bears them, their internal characteristics which refer to an idea, and to their reception, since a response does not resemble the sign. [Strongly implies an interpreting subject here after all, an active reader of signs?]

‘That is why it is so difficult to say how someone learns: there is an innate or acquired practical familiarity with signs [suspicious universalism again, no cultural capital etc]’ (25-6).  We don’t learn by being told to do, but by doing things with someone, and being able to deal with heterogeneous signs rather than simple gestures to be imitated.  Learning is not just sensory motor.  Combining [matching]  points of your body with those of an external environment involves the Other, a difference which is maintained through repetitive spaces.  ‘To learn is indeed to constitute the space of an encounter with signs, in which the distinctive points renew themselves in each other, and repetition takes shape while disguising itself’ (26).  The ‘distance’ from which signs come is also important [not sure what this means -- something to do with being overwhelmed by very 'close' signs?]].  Signs allude to powers behind words, gestures, characters, and objects, and to repetition as real movement not abstract movements as in representation.  [Reads like a fancy philosophical version of symbolic interactionism, but still without a subject. So THIS is the basis of Semetsky's link between Deleuze and Dewey?].

Repetition does occur when identical items with the same concept appear, but even here there is ‘a secret subject, the real subject of repetition’ (26).  We must find some subject, a singularity, a repeater, or rather two forms of repetition [we don't like subjects].  In one type, differences exist only external to concepts, and in the other differences are internal to the Idea.  The first can be seen as repetition of the same, while the second includes difference and includes itself in heterogeneity.  The second one is affirmative, showing some excess in the Idea.  [And other differences, including material/spiritual, inanimate/divine, bare repetition/covered repetition, and finally an interesting one—accuracy vs. authenticity].

These repetitions are linked, so the second is at the heart of the first, in the depths of the first.  Dissymmetry is hidden within symmetrical ensembles, the Other in the repetition of the Same.  This explains blockages.  What is masked turns out to be ‘the truth of the uncovered’ (27).  The affirmative difference disguises itself in its bare repetitions.  We must not be misled by empirically diverse examples, differences of speed or variation, where repetition seems only approximate, and we think we have to deploy analogies or metaphors.  But at the same time, differences are not just empirical or exterior, because this would imply that the concept embodies the Same.  Examples used so far could be seen as mixing up quite different types of repetition [editor needed again], but the point is to show a common structure, identical elements, ‘which necessarily refer back to a latent subject’ [weasel which keeps the faith with the anti-Subject stuff?](28).  We can avoid metaphor or approximification, and see this quality in all repetitions: ‘it forms the essence of that in which every repetition consists: difference without a concept, nonmediated difference’ (28).

This refers back to the initial points about generalization, and how it is limited by a number of blocks.  We need to think out what repetition is, look into its interior, in order to explain how outer repetitions cover it, but also to be able to generalise adequately, without the need to incorporate various attenuating and varying factors.  This will ultimately reveal ‘the play of singularities’ (28).  The singularities appear behind interferences and generalities, in nature and in moral life.  The idea of a singularity implies that ‘The interior of repetition is always affected by an order of difference’ (29) [could be an example of the contingency and heterogeneity of singularities, their haecceitiy-like qualities?]: repetitions are misunderstood because they can also repeat according to an order other than their own, and it’s that sort of repetition that causes problems for generality [when it is taken as empirically given,  bare repetition?].  [Gabriel Tarde is admired here, page 29, for arguing that empirical resemblance is itself really displaced repetition—maybe—and for seeing that in both mind and nature, difference and repetition were being brought into correspondence in some dialectical process].

If we do, mistakenly, see difference as conceptual, and repetition to be empirical, it looks as if we can solve the problem by an appeal to the facts—‘Are there repetitions—yes or no?’ (29) Is difference only ever conceptual?  However,  no empirical objects are absolutely identical, so it is not likely we can solve this problem by appealing to facts.  Differences can be internal, but not conceptual—some ‘internal differences…  dramatise an Idea before representing an object’ (29) [with an aside on Kant and Leibniz. Not sure what this dramatisation might involve -- producing clarity or urgency?].  Kantian intuition can better be seen as an’ internal, dynamic construction of space which must precede the “representation” of the whole as a form of exteriority’ (29-30).  Internal genesis is a matter of intensive quantity rather than schema [that is emergent again, not following a blueprint?], related to ideas rather than concepts.  If spatial order and conceptual order are brought into harmony, this arises from intensive processes, continuities which ‘give rise internally to the space corresponding to Ideas’ [a denial of subjective synthesis, a milder version of saying the Ideas have us and not the other way about again?]

All the ambiguities with repetition have a single source [a variety of the old transcendental deduction].  It is tempting to consider that only extrinsic differences are involved in repetition, and that we can only get at internal processes through analogy, ‘an approximative repetition’ (30) [repetition --sic--of the point above].  Other approaches identified differences in concepts as a simple matter.  Yet these views are premature until we have investigated exactly what is involved in repetition and the nature of its interiority, what we understand by conceptual difference and difference without concept.  What exactly is the concept OF difference?  We suggest that difference is a singularity at the level of Ideas.  Repetition will point in the same direction.  Both concepts will intersect, ‘one concerning the essence of repetition, the other the idea of difference’ (31).

[Rambling structure with examples and arguments mixed and repeated. Don't they have editors in French publishers? The last bit says it all really]

Chapter 1 Difference in Itself

[Here we go, with some obscure rambling and throat clearing before we finally get to the main issues]

Difference disappears into ‘the undifferenCiated abyss, the black nothingness' and also 'the white nothingness, upon which float unconnected determinations like scattered members' (36) [that old black/white hang up again then].  However, proper difference is determined, 'unilateral distinction', unlike the difference between things which is empirical and extrinsic.  We need to think of something that distinguishes itself, something which makes the difference, something in the background which dissolves all the forms [with a reference to the human face, 37, and some examples from different types of painting which involve particularly distinguishing lines].  Thought is important as 'that moment in which determination makes itself one' (37). 

Difference can appear monstrous or cruel [and the latter involves Artaud, where 'cruelty is nothing but determination as such'], and one thing that the philosophy of difference can do is to show its positive dimensions.  This will need us to dissociate reason from representation, especially the processes of ‘identity ...the undetermined concept; analogy, in the relation between ultimate determinable concepts; opposition, in the relations between determinations within concepts; resemblance in the determined object of the concept itself' (37), the four types of ways to mediate difference  [I hope this gets clearer – somehow these mediations are connected to the idea of difference as ‘evil’].  Instead, we have to relate difference to concepts themselves, see how it is inscribed in concepts.  One route is to consider how much difference can be permitted while remaining within the limits of the concept [obscurely rendered as the issue of the Large and the Small].  We should also rethink the moral terms of the debate which sees evil in difference [presumably, some philosophical tradition sees it that way?].

We need to find a 'propitious moment', (38) as in Greek philosophy, to show the reconciliation of difference and the concept.  Aristotle distinguishes difference from diversity or otherness [something to do with differences not just disagreeing, but agreeing in something else—like the relation between species which can still agree as members of the genus, between individuals that are members of the same species, and even between genera that are all part of being].  The issue then becomes one of identifying the greatest difference, 'the most perfect, the most complete' (38)—it must be 'contrariety’ for Aristotle, not contradiction or 'privation’.  However, empirical  contrarieties are only corporeal modifications, requiring a further distinction between those characteristics which are extrinsic and separable (such as skin colour), or inseparable (such as sex).  We have to think instead of contrariety in essence, 'modifications which affect the subject with respect to its genus' , differences which define genera.  Other differences become simple: individual differences are too small [to help us pin down the issue], generic differences too big [in that the genera are ‘uncombinable’, and do not relate, or partake of contrariety].

It looks like specific difference approaches the issue of differences in harmony with the concept, related to the essence in general, 'pure because it is formal', synthetic, and mediated.  It is also productive in the sense that specific differences give rise to different species: in this sense it can be a cause.  As a predicate, it fits the notion of species, but also refers to genus (39), while making it clearly something other.  It is a concept that links with all the other differences from individuals to genera, 'like a transport of difference' (40), spanning essences and the most condensed objects [compare this with Delanda and the notion of abstract states condensing into actualities].

However, it could be argued that generic difference is greater than specific, and contradiction greater than contrariety, but only if we assume that identity of the concept is the ultimate test.  Otherwise, we are right to concentrate on specific/species difference, which does not express the essence of the concept, but 'is merely reconciled’ with it (40).  This offers a point of accommodation, especially for Greek philosophers, but this led to a long running confusion between developing a distinct concept of difference, and thinking of how differences appear in concepts in general [I think this is saying that the second case dominates, and this implies an identity in the concept which produces differences, instead of thinking what difference itself might be.  'Difference then can be no more than a predicate in the comprehension of the concept', 41, means we only see differences as helping us understand the identity of concepts?]. 

Aristotle is forced to suggest that the qualities mentioned above (purity, productivity etc.) are illusory after all. Generic difference is much larger than specific difference, and seemed to offer the best basis for developing determinable concepts as categories, and seems to be a simple difference, which makes specific/species difference less important for him.  Generic differences are proper autonomous differences, allowing that Being cannot itself be a genus [but I thought it was a quality shared by the genera?—  these differences between being and genera are of a different order?].  However, it raises the problem of reconciling the equivocal and univocal nature of Being.  Aristotle’s approach remains unclear in this respect—there are categorial or generic differences, which implies a common concept in Being, but for Aristotle, Being 'has no content in itself' (42), but only the relation to the categories.  This leaves the equivocity of being as 'a matter of analogy' (42) [between the categories or the genera].  It must be judgment that is involved in relating the categories to being [and the species to the categories].  This judgment involves 'partition of concepts'[suggesting that the actual objects partake of bits of concepts?] and measuring, constructing a hierarchy.  Judgment splits into 'common sense', the partitioning, and 'good sense', the hierarchy.  Both involve justice.

Whenever we find categories, we must find this model of analogy and judgment [Deleuze’s examples are Kant and Hegel].  Analogy does not clarify concepts, however, and implies identity again [within judgment], this time as 'the quasi-identity of the most general determinable concepts (42).

Both generic and specific differences rely upon particular kinds of representation, even though they are different [ahem.  Deleuze has to use a number of circularities to avoid this embarrassing repetition—oh dear—such as that these differences do not 'share the same nature', 43].  Generic differences cannot have a shared identity in being, as above, since being has to be something other than a genus.  The relation between species and genera can be reproduced in more specific and eventually individual differences, to produce a branching structure of categorization, linked by analogy.  This can be assisted by 'a direct perception of resemblances [eventually, once we get concrete enough] …  The continuity of sensible intuition in the concrete representation' (43), eventually relying on a systematic methodology.  There is a dispute about whether the larger or the smaller categories are taken to be concepts of nature.  However, continuity between large and small differences depends on difference being taken as 'a reflexive concept'(43) [as 'a concept of reflection’,one of mere thought alone?].  Such reflection meets the requirements of representation and makes it look organic, bringing together both ‘mediating and mediated difference’ (44).

Representation therefore has four elements: 'the identity of the concept, the opposition of predicates, the analogy of judgment and the resemblance of perception' (44).  Only some catastrophic break helps us to see difference as real not as just ‘reflexive’ [based on reflection or subjective judgment?].  Such catastrophes actually suggest 'an irreducible ground which continues to act under the apparent equilibrium of organic representation' (44) [which Deleuze now proceeds to develop]

'There has only ever been one ontological proposition: Being is univocal’ (44).  Duns Scotus developed this ontology, even if it was in an abstract form, and the same idea runs through to Heidegger.  'A single voice raises the clamor of Being'.  We are not just replacing the idea of Being as a genus after all.  Nor is it enough to try and think in terms of propositions, partly because propositions and names 'do not have the same sense even while they designate exactly the same thing' [the 'celebrated' examples include morning star - evening star, and planblanc].  These are merely formal, qualitative or semiological distinctions, and we need instead to think of formally distinct senses which enable us to access being as ontologically one.  We should not think of these as analogies, but as a single sense, found in ‘individuating modes’ (45).

Being is the same for all its individuating differences or 'intrinsic modalities' even though these are not the same themselves.  'The essence of univocal being is to include individuating differences…  just as white includes various intensities, while remaining essentially the same white' (45).  Being has a single voice which includes all the diverse and differenCiated modes, and includes difference itself.  Hierarchy and distribution appears in relation to individuations, but are different in Being.  Distribution in the sense of dividing up can be understood through common sense and good sense, and may be grasped through 'fixed and proportional determinations which may be assimilated to "properties”'(45).  There may have been an agricultural basis for this notion of judgment [a bit of Durkheim?].  But in Being, we find nomadic distributions, 'without property, enclosure or measure…  a division among those who distribute themselves in an open space—a space which is unlimited' (46).  This space is like the space of play rather than a sedentary one, and filling a space involves 'an errant and even "delirious" distribution…  across the entire extensity of a univocal and undistributed Being' (46).  All things are divided up within being [why not call it God and be done with it? But...] This distribution is demonic rather than divine, unruly.

Hierarchies can also be based on measures of distance, or seen from the point of view of power, the stratified ability to transcend limits, to go to the limits of what it can do, to break official limits.  Such a measure is ‘the same for all things…  Substance, quality, quantity etc.…  a single maximum' (46), and maximum diversity produces an equality, something not measurable.  Ontological hierarchy of this kind is 'closer to the hubris and anarchy of beings…  It is the monster which combines all the demons’ (46). Things that are not empirically equal become equal in terms of achieving their potential, where they are all participate equally in Being.  'Univocity of being thus also signifies equality of being.  Univocal Being is at one and the same time nomadic distribution and crowned anarchy' (47).[Sounds like a philosophical version of equality of opportunity, or the progressive mantra of developing according to your potential, just go off and be yourself -- both are relaxed about actual inequality and its role in providing capital and security that would permit nomadic wanderings etc].

Are the relations between individuating modes or factors linked by analogy?  Are the modalities themselves not unequal in the way they participate in Being?  Is it not only an abstract sense in which the individuations have something in common?  Is there no lurking quasi concept of identity in the notion of univocal Being?  Deleuze says that these questions can be answered by considering what he has already said about analogy in terms of relating generic and specific differences, and denying that being can be seen as a common genus.  Analogy can never solve the problem which says that being is related to particular individuations, but we can never understand the individuality of those individuations, since anything that is particular can only be seen as a component of the general, and only by examining fully constituted individuals [backwards as it were, asymmetrically] can we work this out.  Deleuze says that individuation does not mean 'individuals constituted in experience, but that which acts in them as a transcendental principle: as a plastic, anarchic and nomadic principle…  No less capable of dissolving and destroying individuals than of constituting them temporarily' (47).Individuations operate 'underneath matters and forms.  The individuating is not the simple individual' (48).  It is a matter of actualization, something which precedes matter and form and anything else empirical.  Univocal being has an individuating potential, a ‘prior field of individuation’ within it, and empirical forms presuppose this.  [This section answers those questions above, Deleuze thinks.  He says openly that this means that {mundane --see below} individual differences are not the important ones that will yield categories, they are equivocations 'in and for a univocal being' (48)].

Philosophers have argued for this conception since Duns Scotus.  For DS, Being was understood as neutral or indifferent, as between [the empirical and the ontological]: this was to oppose the force of analogy in judgment, and to stave off pantheism [relativism?].  [Expanded 49 F].  He got close to seeing real distinction as opposed to modal distinction [empirical variations, more or less].  Spinoza sees univocal being as affirmative or expressive rather than neutral, as substance.  This also led to a struggle against analogy, and the need to clarify different types of distinction, especially ontological, formal and numerical [combined  in Descartes, apparently, and denying that the last ones are particularly significant philosophically].  Spinoza also arrives at the idea that the modes are best seen as degrees of power, and should develop these degrees to the limit, as above.  He also sought difference as the principle, and identity as something which the principle becomes.  Nietzsche sees this as the eternal return, not the return of the identical, but 'the being of becoming…  The becoming identical of becoming itself' (50 to 51).  [I also wonder if I have not misunderstood the 'eternal' bit? Maybe it doesn't mean we have to wait until eternity for return. Maybe it means continuous? Daily? The idea that, like duration, reality is eternally moving on, selecting, choosing etc?] This subsequent identity is repetition…  'Conceiving the same on the basis of the different' (51).  Only some differences can produce this repetitive identity, however, so, for Nietzsche, only the extreme forms return, only those that have expanded to reach their limit [sounds a bit Buddhist], since only then things change and become.  This refers to the intensity of the Will which expresses itself in individuals.  It is the same kind of being equal among unequals discussed above [and this time, it is necessary to fully realise your unequal powers, as the Overman does].  The identical must be subordinated to the different in order to realise univocal being.  There is a process that is 'at once both production of repetition on the basis of difference and selection of difference on the basis of repetition' (52) [I hate clever forking philosophers].

The example of the propitious moment does not consider the whole range in which determination might operate.  We have to consider the extremes, the very largest and the very smallest, the infinite.  [The infinite already seems to presuppose an identity of extremes, he notes, 52].  Here, we go beyond the range of ordinary experience, away from organic representation into something wilder—‘orgiastic representation’ [never one to underdramatise!].  Here we will discover the very limits of what seems to be organized, ‘tumult, restlessness and passion underneath apparent calm…  Monstrosity’ (52). We need a particular perspective to grasp this notion of difference as the whole, as pure difference, which acts as a ground for all other empirical differences, as the production of difference, at the very limit of disappearance and appearance.

[We’re going to examine this through Hegel and Leibniz, representing the infinitely large and the infinitely small respectively—and I am going to skim].  Both philosophers, via the notion of dialectic and differential calculus respectively, have studied the moments at which finite determinations produce a notion of the ground and how it is effectuated.  The problem itself gets purified, since both infinitely large and infinitely small appear as equally important, what is actually determined becomes ‘independent of that question’ (53)  {there also seems to be a moral or ethical dimension, where Good and Evil are the infinite extremes, appearing as the principle of choice or suffering and labour respectively}.  If we try to understand the infinite without this purity, with a concrete content, then we encounter the problems of representation again {but this time, in a useful way, it seems, since we split what is determinable with what is determined—53—and thus it becomes possible still to escape limited organic representation --puzzling }].

Orgiastic representation turns things into expressions or propositions [which avoids us having to make judgements about things—enabling more philosophical considerations?] Matters such as small and large become irrelevant compared to the distinction between effects and ground.  Ordinary determinations do not disappear, but are seen as yielding the notion of an infinite, as vanishing or appearing points.  However, the infinitely small is separated from the infinitely large, leaving us with the choice of what to study—Leibniz or Hegel.  This indecision provides orgiastic representation with a certain ‘restlessness’.

Hegel does not really explore the notion of contradiction, but focuses on its purpose, resolving apparent differences by relating it to some underlying ground [or process].  Contradiction is seen as the absolute maximum of difference, the infinitely large difference.  This contradiction serves as the template for all differences.  [I think the next bit is arguing that for Hegel mundane differences only make sense once they develop into absolute contradictions—page 55].  What makes the elements opposite and independent is that they both relate to the outside, the ground.  When opposites synthesise, this is not just a simple identity, the process of the negative becoming positive.  The negative has the dominant role, but the positive is implied.  Any indifferences disappear, as difference is pushed to its limit.  Only those differences capable of developing into contradictions are seen as important [heavy going, page 55].Real contradiction, where an element contradicts everything that it is not, and not just its positive opposite was the Kantian preference [and better for Deleuze].

Leibniz chose the infinitely small instead of the infinitely large which inevitably alludes to God and thus short-circuits the investigation.  He follows another route to discover the ‘restlessness of the infinitely small’ and its intoxicating orgiastic quality (56).  Hegel thinks of the contradiction as generic, containing both the negative and the positive in the very essence of Being, but Leibniz starts with the ‘inessential so far as phenomena are concerned, with movements, inequality and difference’ (56).  This involves seeing otherness as a property, not an essence, expressed in cases.  The procedure which links cases to the essential has a special name –‘vice-diction’ as opposed to contradiction [several online commentaries argue that vice-diction is what Deleuze calls countereffectuation or counteractualization in LofS—one examines concrete cases in order to trace the operation of the virtual.  Here it is a bit more obscure—contradiction operates with properties that are contained in the essence, to gloss this quite a lot, whereas vice-diction sees the relevant properties in the case, not in the essence—presumably, this lends support to Deleuze’s view that the essential, Being, is univocal, not contradictory?].

Examining the infinitely small escapes intuition, and offers instead the differential relation [dx/dy].  This is a universal function independently of numerical values [indeed, it persists, even with the numerical values of zero, Delanda argues].  However, there are apparently variations which are interdependent, and which thus, in a sense, reciprocally determine each other [maybe—57].  This in turn suggests complete determination [every point on the curve can be determined, or at least every tangent drawn on every point—which, Deleuze suggests means that this is still an uncompleted determination].  This is equally true for the opposite process of integration.  With these two, we can explain the constitution of a curve, but we have still not actually explained the full concrete integrity of the object.  Nevertheless, we can see the differential relation as ‘the pure element of potentiality’, even while numerical values show the limits of the determining power.

Deleuze wants to generalise from this particular example to argue that difference ‘finds its concept in a negative…  of pure limitation’, two basic categories of the ‘inessential in the continuous’, the distinctive/singular, and the ordinary/regular (57).  These limits and properties ‘constitute the structure of phenomena as such…  All that philosophy must expect [comes] from a distribution of distinctive points and ordinary points’ (58).  The characteristics of the ‘inessential’ [the cases, the empirical phenomena] lead to ‘the constitution of the essences themselves’ (58).  What is inessential points to what is most profound.

[Apparently, Leibniz saw completed individual notions of this kind as monads expressing the whole world, without any further problems, but Deleuze argues that things are not as individualised as this, that there are ‘centres of envelopment within the continuum, centres of possible implication or involution which are brought about by individual essences’ (58) {these are the vectors and attractors in DeLanda’s terminology?}].  These individual essences are themselves constituted by the continuum, and are thus ‘preindividual singularities’, in the process of individuation.  Apparently, Leibniz got close to this too, via a discussion of the necessary link between the expressions and the expressed.  The latter cannot exist without the former, but the latter is a requisite of the former—58.  This connects with Leibniz's notion of compossibility, and Deleuze argues that the real world is the best one for Leibniz, because it offers the ‘maximum of continuity and a maximum number of cases, in a maximum number of relations and distinctive points’ (58).  Deleuze translates compossibility in terms of singularities extending their points up to the boundaries of the next singularity, with incompossibility as produced when series diverge.  Incompossibility is not contradiction or even opposition, but only divergence.  Compossibility follows from the notion of vice-diction --maybe because we see the actual as only one possibility produced by the virtual? The other explanatory route is through Bergson and duration as showing us that many other outcomes would have been possible etc]

In the continuum, expressive centres are produced by differential relations and distinctive points.  These centres produce the world in which they appear as points or cases.  Continuity is a quality of cases, but also of these centres.  Indiscernibility relates to essences and something which [consequently?] envelops expressions.  Together, these processes constitute difference. 

Orgiastic representation can grasp these processes and the way they determine things, expressed in a concept of [pure?]  difference.  By contrast, ordinary or organic representation must mediate difference, subordinate it to identity, pursue analogies, offer purely logical oppositions and resemblances.  It cannot represent the whole or the ground and the relations between them and the actual.  The relation with identity appears as the foundation instead, which means that ‘particular Selves [are] considered as essences’ (60), instead of being ‘enveloped’ by the ground.

[Leibniz apparently went further than Hegel in grasping this role for the ground, but neither fully freed the notion of infinite representation from the principle of identity.  The only argument I understand relates to Hegel, who operated with ‘monocentric’ or converging circles in the dialectic based on contradictions within identity.  It’s possible that the argument is that Leibniz is seen as making the discovery of identity the point of vice-diction.  Both compromise too much with ‘the existent’ as identity, with difference as negativity.  Deleuze wants to suggest that ‘the eternal return’ {dynamic reproduction I think of it as} offers a better account instead of linear progress or infinite circulation.  The orgiastic possibilities do not threaten identity and only produce ‘a preformed false delirium’ (61)].

We should experiment whenever we meet a limit or an opposition, by asking what is presupposed.  For Deleuze it is ‘a swarm of differences, a pluralism of free, wild or untamed differences; a properly differential and original space and time; all of which persist alongside the simplifications of limitation and opposition’ (61) [good for dereification here then].  Underneath propositions and limits we can detect ‘an abstract and potential multiplicity’.  We must see how disparities are distributed in this multiplicity.  Empirical limitations simply describe one possible state [maybe].  Opposing tendencies appear as possibilities only on one plane, sometimes with a false depth (61).  What we need is ‘the original, intensive depth which is the matrix of the entire space’ (62).  Every couple and polarity ‘presupposes bundles and networks, organized oppositions presuppose radiations in all directions ’.

What appears in two dimensions depends on the whole ‘arrangement of coexistent, tiered, mobile planes, a “disparateness” within an original depth’.  The point is not to add depth as a third dimension, but to see it as there at the beginning, constituting surface levels and itself as depths.  Normal oppositions and limitations appear on the surface, in conventional space and time,  but they ‘presuppose in their real depth far more voluminous, affirmed and distributed differences which cannot be reduced to the banality of the negative’.  Leibniz got close to this, although he still saw a fundamental convergence as the affirmative principle, and left ambiguous the status of the incompossibles, which remain all as part of the world for Deleuze

The same goes for conflict.  Some people have seen this is a profound process [like conflict theorists and Marxists.  Maybe like Foucault too?  Darwinians?], but there is an even more profound one underneath—‘the space of the play of differences’.  It is the same with opposition, which also presupposes difference, and tends to reduce difference to some foundation, say in contradiction.  Bur difference is more profound, and only appears at all when it has been forced into assuming some identity, or the negative of it.  Difference is a characteristic of the depths, a differential reality ‘always made up of singularities’ (63).  Hegel’s mistake is to remain at the level of representation and words, producing only ‘false movement, and nothing follows’.  The same goes for any attempts to represent or mediate differential reality.  Representation and represent ants assume a false universality with phrases such as ‘”Everyone recognizes that…”, but there are always singularities which are not represented.  Sometimes they take the form of ‘the profound sensitive conscience’ [the precious philosopher again, presumably?].  It is a misfortune if we claim to speak for others or represents something, and the sensitive conscience refuses.  Antithesis and synthesis can always be mediated and reconciled, [in words], but difference alone constitutes movement, and continues to appear in the thesis.  Hegel’s philosophy therefore only operates with phantoms or epiphenomena [leading to a Deleuze joke: ‘The whole of Phenomenology is epiphenomenology’ laugh!  (63].

The whole approach has to be refused, with its claims of infinite representation, the undifferenCiated, the importance of negation and the negative seen as a limit or some opposition.  ‘In its essence, difference is the object of affirmation or affirmation itself. In its essence, affirmation is itself difference’ (64)

There is the danger of the beautiful soul again [see above, and the plea for a decent editor].  The beautiful soul sees only differences are misunderstandings on a battlefield.  It would not be enough to point to differences such as the ones between affirmation and negation, or life and death to refute this idea.  Instead, we should investigate the relations between the terms, such as whether affirmation arises from a negation, all the other way around.  There are also some necessary destructions, of what exists in order to affirm difference ‘in the state of permanent revolution which characterises eternal return’, or when conservative politicians attempt to suppress all differences which might challenge social order.  Nietzsche can see the point of cruelty and destruction.  [Here, the notion of the eternal return seems to involve the constant renewal of reality, an interpretation discussed elsewhere, such as in L of S, where Nietzsche is seen to be suggesting that reality constantly pops into being, a bit like the way in which duration drives ever onward]. 

Nietzsche also has two conceptions of the relation between affirmation and negation, according to which one is seen as the driving force.  However, the idea that affirmation arises from negation is conservative [‘terrifying conservatism’ is the actual phrase, 64], since all that is negative and deniable somehow gets preserved as well [perhaps].  Moving forward means having to constantly expiate this burden of negativity, reflecting all the old views about differences, as evil compared to identity.  The same argument apparently applies to the Hegelian dialectic which also preserves all the past moments in some ‘gigantic Memory’ (64), possibly in the name of some infinite representation.  This subordinates dialectical movement to that which is conserved, and any radical challenge is eliminated. The representatives of dialectical progress constantly re-enter, carrying this historical burden.

The other conception sees difference as primary, difference as affirmative.  It permits us to discharge and lighten the burden of history rather than carrying and preserving the negative, since the negative is only an epiphenomenon.  The negative only arises as an effect of a poorly calibrated affirmation, too strong or too different.  This is the conception that Nietzsche sees as Zarathustran.  It is not just a generational process when new values emerge to challenge the existing ones, and nor does it lead to relativism.  Instead, a whole sea change is involved, where conservatism is challenged by ‘inspired chaos which can only ever coincide with a historical moment’ (66).  It is like the difference between the average and the extreme forms.  Whereas conventional infinite representation covers the average forms, Nietzsche suggests that they must be eliminated [it looks a bit anti democratic at this point, since history should not be serving the average or the largest numbers].  In the eternal return, the average forms are eliminated, leaving only superior forms.  Extremes represents difference itself, ‘the univocity of the different…  The eternal formlessness of the eternal return itself’.  Everything which can be denied is denied, we must pursue an active forgetting, and that includes weak affirmations resulting only from negatives.  In this way, proper negation consumes the negative, in a ‘constantly decentred, continually tortuous circle which revolves only around the unequal’ (67).

Difference is affirmation. Negativity is not the motor of this process, which depends instead on ‘positive differential elements’, power or ‘will’ which engenders both affirmation and difference.  It is misleading just a focus on the negative.  Conventional representation cannot grasp ‘the affirmed world of difference’, since it is always based on a single centre which mediates everything else.  Movement actually involves plural centres, different perspectives, a ‘coexistence of moments which essentially distort representation’ (67).  Some art works depict this distortion and force us to ‘create movement—that is, to combine a superficial and a penetrating view’ (67).  Infinite representation simply offers an infinity of representations, none of them distorted in this revealing way. 

The centre of conventional representation is where all these points of view converge, ‘on the same object or the same world, or by making all moments properties of the same Self’ (67).  This involves either seeing concepts as forms of identity which make up the ‘in – itself of the represented’, or as ‘the for-itself of the representant’ [the Self] (68).

We cannot grasp the immediate by multiplying representations or points of view, but rather by distorting representations, decentring them, making them the object of analysis.  This lets difference emerge as the real basis for identity, with unified objects arising from a process of differenCiation, part of a series of different elements already featuring divergence and decentring [or in Philosophese—‘everything must see its own identity as swallowed up in difference, each being no more than a difference between differences’ (68).  Modern art can depict these conditions, when it leaves behind representation and attempts to become experience.  This is rather strange, since it is using the sensible to criticise representation, but the alternative is to omit the sensible altogether and end only with ‘contradictory flux’ ( 68) [or private language].

Properly used, empiricism approaches the same goal, and becomes transcendental empiricism, trying to see in the sensible ‘the very being of the sensible,: difference, potential difference and difference in intensity as the reason behind qualitative diversity’ (68).  This also gives aesthetics a kind of rational core.  Difference produces effects in phenomena—signs that point to their meaning.  Transcendental empiricism operates with the multiple, chaos and difference, and nomadic distributions.  Differences can relate to each other as resemblances, analogies, oppositions.  [Then a strange bit which argues that differences will themselves to appear in the eternal return].  It is a chaotic world, without identity, a recirculating chaosmos (69).  Chaos and eternal return are the same affirmation.  The world is ‘neither finite nor infinite as representation would have it: it is completed and unlimited’ (69).  [A bit like perfect but unperfected as above?].  Instead of the coherence of representation, we have ‘chao-errancy’ (69).Repetition [is an example of the eternal return], where difference points to an underlying univocity of being.  Repetition ultimately shows us the disparate, not identity.

[Then a commentary on pre- and post Kantian philosophy, most of it beyond me, 70 F.  Apparently one element is the emergence of the synthesizing Self, incorporated differently by Leibniz and Hegel.  Focusing on difference goes beyond these debates, and questions Self and God, however conceived—Self and God, in various permutations, depend on some underlying identity of substance.  Nietzsche saw that the death of God also meant the dissolution of Self, leaving only being with all its differences’.  It is being that gives the coherence to the eternal return, not God, nor ‘a thinking subject and a thought world’ (70).  The real significance of Kant is that he questioned rational theology and, at the same time and by implication ‘the pure Self of the “I think”’ (70). {What follows is very heavy going}.  Somehow, questioning rational theology inevitably meant an alienated or relatively powerless Self, which can no longer be seen as creating a world in harmony with God.  Synthetic identity {the a prioris and all that?} was supposed to be a way of reintegrating self, God and world, but the effort initially hinted at ‘that schizophrenia in principle which characterises the highest power of thought, and opens Being directly on to difference’ (71)]

[Then another  difficult discussion of Plato, 71 F.  Very literary and heavily referenced.  Initially, the Idea did not appear as just a concept of objects in the world, but as something which was unrepresentable, which thus preserved the possibility of ‘finding a pure concept of difference in itself’ (71).  The process of ‘division’, which was central to Plato’s dialectic, therefore operated without mediation, acting immediately, as a result of Ideas rather than concepts.  It could have been a form of difference which constituted all the others.  However, Aristotle saw it as a problem compared to his own project of categorising, as in assigning species to genera above.  He needed some agreed ‘reason’ to act as the basis of allocating individuals to categories, and this in turn required mediation, ‘the identity of a concept capable of serving as middle term’ (72).  Really, says Deleuze, Platonism was not about categorization like this, but really expressed a selective process, ‘dividing a confused species into pure lines of descent, or of selecting a pure line for material which is not’ (72) {this is summarised drastically, almost just asserted, in L of S}.  This is the process operating within genera or species, which are seen as too undifferenCiated, mixed, needing to be clarified by showing how it represents an Idea.  ‘The search for gold provides the model for this process of division’ (72).  Difference here does not depend on a very general concept, like genus, but turns on selection among rivals, the testing of claimants {referenced in some detail to Plato’s different works, 72 f}.  It is a question of authenticity not identity, a process of ‘distinguishing between things and their simulacra’ (73) within larger categories.  This was important socially, Deleuze says, because in ancient Greece, ‘false claimants must die’.

Plato proceeds by first discussing a myth, a story of an ancient God who cared for the human community, and had to separate out proper roles (‘parents, servants, auxiliaries’) from ‘charlatans and counterfeits’.  Then another myth in another publication( Phaedrus) , concerning the circulation of souls—as I recall, only those who had philosophised adequately about their lives were to be reincarnated first.  Plato also identified the false claimant, who lays claim to everything, the sophist.

This seems unsuitable to Aristotle as relying upon imagination not a proper principal of mediation, but myth has a genuine force for Plato, where it serves as a way of distributing and allocating various fortunes.  It leads to the notion of Ideas as contemplated by the circulating souls, or authenticity as relating to various kinds of participation.  Both act as an adequate foundation for division or difference. 

Plato sees participation as a ground, which people have in various degrees.  It seems to act as a basis for justice, as a grounded Idea.  People necessarily make claims for their participation which can be grounded or groundless {and not just people it seems, but ‘any phenomenon’}, which depicts different qualities of justice as grounded in participation.  This leads him to see division as the establishment of lines of descent according to ‘elective participation’ (75).  The grounded claim will expose counterfeits or simulacra, sophists.

In the myths, the actual test of participation involves particular tasks to be performed,  or problems to be solved.  Dialectic also proceeds by solving problems until one arrives at the ‘pure grounding principle’, playing the same role as the negative does for Hegel. 

However, Plato has a different conception of the negative, especially in his notion of non-being.  In traditional thought, being is seen as full and positive with no non-being, and therefore no ground for negation.  Deleuze wants to say both that there is non-being, but it is not a negative.

Back to problems [editor!].  Problems do not arise from insufficient knowledge, but exist in objects themselves, as signs.  For Plato, the Idea corresponds to the essence of the problem, suggesting that there is some sort of ontological fold ‘which relates being and the question to one another’ (76).  The presence of a question indicates that being is difference, that is there is a bit of non-being in it, ‘the being of the problematic, the being of problem and question’ (77).  This is not a negative, but a  difference in being.  An essence expresses a proposition which is a solution to this problem, and in this sense, non-being represents an affirmation, generating concepts and propositions [dunno if I have got this right].  Negations represent a shadow form of the differences in being, alongside affirmations.  If we take non-being as negative, being looks contradictory, but this is an illusion ‘projected by the problem’, the problem which stays open until it finally gets a response.]

[Then a strange condensed note on Heidegger’s philosophy of difference 77-79.  Very closely referenced.  Difficult to get into.  It also sees the negative and being or something to do with questioning, while Merleau-Ponty took Heidegger to suggest that being is a matter of folding or pleating.  Heidegger saw non-being as the gap between Being and being, the ‘ontological difference’.  That involves the idea of a veiling or folding.  Then there is odd connection between questioning and problems—apparently ontological difference corresponds to questioning and ‘it is the being of questions, which become problems, marking out the determinant fields of existence’ (78)—beats me.  There is some connection with differenCiation, the process which produces being out of Being, which cannot be thought in terms of identity, and this is what leads Heidegger to break out of conventional metaphysics.  Instead, Heidegger sees differenCiation as a common process, the same, the ‘belonging together of what differs’ (79).  I suspect this is going to appear again in the discussion on repetition.  Here it implies that the same is inseparable from difference, unlike the equal or the identical, both of which suggest ‘the dull unity of mere uniformity’ (79)].

The correspondence between difference and questioning is ‘fundamental’, as is the link between difference and being, including the being of the question.  [I still don’t really get this.  On page 81, Deleuze has another go: ‘Each moment of difference must then find its true figure: selection, repetition, ungrounding, the question – problem complex’ There is another bit in the next chapter where it seems to allude to a debate about Freud and unconscious activity, at least in neurotics,  as a matter of asking questions. No doubt Frenchy Freudians saw this as familiar].  Apparently, Heidegger’s conceptions did not completely replace notions of identity, asserting that Being was univocal, but not seeing difference as essential to ordinary being.  The clincher, apparently, is Heidegger’s critique of Nietzsche and the eternal return.

Back to Plato.  The platonic dialectic involves ‘the selection of difference, the installation of a mythic circle, the establishment of the foundation, and the position of the question – problem complex’ (79).  However identity lurks still in discussion of the same [which apparently connects the Idea to the thing? Which acts as a ground for different things?].  The Same must be related differently to the different [!], a way which breaks the priority of the identical, and which does not mediate difference.

This involves abandoning Plato’s distinction between the thing in itself and the simulacra.  When we overturn Platonism, we have to deny the primacy of the original over the copy, and fully admit the role of simulacra [argued more concretely in LofS].  The notion of the eternal return implies that there are only copies with no original.  If it is pure Being which drives eternal return, the actual forms, concrete being, must only be simulacra.  If we reject the centrality of identity, that only leaves being, driven by difference, and simulacra [I think, page 80].  That which returns has no integral identity that is produced by differences.  Simulacra signal the effects of being.  The eternal return allows no ground or foundation which could mediate between things and simulacra.  It argues for an ungrounding ‘the freedom of the non-mediated ground, the discovery of the ground behind every other ground…  The immediate reflection of the formless and the superior form which constitutes the eternal return’ (80).  Every actual thing is a simulacrum.  [Somehow, this excuses the implicit elitism of Nietzsche’s advocacy of superior forms, and superior thinkers, which now becomes innocent rather than cruel.  I think the argument is that the returning simulacra are superior in the sense that they reflect being directly—‘simulacra are the superior forms because they are signs of [proper  heteronomous] coherence’ (81), and see below, but who knows?].

Plato saw chaos as a bad thing, reflecting the lowest level of participation, but power is affirmed in chaos and in its equivalent, the eternal return. Sophistry at least saw everything was a simulacrum, refusing to distinguish originals and models. [Lof S has a more contemporary argument, sounding almost like Baudrillard on the current triumph of the simulacrum -- driven by commercialism?]

The concepts of representation can be seen as conditions of possible experience, but this is ‘too general or too large for the real’ (81). This has led to splits in academic disciplines such as aesthetics, which operates with the sensible, but also with the theory of a beautiful ‘the reality of the real insofar as it is thought’ (82). We make more progress if we think of the conditions of real experience, which are not categories, and which do not exceed the conditions/conditioning of our [subjective] experience.  Then we can see how being reveals itself in experimental art.  Representation is limited to connections between object and subject [as in classic epistemology -- needs to be replaced with ontology etc], and both need to be explored further.  This sort of interest in identity is found in infinite representation and multiple points of view, which is still seen as converging upon the same object.  Introducing dialectic does not materially affect the idea that consciousness [seeking identity between perceptions and objects] lies at the centre.  Modern art helps us abandon representation, to introduce the idea of the autonomous work with its own sense, the product of divergence series, alluding to ‘the formless ungrounding chaos which has no law other than its own repetition, its own reproduction’ (82).  One example is Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.  The object itself dissolves into divergent series, ‘just as the identity of the reading subject is dissolved into the decentred circles of possible multiple readings’ (82) [Close to the familiar arguments about the death of the author, the reader and text, for example as in Barthes].  Everything becomes simulacrum, ‘the instance which includes a difference within itself’, not just an imitation,  but something that challenges the whole system of originals and copies.  This models real experience, lived reality, ‘pure presence’, the disparate.

[Long and difficult chapter ends, thank God.  Nietzsche and the eternal return seems central, conceived as the constant production of the actual and the individuated? Next ordeal looms].

Chapter 2 Repetition for Itself

[Considering repetition leads to us considering time. For the first sections, this is just about graspable if you already know a little bit about Deleuze on  Bergson. If not -- it must be deeply and horribly baffling with its notion of 'present presents' as opposed to 'past presents' etc. Then-- it gets worse and slides into the genuinely incomprehensible! Pity me, O Reader. One or two little islands of familiarity occur now and then, thank Gawd-- Marx, Freud and Bergson -- so my notes probably overemphasise these as I flit gratefully from oasis to oasis.].

Hume argued that repetition does not involve a change in the objects, but a change in our mind, as we add to our experience and begin to develop induction.  Strictly speaking, repetition implies that one object disappears as soon as another one appears. However, we still have a problem, because repeated objects still possess an ‘in itself’ and must do if they are to affect minds.  Does this mean that subjectivity is necessary to repetition, something where the mind draws from repetition?

We can see Hume’s imagination as ‘a contractile power’ (90), which condenses cases and elements in an internal impression.  The extent of repetition of objects affects the strength of our impression, without involving any additional reflection [except for philosophers].  What is going on here is ‘a synthesis of time’, and this is how we understand time as a living present.  This present tends to dominate the past and the future, since both are contracted or condensed, and the living present relates both as experience and as expectation respectively.  This is also movement from particulars to the general.  We can call this passive synthesis [hints of phenomenology here]—because it is in the mind but not formed by the mind, in a passive experiencing subject, which is presupposed.

We can generalise from this [while weaselling round the idea of the subject, no doubt] and see repetition as a movement between limits, a movement from past through present to the future.  Such movements remain distinct in memory or understanding, permitting memory to conserve them.  In other words, the past becomes a collection of ‘reflected and reproduced particularity’ (92) ['reflected' in this sense means something about which we can reflect].  The future takes on the quality of a prediction or generality, not just an expectation.  Memory and understanding like this are active syntheses, developed on the passive ones.

So we already see repetition as implying ‘the in–itself which causes it to disappear as it appears, leaving it unthinkable; the for–itself of the passive synthesis; and, grounded upon the latter, the reflected representation of a “for–us” in the active syntheses’ (92).  Bergson came to similar conclusions, but through considering closed repetition [the tick and tock of the clock in his example, simple repetitions which then become part of a longer sequence or series of cases—in other words, repetition can be found inside cases as well].  The notion of opposition between the tick and the tock in this simple repetition serves to enclose them in a group, impose a limit.  Difference therefore appears inside the case as well as in the more general series.  Repetition can therefore be both open and closed, and sometimes binary oppositions between elements accompany more open series.  The combinations can be found at different levels—specific times on the clock can ‘oppose’ others during the course of a day.

The issue of level is the most important one.  Hume and Bergson leave us with ordinary sensible syntheses, where we can see that contraction still leaves sensible qualities.  We can still operate with ‘organic syntheses’ (93), building on primary perceptions and sensibilities—we know that we are organisms that contain ‘contractions, ...retentions and expectations’ of matter.  Expectations take the form of needs, the contracted past is our heredity.  We can detect these organic syntheses in the activities of our memory and intelligence, an example of how syntheses can combine at different levels.  These combinations are ‘a rich domain of signs which always envelope heterogeneous elements and animate behaviour’ (94).  Each passive synthesis acts as a sign for more active ones, and repetition shows combinations of levels and relationships: however sometimes active syntheses can interfere with passive ones.

Most ordinary activity proceeds with such complexities through the formation of habit, as Hume argues.  We may not recognize the effects of habit, partly because ‘the illusions of psychology [as personal experience rather than as an academic subject?]…  Made a fetish of activity’, partly to stave off ‘fearful introspection’ (94) [maybe he is criticising British Psychology].  How does learning takes place?  Do we acquire habits from action, or do we need some contemplation?  How can a self contemplate itself?  This is difficult, but the issue is really whether or not contemplation is integral to the formation of a self.

Habit draws from repetition, we know.  This is actually another kind of contraction as above.  Opposite elements in the tick tock can be contracted, or relaxed or dilated.  Successive tick tocks can also be contracted in the form of contemplation, and it is this that forms the passive synthesis, the habit of living or our expectation that things will continue.  Habit requires contemplative contraction of this kind [but the contemplation is then forgotten, routinized or sedimented?] [Deleuze uses the phrase ‘contemplative soul’ to locate this contemplation].  This can be seen as a primary form of habit, ‘the thousands of passive syntheses of which we are organically composed...  We are contemplations, we are imaginations, we are generalities, claims and satisfactions’ (95).  We may not be able to contemplate our selves, but we only exist through contemplation as a form of contraction.  Contemplation provides us with ‘an image of ourselves’

Pleasure can arise from sequences of ‘relaxations and contractions produced by excitants’ (95).  It seems to operate as a higher principle not just another element, delivering fulfilment or ‘beatitude’ from these contractions and dilations.

Habit provides the only continuity within ourselves.  We have thousands of habits and therefore many selves, sometimes superstitious and sometimes contemplative.  Objects also can be seen as contractions of their constitutive elements [their inputs or components]. They  can also contemplate, by their existence alone (96) [one of many examples where Deleuze wishes to blur the distinction between human and non human, and does so by simply using words originally applied to human beings, and reducing them to some common function.  ‘Expression’ is a common example and see metempsychosis below].  This could be ironic, but that is still a form of contemplation.  We can only see what is human about our form by considering these nonhuman examples [perhaps].

Habit seems independent of repetition, since all actions are more than just repetitions of the same past ones.  Actually, actions are both particular and general.  Generality least refers to repetition—the latter is the ‘hidden basis on which it is constructed’.  Action itself is only a contraction of elements of repetition (96), which takes place in the contemplative self, the agent.  Actions also can be grouped within cases, and again the contemplative soul is required to grasp this [gets suspiciously close to the conventional human subject]. However, we must think of the self as combinations of little selves which contemplate and inaugurate action rather than as unitary—‘it is always a third party who says “me”’ (96) [gets close to the symbolic interactionist split between the ‘I’ and the ‘me’].  Further, even rats have contemplative souls—even their muscles do.  Since contemplation is usually hidden in favour of just seeing the action, it is easy to overlook the repetitive components of action.

The imagination draws something new from repetition—difference.  Repetition can be seen as essentially imaginary, since it goes on primarily [or only?] in imagination, which constitutes elements or cases of action.  This is true repetition, which never ceases, unlike repetition as it is represented: it is ‘the for–itself of repetition’ (97).  Repetition also contains difference: for example we can pass from one order of repetition to a different one, from instantaneous repetition to synthesised repetition.  This is the lengthwise dimension, but there is difference between orders of repetition in depth, for example different orders for generality.  In this way ‘Difference lies between two repetitions’ (97): and repetition lies between two differences.  [Tarde apparently saw repetition between states of general differences and singular differences, external and internal differences.  In this sense, repetition is ‘the differenciator of difference’—clever bastard]

The present alone seems to exist, as the most vivid synthesis of time, and synthesis implies that the past and future are dimensions of this present.  However, we also know that presents are ‘intratemporal’ (97), in that they give away to subsequent presents.  Contractions in contemplation always produce an order of repetition, the conception of a duration which can vary between species and individuals according to their ability to contract.  This also involves an notion of fatigue as a component of contemplation, the point where no further contraction is possible.  Fatigues are just as common as contemplations.  Fatigue can underly the notion of ‘lack’ from the point of view of action, and exhaustion from the point of view of the passive synthesis.  Need sets the limits of practical contractions, and the repetition of need and its consequences help us to understand the intratemporal succession, appearing as the for itself of repetition and duration.  [We lurch from one vivid present to another as our needs become urgent again?].  In this way, repetition and need are interwoven ‘essentially’ (98) [essentially is used quite a lot].  Needs are not just negatives.

Signs are always found in the present, which follows from the importance of the present compared to the past and the future [Deleuze has an example from the stoics where a scar ‘is the sign not of the past wound but of “the present fact of having been wounded"…  The contemplation of the wound that contracts all the instants which separates us from it’ (98-9).  These are natural signs: artificial signs refer to the past or future as dimensions of the present, which might affect it.  Natural signs follow from passive syntheses, artificial ones from active syntheses.

Back to the question and problem complex.  ‘Need expresses the openness of a question before it expresses the non – being or the absence of a response.  To contemplate is to question.  Is it not the peculiarity of questions to “draw” a response?’ (99).  Questions can display fatigue or stubbornness, according to need.  If contemplations are questions, the contractions which results are ‘finite affirmations’, just like the presents which are synthesised out of time.  Need produces active syntheses [in the form of the organism questioning its environment as iot tries to survive ?].  The actual syntheses ‘signify…  the constitution of problematic fields in relation to questions’.  These questions of need produce the whole domain of behaviour and signification, the play of memory and intelligence.  It all comes from the very first ‘question – problem complex…[arising from]...the urgency of life’ (99).  

It all rests on habit.  All other psychic phenomena, even irony and questions rest on habitual contemplations, even need [stone me - make your mind up -- which comes first, need or habit? You have to oscillate in order to avoid having to decide on either unpalatable alternative -- an aporia I believe this is called?].  The thousands of habits go to make up the passive self, which constitutes the organism itself.  In this way, selves are not simple, but are ‘larval subjects’ (100),  ‘the system of a dissolved self’, affected by underlying conditions.  Whenever a contemplation arises, [remembering how general and widespread this term is] a self appears.  The self is already a series of modifications or differences, made up of contractions, claims and presumptions, expectations.  Literature depicts these larval selves, for example Beckett, showing that beneath active syntheses lie passive syntheses ‘which constitute us’, and which are often miserable and derisory (100 --hooray!).

 [So -- we need the notion of the conventional self to discus agency etc, but then, and only then, can we decompose it into little selves, larval selves, animal selves etc to keep the faith with poststructuralism. But is the self were like this all along how could we explain agency in the first examples? It is a classic asymmetrical argument -- we could not go from larval selves to discuss contemplative selves, but only the other way around? If we persisted in the notion of larval selves from the beginning we could not explain contemplation and would have to account for it in some other way?]

[Pretty much like social phenomenology so far? We soon go from subjective syntheses to objective ones though...]

[I am going to gloss the rest (about 100f) which is so densely expounded, so convoluted self-referential  and so immersed in witty paradox and Parisian Zen it does yer 'ead in, even though it is actually not too bad technically speaking -- just massive. Bergson himself is MUCH clearer. This is what I think it means...]

There must be some other time which governs the intratemporality of the present – we know that the present present will become a past present (witty or what). The present and the past are more intimately connected than chronological considerations alone would suggest. The easiest way to grasp this is to see that elements of the past are also in the present for us, as we act, through memory and synthesis. For D that means that the past really is present, not just in subjective understanding. These will be elements or components that are also attached to repeated habits --two repetitions the Master says. When we look at them they can themselves be contractions or dilations or operate at different levels within the whole of time, as in Bergson's  cone metaphor, where the present condenses the cone 'above' it. In effect this whole past affects the present so strongly as to more or less constitute it, or ground it (duration as the car running slowly downhill which pushes us in front of it etc as in Bergson on creative evolution) . Some levels of the past are shared with other people –even other animals matey wants to argue, probably because he wants to reassure his mates or himself  that he is still attacking the idea of a human subject. This is metempsychosis (the transmigration of souls into animals and other humans etc in Plato's story of the souls above. I assume it means that the old clamour of Being is underneath all the variation again,rather than the Romantic stuff about how we all share the same nature, or the use in Leisure Studies to describe following in the footsteps of others on reconstructed journeys etc?)

When we experience the past in the present it is both immediate, or habitual, and reflective. We can do active reflection in the form of representation – but representation can only deal with contractions, which is why it limits knowledge so much, and this is what D was hoping to find in Proust, a form of reminiscence which would capture the past in non-limiting ways. This sort of reminiscence is a passive synthesis, an 'involuntary memory'(107) , what we depressives would call a flashback and we definitely do not want to experience them, of course, but old Proust dived right in there. They also show that the normal subjective is not the only component of memory? Normally memory domesticates and makes things conform to what we want in the present ( in D's terms it enforces identity and the same). Because it is involuntary and often idealised, reminiscence delivers the past 'in itself' D argues, it 'insists', maybe even despite our wishes. It is  beyond representation,although we have to try to represent it. This is an 'erotic' process and it also hints at yet another dimension or synthesis, of time -- not habitual, not active memorising.

Active memorising is interesting and was developed best by Kant's critique of Descartes's 'I think therefore I am'. Kant said this did not follow -- the experience of thought could not justify my existence as a living being without inserting a third term -- the reflexive self that registers impressions from being as thought, something (the determinable) that intervenes between the determinant of thought (the cogito) and the determined (living in being). It does this best by reflecting on its memories or 'affections' received passively {maybe}, which necessarily assumes some dimension of time existing outside, which causes flows of things to happen which become thoughts. This flow of time sustains the self. Descartes assumed God united immediately with the self to produce the unity between thinking and being - -the unitary self was God-like. Kant's critique demolishes this schema -- hence the mysterious remarks about about how Kant ended rational theology {a claim that we can know God on the basis of our reason. As I recall,Kant said that we cannot know about any noumena or things in themselves using ordinary reason? I think he still believed in God though.}. Kant thereby split the self, or alienated it, into a passive and an active component (the 'I' and the 'me' of SI), perhaps as a particular application of this critique used specifically against Descartes.{and this launched modern epistemology seeking the best way to reunify subjective reflection and being?}.  Anyway, thus was the debate about the grounding of active memorising launched {roughly}. D says it implies a new 'empty' conception of time {empty in the sense of being pre-human, containing no contractions etc?}. It also means time unconstrained by any human figures like circular structures,time unfolding itself, and ceasing 'to be cardinal and becom[ing] ordinal' (111) -- that is non-metric, intensive in DeLanda's much clearer terms.

This also explains D's terminology so far, which has explicitly denied a role for reflection -- passive and active syntheses instead.It could also be seen as foreshadowing his own style -- involuntary reminiscences producing those little delirious episodes which are so often repetitive. And his belief in 'automatic' learning -- no reflection, just a synthesis between events and thought?

The next bit is very odd and forbidding, referring,often implicitly,  to writers I have never heard of (as usual --they include Hölderlin this time, a German Romantic poet. Apparently D and G liked the Romantics because they saw the importance of Nature in constituing selves etc, or so says Sellars). I think it is intended to show how time unfolds in a non-subjective way. This non-metric time has been described in literature and myth (I think the argument is), as when some major event acts as a caesura, splitting time, often unequally into a period of before and after ( BC and AD is the obvious example, not used by D). The whole becomes graspable as a set of conditions for the caesura, the emergence of a capable or suddenly empowered agent, and the  qualitatively new consequences, comprising a whole system or series. Naturally we will have to watch this idea of agency. -- indeed,it is already qualified by the view that great events even swallow up heroes who initiated the change -[after breaking with their habits of thought] - after that, there is only people with no name, plebeians [mass society?], events emerge independently of any agent.  Here is some pure Deleuze to show what I am struggling with:

Just as the ground is in a sense “bent” and must lead us towards a beyond, so the second thesis of time points beyond itself in the direction of a third which denounces the illusion of the -in-itself as still a correlate of representation. The  in—itself of the past and the repetition in reminiscence constitute a kind of ‘effect”, like an optical effect, or rather the erotic effect of memory itself.

What does this mean: the empty form of time or third synthesis? The Northern Prince says ”time is out of joint". Can it be that the Northern Philosopher says the same thing: that he should be Hamletian because he is Oedipal? The joint, cardo, is what ensures the subordination of time to those properly cardinal points through which pass the periodic movements which it measures (time, number of the movement, for the soul as much as  for the world). By contrast, time out of joint means demented time or time outside the curve which gave it a god, liberated from its overly simple circular figure, freed from the events which made up its content, its liberation to movement overturned; in short, time presenting itself as an empty and pure form. Time itself unfolds (that is, apparently ceases to be a circle) instead of things unfolding within it (following the overly simple circular figure). It ceases to be cardinal and becomes ordinal, a pure order of time.  Holderlin said that it no longer ”rhymed”, because it was distributed unequally on both sides of a "‘caesura”, as a result of which beginning and end no longer coincided. We may define the order of time as this purely formal distribution of the unequal in the function of a caesura. We can then distinguish a more or less extensive past and a future in inverse proportion, but the future and the past here are not empirical and dynamic determinations of time; they are formal and fixed characteristics which follow a priori from the order of time, as though they comprised a static synthesis of time. The synthesis is necessarily static, since time is no longer subordinated to movement; time is the most radical form of change, but the form of change does not change. The caesura, along with the before and after which it ordains once and for all, constitutes the fracture in the I (the caesura is exactly the point at which the fracture appears).(111)

Marx's notion of history repeating itself, first as tragedy then as farce is augmented into a 3-stage system [adding the eternal return?]. We finally remove agency by arguing that when history repeats it does so because the agents have no choice but to act as people did in the past in response to the same [in the sense of underlying] conditions. Social revolutions are the example -- odd ones though -- which shows us that 'repetition is a condition of action before it is a concept of reflection' [as in the concrete politics of the 18th Brumaire - -generalised here to argue that all political action is theatre using signs from the past (113). D thinks Marx has it wrong -- tragedy usually follows a few half-hearted comic attempts. Historians add a [limited]reflection on this process, seeing various specific historical processes at work, often by using analogy [now increasingly a component of reflection]. It seems like the eternal return is the only way to think about real repetition of which these others are simulacra etc.and this shows that the eternal return is future oriented [paradoxical, non?]. In plain English, it refers only to the new state of affairs, not the specific agent nor the specific conditions: it is not just a circle of the Same but produces the Other as the pompous fart puts it. So -- we have considered repetitions beyond those produced by habits AND by memory pursuing the identical in arriving at the eternal return ( dynamic social reproduction with unintended consequences for the actors).

Then an interesting reworking of Freud.  Roughly, we return to the idea of pleasure as the resolution of intensive differences, which becomes a form of binding habit.  The problem is to explain how these habitual syntheses turn into the pleasure principle.  There seem to be different stages.  First, these habits are collected together in the Id.  Then habitual synthesis itself generates a new level of generalization—the habits themselves become pleasurable, pleasure is split into subjective and objective components, and can therefore be applied to new objects.  Active syntheses replace passive ones. This generalizing agent is the ego.  At first, there are as many ego components as there are pleasures and habits, but finally, these become globalized into the Ego, which then conceives of the search for pleasure as a principle.  The object in question are assumed to be real, and active syntheses can be tested against real effects—hence the emergence of the reality principle, which also helps unify the Ego.  This is in contrast to the usual view that says external reality is somehow imposed from outside: it is emergent.  This also implies that passive syntheses are necessary, and must persist and develop, for active syntheses to emerge.  Passive syntheses develop as children do, incorporating more objects following intentionality. 

D insists that some of these objects are also virtual [symbolic?]—the ideal mother etc.  The two objects interconnect—the actual grounds the activity, and the virtual serves as some ideal to maintain intention.  The ego develops around these double centres: ‘one series comprises real objects which serve as correlates of active synthesis; the other virtual objects which serve as correlates of an extension of passive synthesis’ (124).  The series also develop a drive towards self preservation, and later a sexual drive respectively.  Virtual objects are partial objects, because one of their elements is always in the real object.  This means they can often assume a double identity as in the good and bad father.  The real objects in which virtual objects are invested can be parts of the body, or objects such as toys or fetishes, but virtual objects never fully disappear into the real.  This is the challenge for adult sexuality, to be located ‘back on to the series of real objects’ and thus to be ruled by the reality principle (125).

Virtual objects belong to the past but it is not the former present as above.  [Presumably, connections with the real show the effects of the pure past on the present, as do reminiscences?]. The virtual half is eternal, always in the past, always needing to be retrieved, not real in the sense of having a definite location.  Virtual objects only exist when they are recovered.  Again this tells us something about the pure past which contains virtual objects as well as past presents, and about forgetting [something about how things have to be recovered and therefore made objective?].

Once recovered, though, virtual objects affect real objects, just as does the phallus, a virtual object for Lacan, in fact some sort of master symbolic object, always displaced, always fragmentary, and paradoxical in its effects for example in defining even those people who do not have an actual penis.  It offers another kind of repetition for Freudian theory.  The first one, as in fixation and regression, shows how the former present acts as the thing to be repeated, kind of automatically, even if it is disguised in processes of repression.  The usual understandings of the death instinct—an ultimate desire to return to matter—involve this sort of automatic repetition and disguise.  The subjective has an important role in representing this process, in a simple way, and this representation, with its implied reliance on identity becomes the key to the whole process for Freud: it is psychic reality that matters, appearing in individual unconsciousnesses [even if there’s some collective unconscious acting behind the scenes].

How can past distant events reproduce themselves in the present?  Given the necessary deployment of large amount of imagination, how can the effect still seem real and not illusory?  Past and present events in fact better understood as ‘two real series which coexist in relation to a virtual object of another kind’ (129).  Repetition is really a relation between these two series, functionally linked to the virtual object which is circulating and displaced, in reality, even though it generates disguises.  The virtual object here is ‘an immanent instance’ producing disguises: repression is not required, since the disguise comes from constant displacement of the virtual object.  Repression is actually produced as one consequence, to prevent awareness of disguise.  Neither series is primary—they merely express the relation of each subject to the virtual object.  The virtual object is not ultimate or original, even though it can be provisionally linked to  the Lacanian phallus, since both are permanently displaced.  Actual objects come to be located as the virtual one, as having particular relations to the virtual one: they need not be the classic parental objects, which act rather as ‘the middle terms of intersubjectivity, forms of communication and disguise from one series to another’ (130).  There is nothing to be unmasked, not even the general operation of the phallus. We are talking not only about disguise but necessary displacement.  [The virtual object is ‘displaced’ meaning it can never be pinned down by representation?]

There is no necessary conflict raging in the unconscious, which was based in Freud on the importance of repression, and the clashes between the drives [and we have dealt with both of those].  There are conflicts, based on displacement and disguise, and elements with different force.  This issue is best addressed in terms of thinking of problems and questions again, and not negatives and positives.  This leads us to consider desire not as in opposition to reality but ‘rather as a questioning, problematizing and searching force which operates in a different domain than that of [normal] desire and satisfaction’ (131).  Questions and problems are living activities, not just speculative ones.  The disguises offer the problems, and the displacement of the virtual object, always appearing as ‘enigmas and riddles in a place where it is not’ (131).  Again we can see this in ontological terms, with the question representing fundamental non-being, not just the apparent non-being of the negative.

This searching can produce apparently simple oppositions between the sexes, between death and life and so on, but it would be naive to assume that solving these simple problems will deal with the full complexity.  The real problems concerned eternal disguise and displacement, and only ‘neuropaths and psychopaths’ get close to exploring ‘this original ultimate ground’ (132).  They get too close to living the fundamental problems.

We will end instead with discovering difference and repetition.  The unconscious is ‘differential and iterative by nature; it is serial, problematic and questioning’ (133).  It does not involve contradiction, opposition or limitation.  It does not operate with ‘the great oppositions or the overall effects that are felt in consciousness’ (133).  [So it operates as the virtual to the actual of consciousness].  As a result, it operates with a different conception of time, not habitual, not based on memory acting through disguises and coded pleasures.  The second synthesis points to questions of origin and operation, and here there are two processes, one actively synthesizing desires with actual objects, and the other operating with virtual objects, this time as a passive synthesis. This produces differenCiated processes, such as drives of different types, in other words incorporating difference as necessary elements of repetition [wit again].  Freud misunderstood this as a limited function of Eros, which does not produce new differences, but rather repeats them, dragging them out of the pure past, even if this is not recognized by participants themselves.

[Then follows a very densely argued attempt to render Freud on the unconscious in the terms already used in this debate.  I don’t know enough about Freud, especially on narcissism, so I’ll have to postpone detailed note-taking for another day.  What I did manage to see is that the further development of the Ego can be modelled along the lines of the splitting of time as above—the Id as the past, the Ego as the self-consciously capable actor at the moment of the caesura, and the superego as that which undermines the conditions and the agents.  This schema might explain the odd remarks earlier about the caesura coinciding precisely with the development of the split self – this time split into Ego and Id, a split that appears as the narcissistic Ego? This further suggests a revision of the concept of the death instinct – because the development of the superego is such as to devalue and reduce the autonomy of {‘kill’ would be to dramatise it} the Ego and the Id?  Freud was tempted to see the death instinct as a wish to bring on some naturally entropic material event, outside the unconscious altogether.  Deleuze says this arises from Freud wanting to preserve some sort of scientific materialism, and also working with negatives and contradictions, seeing Thanatos as some kind of necessary equal and opposite to Eros. Deleuze says it is desexualised libido which fuels Thanatos, so the two form a synthesis again {especially n the form of questioning thought?}. Deleuze wants to suggest that there is a form of death instinct which can be thought and which is foreshadowed in the unconscious—it is the end of empirical singular difference that constitutes the empirical self, the rediscovery of the multiple, {counteractualization}.  This is a more general philosophical idea of death which of course means the end of the empirical singular individual, but also the end of differences more generally.  In mythical terms, it is a stage that leads to the eternal return. Here it seems to be arguing that counteractualization is somehow the point of thought, its highest achievement? 

The section ends by saying that the unconscious, to the contrary of Freud, knows very well about time, death and the negative, but in a very different way from how these things are usually conceived.  The unconscious knows about non-being in the form of the question rather than the negative, which appears only in conscious representations.  It knows about time in a different way as well, not the empirical version, but the virtual kind.  It also discovers the general kind of death discussed above, again not the version that is represented in consciousness.  Indeed, these three syntheses constitute the unconscious, and can be used to better understand things like the pleasure principle {just hinted at above, fuller discussion 140}, and even those kinds of pleasures which seem to be related to the death instinct and pain {like masochism we assume}.  The different divisions of time provide a better account of the id, ego and superego, again as hinted above, and the notion of death 'as groundlessness points to an eternal decentred circle’ (141).  {More on the eternal return, 141, and the senses in which it involves death and to the future—and the multiple above all.  The eternal return ‘concerns…  excessive systems which links the different with the different, the multiple with the multiple, the fortuitous with the fortuitous, in a complex of affirmations always coextensive with the questions posed’ (141)}.  We must not see chance or multiplicity as imposing limits, as aimed at returning the same, but fully embrace chance and the indeterminate, affirmations which coexist with questions (with an extensive quotation from Borges).]

So, there are two possibilities—resemblance comes before difference, or difference produces resemblance. [Amazingly, note 24 at this point refers to C Levi-Strauss and the work on totemism in support. The series of the totemic animal species develop differences; the social positions develop differences, and '"these two series of differences" resemble each other (162). Why didn't he point to Levi-Strauss in the first bleedin' place so as we could get what he is on about? Dark flippin prescursor indeed!]  In the first case, we require an identical concept for two apparently different things, and this will involve us in analogy, and a failure to grasp significant difference.  In the second case, ‘resemblance, identity, analogy and opposition can no longer be considered anything but effects, the products of a primary difference, or a primary system of differences’ (143).  It is these effects that appear in conventional representations. Difference becomes a matter of articulation and connection, the relations among different things, without any mediation, difference in itself, as a differenciator, and this must not be lost in conventional representation.

We have to see instead systems as made up of two or more series, ‘each series being defined by the differences between the terms which compose it’ (143).  Then the series themselves must communicate, relating differences to other differences.  Physics already has an understanding of this form of communication when it talks about coupling, resonance or forced movement (144) [DeLanda has a very useful list of such processes in modern communication theory, including a kind of induction which produces a correlation between series].  The elements in the series are best seen as intensities, produced by differences [on a non-metric scale, DeLanda argues, although they can be metricised subsequently even if arbitrarily].  Intensities take different forms in different systems, for example words can be intensities within aesthetic systems, concepts within philosophical systems, and we can include the psychological excitations in Freudianism: psychic connections in habits are coupled series of excitations; Eros is the internal resonance which follows; the death instinct is the forced movement 'whose amplitude exceeds that of the series'.

When heterogeneous series communicate, all kinds of things happen.  One consequence is the production of ‘larval subjects and passive selves’ (144)—the former are ‘the supports or the patients of the dynamisms, while the latter are provided by ‘the contemplation of couplings and resonances’.  Forced movements tend to be experienced only at the margins of life, since they might destroy well constituted subjects.  Even thought, the dynamism philosophical systems, need not have a ‘completed and well constituted subject, such as the Cartesian Cogito: thought is, rather, one of those terrible movements which can be sustained only under the conditions of a larval subject’ (145), which have to emerge first in order to be a patient of subsequent dynamisms.  ‘Even the philosopher is a larval subject of his own system’ (145).  Nevertheless, series do require the constitution of subjects in order to experience dynamisms [bit hegelian here?] .

However, communication between different systems seems to imply some sort of resemblance in this series, and even an agent with a fixed identity to begin the communication.  This would be embarrassing.  Let us explain the force that ensures communication in different terms.  The model is the lightning flash.  These are in fact preceded by ‘an invisible, imperceptible dark precursor, which determines their path in advance but in reverse, as though intagliated [I looked it up—it means engraved’ (145).  [I suppose he means the literal track between voltages which the flash itself follows.  A great deal has been made since about this mysterious dark precursor, but the analogy actually helps to explain it.  An analogy!, possible even a metaphor!].  Every system similarly has dark precursors, even though they take quite diverse forms.  Luckily the dark precursor is mysterious enough for us to maintain doubts about whether it does have the sort of resemblances between the series, or aspect of agency, or whether these are not effects.  ‘Identity and resemblance would then be no more than inevitable illusions’, produced by our own habitual thinking and reflection, and demand for representation.

Proceeding without worrying too much about these problems, we can see that the precursor is the differenCiator of difference, the self difference, something that induces communication, but does it in this strange way, preceding communication itself in an invisible path.  This will mean that it has no identity or place, because it is missing [real play on words to get this far—it’s only missing in the sense that conventional terms will not be able to grasp it.  But we grasped it perfectly well in for relatively ordinary language just above!].  This means it takes on the mysterious quality of ‘object= X’ [the empty square in the system it was called in L of S].  We only know it from its effects, including the way it has concealed itself and disguised itself.  Thus, happily, identity and resemblance probably arise from representation ‘which expresses a distortion of that being' (146).  [I can’t say I’m entirely convinced]. 

We can now call this precursor ‘the disparate’ (147).  Its operation affects the relative size of the differences it produces.  Again though, we have to avoid any creeping resemblance in comparisons between large and small differences.  These are entirely relative, and not good at relating to difference, because they’re really based on the similar.  [Lots more special pleading 147].  Any resemblance is only an effect, D reasserts.  Comparisons are less relevant than an examination of the internal characteristics of systems of series.

[Some examples follow,  unfortunately pretty obscure ones, relating to the work of Roussel and verbal series, discussed briefly above, where the homonym acts as the dark precursor.  The stories linking the homonyms produced effect of resemblance and identity, but homonyms arise from differences, with different signifieds, despite an apparent resemblance.  We should resist the temptation to say that this exercise shows that we can deviate for our own amusing purposes from a default position where words have a straightforward relationship to things {further discussed in L of S}.  The exercise shows an excessive semantic power in language instead.  The same goes with the words repeated in Joyce: these are not just bare repetitions, but indicate disparate series, sometimes indicated by the dark precursors of ‘esoteric words, portmanteau words’ (148).  When we understand this, we experience an epiphany—‘what takes place in the system between resonating series under the influence of the dark precursor’ (148).  It is a kind of forced movement which overruns the series themselves.

In the case of Proust, apparent resemblances between the present and the former present, even identical moments such as the taste of the madeline at those two times, really reveal that there are deeper connections between some pure past and the present, not a simple similarity.  The pure past is not as it was experienced at the time, but displays a qualitative difference which is only disguised in the similarities and resemblances.  The relation between the different series described {the current memory and the past} can even produce forced movement, some deeper awareness which produces the work of art (149)]

It can be a linguistic dark precursor that suggests that psychic experience is structured like a language [which relativises Lacan] —this notion has no identity in itself, psychic experiences and languages need not resemble each other in any sense.  [So any idiot can construct a linguistic dark precursor to pursue analogies?]. Conventional representation is not good at grasping possible relations of communication, since it is too insistent on literal definitions.  Linguistic precursors can be grasped instead as a kind of metalanguage, being actualised only in words which seem to make no sense conventionally.  In this sense, ‘it is the refrain’ (150).  This is an example of the displacement of sense [discussed later in L of S].  [So sense-making itself is producing the effect of linguistic precursors as personal constructs?]. Esoteric words ‘are properly linguistic cases of the object = X’ (150).  We have to take into account this operation of esoteric words, when we see psychic experience as a language.  This includes a recognition that ‘speech is also that which does not speak’, or that there is a sense not expressed in words.  [Another literary example follows].  The unpredictable dynamisms released in this process indicated by ‘absurd representation’ can produce a forced movement, like a death instinct, that seems to go beyond the recognized series and produce chaos.  However, ‘chaos = cosmos’ (150).

Series can appear in systems which are divergent absolutely, which point to chaos.  But ‘this chaos is itself the most positive, just as the divergence is the object of affirmation’ (150).  It summarises the complexity of the series.  It permits a different series to develop.  The overall totality of the system ‘corresponds to the objectivity of a “problem”’, (151) requiring questions raised explicitly or implicitly through things like Lewis Carroll’s use of portmanteau words. 

All the divergent series coexist.  They may seem successive, which seems to provide them with resemblance, but all relate to the precursor, and its effects such as the forced movement.  To differenCiate is to insist on coexistence.  Some coexistence might be symbolic, as when presence relate to the pure past or to virtual objects.  Freud on the phantasy encountered some problems—infantile scenes get connected with adult activities, and can be seen as a resonance between two series, but conventional understandings raise problems of explaining the delay or distance between the two [in normal circumstances].  D says we need to realise that the series ‘are not distributed within the same subject’ (151).  The childhood scene is actually the dark precursor, not a distinct series, and it links ‘the adults we knew as a child and that of the adult we are' (152) [so the series that are being linked are of two sort of adults?] The apparent delay shows the characteristics of pure time.  [Still pretty puzzling—later on, the child is the dark precursor, with the phantasy as the dp’s manifestation.  The difference between series is what originates in the phantasy.  Beats me!].

The series coexist in the unconscious, and so it's not possible to see one as originary, some model for subsequent copies.  Both series exist outside empirical time, and both are different.  The two series unfold simultaneously, and are therefore equal in the sense that neither reproduces the other.  Again, 'resemblance and identity are only functional effects of that difference which alone is originary within the system' (152) [asserted rather than argued, though in my view]. 

This is apparently why the eternal return appears to ground the systems [as a ‘groundless “law”’, of course].  It also features pure difference, has series which return in a coexisting kind of way, and no obvious origin except in difference.  It features 'the for- itself of difference' (153).  Again it looks as if it presupposes resemblance and identity.  Is it not the One that returns?  Nietzsche suggests that would be impossible because the One cannot leave itself or lose its identity in the first place [definitional quibbling?]. It is the different that returns not the similar, and all other forms have been destroyed which attempt to limit it, including conventional systems of representation.  Any similarities are only effects, they are ‘”simulated”: they are the products of systems which relate different to different by means of difference' (154), they are fictions, but this is a necessary illusion.  Apparently, the eternal return maintains these illusions 'in order to rejoice in [them]’ (154).

Systems with disparate series are ‘simulacra or phantasms’ (154).  This is the reason for rejecting Plato’s original schema, which turned on the difference between originals and images, models and copies, with the former term being the superior because it was closest to the Idea.  Copies have 'a derived internal resemblance'.  Difference is understood 'in terms of the comparative play of two similitudes’, that of the model and that of the copy.  This is how Plato decides between claimants.  Plato's notion of simulacra involves another distinction, this time between images—one sort yields copies, the other simulacra.  This helps Plato select good images and eliminate bad ones (simulacra).  Simulacra are associated with sophists, false pretenders.  Thus did difference get its bad name and become unthinkable in itself.  This whole process was represented in a rather limited vocabulary of Ideas, but it is really a moral vision of the world [and so is Deleuze's?].  The notion of difference continued to assert itself in rival philosophies, however.

Simulacra are not just copies of copies or degraded images.  Christian thinking sees man in the image of God, but, after sinning, losing the likeness to God while retaining the image.  Simulacra became demonic, illusory [Deleuze is implying that this is also far too neat a system, not allowing divergent points of view or simultanen additional ously different stories].  Simulacra can be better understood as models of the Other, models of difference which reflects 'that interiorised dissimilitude'(156).  [This is a bit like a mere but strong aversion to the universal in Honneth’s  critique of Lyotard, a preference for diversity].

Difference, dissimilarity and the unequal are 'in short, becoming' (156).  Some of Plato's work suggests that he realized this, and saw them as not just error, but 'terrifying models of the pseudos in which unfolds the power of the false [of which D bangs on admiringly in the work on modern cinema] '(156).  Thus he lost the chance to challenge the notion of the copy and of the model, the role of difference in the model, and the notion of the copies as a divergent series, with identity, resemblance, the same and the similar as ‘illusions born of the functioning of simulacra’ (156).  The Platonic project was to oppose the cosmos to chaos, but here, we argue for 'the immanent identity of chaos and cosmos, being in the eternal return, a thoroughly torturous circle' (156).  At this point, 'resemblance or spiritual limitation gives way to repetition' (156).

[Jesus that was tough going]

Chapter 3 The Image of Thought

[This is the most important one D says in the preface. It is also the easiest to read by far -- so far. What we have, in effect, is a critique of common sense as ideology, as involving complacent presuppositions (a true or transparent nature, a good will in thought. The main form in which this ideology appears is recognition, and the critique bears a strong resemblance to Adorno’s stuff on identity thinking. The empirical world is grasped through the conventional senses and if they concur, an object is recognized. This is ‘common sense’. Thought masterminds this coordination process. It involves judgement as the allocation of similar qualities, some of which lead to us ranking the objects we see – ‘good sense’. It reproduces the same.

One implication follows – that if we want to develop proper philosophy(!) we have to abandon the idea of good will and transparency. D likes misanthropes and awkward bastards! And we have to abandon conventional representation and its subcategories, which will always reduce difference to the same. All this underpins his liking for unconventional representation in avant garde cinema, no doubt, and explains his stuff on automatic thinking – this is forced  on us when conventional representation fails to grasp the objects in front of it (‘us’ being philosophers though -- the rest of us will cope with 'stupidity'?). We do have to go to the limit though, and encounter the really radically challenging (maybe explains why Hodgson and Standish think that Deleuze himself can never just be incorporated into conventional educational thinking,unlike, say Foucault?)The origin of the qualities in objects that  lead to the unconventional has been dealt with in several philosophical traditions,but none of them really break with the common sense of conventional representation and its underpinning notions of thought. To really break with that we have to do the stuff in the first 2 chapters.

As an aside, think of the implications for visual methods in sociology. D's work raises familiar problems with ethnography itself and its  heritage. Is it intended to domesticate the strange and the other and subordinate it to the common sense of Europeans? It was indeed in its colonialist days, even if it produced a shift in perspective from ‘savage’ to ‘noble savage’, even if it ended in cultural and political relativism as a kind of live and let live multiculturalism or a functionalism. What if ethnography set out to really encounter the different and not always subordinate it to the same? D would suggest it should dispense with conventional representation altogether? He admires ‘indirect discourse’ in Rouch (in Cinema 2) , but  surely it should end in avant garde ethnography, an approach that does not end in familiar recognition but which forces thought because what we see lies outside commonsense and good sense? Deliberate stereotype-busting stuff might help -- or an ethnographic version of Six Fois Deux?

Anyway, the project soon turns back to philosophical idealism (in the sense that the social determinants of thought are rapidly passed over) and we move away from ideology to produce an additional list of 'postulates' which characterise conventional thought -- think of the usual critiques of positivism  then add a few philosophical extras about being as the ground of thought etc. En route, we get to some useful criticisms of conventional education as focused on solutions not problems, knowledge not learning etc, and support for an (idealised) philosophical apprenticeship instead. If the discussion of 'stupidity' means what I think it does, we have a notion of false consciousness in there too -- turning away from critical thought, letting oneself be determined, seeing the ground only as simple determinations etc]

Philosophy is always try to eliminate presuppositions, especially  subjective ones.  [Objective presuppositions are those which are entailed logically by a given concept?] Descartes just presupposed that everyone knew what was meant by ‘self, thinking, and being’ (164) and therefore could apparently begin afresh.  Hegel’s notion of pure being keeps ‘all its presuppositions back [in] sensible, concrete, empirical being’ (164) Heidegger also has ‘a pre-ontological understanding of Being’ [and Kant and Husserl face the same charges in L of S].  [Deleuze thinks that he is beginning, with genuine difference, has broken away from the sorts of ordinary presuppositions. Because this is not a common sense notion? But didn't he read mathematicians already into the concept?].  Leaving ordinary presuppositions intact risks a role for philosophy as simply clarifying what was known already.

What exactly does ‘everybody know’?  This involves a discourse that sticks with notions of natural capacities for thought and to generalities of its time, with the philosopher as pedant contrasted with the idiot of everyday thinking.  However, occasionally what everyone knows is challenged.  ‘Such protest does not take place in the name of aristocratic prejudices: it is not a question of saying what few think’ (165) [so he has half recognized Bourdieu’s critique of Kant].  On the contrary, it is necessary to be modest when denying what everyone apparently knows, and in particular not allowing oneself to be represented, or wishing to represent anything.  [keeping quiet about elitism in order to forestall a challenge?].

Philosophy actually requires an individual ‘full of ill will  who does not manage to think, either naturally or conceptually’ (166), someone who sees subjective presuppositions as prejudices, to appear as a wise idiot, not partaking in current culture.  ‘Such a one is the Untimely, neither temporal nor eternal’ (166). [Lots of references to Nietzsche here,of course]

Sometimes, claiming to say what everyone knows represents an interest, although most philosophers manage to mobilize more disinterest, which takes the form of assumptions about thought itself—that there is ‘an upright nature and a good will’, and that this is common sense (166).  Such views are often implicit, and are drawn from a whole natural image of thought, drawn from commonsense.  This however already prejudges everything.

This image is actually dogmatic and moral.  Its variants, like rationalism or empiricism, do not challenge it.  Sometimes further qualities are added, but nevertheless there is one underlying image affecting all normal philosophy.  A proper beginning would involve a radical critique of this image, a struggle against it, even if this brought about destruction and demoralisation, a lack of social support, and evidence only in the form of paradoxes [precisely as LofS starts]. Actually, deep thought is rare.  So is good sense ‘(the capacity for thought)’ (168), although it is often claimed to be universal.  The capacity for thought acts as a principle rather than a description of practice, and it is an idealised common sense and good sense that is supposed to ground philosophy.  All that seems to be needed is an adequate method in order to apply the mind, and in Descartes this was a particularly easy method.

Challenging this image of thought means we should start first of all with the problems of distributing the empirical and the transcendental [that is classifying empirical objects in terms of some general categories?]. The usual model is recognition—‘the harmonious exercise of all the faculties upon a supposed same object’ (169) [Descartes' piece of wax is touched, felt, imagined, remembered and so on].  Recognition means that one [faculty perceived] object is seen as identical to another.  It is assumed that everyone else will operate in the same way, producing common sense.  For the philosopher, identity itself is provided by this coming together of the faculties in a unified subject, the Cogito.  This ‘is the common sense become philosophical’ (169).  It is an idea shared by Kant as well as Descartes.  The sameness of the object is also implied, but this requires a further operation—good sense—which involves a distribution of qualities in empirical selves and empirical objects which help us to analyse and qualify [classify ] the actual objects that we see.  Good sense and common sense support each other and together contribute to ‘the doxa’ (170).  Thought is supposed to be particularly pure [‘upright’] because it combines the other faculties and because it does recognition [which is a kind of empirical check?].

Philosophy must break with orthodoxy, not specific orthodoxies, but this general form whereby orthodoxy emerges from rationalised common sense.  It doesn’t help if we insist that there is some underlying deeper orthodoxy.  Recognition has to be critiqued, since it ‘has never sanctioned anything but the recognizable and the recognized; form will never inspire anything but conformities’ (170).  If it is not critiqued, common sense doesn’t seem to need philosophy at all [so we have a particular interest emerging here?].  Common sense routinely operates with recognition, but this cannot exhaust the possibilities for thought. Common sense involves ‘extrapolation from certain facts, particularly insignificant facts…  Every day banality’ (171) [this sounds a bit like Barthes saying that one impulse for developing the new semiology is that the old version had now become vulgar].  Thought should be more adventurous. Kant was an adventurer, discovering the transcendental, but he still saw one of the thinking faculties as recognition, the one to which all the others were related.  This is how the transcendental structures still presupposed the ordinary psychological consciousness.  This was clearest in the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, apparently, and disguised by Kant as an embarrassment in the second edition (171).

Recognition is by no means a purely philosophical process, since it incorporates the values attached to the objects it recognizes ‘(values play a crucial role in the distributions undertaken by good sense)’ (171).  This produces conservatism and complacency, and ‘thought “rediscovers” the State, rediscovers “the Church” and rediscovers all the current values’ (172).  New values are required, but not just in a generational sense, the a way that generates permanent newness—‘the new—in other words, difference—calls forth forces in thought which are not the forces of recognition, today or tomorrow, but the powers of a completely other model’ (172).  This is a much more profound and honorable struggle than the struggle for recognition.  Nietzsche insisted that the latter was not what he meant by the will to power, and derided Kant and Hegel as  ‘”philosophical labourers”’ because they did not want to break with recognition (172).

Kant got close with his rejection of the concept of error [see below].  He also developed the split self [as above] and also challenged the idea of a rational God.  But the notion of thought and upright nature remained.  The effect was to multiply common senses, as the different faculties took the lead role in recognition—first understanding and logic, then practical and moral reason, then aesthetic reason.  [And an aside says the same can applied to phenomenology, 173, which added faculties {of apperception etc?}].  Kant’s conservatism is apparent: ‘knowledge, and morality, of reflection and faith are supposed to correspond to natural interests of reason and are never themselves called into question’ (173) and lie behind the operation of the faculties.  Harmony between the faculties is seen as good, whereas illusion is seen as a matter of confused interests, a state which can occur in nature [and there seems to be an argument that natural law lies behind the attempts to dispel illusion in thought].  Thus in the long-term, all will be well.

Representation works with a notion of identity as linking concepts;  opposition applying to the determination of concepts; analogy underlying judgment; resemblance affecting objects.  Recognition of the same lies behind identity; the comparison between possible properties and their opposites, produced by remembrance and imagination, determines the concepts; analogy refers either to the concepts or the relation between determinate concepts and objects, requiring some idea of distribution of judgment; resemblance is what provides continuity of perception.  Each of these processes can be traced to a particular faculty, but the faculties themselves combine in understandings [the example is an interesting one, the resemblance between a perception and a remembrance, 174].  The thinking ego provides the unity of these processes in representation. Difference is ‘crucified’ or ‘fettered’ in each process, reduced to ‘an object of representation always in relation to a conceived identity, a judged analogy, an imagined opposition or a perceived similitude’ (174).  Thus representation cannot depict difference in itself or repetition in itself.

Objects of recognition employ thought, but they do not encourage thinking. Recognition simply mirrors  the normal image of thought.  Plato was one of the first to say that proper thinking only occurs if there is some kind of crisis or disturbance.  However, such disturbances can be localized, and leave intact the image [I think, 175], much as Descartes’s initial doubts did not challenge the whole system.  What is required is a genuine ‘strangeness or an enmity...  Thought is primarily trespass and violence...  Everything begins with misosophy’ (175 – 6).  Contingent encounters can force thought as an absolute necessity.  ‘Something in the world forces us to think…  an object not of recognition but of fundamental encounter’ (176).  We might encounter such objects with a range of emotions or affects, but [initially anyway] they can only be something that we sense, [which includes being ‘recalled imagined or conceived’] not recognize.  In this way, such objects are not normal qualities, but signs [of the sensible and how it works before or separate from recognition].  We can see how common sense limits this more general sensibility.

The effect is to produce perplexity, to pose a problem.  [Then there is a discussion of how Plato thought of problems, as a form of recollection at the transcendental level—weird, 177f. Sensibility apparently operates in the same way, forcing memory to grope for something which has been experienced, and to move towards the essential not the intelligible.  This is how thought is forced away from recognition?  It is apparently a violent and challenging process, breaking common sense and orthodoxy, and forcing the faculties to diverge].

Plato believed that such encounters produced contradictory perceptions, ‘the coexistence of contraries’ [on the basis that recognition domesticates perceptions and binds them to interests?].  There is a moment of perceiving a process of ‘mad – becoming’ (178).  Similarly, the attempt to manage recognition through reminiscence can also produce ‘a disturbing unfamiliarity’.  It is possible to manage this by arguing for some mythical process [as when parents say to their children] ‘you are the image of…’ (178).  In this way, encounters may not threaten recognition in general too drastically.  Reminiscence as well can manage disturbance by seeing the past as simply a past present, with a simple similarity to the present present, even if cannot exactly locate this past present, which is what requires the mythical process [I think this is the argument, 179].  Proper reminiscence instead can show that thought is opaque and that there may be ‘both a bad nature and an ill will’ (179) [certainly does if it’s in the form of a depressive flashback], but with Plato reminiscence is still a temporary obscurity, a matter of temporarily mislaid memories.  This preserves recognition.]

Reminiscence does force us into pure thought for Plato, where we see the qualities such as largeness take on a pure form, and not one that is empirically defined by being related to its contrary.  This is what thinking of essences implies.  But this is still a notion of real identity, and thought is still able to affiliate with this true essence [another Deleuze joke—because he wants to chide traditional philosophy, he says that this process should be known as ‘philiation’ 179].  Such forcing of thought is fundamentally good, and reflects a good nature that reveals itself – it is ‘the form of the analogy in the Good’ (179).  Thus Plato was the first to construct a ‘dogmatic image [of thought] which both presupposes and betrays it’(179).

Generalizing from that argument, conventional transcendentalism is a flawed procedure for thought, since far from conceiving of objects outside common sense, it still remains in that world [in the sense that it is designed to solve empirical problems like categorization?] It should operate with processes that cannot be grasped by common sense, operating with a ‘superior empiricism’ appropriate to its domain (180).  These ‘cannot be induced from the ordinary empirical forms in the manner in which these appear under the determination of common sense’ (180).  The better procedure would be to remain with the notion of the faculties and explore how each operates to ‘the extreme point of its dissolution’, the moment at which it is forced to operate outside common sense, encountering sensibility, or the equivalent for imagination and language [there might also be a transcendent object of anarchy the limits of sociability, assuming that is a faculty, page 180].  Some faculties may not have a limit, which would show how much they are constrained by common sense.  We might discover new faculties which had been previously repressed by common sense.  In any event we’re heading towards complexity, and we are pursuing proper transcendental empiricism, rather than trying to infer the transcendental just from the empirical.

What is needed is a pursuit of ‘free or untamed states of difference in itself’ (181), not concepts already determined by representation or the conventional notion of what is sensible.  ‘This element is intensity, understood as pure difference in itself’, which is only grasped normally once it has been mediated.  We must not let our imagination be constrained by convention.  We’re after ‘both that which can only be imagined and the empirically unimaginable’ (181).  It is the dissimilar in the pure form of time not similitude.  It is not a unitary I but a fractured one, not the Same but the aleatory point.  We cannot assume good nature and good will, common sense, and we must be forced to think, the currently unthinkable and unthought.  We might begin with sensibility, and how to experience intensity, but sensibility is not the only starting point.  Sensation also seems to be forced by simple encounters, but the intensive relates to ‘both the object of the encounter and the object to which the encounter raises sensibility’ (182).  This comes to us in the form of sign-bearing 'demons', ‘the leap, the interval, the intensive and the instant’ while ‘Opposition, resemblance, identity and even analogy are only effects produced by these presentations of difference rather than being conditions which subordinate difference’ and enable it to be represented.  There is no natural tendency for our perceptions and representations to conform to objects, only ‘involuntary adventures’ (182), and only ‘hieroglyphics’ produced by the transcendental operations of faculties.  There is no affinity or predestination, but ‘fortuitousness or the contingency of the encounter’.  It’s not amicability at work, but the dark precursor, and ‘the dark precursor is not a friend’ (182) [there is a reference to Schreber here, 182, much discussed in AO].

Human communication seems to imply common sense, but we cannot assume a ‘supposed same object’ or ‘or subjective unity in the nature of an “I think”’ (183).  Apparently unity and conformity is the result of a forced connection.  The faculties are not in a simple harmony, but rather in a discordant one, expressing the difference with objects encountered and divergence from each other.  The faculties do communicate but only through metamorphosis: we might say Ideas traverse faculties, producing connections between thought and sensibilities in each case, rather than being grounded in common sense.  Their apparent innateness comes from Christian theology, and their clarity and distinctness follows from the sort of recognition and orthodoxy discussed above.  However, ‘the Idea is necessarily obscure insofar as it is distinct’ (184) [the example is an exchange of letters between Rivière and Artaud, where the former disagreed profoundly about the way in which thought belongs to some superior self, even though Rivière thought he was agreeing with Artaud.  Artaud profoundly rejected the conventional image of thought and its drive towards clarity and systematic method, and saw thought as inherently powerless.  He saw himself as a ‘genital’ thinker, something which is opposed inherently to innateness.  Deleuze says he is not just saying that schizophrenia is better than dogmatic thought, merely that it is another possibility for thought, 185]

Another mistake is to see thought as correcting error, as the ‘sole “negative” of thought’ (185).  This accompanies the other problems discussed above, since error seems to be the only obstacle to a good will grasping a good nature.  Error is false recognition, a problem of representation or evaluation, which leaves rational orthodoxy itself intact—‘it gives the form of the true to the false’ (186) [a typically mystifying way to put it].  In platonic terms, it arises from a confusion of the work of different faculties—confusing what is seen with what is remembered, for example.  However the convention also recognises ‘madness, stupidity and malevolence’, and later myopia, distraction and immaturity (187), but these are seen as caused by something external, and still reducible to error.  This is an example of how the convention manages apparently adverse facts, requiring us to look at the actual principles of the creation of error rather than as exceptions to normal thought.

Errors are normally demonstrated by using simple examples such as arithmetic sums, but these cannot cover the activities of thoughts when they become speculative.  Speculative thought has prompted other discussions [with examples of how various philosophers have posited concepts such as superstition, which cannot just be reduced to error, or ignorance and forgetting, inner illusion, alienation in Hegel].  However, these are still derivative from the dogmatic image and  appear  merely as complications.

Stupidity, as bêtise, 188 F.  Animals are not stupid in themselves, but comparing them to humans reveals ‘stupidity as a specifically human form of bestiality’ (188), often going on to refer to mechanical biological processes such as digestion.  However, human stupidity and cruelty is common in tyrannical systems, and cannot be reduced to error—‘they are structures of thought as such’ (189).  They must be incorporated within human thought in general, of course ‘without the transcendental ever being traced from the empirical figures which it makes possible’ (189).  Normally, stupidity is seen as an empirical determination, especially when considering academic howlers [which is what I think sottiserie means, 189].  Stupidity of this kind has always haunted philosophers and writers, and the stupidity of others has even been seen as a gateway to  philosophy.  However, stupidity is a transcendental issue, and we should ask how is it possible [reminiscent here of the debates about nonsense in LofS].

The discussion really shows us the links between thought and individuation, that field of intensity which constitutes thinking subjects.  We could see the I and the Self as ‘no more than indices of the species’ (189) [so no different from the distinguishing marks of other animal species?].  We take this for granted and it looks as if we can make the I some universal agent doing representation and recognition somehow implicitly.  However, we should not see the I in this way, as a species characteristic as such, but as a result of individuation, something different from the determination of species, consisting of ‘fields of fluid intensive factors’, producing all forms, acting as pure ground.  (190).  It’s difficult to describe this process, since it has ‘neither form nor figure’.  Individuals distinguish themselves from the ground, but the ground itself is not distinguished and continues to affect individuals, as a form of indetermination that ‘continues to embrace determination, as the ground does the shoe’ (190). 

Human beings are particularly unlikely to be aware of these processes, defenceless against them, and this lies beneath stupidity, ‘constituting the unrecognised in every recognition’ (190).  We don’t like the idea of determinations, which can appear to be cruel and bad, violent.  The recognition of this failure to grasp determination adequately produces characteristic human melancholy.  Full recognition can risk madness, where the perception of cruelty and stupidity becomes too much.  However this is also the ‘royal faculty’ (190), because it animates philosophy, and points to the need for transcendental thought and a proper [‘violent’]reconciliation between ‘the individual the ground and thought’ (191).  Philosophy can focus on the factors of individuation themselves and lead to a recognition that conventional thought is not adequate [the Deleuze version of Descartes' slogan is that we must  recognise ‘the fact that we do not yet think’ (191)].

[And then a rare educational example.]  Teachers apparently know that you don’t find normal errors or falsities in homework, but rather ‘nonsensical sentences, remarks without interest or importance, banalities mistaken for profundities, ordinary “points” confused with singular points, badly posed or distorted problems—all heavy with dangers, yet the fate of us all’ (191).  Also, the inappropriateness of theorems and so on is what characterises mathematical debate rather than error as such.  Philosophy must recognise this ‘element of sense’ [with an anticipation of L of S by arguing that false propositions can still have sense, and that non sense really means something which is neither true nor false]. 

A proposition can either express an idea or designate a series of objects to which it applies.  Expressions make sense or not.  Truth and falsity really refers to designation, so that sense exceeds truth and falsity.  However, this normally does not disturb the usual notions of truth and falsity, which can appear as if they were independent of sense making in the first place.  Searching for the ground of sense-making should inspire critique and new ways of thinking, but usually it is limited by convention as before, which, in this case, leaves truth and falsity untouched.  The notion of designation ‘is only the logical form of recognition’ (192).

We also confine our understanding of the conditions of designation to empirical experience not all possible experience.  Truth becomes a matter of adequacy not of production, innateness rather than genitality.  Conventional notions of the ground, the sufficient reason, remain [Deleuze’s better definitions are above].  Proper understanding of the ground involves not recognition but metamorphosis, and truth is not a simple matter of designation, but an aspect of how sense is produced ‘the empirical result of sense’ (193).  Indeed, conventional forms of recognition and truth can then be seen as limit cases, ideal connections.  Propositions, and the objects they designate are both constituted by sense.  The usual simple examples [above, the ones found in textbooks] are limit cases: in ‘living thought’, truth depends on the sense of the proposition ‘and the falsity appropriate to the non – sense that it implies’ (193).

The role of sense is indicated by the notion of expression, which somehow bridges the speaker and the object.  Whereas formal signification relates to concepts and their relation to objects in systems of representation, ‘sense is like the Idea which is developed in the sub- representative determinations’ (193).  It is difficult to specify what sense is, since it is a transcendental operation again.  It is emergent from the elements emerging from the faculties.  It can be expressed in nonsense words. We can get to the secret of sense by looking at the empirical operations which generate empirical sense and nonsense, just as we showed the links between stupidity and thought above. 

We can analyse the sense of a proposition at least, by taking it as the name for subsequent propositions [using the terms of one series to describe another as L of S suggests], but we encounter infinite regress which exceeds empirical consciousness.  Conventionally, we assume instead that we can find some first propositions, such as the Cartesian Cogito.  Technically, of course that proposition could also be given a name and subjected to another proposition ‘(I think that I think that I think…)’ (194).  This shows an initial paradox of sense—proliferation of names and designations.  We can escape it but only by suspending infinite regress and assuming that our starting point represents the  ideal content, but this source of suspension raises its own difficulties, since it seems to be independent of the subject and the object, both of which become simply logical attributes of the proposition.  Such propositions are often stated ‘in infinitive or participial form: to-be- God, or god- being’ (194).  This reveals the complexity of such propositions, its extra-being.  We also encounter difficulties with affirmation and negation, impossible objects, or contradictory ones like ‘(the being – square of a circle)’ (195).  Lewis Carroll offered some good examples such as the smile without a cat and the knight’s song [both discussed in L of S].

We do not escape by turning propositions into questions, since questions assume particular community responses, as we see with skilled oratory.  Sometimes questions infer that there is an answer even though we can’t grasp it yet, which leaves the principles untouched.  Questioning implies common sense again and also good sense ‘the distribution of knowledge and of the given with respect to empirical consciousnesses in accordance with their situations, their points of view, their positions and their skills’ (195) [echoes of the famous study of teachers questions like ‘What time is it Denise?’]. However, propositions as responses do have a certain independence, and can appear as particular solutions.  This leads us to consider the nature of problems and how they are operationalized.

We find sense in problems, sets of problems and questions, but the conventional view says we can work back to problems from responses.  This only works if we accept the assumptions of the community and common sense.  Sense is something beyond propositions, different in kind, produced by a dynamic process of thought involving the faculties. Some conventional philosophical investigations of problems went astray here.  [The example is the dialectic which confined itself to tracing problems from propositions.  Further discussion 196-7].  The usual view says that problems are ready made and disappear once we find a solution, so thought is a search for solutions.  Again simple examples are misleading, like the ones deriving from a situation where a master sets a problem and the pupils have to solve it, ‘and the result is accredited true or false by a powerful authority’ (197).  This is an infantile prejudice and ‘also a social prejudice with the visible interest of maintaining us in an infantile state, which calls upon us to solve problems that come from elsewhere, consoling or distracting us by telling us that we have won, simply by being able to respond’ ‘Such is the origin of the grotesque image of culture that we find in examinations and government referenda as well as the newspaper competitions…  Be yourselves-- it being understood that this self must be that of others’ (197).  We must not be given a right to set our own problems and manage them: we must be confined to ‘psychologically puerile and socially reactionary examples (cases of recognition, error, simple propositions and solutions or responses) in order to prejudge what should be the most valued in regard to thought’ (197).  [Hot stuff!  Deleuze as educational radical!  Or is this the aristocratic disdain of a proper philosopher for more vulgar activities?].

Again, this is a postulate that belongs to the others involving recognition and so on.  However, it can be read differently as showing how the artificial problems in science exams depend on  an  orthodox symbolic field and some authority figure, both of which can be questioned.  There also some pedagogic experiments which are designed to help pupils participate in the fabrication of problems, but again there is a danger [of incorporation or management] if we do not push our investigations to the transcendental level, where problems appear ‘not as “givens” (data) but as ideal “objecticities” possessing their own sufficiency’ (198).  We must reverse the usual view and see that ‘the problem always has the solution it deserves in proportion to its own truth or proportion to its sense’ (198).  This is how problems only appear once they have been solved, or how mankind only sets itself the tasks it can solve, in the famous sayings [of Hegel?].  Problems derive from sense, and can produce solutions and nonsense.  It is difficult to detect problems which can appear to be false through indetermination or over-determination, and stupidity.  We cannot find problems by operating the usual empirical dialectics.  Conventional philosophy is wrong to maintain that only true problems can receive a solution [the others are seen as illusions].  [Aristotle is discussed on 199—even the syllogism relies on common sense, and Aristotle remained ‘in the grip of the natural illusion, he traced problems from the propositions of common sense’].

Other philosophers have proposed a mathematical method, involving mathematical forms of possibility, but these also are grounded in common sense and the idea that only real problems have solutions.  Greek geometry limited problems using theorems, and so theorems appeared as ‘simple essences’, with problems as deteriorated or projected essences.  Philosophy as generating problems seemed an inferior practice.  Greek geometry operated only with notions of identity and sufficient reasons, but these assumptions remained even with more algebraic geometry: algebra itself makes unknown quantities known, reducing problems to propositions which will generate solutions.  Descartes’s philosophical method was also supposed to solve problems rather than constitute them. These alternatives all remain within the perspective that says solutions should be sought instead of posing problems.  Empiricists produced notions of probabilistic solutions.  Even the Kantian critique was limited to finding solutions in ‘a transcendental form of possibility’ based on the common sense operations of the faculties (200—marvellous to get to p.200!].

So the ‘natural illusion’, which sees problems as traceable from pre-existing propositions, theorems or equations is complemented with a ‘philosophical illusion’ which still sees real problems as defined by their solvability.  The ground of problems remains as ‘simple external conditioning’ (201).  Neither attempts to grasp the generation of the problem, which determines its truth or falsity and its power.  ‘Problems are the differential elements in thought, the genetic elements in the true’ (201).  They are not conditioned externally but generated.  It follows that their solvability also depends on an internal characteristics, the conditions of the problem as it has been generated.  [As an aside, D says we need to shift away from Euclidean geometry to Riemannian, 201].

Problems are Ideas.  Propositions must always be particular and determinate, and are best seen as a response.  Sometimes a general solution can be constructed from these responses, as in algebra, but their sense is still limited: ‘Only the Idea or problem is universal’ (202), and never solutions.  Problems are only reduced by seeing them in terms of simple examples, and we need instead to grasp their full complexity and extension.  This is usually forgotten or managed [as in critiques of positivism like Adorno’s].  Even single solutions should be seen as limit cases of more general and complex possibilities.  Managing problems conventionally introduces a false empirical generality, and inhibits consciousness in its attempts to grasp the problems.  Categorisation often ensues, sometimes accompanied with the notion of hypothetical categories.  The general is lost, and so is the actual nature of the singular: problems also produce a distribution of singular points, or events [ideal events, we are told, are ‘more profound than and different in nature from the real events which they determine in the order of [in the domain of] solutions’ (202).  [D’s philosophical notion of] singularity can not be expressed in particular propositions, any more than universality can be expressed in general ones. ‘Problematic Ideas are not simple essences, but multiplicities or complexes of relations and corresponding singularities’ (203).  How singularities are distributed is a much more important problem ‘than the hypothetical or categorical duality of truth and falsehood along with “errors” which only arise from their confusion in [with] cases of solution’ (203).

Problems can be detected in solutions.  They generate solutions as singularities, since they are both ‘transcendent and immanent’ compared to solutions.  [Transcendent here refers to ideal relations between genetic elements, and immanent to the processes of incarnation in actual relations].  Lautman is discussed 203 F, apparently arguing that mathematical or other fields constitute solutions, so that even science must refer to some extra-logical dimension.  Common forms of the dialectic forget this too in their concentration on opposing mere propositions, which ‘attains its extreme form in Hegelianism’ (203).  What we have to do instead is look at the problem as transcendental, and the symbolic fields in which it is expressed and solved.

Probles and their fields express signs, and it is these that appear as data and which are grasped by sensibility.  What is required is ‘an essential apprenticeship or process of learning’. ‘Learning is the appropriate name for the subjective acts carried out when one is confronted with the objecticity of a problem (Idea), whereas knowledge designates only the generality of concepts or the calm possession of a rule enabling solutions’ (204).  There can be a propitious moment where one recognizes error but has not yet grasped the full knowledge [the actual example involves monkeys], and this can give an insight into the role of a problem in distributing truth and falsity according to what one understands of it, though this is not just something that goes on in one’s head.  To learn is to enter into the universal of the relations which constitute the Idea, and into the corresponding singularities’  (204).  [The example is Leibniz’s understanding of the sea as a kind of system of relations between particulars and singularities incarnated in the movements of waves.  Deleuze goes on to grasp the idea of learning to swim as ‘to conjugate the distinctive points of our bodies with the singular points of the objective Idea in order to form a problematic field’ (205).  This conjugation acts as practical consciousness.  We often perceive elements subliminally, so that ‘[banal?] “learning” always takes place in and through the unconscious, thereby establishing the [conventional but wrong?]bond of the profound complicity between nature and mind’ (205).  However apprentices pursue this to the transcendental level, trying to grasp ‘that which can only be sensed’, or educating their senses, and seeing the relations between their faculties as a violent one, but that each must be perfected to fully ‘understand the Other’ (205).  It is the perception of signs within sensibility and memory, provoked by singularities, which arouses this project, and this means we can never know in advance how people learn.  ‘There is no more a method for learning than there is a method for finding treasures, but a violent training, a culture or paideia which affects the entire individual’ (205).  Method, by contrast, regulates the faculties to produce knowledge, based on common sense and good will.  ‘Culture, however, is an involuntary adventure, the movement of learning which links the sensibility, memory and then a thought, with all the cruelties and violence necessary, as Nietzsche said, precisely in order to train “a nation of ‘thinkers’” or to “provide a training for the mind”’ (205).

Learning, and apprenticeships, can be valued, but this is often based on the phase that produces knowledge, and which must eventually disappear in the result itself.  It rarely contradicts the view that sees knowledge as representing the entire transcendental realm, which learning as simply an intermediary.  Knowledge is seen as innate, a priori.  Apprentices are only valuable insofar as they become conventional philosophers.  Even Hegel wanted to disown his apprenticeship.  By contrast, Plato saw  learning itself as the real movement of the soul, which led him to value reminiscence, which at least introduces time into thought.  However, resemblance and identity and the conventional image of thought soon takes over.  In this way, knowledge becomes the ‘eighth postulate of the dogmatic image’ (207).

[I thought I would give you the final section in the great man’s words via my trusty scanner].

We have listed eight postulates, each in two forms: (l) the postulate of the principle, or the Cogitatio natura universalis (good will of the thinker and good nature of thought); (2)the postulate of the ideal, or common sense (common sense as the concordia facultatum and good sense as the distribution which guarantees this concord); (3) the postulate of the model, or of recognition (recognition inviting all the faculties to exercise themselves upon an object supposedly the same, and the consequent possibility of error in the distribution when one faculty confuses one of its objects with a different object of another faculty); (4) the postulate of the element, or of representation (when difference is subordinated to the complementary dimensions of the Same and the Similar, the Analogous and the Opposed); (5) the postulate of the negative, or of error (in which error expresses everything which can go wrong in thought, but only as the product of external mechanisms); (6) the postulate of logical function, or the proposition (designation is taken to be the locus of truth, sense being no more than the neutralised double or the infinite doubling of the proposition); (7) the postulate of modality, or solutions (problems being materially traced from propositions or, indeed, formally defined by the possibility of their being solved); (8) the postulate of the end, or result, the postulate of knowledge (the subordination of learning to knowledge, and of culture to method). Each postulate has two forms, because they are both natural and philosophical [illusions], appearing once in the arbitrariness of examples, once in the presuppositions of the essence. The postulates need not be spoken: they function all the more effectively in silence, in this presupposition with regard to the essence as well as in the choice of examples. Together they form the dogmatic image of thought. They crush thought under an image which is that of the Same and the Similar in representation, but profoundly betrays what it means to think and alienates the two powers of difference and repetition, of philosophical commencement and recommencement, The thought which is born in thought, the act of thinking which is neither given by innateness nor presupposed by reminiscence but engendered in its genitality,is a thought without image. But what is such a thought and how does it operate in the world?

[blimey—narrative tension! Read on to find out! Bet you can't wait!]

Chapter 4 Ideas and the Synthesis of Difference

[We know that thinking outside of the conventional image is going to be difficult. We also know that we may have to use not ordinary language but mathematical language. And we do. Here is where we need the invaluable DeLanda to take us through what is going on. He says that Deleuze was relying upon some obscure mathematics published only in French at the time. The discussion is also highly compressed. As a result, DeLanda says it is almost inevitable that we will misunderstand Deleuze, which is a bit of a relief. DeLanda offers a reconstruction and simplification, aiming at an understanding of Deleuze’s world not his actual words. Thank God.

Simplifying DeLanda  still further, Deleuze is describing some mathematical developments that help us grasp reality itself (as long as we see certain mathematico-logical differences as ontological ones, as some of the mathematicians themselves apparently did: DeLanda sees it as wanting to reintroduce physical processes into mathematical ones). These mathematical developments will attempt to generalise or abstract from empirical processes, just as Deleuze says philosophy should if it is to avoid the conventional image of thought and the limits of philosophers like Kant or Hegel who smuggled in empirical assumptions.

I can understand the simple examples. We can explain the shape of a curve by locating it on a 2-d matrix, as with a graph and then describing each point on the curve in terms of the intersecting values of the x axis and the y axis. The next step is to describe the shape of a standard curve in equations of x and y values. We have left behind empirical measurements. There is a step after that, apparently, via Gauss and Riemann which says the curve itself can be described in terms of changes relative to itself, so we have left behind the x and y matrix and its equations. Then there is Euclidian geometry which describes the familiar geometrical shapes like circles, triangles etc. We have already been told by D that these were seen as essential or natural shapes. However they can be seen as cases of more general and abstract geometries, ultimately of topological geometry which operates with only a few basic transformations and shapes (the example on DeLanda’s excellent video shows how a diagram of a cup can be transformed into a diagram of a doughnut using the simple processes of stretching and pinching). Here, the removal of empirical material takes the form of losing dimensions ( and I think this is what Deleuze means by saying we should always look for descriptions at  n-1) and empirical processes connected with them (also known as adding symmetry) – we can add dimensions again to move back from topological to Euclidian geometry.

I understand the principle, but cannot work the actual example, of attempts to replace actual numbers in algebraic equations with other algebraic terms so the equation will work with any actual numbers (or, apparently, with groups of them). Thus the equation x squared plus 3x minus 4 = 0  obviously works when x = 1. But the equations can be made more general and rewritten as x = the square root of (A squared over 2) plus (B minus 3/2), where A and B substitute for the numbers 3 and 4 in the first equation.If you can see why,please email me.

Then there is the calculus. I am not mathematician enough to fully grasp this argument, but it turns on differential calculus as a way to calculate the slope of curves by considering that as a relation between changes in x values and changes in y values – lots of changes in x combined with few changes in y means a gently rising curve. Mathematicians saw other possibilities. Leibinz, apparently, speculated about what would happen if the actual values of x and y were progressively reduced until they became infinitesimally small (the exploration of infinitesimal difference discussed above). If I have understood the argument (!) the relation itself between dx and dy never disappears even if the values of x and y are zero – the relation persists, as an abstract difference. I can really go no further since I do not understand why the relation never disappears, despite DeLanda’s helpful diagrams. I do not know why this is not also the case for any algebraic relation, and why discussions of the calculus specifically proved so important.

The point of the detour through mathematics is to show an increasing development of means to identify problems – algebra then calculus then group theory indicate something more and more general and interesting about problems. Eventually, this will be to show that problems are multiplicities, with combinations of singular and ordinary points etc. Maths and the other subject domains are actualizations of solutions -- and of particular takes on problems, which emerge in conjunction with solutions (we only discover problems when we have the means to solve them etc). That maths solves problems in a characteristic ,mathematical way, and other subject fields do it in their characteristic ways, means there really is some developing mathesis universalisg , some drive to uncover more and more aspects of the problematic.

There are some interesting examples, which include Greek notions of atomism, atoms and their relations, which I don’t really understand, but which enables us to talk about Ideas as multiplicities with atoms of thought as elements. The biological one I do get a bit more, thanks to DeLanda – we can see the different species in terms of offering solutions to the one problem, bones as offering different configurations and structures to provide solutions in different animals, although Deleuze thinks this would have to seen not just as bones solving problems, but as a complex matter of relating to all the other factors like the growth of muscles etc.

The easiest one for me to grasp is the account of Althusser and the ‘structure’ in Marx, which Deleuze thinks is dead right. The model of the social formation (aka the CND badge) shows ‘the economic’ appearing  around the outside not in terms of the usual notions of determination in the last instance, but as a virtual or potential level, a multiplicity, which provides the problems which are actualised in the e/p/i sectors in distinctive ways. D thinks that the economic in this sense has always provided the problems, in societies of the past as well, although the post-Althusserian critique was to argue that this could not be shown without incoherence or dogmatism (see HIrst) –maybe the same could be said of Deleuze whenever he traces the multiplicity in the actualization, or difference in resemblance? Badiou or DeCerteau are right, maybe, in thinking that we could simply never decide or test this in Deleuze with his huge range of examples and cases?]

Ideas can be seen as problems or problematic, and problems as ideas.  This has been argued since Kant [and is the basis of modern ontology, we are told later].  Reason is the faculty of posing problems in general, even though it can mislead us, unless guided by metaphysics.  Ideas regulate, constitute true problems.  The best ones focus on problems, and not things such as hypotheses.  Only the faculty of ideas draws together the procedures of understanding, which normally is fragmented by procedure and by empirical focuses.  Solutions, properly defined, relate to a problematic field which provides solutions [for us to discover?].  Finding a solution does not exhaust the problematic field or Idea, and understanding should be focused on an ideal, outside experience, or a common horizon.  These Ideas are ‘at once both immanent and transcendent’ (215).

What is problematic refers to not just subjective understanding, but ‘a dimension of objectivity as such’.  Something which is outside experience can only be seen as problematic, and can only be represented without being determined.  This undetermined is an objective structure, and is positive.  For example it allows a certain unity of perceptible objects to be grasped in representation.  Understanding can only be unified if objects themselves are unified (215). This is grasped first of all by analogy with objects of experience themselves, but it also alludes to ‘complete and infinite determination’, the specification of further concepts which will grasp more and more differences within ‘a properly infinite field of continuity’ (216).  Ideas include within them a recognition of their incomplete determination by an object, the possibility of future determination by considering objects, and an infinite determination through additional concepts.

This resembles the aspects and activities of the Cogito.  The I that is both an existent and a thinking object fractures the self, and ideas emerge in this fracture [ideas as relations between thought concepts and experienced intuitions].  The Idea retains this fracture and dismemberment: this is neither identification or confusion, but ‘an internal problematic objective unity of the undetermined, the determinable and determination’ (216).  Kant wanted to separate these characteristics out again in the form of an undetermined self, the determined world, and God as determination—this is a misplaced empiricism, with no recognition of a further horizon or focus which might combine these characteristics.

[Then some maths, 217f.  I can only skip.] We should pursue the notion of the differential as a symbol of difference, and not as contradiction.  The differential has considerable philosophical implications, recognized by particular mathematicians, and we should not reduce it back to a simple mathematical technique.  The symbol of the calculus, dx, shows the unity of the undetermined, the determinable and determination [because the undetermined is represented by the symbols of dx and dy; reciprocal determination leads to a notion of the determinable, dx/dy;, and complete determination is alluded to by substituting actual values for dx/dy.  ‘In short, dx is the Idea…  The “problem” and its being’ (217).

Ideas imply continuousness, but this should not be seen in empirical terms.  Continuity instead has an ideal cause.  This ideal cause is what produces’ quantitiability’, something more general than precise quantities [somehow this is also alluded to by dx].  Normal empirical objects do have particular values independent of the relations between them.  This is how we normally think of quantity, as expressing a range of particular values.  However, an algebraic formulations soon emerged whereby a particular value represents the others, as in algebraic equations.  However, dx and dy alludes to something different, not this quantitative general with its particulars, but ‘”the universal and its appearance”’ (218) [somehow seen best when the actual values of X and Y are zero].  Adding specific values to the calculus provides particulars, but the relation itself implies a general, something immutable, where particulars have been cancelled, not a limit but ‘a genuine cut ... the border between the changeable and the unchangeable’ (218), an ideal continuity.

Dx is not determined by x, and nor dy by y, but both reciprocally determine each other, so we have a notion of determinability connected to the undetermined [and this is where we get the first example of the significance of different spellings—dx and dy are not differenCiated, as are particulars relating to generals but they are differenTiated in the universal, 219].  Thus dx over dy is not the same as normal fractions but is the relation which determines the variables—this reciprocal determination means we can now include determinability.  We have a fully synthetic Idea.

How can we arrive at this Idea?  Firstly by seeing calculus as a procedure to calculate the tangent of the curve, its ‘primitive function’, but it then alludes to other qualities of the curve [I didn’t get this bit, 219, something to do with being able to generate irrational numbers—I must read DeLanda again].  In Deleuze’s terms, the Idea becomes an Idea of Ideas: it represents a universal notion, a ‘pure  element of qualitability’ (219).  General ideas like this do not depend on empirical variability, but themselves generate variety ‘or multiplicity’ (220).  This is not a [subjective] concept of the understanding, but something [internal, autonomous] ideal , ‘the reciprocal dependence of the relations themselves’ (220).

[Apparently, this was used to overcome Kantian duality between concepts and intuition, by suggesting a relation between determinable empirical spaces and determinations of the concepts in thought, replacing Kantian notions of the conditioning of thought and the rejection of any genetic element.  Instead, we need a notion of reciprocal determination when discussing the determinability of thought: this is already apparent, allegedly, but not clarified, in concepts of the understanding such as causality and reciprocal influence.]

The  ‘reciprocal synthesis of differential relations [is] the source of the production of real objects’ (220), and this synthesis generates [as concepts of the understanding?]: ‘qualities, produced in the form of differences between real objects of knowledge;…  Space and time in the form of conditions for the knowledge of differences;…  Concepts in the form of conditions for the difference or the distinction between knowledges themselves’ (220).  This also makes 'physical judgments' [ontological ones?] more important than mathematical ones, and develops the notion of extensity as a source of physical objects.  Ideas are generated as ‘a system of ideal connections’ between these genetic elements.  Rational thought actually depends on ‘an unconsciousness of pure thought’ which grasps this system and its reciprocal determinations, especially the relation between determinable self and determining I.  This particularly applies to the notion of difference as an unconscious or a priori Idea, perceived as some kind of ideal relation between differentials [maybe].

The example given is the claim that the straight line is the shortest path.  We can see ‘shortest’ as a notion which is determined by our experience,  or as an imaginative schema derived from concepts of space and somehow ‘applied’ by a rule [Deleuze defines application of this kind as establishing a relation between the concept and the intuition].  ‘Shortest’ can also refer to an Idea, not a concept or an intuition, but expressing a difference between straight and curved and appearing as a result of certain conditions of this relation (221). [Deleuze notes the connection between Greek thinking on this issue and the calculus].

There is a third element—potentiality.  ‘Power is the form of reciprocal determination according to which variable magnitudes are taken to be functions of one another’ (221) [mathematical notion of power I assume?].  [More maths follows, again beyond me I’m afraid].  Equations are depotentialised by abstracting from empirical quantities [replacing 2-d algebraic equations of curves with differential calculus], but other elements appear instead— quantitability and qualitability, a newform of pure potentiality, permitting extension to whole new ranges of variables produced by undetermined quantities.  Various mathematicians disagree over ways to formulate this pure potential, 222, leading to the view that the differential must be an ideal difference, described in terms which do not refer to any empirical qualities, pure power.]

Potentiality suggests a notion of complete determination, not just reciprocal determination [something to do with composition of a single form, sometimes seen as ‘the distribution of singular points’(223)]. This can happen when a relation is fixed, for example at zero or infinity.  The form produced is a serial one, and we can establish the singular points by examining various numerical coefficients which surround it [hard to follow—the distribution of ordinary points,which can be calculated, around singular points?  Apparently, this helps us determine whole ranges of empirical series?].  Reciprocal determination here is seen as one aspect of, or a clue pointing towards complete determination.  Again we have the required synthesis.  What we have noted in particular is that Ideas include singularity, or a series of singularities, and distributions of ordinary and regular elements as well, and that these distributions extend up to the vicinity of another singularity.  This is what makes Ideas distinct and distinctive.  This distribution of series replaces the idea of an abstract universal, and also implies that the singularity is what is responsible for individual empirical appearances—it is ‘”pre-individual”’ (223).

Since the calculus itself was tied to the discovery of infinitesimals, it has been a problem to disentangle and isolate the pure potentials.  Modern mathematics apparently works with set theory [which sees the calculation of infinitesimals as occupying only one set of problems and solutions?  There is a difficult section 224].  Apparently, set theory further simplifies, and takes a structuralist notion of the calculus instead of a genetic one {in the sense that the calculus occupies one set within overall structure?}: differential equations represent particular problems that limit an infinite notion of differentials, maybe.  There is a further argument about how operations like calculus are suspected of developing equations which themselves interfere in the solutions, a 'circularity' which is an embarrassment].

This in turn led to a new problem for metaphysics, a new notion of transcendental problems and their relation to solutions [which the debate about the calculus illustrates?].  The new notion suggests that problems provide their own ‘determinant points’, the conditions which permit solutions.  The notion of ‘error’ comes into question—it now no longer means failing to specify the problem, a matter of subjectivity.  Solutions can conceal the problem which can produce error, and ideal syntheses cannot be always expressed in concepts producing solutions.  Error is not the only concept that ceases to be useful—so does the difference between infinite and finite representations [I think the argument here is that concrete expressions in the form of solutions cannot grasp the problematic element which is not representational, not grasped by propositions.  It is an example of the limits of representations and identity argued above?  The discussion is traced to a debate about Kant, 226—something to do with his concept of noumena failing to escape from conventional representation].  We still need to track down exactly what is this extra propositional element in the Idea, the one that produces problems and points to difference.

The concept of dialectics can be reformed to help.  We don’t need to operate with opposing representations, but to see dialectic in terms of problems and solutions.  Problems are different from solutions, transcendent since they engender solutions, and immanent in terms of solutions, so that solutions help the problem emerge and become better resolved [based on the work of Lautman, D says, 226].  Mathematics provides us with ideal connections between elements in problems and how they are incarnated in solutions.  Differential calculus shows all three aspects, for example.  So mathematical solutions show us some aspects of problems, and problems express themselves in the mathematical domain.  Generalising, we can say that each problem is duplicated in a particular symbolic field, like mathematics, but also in physical, biological, psychical and sociological fields [this multiplicity in the ordinary sense is being described as dialectic here, no doubt for witty French reasons].  Other mathematicians have argued this, especially a bloke called Abel, who was the first to propose that solutions should not be found by trial and error, but by trying to examine ‘the conditions of the problem which progressively specified the fields of solvability in such a way that “the statement contains the seeds of the solution”’ (227).

This led to a revolution in thinking about problems and solutions.  Other mathematicians got to the same idea, partly by specifying ‘adjunct fields’ [which seems to be an ingenious idea to develop possible substitutions for particular fields, developing partial solutions or groups of solutions, also showing how problems conditions solutions, 228.  This has got something to do with the argument in DeLanda and referred to in my summary which I only understand in principle—that you can substitute the numbers in algebraic equations with other algebraic formulations].  This has got a [curiously random?] implication in that it also breaks the master-pupil relation, where pupils had to discover solutions in terms defined by masters who provided the necessary examples, conditions and ‘adjunctions’: instead it points to unknown elements of the problem as objective parts of it.  The unknown has to be learned, so ‘the whole pedagogical relation is transformed’ (228) [a possible argument for cooperative learning, but only in this very strange field of new mathematics?].  The approach, ‘”progressive discernibility”’(228) also apparently combines reciprocal and complete determinations.  Above all though it breaks the conventional circle between solutions and problems.

So the history of mathematics is related to developing knowledge about problems and their dialectic nature expressed in Ideas.  Dialectic here means ‘a system of connections between differential elements’ (229), as suspected.  Ideas have their different orders incarnated in different fields and modes of expression, generating diverse scientific domains.  The calculus is a specifically mathematical instrument, but it also has a wider sense by pointing to ‘the composite whole that includes Problems or dialectical Ideas, the Scientific expression of problems and the Establishment of fields of solution’ (229) [why all these capital letters?].  Mathematical ideas can be applied to other domains, and each domain ‘possesses its own calculus.  Ideas always have an element of quantitability, qualitability and potentiality…  Determinability…  Reciprocal determination and complete determinations…  Distributions of distinctive and ordinary points…  Adjunct fields’ (229).

So when we think we apply mathematics, this is really testament to the generation of different orders by problems—‘in this sense there is a mathesis universalis corresponding to the universality of the dialectic’ (229), the adventurousness of ideas.

Ideas are multiplicities in the technical sense—not just ‘combination of the many and the one, but rather an organisation belonging to the many as such, which has no need whatsoever of unity in order to form a system’ (230).  The one and the many are limited concepts of the understanding, which miss concrete details.  The point is to ask ‘how many’, ‘in which cases’, to study cases rather than play with language, set up oppositions and so on.  Multiplicity is ‘substance itself’.  Everything is a multiplicity, if it embodies an idea, including the many and the one [the latter shown by Bergson and Husserl apparently—passive synthesis again?].  The point is to identify differences between and within multiplicities, their variety or difference.

Ideas and multiplicities have dimensions, different variables or coordinates, and relations between changes in these variables, which reciprocally determine elements.  Multiplicities form when: (a) their elements emerge from a potential or virtuality, with no prior identity or function, manifesting pure difference: (b) where the elements are fully reciprocally determined, intrinsically defining the multiplicity with no external reference, determined by the idea alone, unlike conventional representation which claims to be internally unified by a thinking subject; (c) differential relations are actualized and elements incarnated, with the Idea acting as a structure [Deleuze claims this unifies the notion of genesis and structure, as in Althusser’s ‘structural causality’?  He says structuralism can be seen as a means for genesis, and genesis should be seen as a move from virtual to actual, incarnation.  This produces ‘a static genesis which may be understood as the correlate of the notion of passive synthesis’ (232).  Again we can find these ideas and their relations in different fields—structural resemblances, ‘correspondences without resemblance’.]

Examples include Greek notions of atomism, 232, and the exploration of relations between them as a clinamen [literally translated as a swerve, I gather].  Deleuze wants to argue this is an example of reciprocal determination, but not quite a structural determination—beats me!  The second example refers to the organism as a biological Idea, formed by actualizing independent elements, producing differences and resemblances, such as different kinds of bones which still have some functional essence, a transcendent quality Deleuze puts it.  The potential is actualized in different environments, but there is no simple transformation.  This might be seen as a structure, although a complex one involving not just bones but muscles.  This is hinted at in modern genetics, apparently, where genes are distinctive points, with several empirical characteristics, but acting together in complex ways as ‘a virtuality’ (234) and exhibiting different speeds of development.

Then Marxism.  Marx’s notion of abstract labour approaches the status of the social Idea which can be used to describe different societies as differential relations between elements including production and property relations.  Individuals appear as ‘bearers of labour power or representatives of property’ (234).  The economic instance is a social multiplicity comprising these different relations which gets incarnated and differenCiated into determinate societies and real relations.  ‘Althusser and his collaborators are, therefore, profoundly correct in showing the presence of a genuine structure in Capital and in rejecting historicist interpretations of Marxism, since this structure never acts transitively, following the order of succession in time; rather, it acts by incarnating its varieties in diverse societies…  That is why “the economic” is never given properly speaking, but rather designates a differential virtuality to be interpreted, always covered over by its forms of actualizations; a theme or “problematic” always covered over by its cases of solution’ (234-5).  The economic is the problems given given society, even though solutions may take political or ideological forms.  There is a direct connection to Marx’s formulation (in Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy) that “mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve”.  Economic conditions are producing solutions, but within the frameworks of real conditions.  Solutions can involve cruelty and oppression as well.

Ideas coexist and merge, although this is sometimes obscured.  They are capable of great differenTiation, although they cannot be differenCiated.  They have varieties within them.  On a vertical dimension there are ordinal varieties, different elements and relations, producing the different academic subjects, and elements can pass over into each other, sometimes via a more general detour.  The horizontal dimension produces different varieties according to different degrees of the same differential relation— the varieties of animals or languages deriving from an organisation and system.  Then there is a dimension of depth displaying ‘axiomatic varieties’ [I didn’t understand the examples, 236].  We can consider this display of interconnected varieties as showing ‘perplication’, resulting from the ways in which ideas relate to each other and to the objective determination of shared problems.

Ideas are better seen as events or accidents rather than theoretical essences.  They are produced in adjunct fields.  They’re not essences.  They stand against rationalism with its attempts to connect ideas to essences, for example in the form ‘”what is X?”’.  This acts as a critique of simple empiricism, but should not stop with identifying essences.  It should lead instead to further questions such as how much and in which cases, as we saw [developing propadeutic aims is how the Poser puts it].  That in turn almost inevitably leads to the idea of God.  The real questions refer to accidents, events and multiplicities, not essences.

Problems are composed of events, such as ‘sections, ablations, adjunctions’ (237) [The first one at least refers to an earlier discussion about conic sections,and to ablate is to remove apiece of somethi].  There are two sorts of events—real ones at the level of solutions, and ideal ones seen in the conditions of the problem itself.  The series of ideal events produces singularities—‘the existence and distribution of singular points belongs entirely to the Idea’ (237), even though they are actualized in real relations.  Again, real and ideal series can be seen as horizontal and vertical dimensions, crossing at the moment of actualizations.

It follows that we should employ vice-diction not contradiction, actualization not contradiction.  Essences have been seen as the most important aspect of reality, but thought itself should equally concern itself with distributions of singular and ordinary points, describing multiplicities, trying to pin down the conditions of problems.  This is what having an idea means, and stupidity arises when what is unimportant is pursued instead.  Vice-diction shows us the distinctive points within the idea, how a series should be continued, whether a series is convergent or divergent.  Vice-diction specifies adjunct fields and also condenses singularities (239).  The first refers to an attempt to specify the problem fully, in all its varieties and events, and how these are connected to a field.  The second shows how actualizations arise as ‘something abrupt, brutal and revolutionary’ (239).  This is also having an idea amounts to.  Ideas therefore have two aspects ‘which are like love and anger’ [twat].  Again, these processes exist in the real world not just in our heads, and we should not see mathematical terminology like singularities and points, or lyrical concepts like love and anger, as the only ways to describe reality.  The Idea combines these more specific concepts.

[Then a really obscure bit about Schelling, 240.  Pass.]

Other combinations also occur at this level, event and structure or sense and structure.  Structures include ideal events as well as relations and points which intersect with real events and determine them.  The more important opposition is between Idea and representation—unified subjects still determine representations of objects and require them to resemble concepts or essences.  Representation involves knowledge which is recollected and recognized.  The ideal, however is virtual.  Multiplicities do not require identities.  Events and singularities do not require essences, unless this is seen as some accident.  Vice-diction cannot appear as representation, but affirms divergence and decentring.  What is involved is some ‘infinite “learning”, which is of a different nature to knowledge’ (241), the comprehension of problems, singularities ideal events and bodies.  As with learning to swim, we have to make the singular points of our body conform to those of another element know which produces new problems [and in his exaggerated phraseology transforms the body].  Consciousness alone cannot grasp the generation of cases with which it attempts to deal, because there is something ‘extra propositional, sub representative’.  Learning should grasp that.  We require ‘the real movement of an apprenticeship of the entire unconscious, the final elements of which remain the problems themselves’ (241).

So can ideas only be grasped by a special non empirical faculty, not reason or understanding, none of those that produce common sense, since these cannot manage encounters with the unthinkable, including that which is given?  We require ‘the transcendent exercise of a particular faculty liberated from any common sense’ (242).  However, ideas penetrate all the other faculties.  As an example, the ‘linguistic multiplicity, regarded as a virtual systems of reciprocal connections between “phonemes”’ (242) is actualised in particular languages.  It also makes metalanguage possible.  In another case, the social multiplicity ‘determines sociability as a faculty, but also the transcendent object of sociability which cannot be lived within actual societies…  but must be and can be lived only in the element of social upheaval (in other words, freedom, which is always hidden among the remains of an old order and the first fruits of a new)’ (243).  [Some amazing claim for the transcendent being of desire again?].  The same goes for other faculties, which have Ideas which correspond to them but are ‘not the exclusive object of any one in particular, not even of thought’ (243).  Ideas corresponding to faculties also can relate to each other as ‘harmonious Discord’, just as differences articulate in general.

What this means is we need to develop the idea of a ‘”para sense”’ to go beyond common sense [the link with paradox is deliberate—see L of S].  The elements of this would be Ideas, as pure multiplicities which ‘animate and describe’ how the faculties work from a transcendental point of view, leaving traces in the different faculties.  Again there are implications for learning which go beyond ‘representation in knowledge’.  Learning involves penetrating the Idea to establish its ‘varieties and distinctive points’, or pushing faculties to the transcendental level, where it will also encounter other faculties, sometimes violently.  Similarly [!] the unconscious means either the extra propositional non-actual character of ideas, or what is revealed by the paradoxical exercise of the faculties.

Thought should be considered as a particular faculty.  It has as its object that para-sense or violent communication between the faculties, at the limits of the exercise of the faculties.  This is where Ideas can develop in their full deployment.  This will help us see the differences between thought and common sense—we will be embracing difference, the unconscious, and, ultimately the ‘universal ungrounding which characterises thought as a faculty in its transcendental exercise’ (244) [orig .emphasis]

We need to explore still further the nature of the problem.  We need to remember that ‘modern thought and the renaissance of ontology is based upon the question – problem complex’ (244).  We need to move away from any subjective understandings of these terms and see them as ‘the intentionality of Being par excellence’ (244) [somehow how Being can persist, even though bits of it are unknown?  Also, a way of connecting the activities of Being to the activities of thought?].  Art as well as philosophy has responded—for example, the need for novels to develop a new language in questioning mode, and to depict problematic events and characters, seeing the problematic ‘as the transcendental element which belongs “essentially” to beings, things and events’ (245), and posing the question of difference [which has led to reflexive questions such as “what is writing?”].  This is an example of the Idea appearing with violence.

The new ontology of the question argues that: (a) questions do not simply provide empirical responses, but deny them and force an acknowledgement of the question itself [maybe]; (b) the question raises issues for questions and what is questioned; (c) Being appears as something which unites both questioned and questioner as an articulated difference, not something negative, not just non-being.  [Very puzzling section!  245].  There are still inadequacies, however [I don’t understand them—something about the indeterminacy of questioning producing some new common sense subjective version of Being -- God?.  Sometimes questioning is seen as an aspect of the beautiful soul, and problems as obstacles.  All very odd, 246]

Conventional philosophy sees the point of thought as moving ‘from the hypothetical to the apodictic’, (246) or from hypothetical to metaphysical necessity.  The two stages were linked in a dialectic.  Descartes moves from doubt to certainty.  Kant moves from hypothetical forms of experience to categorical principles.  The apodictic [that which cannot be doubted] acquired a moral and imperative nature.  It is better to see this as a progress from the problematical to the question.  This looks like only a minor change, especially since questions have their own imperatives.  However, to render the problematical in hypothetical terms is to reduce it to propositions and representations.  There are also different sorts of imperative, moral ones and also more technical ones more related to the problematic [with an annoyingly banal example—we see the imperatives in questions from the police phrase “I am asking the questions”, 247.  Somehow this really represents the different aspects of the self asking questions.] These are actually ‘imperatives of adventure’ which initiate problems, a decision ‘which, when we are infused by it, makes us semi-divine beings’ (247) [heroic philosophers overturning convention to explore problems].  We make these decisions with relations to adjunction and condensation as above.  This is not a game with rules, but is better understood as a throw of the dice, where throwing is the only rule: ‘The singular points are on the die; the questions are the dice themselves; the imperative is to throw.  Ideas are the problematic combinations which result from throws’ (248).

We must not see this in terms of conventional games of chance, which limit to the operation of chance according to the laws of probability which operate over a series of throws.  This breaks up the problem into a series of win/ lose steps.  Deleuze wants to suggest a different notion, where ‘a throw of the dice affirms chance every time’ (248) [so everything is to play for each time.  This metaphor crops up a lot in later work as well].  Repetition does not affect probabilities: this is not ‘subject to the persistence of the same hypothesis, nor to the identity of a constant rule (248).  [A radical notion of constant creation of unique combinations, permanent haecceity.  Confirmed in the next chapter].

We must see this sort of chance as a matter of affirmation, producing ideas.  It looks as if we are suggesting an arbitrary starting point, but a more extensive notion of affirmation is required.  A fully affirmative chance produces outcomes which must be ‘by nature adequate to the player and the mobile command of the aleatory point’ (248) [no bad outcomes, only inadequate ones?].  When chance is affirmed, the disparates produced by it resonate to form a problem—and its elements, distributions of points.  [This seems to be the most abstract sense in which only those problems emerge which human beings can solve?].  Arbitrariness is abolished.  Positive divergence can be seen in problems, adjunct fields are connected by resonating disparates.  [Remembering that the imperatives are those of adventure, which human beings undertake], this permits us to finally accept a rather heroic notion of the author as ‘the operator of the Idea’ 249.  We see this in the ways in which modern novelists operate within an aleatory point from which the work develops as a series of problems, produced by ‘making divergent series resonate’ (249).  This isn’t exactly mathematics, but it is an example of the universal mathesis,  ‘learning or experimentation but also something total every time, where the whole of chance is affirmed in each case’ (249).

Even though we are the heroes who make the decision to throw the dice, the process does ‘not emanate from the I: it is not even there to hear them…  The imperatives are those of being’ ( 249) [talk about the simultaneous liberation and eclipse of the author!].  ‘Ontology is the dice throw, the chaosmos from which the cosmos emerges’, and being actually constructs the fractured I.  Imperatives come into thought as a series of differentials, something that cannot be thought and must be, something requiring transcendence.  Thus pursuing questions also will also ‘signify our greatest powerlessness’ (249), and make us aware of the original non human aleatory point for everything.  We are made aware of the fractured I and the unconscious of thought, operating at the transcendental level.  The Idea therefore is not one of the ‘attributes of the thinking substance’, but something which emerges only through a fractured I, which makes us think that ‘another always thinks in me’ (250). This sort of powerlessness need not overwhelm us, since it also contains a higher power, or will to power, seeing our powerlessness as an object, the result of an affirmative throw of the dice which provides us with questions and problems, which make us think [maybe].

There is no apodictic principle at the origin of thoughts, only chance and aleatory points, no ground but an ungrounding.  D insists this is affirmative, not arbitrary.  We realise that there are: ‘imperative or ontological questions; dialectical problems or the themes which emerge from them; symbolic fields of solvability in which these problems are “scientifically” expressed in accordance with the conditions; the solutions given in these fields when the problems are incarnated in the actuality of cases’ (250).

What is the origin of questions?  Repetition, but obviously not of the simple or bare kind: they indicate bad throws of the dice.  Affirmative throws are repeated, but they produce different outcomes, sometimes which then goes on to produce the same.  It is this that produces perplication of ideas as above [which I think means that the different elements in the Idea are produced by these different throws of the dice].  Thus even bare repetitions are produced by these virtual repetitions which produce different combinations or condensations of singularities each of which can echo or double each other [so these echoes or doubles are what we discover as bare repetitions?] There are connections with the eternal return, where repetition doesn’t mean continuation, or even cyclic returns, but ‘the reprise of pre-individual singularities’ which dissolve all earlier identities (252).  Singularities [also?] prolong themselves along a horizontal line in the form of reproductions or copies, bare repetitions, but there is also a vertical line which condenses singularities according to [total] chance.  Repetition produces the raw material for imperatives, a temporary starting point [maybe], or ground to explore ungrounding.

Negation and the negative are inadequate to explain non-being, the being of the problematic.  We can develop our analysis by considering the strange double negative in French ne...pas.  Apparently, its origin is to indicate questions being developed into problems in propositions, already indicating that ‘the negative is an illusion, no more than a shadow of problems.’ (253).  Problems can be misunderstood by operating through solutions first, reducing them to the hypothetical, or propositions of consciousness, obscuring the real structure of problems.  Seeing problems as a series of hypothetical affirmations inevitably leads to the deployment of negatives as equally important, but this is unhelpful, whether we are thinking of negation as logical or real.  Usually, negatives and oppositions have to be grounded ‘either in the analytic substance of God or in the synthetic form of the Self’ (253).  Negation remains as a simple concept, which cannot grasp infinite degrees of opposition.

We have to develop instead the notion of multiplicity which provides the varieties to include apparently opposed or negative terms, including non-being [in the sense of potential virtual being].  The Idea has a variety of reciprocal relations ‘which never include any negative term or relation of negativity’ (254).  Negativity is an effect of consciousness.

[Then a really useful example at last, 254--5]—the linguistic Idea.  This consists of elements called phonemes, isolated from sounds, and differential relations between them which produces elements of  actual speech.  Actual phonemes provide values [like stresses?] in those elements ‘(pertinent particularities)’.  Together they produce a structure as a multiplicity, representing ‘the set of problems which the language poses for itself, and solves in the constitution of significations’.  This operates at an unconscious and virtual level, and the elements are both transcendent and immanent to the sounds actually produced.  The same elements are also articulated in different languages, and in different parts of the same language.  We see that sense and structure, and genesis and structure are combined, in the form of a ‘passive genesis which is revealed in this actualization’.  All this is fully positive, although some linguists still see relations between phonemes as oppositional, although in different ways.  These different ways might compensate for the simplicity of the negative, but ideally the different usages should lead us to think of proper notions of difference in multiplicities, which lies behind these different types of negative. 

However Saussure and Trubetzkoy insist difference is constitutive of language, but this reintroduces consciousness and representation, and limits exploration of the transcendent.  Establishing differences is something that listeners do, even ‘the bad listener who hesitates between several possible versions of what was actually said’ (256) [so much for polysemiology!].  Only the one who speaks should be supported because they are indicate the play of language, the throws of the dice.  Simple opposition teaches us nothing about what is to be opposed, and says nothing about the selection of phonemes and morphemes and how they are determined.  [The latter seem to emerge in an embryological kind of way, passing different thresholds and encountering different intensities in a form of progressive determination].  We should be looking at a variety of different positions not just distinctive opposition.  Back to the example of ne...pas [editor?], the ne introduces something discordant and disparates, differential not negative, while the pas does not close off, but shows the result of disparate processes, albeit in a negative way, 257.

Being generates questions, which develop positive problems, and eventually the propositions of consciousness as affirmations which designate solutions.  However each proposition also expresses a shadowy negative which preserves the problem in its pre-representation form.  [still referring to French forms?].  [The argument seems to be that asserting that something is not the case confines thought to the negative rather than to the dimensions of the problem in the first place?].  What needs to be explained is the appearance of the negative itself, which involves a notion of multiple affirmation, affirmative difference.  This in turn means there must be some genetic element which precedes propositions, the imperative questions or ‘original ontological affirmations’ (257).

All these elements are contained in Ideas [at the virtual level], and appear in different actualizations of relations and points.  [The example here is the Idea of colour, with white light is perplicated, and with individual colours as actualizations.  Deleuze goes on to generalise to talk about white sound, and even ‘a white Society and a white language, the latter being that which contains in its virtuality all the phonemes and relations destined to be actualised in diverse languages’ (258)].  This is where we need different terms—the determinations of the virtual content are called differenTiation, while the distinctions among the actualised parts are differenCiation (258).  The latter always relates to the former, as do solutions to problems.  The negative appears in neither: both display positivity [at this point, almost functional differences].  The negative only appears once we cut this relation between virtual and actual—it is ‘derived and represented, and never original or present’ (258).

Then another Marxist example:

Some commentators [Althusserians?] See the difference between Marx and Hegel as a difference between differenCiation and opposition, a contradiction and alienation, when describing social formations: the latter can appear as epiphenomena.  Marx also reminds us that the celebration of difference need not lead to the beautiful soul.  Abstract labour can be seen as a problem, which leads to actualization and differenCiation as concrete divisions of labour.  However, the process also generates ‘false problems’ (259)—in the case of Marx it is fetishism, an illusion of consciousness [but not an individual one, rather ‘an objective for transcendental illusion born out of the conditions of social consciousness in the course of its actualization’ (259)—more or less what Mepham said all those years ago].  Such false problems enable people to live in particular societies, and is also the source of specific forms of suffering as a kind of fraud.  The false problem produces ‘counterfeit affirmations, distortions of elements and relations and confusion of the distinctive with the ordinary’ (259), a typical example of how nonsense and stupidity drives history as much as the search for sense.  ‘While it is the nature of consciousness to be false, problems by their nature escape consciousness.  The natural object of social consciousness or common sense…  Is the fetish’ (259) only when commonsense is broken and problems be grasped and the full faculty of sociability allowed to operate.  [So why no recognition of this in the politics of desire in the later work?].  Revolution should never be seen as negative, but as the affirmative ‘social power of difference’.  We also see that the negative is not just a shadow, but ‘the objective field of the false problem, the fetish in person’ (259).  Practical struggle can only proceed through recognising difference and its power of affirmation, and ‘righteous’ political struggle should aim to conquer the right to get to the truth, beyond consciousness and the negative, and contact the imperatives [of sociability in its own right?] at the bottom of it all.

Speaking of the virtual runs the risk of vagueness, implying a lack of determining.  It is better to speak of the virtual opposed to the actual, not the real.  The virtual is real, a part of real objects.  It is a structural reality—structures are not just actual.  The virtual is completely determined.  [Then a strange example referring to works of art which can be virtual in the sense that the elements of the work coexist in the virtual part, and not in some empirical grounded or centred origin or perspective.  Works of art may be whole but not complete [I think, referring to the earlier discussion about entire determination].

Parts of objects are determined by actualization, in differenCiation, the ‘second part of difference’ (261).  The two types of differentiation are related or doubled, producing ‘a virtual image and…  an actual image...[ as]…  unequal odd halves’ (261).  Both types have two aspects, the first relating to relations and singular points dependent upon the values in those, the second relating to the production of diverse species or varieties, and the number of distinct singular points.  [the example is seeing genes as differential relations incarnated both in a species and in the organic parts of the species].  Any quality can be defined in terms of singularities and how they are incarnated.  [Examples from biology and from painting, the alignments of spaces of colour].  Species are defined by differenC iated parts, ‘qualities and extensities’, forms of organization.

DifferenTiation is completely determined, but singular points exist only in ‘the form of neighbouring integral curves—in other words, by virtue of the actual differenCiated species and spaces’ (262).  [And I think the converse is that the unity of reason, the connection between ‘determinability, reciprocal determination, complete determination’ only develops following progressive determination—we only see reciprocal determination by following a sequence, and we only see complete determination once we have specified adjunct fields].  We can establish the virtual time of the structure which then determines the time of differenCiation [as in embryology?  Deleuze says that actualization can also be seen as differenCiation, integration and solution, 262].  The virtual has to be differenCiated order to be actualized.  Each actualization can be seen as a local solution which connects with the others [see DeLanda on the soap bubble and the salt crystal here Deleuze refers to the eye as solving a problem, a differenCiation which emerges only from some powerfully effective internal milieu].

The virtual should not be confused with the possible, which implies something not real.  Operating with notions of the possible and the real fails to explain existence except as some pure act, outside the concept of difference.  The possible also relies on the notion of identity in the concept of rather than multiplicity.  There is also a similarity between the possible and the real, and must be if one is to become the other.  The suspicion is that the possible is produced after the fact, as a form of the image of reality.  Actualization does not maintain resemblance but preserves a difference between the relations in actual and virtual levels: ‘in this sense, actualization or differenCiation is always a genuine creation’ (264).  Actualization produces ‘divergent lines which correspond to—without resembling [weasel!]—a virtual multiplicity’, which explains divergent [biological,say]  solutions to the same problem.  [There is a reference to Bergson and the cone of memory with its divergent connections to problems].  [Other philosophers, including Leibniz, have confused the virtual and the possible, 265]

Descartes did much to argue that representation is good sense or common sense, developing the drive towards clear and distinct thoughts.  However, things may be confused and clear.  D extends this to argue that we may need to think about things which are distinct – obscure, and clear – confused.  [Very odd discussion ensues, 265-6, relating to discussion of interpreting the sound of the sea.  It can be heard as a whole clearly, but not distinctly in terms of the variety of noises it comprises, or, conversely we can hear the little noises distinctly but fail to grasp them clearly so they remain obscure.  The singular little noises can condense at a particular threshold, but the whole – parts relation is still confused {the virtual-actual relation is better, D says, but commonsense cannot grasp this.  At the virtual level, the Idea is precisely distinct and obscure}].

How does actualization occur?  Why along two lines as above?  This depends on various ‘spatio- temporal dynamisms…  The actualizing differenCiating agencies’ (266), which are different in different domains.  Embryology is one example, as in Delanda, where no blueprint is followed, but rather there is a flow or dynamic between different intensities and zones.  There may be a general pattern from more general to less general, major branches before specific species, but this runs the risk of being mere generalities from the observer outside, as opposed to the living process of individuation: the differences are differences in kind, moving from virtual to actual.  Certainly, only embryos can develop in particular ways, which are impossible for adult members [the example is the movements of vertebrae in the developing neck of a tortoise].

We can discuss evolution in these terms, through the notion of folding, admitted to be a ‘ poetic method and test’ (267).  Can evolution be seen as a process of folding various components such as bones?  We should not take this too literally, and we must see instead as a form of internal progressive dynamism, operating with different internal time, periods of acceleration and pause: ‘creative actualization’ (268).  We can generalise to say ‘The entire world is an egg’ (268), with its differenCiation processes with different dynamisms, different solutions to the same problems.

Ideas relate to actualization in the form of drama—the latter dramatises the former.  [A biologist is quoted as saying that migrating cells are acting out a role, which follows from a structural need to be actualised, 269].  The egg is a theatre: ideas dominates spaces which dominate roles which dominate actors.  We are talking about both internal spaces and extensions into regions where further relations may be developed—the ecological dimension for organisms.  This dimension has its own effects as in geographical isolation.  Internal spaces themselves have to be integrated and connected up to particular limits, and then out into regional and global spaces.

The dynamisms are temporal as well, differenCiating at different speeds, times and rhythms.  These exist ‘beneath species and parts’ (269) as well.  Time provides a response to the question, and space a solution to a problem [with an example of the female sea urchin and its reproductive dilemmas, 270].  There are ‘complementary’ relations between species and parts.  Time processes get condensed into qualities ‘(lion-ness, frog- ness)’ (270).  All these components comprise what matey means by dramatisation—‘ a differenCiation of differenCiation which integrates and welds together the differenCiated’ (270).

Can we describe these as Kantian schemata?  [To be honest I don’t really care], but schema apparently involved rules of determination in a logical sense, which sneaked into a transcendental sense as argued before, and they carry no accompanying description of the actual development of the concept itself, of understanding, so that it remains a ‘miracle’ if they are to fit together.  Apparently the same problems affect typologies, which have to connect somehow with the agents of differenCiation.  Better to consider schema as ‘dramas of Ideas’ (271), with their own internal dynamism, producing ‘a drama or dream’.  Such internal dynamism ‘comprises its own power of determining space and time, since it immediately incarnates the differential relations, the singularities and the progressivities immanent in the Idea’ (271).  Referring to the discussion above, the concept of the shortest is not a subdivision of the concept of straight, but rather ‘the dream, the drama or the dramatisation of the Idea of a line insofar as it expresses the differenCiation of the straight from the curved…  The role of dramas is to specify concepts by incarnating the differential relations and singularities of an Idea’ (271) [The whole discussion reminds me a bit of the role of the larval subject which somehow integrates and energises bits of the virtual.  Here, the concept is the dramatic agent of the Idea?  Compare this, incidentally with more technical definitions of the later work such as What is Philosophy, where philosophy is designed to produce concepts -- not struggle with Ideas any longer?  Or to move from concepts back to Ideas?].

Dramatisation precedes the representation of concepts.  It dissolves identity which is constituted by concepts and continued in representation, and replaces it with a proper understanding of actualization.  We can see types as a series of divergent lines, produced by actualization, sometimes over millions of years, as in types of rock.  ‘Every typology is dramatic, every dynamism a catastrophe.  There is necessarily something cruel in this birth of a world which is a chaosmos, in these worlds of movements without subjects, roles without actors’ (271) [the philosopher as drama queen!].  Artaud’s theatre of cruelty offered this cruel determinism [to explain social events?]: we become subject to accelerations and decelerations, strains and displacements, ‘everywhere the tortoise’s neck with its vertiginous sliding protovertebrae’ (272) [typical Deleuze -- we would have passed over the old example about the tortoises neck earlier, and been forced to go back and look it up when it reappeared several pages later!]

‘There are indeed actors and subjects, but these are larvae, since they alone are capable of sustaining the lines, the slippages and the rotations’ (272).  Ideas produce larvae, breaking the identity of the I and its resemblance to the self.  This is not just pathological, as in fixations or regressions, but permanent.  [Another typical Deleuze sentence: ‘What would Ideas be if not the fixed and cruel Ideas of which Villiers de L’Isle-Adams speaks?’ We all know what those are, and who he is, of course!].  We become embryos again.  This shows us pure repetition at work [as in dynamic reproduction, the eternal return and all that stuff].  We misunderstand this by attempting to represent it.

Ideas are dramatised at different levels.  One example is geographical dramatisation which produces different types of islands [created by changes in sea level or by volcanic eruptions].  Then a weird bit: ‘the Island dreamer, however, rediscovers this double dynamism because he dreams of becoming infinitely cut off…  But also of an absolute beginning by means of a radical foundation’ (272).  Then an even weirder bit about sexual behaviour reflecting the movement of organs and cellular elements.  What all this shows apparently is that thought works down from the virtual, while imagination works upwards from actualizations, breaking boundaries, grasping unities, ‘a larval consciousness which moves endlessly from science to dream and back again’ (273).  [Could be fucking Disney!  I can see loads of primary teachers rejoicing at this bit becasue they think it justifies loads of drama and art! Presumably D means the advanced imagination of the philosopher awash with cultural capital].

Actualization takes place in space, time and consciousness.  Spatio- temporal developments produce a corresponding development of consciousness, ‘born on the threshold of the condensed singularities of the body or object whose consciousness it is’ (273) [as vague as the notion of base and superstructure].  Consciousness therefore has a double when it becomes conscious of something.  This is another form of repetition in what is actualised.  We begin with Ideas, their relations and their distributions of points, the reproduction of space and time and ‘the reprises of consciousness’—all these repetitions show the power of difference and differenCiation.  Repetition is never just identity or similarity.  Sometimes we see it this way, but this is a ‘conceptual blockage’, produced by the Idea itself (273).  This blockage can take place in space, time or consciousness—all still belong to the Idea, as an excess.  Full repetitions explain ordinary repetitions.  What lies outside the concept still belongs to the Idea [compare with Adorno on remainders].  Ideas produce both differenTiation and differenCiation.  We grasp only aspects of how they work through mathematics and biology.  Ideas are dialectical and aesthetic.  The former relates to the variety of relations and distribution of singularities in differenTiation, the latter the determination of species and composition in differenCiation.  Actual qualities and quantities are produced by their virtual equivalents in the Idea.  Dramatisation describes the potentiality of the Idea, a process which unleashes potential, differenCiates differenCiation of the actual by making it correspond to the differenTiation of the idea.  What is it the grounds or provides such dramatisation?  [Another cliffhanger...].


Chapter 5 Asymmetrical Synthesis of the Sensible

[Difficult detailed discussion of the work of other philosophers, mathematicians and biologists, many of them apparently available only in French, together with all sorts of asides about the need to improve upon and incorporate classic philosophical distinctions, often Platonic,  like differences in degree and kind, or the nature of a quality. 

DeLanda is indispensable as usual, and his take appears about 10 or 11 pages in, with a discussion of the intensive.  It is intensive processes that produce extensity, the ordinary metric, measurable world.  Intensive processes can only be assigned any dimensions ordinally, and in particular are indivisible {the thermodynamic examples are very helpful in Delanda}.  There is an intensive version of depth and distance—the latter is more easily grasped as proximity.  Together, they constitute an intensive spatium, a field of potentials that produce the real world. This production takes the form of differenCiation, itself further defined as a matter of explication. The suspiciously expanded notion of expression appears here too. The eternal return appears here somewhere as well, no doubt as a refrain.

In fact the whole thing really can be explained through an abiding metaphor that Deleuze uses, although he’s not supposed to like metaphors, since they allude to forbidden notions of identity.  Nevertheless he insists that ‘the world is an egg’. DeLanda’s commentary on modern embryology says the eggs do not develop according to some fixed  blueprint, but by reacting to a series of intensive differences between the fluids which they contain [I am thinking of laid bird eggs here—mammals are similar, I gather.  I suppose there is an even earlier stage, where the addition of a sperm makes a difference to an egg which kicks the whole thing off].  Clusters of cells in these fluids develop according to different chemical intensities and external temperature differences, even physical movements, and, once they start to develop structures like bones and muscles -- I suppose matey would call this 'expression' -- , development in one zone corresponds to development in another, so that muscles grow just long enough to fit the bones and vice versa.  Individuated embryos undergo their own progressive differenCiation.  This metaphor can even help explain an abiding mystery intrigued and annoyed me when I first started reading this stuff months ago—Deleuze and Guattari tell us that the body without organs is an egg.

Individuation appears here as some prior process to differenCiation.  Eventually, through a discussion of species, individuals and evolution—better discussed in DeLanda again—we get to a discussion of the human individual or the psychic individual.  The earlier notion of a fractured self is revisited, and seen as far too limited a notion of human individuality.  This is the good side of the rejection of the humanist self, argued by both Semetsky and by Guattari in Chaosmosis.  We should welcome the fractured side because it is the source of thought, contact with ideas, as we saw above.  We should develop our individuality by learning about others.  Initially, others appear as objects for us, but especially when they use language, describing their world, and how we are objects for them within it, we can learn about ourselves --aah!  This seems pinched from Husserl, surely?]

Here we go then...

Empirical diversity is given by virtual difference, the ‘noumenon closest to the phenomenon' (280).  The world is produced by the grit in some divine oyster [not Deleuze’s metaphor], it is the remainder from the calculations of God [which is].  Differences are sufficient reasons for every diversity and every change, ‘Everything which happens and everything which appears’.  The orders of difference in question are intensive ones, however—'differences of level, temperature, pressure, tension, potential' (280).  These orders signal each other [in order to resonate] through phenomena as signs.  Thus every phenomenon consists of two series, and it further subdivides into different terms and series of its own.  Similarly, every intensity Is a differential, composed itself of different elements coupled together [or as Deleuze puts it ‘ Every intensity is E-E’, where E itself refers to an e-e’, and e to [further couples, Greek es]’ (281).  This apparently shows the qualitative content of quantity, and the infinite doubling can be called disparity.  Such disparity is the sufficient reason of phenomena, of the sensible itself.

This has been argued by particular French physicists, but the trick is to get some transcendental principle from these local findings. Mostly we know the world through empirical extensity, with empirical energies, themselves usually combined from force and distance, say.  In fact, these are intensive and extensive elements respectively: intension is inseparable from extension in normal experience.  As a result, intensity tends to find itself as the subordinate term, 'covered over by qualities' [presumably meaning properties as above?] (281). Intensity appears as impure, badly grounded [in empirical sociology, an inferior form compared to something properly measurable].  What is really happening is that intensity, as difference, tends to cancel itself out in extensity.  Qualities are best seen as signs of the equalisation of intensive differences in extensity [things that appear as fixed properties once intensity is frozen?]  [All this is still based on Carnot, Curie and other French scientists].  Difference produces change, but change itself then negates difference—as in the normal conceptions of causality as an irreversible state.

Philosophy was limited to commonsense understandings of these processes in 19th century thermodynamics, where real processes appeared to conform to common sense forms of reason.  Difference was grasped only as the natural origin of the diverse.  This reflected the suspicion of intensive difference as a transitory self canceling form. [Compare with the propitious moment of Greek philosophy, operating within the normal ranges of variables, and seeing that as the basis of proper science].  'Every time science, philosophy and good sense come together it is inevitable that good sense should take itself for a science and philosophy (that is why such encounters must be avoided at all costs)' (282).  [Then a diversion into Hegel on good sense and its connection to the absolute, 282-3].  Good sense likes useful and simple distributions, which contain no differences: it homogenises.  This also implies some mad anarchic distributions which have to be domesticated.  Good sense occupies the middle ground, sorts things out so the differences disappear, ‘multiplies the intermediates and…  ceaselessly and patiently transforms the unequal into the divisible.  Good sense is the ideology of the middle classes who recognise themselves in equality as an abstract product' (283).  Thus the commercial classes act to moderate the extremes and organise [a market] to equalise portions.  Good sense sees itself as absolute.  It stresses the equality of everyone before death, and that everyone is an equal chance in life.  Differences are recognized, but just enough so that they can be canceled.  [Good stuff here!]

Good sense is based on habit as synthesis.  The present is all important, the past as improbable [the only possible stance from someone inside the system, says Deleuze, 284].  Differences will cancel through the arrow of time as above, and this provides a kind of safe prediction [unlike the instability and unpredictability of some physical systems, says Deleuze].  19th century thermodynamics seemed to guarantee this, and good sense is thereby generalised to other systems [attached to the absolute].

Common sense is different, provided by the identity of the self with unified faculties, and the notion of simple objects without difference.  The origin of these unified selves and simple objects cannot really be thought, but must be assumed.  Here, good sense comes to the rescue, with its notion of an original difference which is soon managed and cancelled, confirming common sense in its turn.  This is the subjective dimension of good sense [why it feels right] , which together with common sense constitutes orthodoxy.  Common sense does recognition, good sense prediction. Commonsense sees objects as a ‘synthesis of qualitative diversity’ [where different qualities relate to the different faculties].  Good sense offers a quantitative synthesis [where differences eventually cancel each other out].

Yet difference is more than these empirically managed diversities.  It seemed as if such difference could not be thought, yet it can be sensed [or assumed, implied], as the originating point for diversity.  [With a reference back to the idea that the faculties interact violently to constrain each other,which we can see if we push them to their limit].  This implies a delirium ‘at the base of good sense' (285), since difference must be thought and yet cannot be thought [easily, since thought mostly attempts to identify things, sometimes in the form of trying to discover the laws of nature].  Nevertheless difference is implicated in thought, just as pure time was implicated in normal time as above .

We get to philosophy by considering paradoxes, all of which oppose good and common sense.  Contemplating paradox pushes each faculty to its limit and forces thought into the unthinkable, memory into the forgotten, and sensibility into the imperceptible or intensive.  It also forces the faculties to all cooperate in a new and ‘volcanic’ way.  Paradox points to something which cannot be domesticated, although good and common sense can always reduce it to something which can be managed.

Difference is inexplicable because it is explicated in systems which cancel it—in other words ‘essentially implicated’ (287).  Explication itself dispels difference, since explication involves identifying.  Nevertheless, difference actually creates those systems, as another form of explication.  This provides a doubling in qualities as signs—they refer to implicated orders of difference, and to extended orders of explication which cancelled differences.  We see this in the difficulties with causality, which refers both to origins and destinations, where the latter cancels the former: effects make differences disappear.

We should not explore extensive mechanisms to restore difference [strange examples about preventing the heat death of the universe or securing the eternal return], since difference remains ‘implicated in itself’ (287).  That we cannot see this difference represents ‘a transcendental physical illusion’ [referenced to a discussion between Selme and Carnot, whoever they are, 287.  It is something to do with trying to measure entropy, which is an extension, but which also requires some process or energetic to explain its increase.  Entropy is paradoxical, in that it is implicated in an intensity exclusively attached to it, which makes possible its movement—can’t really say I get this].

There are individuating factors in extensity, but these flow from something deeper—‘depth itself, which is not an extension but a pure implex’ (288) [which seems to be a complicated structure with contrary movements in it].  Observers can translate depths into metrics of length and size, but we’re interested in length as such [maybe].  Such translations depend on these conceptions [which matey insists on calling ‘a new depth’].  Once we have made depth extensive, the different dimensions clearly limit the others [so length and width condition height? Actually, I think it conditions volume or appearance, as in figure and ground as below].  Extensive examples given no clues about the origin of depth, nor how various individuating factors operate.  ‘It is [this proper philosophical] depth which explicates itself as right and left in the first dimension, as high and low in the second, and as figure and ground in the homogenised third’ (288).  Extensive lefts and rights must have some origin, so ‘Extensity as a whole comes from the depths’.  [The old transcendental deduction again really].

The ground itself is a projection of something ‘deeper’, the profound or groundless, and this is seen in the relation between the object and its depths.  The separation between figure and ground only happens extrinsically, and this ‘presupposes an internal, voluminous relation between surfaces and the depth which they envelop’ (289).  Spatial syntheses repeat temporal syntheses [which I think follows from the idea that figure and ground can be seen as a relation between past and present].  Thus explication refers to the synthesis in habit, but depth refers to memory and the past and their synthesis.  The third synthesis is also sensed, the universal ungrounding [where duration or pure time produces what is immediately experienced?] [Then a weird bit about volcanoes again including thoughts rumbling in their crater, so a reference to the Internationale, which occurs in some of the later work too, I recall -- Dialogues?].

Depth must be independent of extensity if it is to produce it.  This depth is ‘space as an intensive quantity: the pure spatium’ (289).  Just as ordinary sensation must refer to ontology through its syntheses, so depth is implicated in the perception of extensity.  [Isn’t this an analogy?].  Things like distance in this philosophical depth appear in extensity as various magnitudes.  We perceive depths when we diminish this intensity, and consider empirical depth as a quality, persisting across different perceptions to produce the notion of a permanent object [maybe, 290].  Intensive differences are explicated as extensive ones, which can then be homogenised, and rendered as qualities.  But intensity can only be sensed as an independent process [not properly thought out, so remaining imperceptible].

This alliance between intensity and depth can push faculties to their limit [and thus engender thought].  We can come to see that 'Depth is the intensity of being, or vice versa' (290), out of which come extensity and qualities.  We can describe this in terms of vectors in extensity, and even magnitudes as witnesses to intensiveness.  Altitudes is the example here—these 'cannot be added in any order whatsoever…  [And]…  Have an essential relation to an order of succession': this apparently 'refers us back to the synthesis of time which acts in depth' (290) [this would be the case if ‘we’ all thought the same way as Deleuze].

Kant defined space and time as extensive quantities which were essential components of representations of the whole.  However, this relies on a certain kind of empirical intuition, operating with the extensive [and more on Kant 290 F.  Intensive differences were recognized but seen as additional quality of extensity.  By contrast, space as spatium must be intensive, and it is intensity which generates the extensive and its qualities.  The spatium also, apparently, actualizes ideal connections]

Intensity:  (1) includes the unequal in itself, difference which resists dilution in quantities [as in good sense above]: 'it is therefore the quality which belongs to quantity' (291) [witty]; it is present in every extensive quantity [somehow we can see this in the ways in which numbers represent inequalities which persist, for example when we have to use fractions because whole numbers are too different to be used – maybe.  However, numbers also cancel difference, for example by identifying common divisors, or entering into geometric relations instead of arithmetic ones.  Such operations also show how explication cancels original difference, apparently—numbers are both are intensive and vectorial and extensive and scalar, ordinal and cardinal.  D goes on to argue that ordinal numbers provide the origins of cardinal ones, because they imply irreducible distance of the kind found in the intensive spatium.  Cardinal numbers on the other hand imply an equivalence.  Cardinal numbers are extended ordinal ones, developing when intensive distances are explicated, 292].Extension distributes intensive difference [as does good sense].  However, this process involves complicated operations [D's account starts with Plato on the divisible.  I don't follow this argument, 293, something to do with distinguishing arithmetic and harmonic series.  God apparently has to manage inequality and he does this by covering it with whole ranges of extensities, providing a whole series of 'so diverse and such demented operations' (293).]

(2) intensity affirms difference as dissymmetry [DeLanda to the rescue again, dissymmetry is the product of adding additional dimensions so that symmetrical objects like spheres become less symmetric ones like cubes].  Dissymmetry and inequality are both affirmative [apparently inequality lead to the discovery of the formula for irrational numbers, and other mathematical and logical operations 294].  These differences also have an intensive origin which affirms even the lowest value on a scale [represented by negative numbers, and by asymmetric objects—both still belong to and occupy {virtual, philosophical} depth, both express distance.]

‘Negation is the inverted image of difference’ (294).  Extensity is the negation of that which differs: the negative only appears with extensity, another way in which extension limits or conserves.  Similarly, quality is the opposition of contradiction, the management of contrariety.  Resemblance is the law of quality.  Extensity and quality permit generality and therefore representation which ‘relate[s] difference to the identical’ (295).  This is another example of the illusion [deceptiveness] of the negative. Difference is first inverted in representation, then by the inadequate representation of problems, and finally by extensity and quality.

Intensity also appears upside down in extensity, which is why it also often appears as a negative, and why intensive differences are easily cancelled.  Again though we can see that this is an illusion, pointing to real differences in the depths.  This leads us to the view that extensity is not the cancellation of difference at all, but rather 'the differenCiation of ... difference’ (295), concealed by the habit of arranging oppositions on a flat plane, a distortion of depth.  Disparateness in the depths produce oppositions, and the resolution of oppositions depends on how the disparates envelop each other [not very clear 296].

What gives rise to the sensible—something which cannot be sensed empirically but only transcendentally [more Plato ensues, on the contrary-sensible, 296 F.]  Apparently, his argument also depends on there being intensive quantities which appear as qualities, and the differences in intensity produce the sensible, although these are always covered by qualities and distributed in extensities.  This imperceptible sensibility can force thought: sensory distortion can grasp intensity, and these can also be found in ‘pharmacodynamic experiences or physical experiences such as vertigo' (297).  These can be harrowing, but point to the true meaning of intensity as the limit of sensibility.

(3) intensity is ‘an implicated, enveloped or embryonised quantity' (297), summarising the other 2, only secondarily implicated in quality.  It is a ‘perfectly determined form of being’, containing difference and also distance.  It cannot be divisible, but nor is it indivisible.  It's not divisible because it only has ordinal units; there is equivalence of the divided parts; the parts are still ‘consubstantial’ with the whole.  Division does not change the nature of what is divided, so a temperature is not composed of other temperatures, or a speed of other speeds—the temperatures and speeds are a series, not homogenous terms.  This means that if we do divide an intensive quantity, we change its nature [we just said the opposite?  297]. We can use terms such as smaller and greater.  We can refer to distances, which are ordinal and intensive, relations between series of terms.  Intensive  quantities therefore continue to envelop difference and distance and preserve some inequality as some ‘natural “remainder” which provides the material for a change of nature' [after division?] (298).

Apparently it follows that there must be two types of multiplicities, represented by distances and lengths; implicit and explicit; divisible and indivisible/invariable.  The second pairs are the positive characteristics of the intensive spatium [actually rerendered as 'difference, distance and inequality'].  Explication cancels difference, but also extends distances and equalises the divisible.

There is a danger that all the differences will be subsumed under intensity, including qualities, and that things like distances also display extensive quantities.  It is just that quantities are better seen as extended differences which become differences of degree, while qualities are mistaken for differences in kind [maybe].  However, neither development really represents difference as such, only difference domesticated in extensity.  Qualities are really orders of resemblance even though they differ in specifics: they do not represent differences of intensity, although certain characteristics, 'phenomena of delay and plateau, shocks of difference, distances, the whole play of conjunctions and disjunctions’ (299) provide them with a kind of [empirical] depth on a graduated scale.  Intensity supports quality and explains its duration [and the need for continued management of difference, rather than a once and for all annihilation—I think].

[Then a critique of Bergson’s notion of intensity, 299 F.  I didn't really understand it].  It is something to do with the old division between mechanism, where everything is a difference of degree, and the notion of quality that says there are only differences in kind—but what produces these differences?  For Deleuze, everything depends on the extensity which explicates difference producing differences of degree, and then the qualities which cover it, differences of kind. Beneath both of them lies difference itself, the intensive—differences of degree represent low degrees of difference, differences in kind the higher ones.

All the problems and illusions surrounding intensity arise from the way it turns into extensity and seemingly cancels itself (secondary degradation), but there is also a primary degradation, based on the way in which intensity itself works to envelop and be enveloped [the latter has got something to do with the ways in which intensity seems to splits into higher and lower values as it affirms itself].  These two are confused, almost inevitably if we only consider empirical understanding: we need transcendental inquiry which identifies the primary movement which persists even while secondary degradation goes on, as a form of ‘subterranean life’ (300—I never thought this page number would come).

Returning to the problem of extracting transcendental principles from the empirical ones of Carnot, we can consider energy in terms of extensive and intensive aspects as well.  Without considering the intensive ones, we are left with having to define energy unsatisfactorily, simply as something that remains constant, a ‘flat tautology’.  It is different [!] if we see it as difference in intensity [with only a slight problem, since I have already argued that intensity is difference—Deleuze says this is OK on this occasion because we are dealing with a ‘beautiful and profound tautology of the Different’ [no doubt as that virtual Difference which constitutes differences](301).  We have discovered energy in general rather than particular forms of empirical energy.  Only the latter can be at rest as it cancels intensive differences.  Energy in general is found in the spatium, ‘the theatre of all metamorphosis’, it is transcendental energy not a scientific concepts.  Empirical energies operate within particular domains where intensity is cancelled, providing the basis for laws of nature.  These domains cannot be generalised into some notion of extensity in general, but there is a shared intensive space with purer energy, which actually divides up into empirical domains.  This clearly separates the transcendental and the empirical concepts.  At the level of spatium, we do not find laws of nature, but rather the eternal return.

[This helps us discuss the eternal return again--oh good -- and by analogy with the section above really]—it is a world without identity or resemblance, grounded in difference itself and disparity, intensity.  It is the source of the [empirical] identical and the similar, although it has no identity itself: it is the ‘pure disparate’ (302).  [The reverse of explication is needed], and the empirical turns back to the virtual before the eternal return can occur.  This is what defines the modern notion of the eternal return as opposed to the old beliefs in cycles—and we can use it to criticise the usual notion of linear time.  [A discussion of the ancient beliefs ensues, 302—the Greeks never fully worked it out and saw it as a law of nature or as something really esoteric].  Nietzsche’s eternal return gets to the current sense, presupposing some disruption in the reproduction of the identical producing a thorough metamorphosis based on an prior ungrounding of nature.  It is intensive, driven by difference.  It connects to the will to power which is a grasp of this metamorphosis, ‘communicate intensities, differences of differences, of breaths insinuations and exhalations’ (303 –4).  It is being, ‘the only Same which is said of this world...[ which] excludes any prior identity’ (304).  Nietzsche was interested in the contemporary notions of energy in the science of the time, hoping ‘to make chaos an object of affirmation’, and he saw this sort of thinking which breaks the laws of nature as the highest thought.

Everything returns as a result of the productive differences and dissimilarities.  The only thing that does not return is that which does not permit the eternal return [!]—Extensity and quality, the negative, the identical, God and the self insofar as both guarantee identity.  However, some extensity does not cancel difference—‘This distinction, which cannot be drawn within experience, becomes possible from the point of view of the thought of eternal return’ (304), and usually, what is explicated ‘is explicated once and for all’ (305).  Intensive quantities do not explicate too much, keeping something in reserve for the eternal return.  Similarly, in the eternal return it is not fully specified qualities that return, but rather something that still relates to the original depth—‘then the most beautiful qualities will appear’ (305), uncontaminated with the negative or the excessively empirical, closer to pure sensibility. 

Intensivity is grounded on the combination of two relations, one referring to the ‘reciprocal synthesis of the Idea’ and the other to the ‘asymmetrical synthesis of the sensible’ [a process which is similar to substituting the algebraic terms in dy/dx to the actual relations that connect y to x, 305].  Ideas are virtual multiplicities, intensities are ‘implicated multiplicities, “implexes”, made up of relations between asymmetrical elements’.  They direct the process of actualization of Ideas, the emergence of solutions to problems.  The relationship between intensity and Ideas follows different moments, so that ‘depth... is grounded in the potentiality of the Idea’ (305).  These relationships seem to be cancelled and covered as before, leading to illusions such as a role for the negative [then the irritating use of contrasting terms irony and humour, developed in L of S].

In more detail, Ideas necessarily become actualised [sometimes fully?  The example of colour seems to imply so, the actual differenCiations along divergent lines represent the differential relations which coexist in the Idea].  DifferenCiations always [?] change according to these relations in the Idea, producing different forms in physical and biological systems.  This relation is represented by the term differenT/Ciation (306).  But we still do not know what drives the process of actualisation.  Intensity plays the determinate role here [but in the usual vague way—it ‘dramatises’, 307, it expresses itself in empirical dynamisms and incarnations].  This process [implication I think] is like explication but only in a way: differenCiation relates to Ideas, and produces qualities and extensities, (which however do not resemble ideal relations),  but explication relates to the development of intensities [obsessive pedantry again]

Intensity must be independent of both differenCiation and explication—in the case of the latter, it implies it, but there is an essential difference with differenCiation.  Intensity individuates.  ‘Individuals are signal- sign systems’ (307).  All individuality is intensive, serial, communicating and affirming.  It implies some prior state of disparateness, a set of pre-individual singularities and distinctive points, a field.  Individuation is a kind of solution to a problem posed by this field, [later defined as the response to the question “Who?”, 308] an actualisation of a potential.  The individual therefore has a preindividual element or half, ‘which is not the impersonal within it so much as the reservoir of its singularities’ (307).  [This discussion is still circular, though, since individuation is now asserted to be intensive—but it was a way of describing the constructive processes of intensity when we began] [back to the irritating irony/humour metaphor]. So individuals are not simply qualities or extensions, organizations or components of a species—there is no explanation of why these start and stop with individuals.

Individuation precedes differenCiation in principle, the latter depending on the field created by the former.  Only within this field can species, qualities and extensity form.  It is not that individuation is a limit case of differenCiation—this would be a mistake like confusing the virtual with the possible.  Individuation gives rise to differenCiation [and it looks like the argument is that qualities and extensities form first in the individual?, 309]

Individuals carry and display difference, but not all differences are individual.  The usual approaches to manage differences in terms of a continuity of resemblance, the conventional classification.  First you ask what is a true characteristic, and come up with things like a genus [‘simultaneously both a concept of reflection and also a natural concept’, 309].  Technically, the true characteristic should be the one that manages most of the differences.  Sometimes, they can be derived from some analytic exercise, not always just from perception.  However, what we end with is ‘only general difference, even though it is borne by the individual’ (309).

This leads to Darwin and his breakthrough in grasping individual difference and its role in changing species [DeLanda is very good on this again].  The problem is shared by Freud—how can small unconnected differences turn into significant fixed ones?  How can they accumulate, especially as they also diverge.  Natural selection can be seen as a way to allow the most divergent to prosper.  This still permits all sorts of other small differences to persist as well.  The taxonomic units no longer operate as in the paragraph above, but are understood instead as how natural selection picks out particular differences, ‘the differenCiation of difference’ (310).  Darwin still does not isolate proper difference from variability, and it took someone else [somebody called Weissman] to show how sexed reproduction [differenCiation at the level of organs] generates significant differences in individuals that become the differences between species (310) [apparently with an implication the as we change levels, difference becomes more significant and continuous].  Species develop as a result of individual members overcoming the limits set by the species, performing a certain ‘de-differenCiation’

It looks as if it’s the other way around, that sexed reproduction is qualified by species and organic conditions.  However, embryology shows that reproduction begins with ‘organic de-differenCiation’, the egg becomes a field within which parts develop, initially as ‘sketches’, and which can exceed the forms stabilised in the adult members of the species, as a lived process.  The whole process shows how the virtual relations existing prior to a species become actualised in a species and eventually in individuated embryos.  [But developments like the ones just described show how individuation exceeds species and refer back to ‘individual and pre-individual singularities’ (311)].  In this way, the apparent actions of the species are an ‘illusion’.  Embryology shows us individuation in process. Sexed reproduction defines the field of potentials, that permits actualisation.  [annoyingly, Deleuze insists that the embryo ‘dramatises the primordial relations of life’ (312)].  Human sexuality is capable of developing these biological attachments for reproduction, ‘for human sexuality interior eyes is the conditions of the production of phantasms.  Dreams are our eggs, our larvae and our properly psychic individuals’.

The example also shows us how specific individuation requires a field.  Embryology shows us that asymmetry is important, intensity which forms ‘a wave of variation throughout the protoplasm distributing its difference along the axes and from one pole to another’.  Different regions dominate the others [actual examples, 312-3].  ‘The world is an egg’ [again] (313).  The egg is a model for the process: ‘differenTiation –individuation –dramatisation –differenCiation’ (313).  These are differences of intensity, gradients, expressing themselves in empirical dynamisms [this is a definition of dramatisation, 313]. Actual species and organic parts do not resemble the relations which are actualised in them.  ‘The egg destroys the model of similitude’.  This helps us to resolve disputes in biology [expounded 313].

We still have only considered fields of individuation formally, as some general development affecting all species.  We need to think more concretely about individuation, and how individual differences can be considered as individuating differences.  Individual differences abound—‘no two eggs or grains of wheat are identical’ (314).  This is because, all the relations, variations and points coexist, and are fully ‘differenTiated even though they are completely undifferenCiated’.  This is implied by the perplication of Ideas and their obscurity [even though they are distinct as above].  The elements and points gets separated, and ordered into ‘states of simultaneity or succession’, although all the intensities remain.  Nevertheless, ‘each intensity clearly expresses only certain relations or degrees of variation’ (315) [original emphasis], when it envelops, and expresses all the others confusedly when it is itself enveloped.  [And then banging on again about how the clear and the confused and the distinct and the obscure must be rethought, 315.  ‘The clear – confused as individuating intensive unit corresponds to the distinct – obscure as ideal unit’.  The terms relates to individual thinkers, not Ideas.  This shows the limits of conventional representation which has always tried to connect the clear and the distinct. I think it is also going to be used in one of those obsessive exercises in which D tries to clarify distinction between the various processes he has described].

So this process of implication has enveloping intensities which are themselves enveloped, so that depth constitutes distances, as an example of individuation.  Distances themselves constitute individual differences.  These processes  produce individuation in general, not specific individuations such as species or individuals.  However, this might imply some general or similar processes at work [and we cannot have that], so it is better explained in terms of clear bits and confused bits [or the same and the different, the abstract and the mixed, the fixed and the variable elements in more normal language].  It is the combination of the clear and the confused which produces individual difference, and these combinations will vary in different intensities [then an odd bit about whether human beings partake of any other characteristics of animal species, 316].

Everybody and everything thinks, that is ‘expresses an Idea of the actualisation of which it determines’ (316).  This individuality is however composite, making use of clear and confused in order to think.  Individuality has a ‘multiple, mobile and communicating character’ (317), it has been implicated.  Uniqueness depends on combinations of intensive quantities, and ‘we are made of all these depths and distances, of these intensive souls which develop and are re-enveloped…  Individuality is not a characteristic of the Self, but, on the contrary, forms and sustains the system of the dissolved Self’ (317).

[Then more obsessive qualification between explication and differenCiation—intensity creates extensity and quality and is explicated—then these extensities in qualities are differenCiated—and other strange bits about qualities being distinct, 317].  As intensity is explicated, so it is cancelled in a differenCiated system.  DifferenCiation is also connected with de-differenCiation [as above—it is intensity that is dedifferenCiated?].  Cancellation also explains why living beings tend towards uniformity.  However systems differ because they incarnate different Ideas; because they are individualise [sic] in different ways [in physical systems actualisation occurs all at once, in biological systems there are successive waves of singularities]; they have different ‘figures of differentiation which represent actualisation’ (318) [again, organisation for biology, simple physical distribution for physics].  However, in all domains, explication cancels difference, producing equilibrium or biological death.  [In this way, degradation or entropy is seen as a process of cancelling difference, not some universal principle, part of some higher order.  The argument may even be that seeing entropy that way means we can reverse it—the eternal return again?]

Implication is maximised in complex systems [and Deleuze promptly close is the circle by saying the presence of ‘values of implication’ define complexity, 318].  The values are centres of enveloped meant, representatives of individuating factors, ‘the little islands and the local increases of entropy at the heart of systems which nevertheless conform overall to the principle of degradation’.  The centres can be seen as noumena to the actual phenomena in complex systems; centres are expressive, produced by the incarnation of Ideas and individuations; centres interiorize individuating factors, the more so in the more complex systems [I am not at all sure what this means—maybe it means complex systems are capable of more internal change and do not rely on external conditions?].  [Later on the same page, we get the idea that centres of envelopment ‘are also the dark precursors of the eternal return’, presumably, because they resist degradation?]

Both difference and repetition appear in signal- sign systems.  [The example is modern discussions of heredity, 319.  It is something to do with how heredity necessarily involves a philosophy of nature, since repetition is never the repetition of the same].

Finally we get to ‘psychic systems’.  As usual we have to isolate what is provided by Ideas, and what happens in ‘implication – individuation and explication – differenCiation’ (319).  At first sight, it looks like the I and the Self might be individuation factors, but Deleuze insists they are ‘rather, figures of differenCiation’.  Apparently, the I produces the psychic determination of species, [the quality of human beings as a species] and the Self the psychic organisation.  With humans, there is a different kind of determination to that of biological species, as when Descartes sees the Cogito as the defining characteristic.  The Self is usually seen as organizing the different faculties. Both work  so that humans can develop the formula ‘”I think Myself”’ (320).  In this formula, the differences between the I and the Self are cancelled and the I appears as the universal form of psychic life.  They explicate each other in conventional understandings of the Cogito.

The I develops identity, and the Self the system of resemblances [of faculties?].  Although these are borne by individuals, ‘they are not individual or individuating...  By contrast, every individuating factor is already difference and difference of difference’ (320).  Individuating factors envelop and become enveloped, driven by communicating intensities, disrupting the I and the Self.  ‘The individual is far from indivisible, and never ceasing to divide and change its nature…  [for example]...  It is not a Self with regard to what it expresses, for it expresses ideas in the form of internal multiplicities’ (320).  Similarly, the I actualizes a multiplicity, a series of points or ‘a collection of intensities’.  There is a certain ‘fringe of indetermination which surrounds individuals’ (321) [not just human ones]: this testifies to the full development of individuality not its incompleteness.  It is like the difference between the intensive and the extensive. 

It is wrong to think of a multiple of selves, although 'we' have suggested this when 'we' said selves must be presupposed in order to play their role.  However, really this suggests the domain of chaos underlying individuation.  [I think this is saying that it is the relation of elements in chaos that produce the appearance of multiple selves—so there is some underlying relation.  However, this means that there is no room for a conventional I and self: chaos is ungrounding].

Nietzsche suggested as much—that beneath the I and the Self is an abyss.  This would mean that it is the I and the Self which become abstract universals, and the terms must be replaced by a proper understanding of individuation, to produce more fluid conceptions.  We need to go back to the pre-individual singularities.  The nearest image is the ‘fractured I and the dissolved Self’ (322).  The two are correlated.  Ideas, as problems ‘swarm around the edges of the fracture’, appearing as multiplicities, and expressing themselves as individuating factors producing ‘the universal concrete individuality of the thinker or the system of the dissolved Self’ (322).

[Then an aside on death, as inevitable, or cancellation of differences, or the degradation of differenCiation.  We reprise the discussion of the death instinct earlier, and see the positive side as a liberation of individuating elements from particular forms of I and Self.  This is the difference between empirical death and death as a transcendental event.  Every actual death is the doubling of the two.]

What of the centres of envelopment in the psychic process?.  They belong to a completely different structure, ‘designated by the name “other”’ (323).  The other has a clear relationship to the self: it is not an object, but a ‘self for the other and the other for the self’ (323).  The other has an expressive value [the example is the terrified face which expresses a terrifying world].  ‘By “expression” we mean…  The relation which involves a torsion between an expressor and an expressed such that the expressed does not exist apart from the expressor, even though the expressor relates to it as though to something completely different’ [very fucking helpful] (323).  Heterogeneity itself is expressed, but not through resemblance between the face and the state of terror.  There are a swarm of Others, representing possibilities.  This expression cannot be reduced, even when we attempt to consider other human beings simply as objects.  Expression of these qualities are not managed by the I and the Self alone, although they interpret otherness by explicating it.  This, as usual, cancels its difference: otherness can only allude to other worlds at a particular moment [when it shocks?].

In this sense, the Other is a centre of envelopment, a ‘representative of individuating factors’ (324).  It resists the usual processes of domestication [degradation, entropy].  It helps us not to explicate the world too much, and thus to preserve our own values.  This is how love begins [aah], or recognition of the possible worlds expressed by the other, the other as fascinating subject.  Communication in words can further solidify this fascination, and 'effectively represent the manifestation of the noumenon, the appearance of expressive values—in short, the tendency towards the interiorization of difference' (325).  [Critique gives way to sentimentalism]

[finished at last!]


[Some useful summaries, some extensions, some annoying attempts to make it all coherent and link the discussions together. This raises the problem of what is a Deleuzian concept – the multiplicity of the various more specific terms like ‘clear-confused’ and ‘distinct-obscure’? {I think he only put that one in to reject advice to write more clearly}. Empirical differences and empirical repetitions both have virtual roots in multiplicities and the various processes of actualization they undergo: the virtual 'half' of repetition explains the eternal return again – the major concept for this book I reckon. It is looking increasingly like a way to explain the persistence of the virtual, given that the actual is incapable of reproduction as such and can only appear as a series of haecceities: this has got to be the most bizarre discussion in Deleuze, surely? Anyway, here we go again...]

Difference can not be thought properly if we stick to the conventions of representation.  Classically, it has been seen as some celestial quality beyond understanding, requiring to be domesticated before it could be thought out.  Domestication takes the form of subjecting it to the four characteristics of representation: ‘identity in the concept, opposition in the predicate, analogy in the judgment and resemblance in perception’ (330).  These four operations were seen to make up reason itself leaving anything outside it as non-being, something to be redeemed.

Then some philosophers attempted to make representation infinite or orgiastic, extending it to try to grasp the infinitely large and the infinitely small, culminating in Leibniz and Hegel, the former finding a way to represent the infinitely small, the latter way of establishing the relations between components in the infinitely large, the movement of contradiction, to which all differences tend.  Leibniz developed vice-diction to establish the essence in the inessential, and also to produce ‘an infinite analytic identity’ (331).  These procedures in effect ground representation so that nothing escapes, but difference is still seen as something bad, needing to be domesticated by representation.  Thus in Hegel, contradictions appear but tend back towards identity: the whole thing still depends on identity, which is why contradictions specifically have to appear first as the greatest difference with the identical—hence the ‘insipid monocentricity of the circles in the Hegelian dialectic’ (332).  The same can be said of Leibniz and the notion of incompossibility.  This is not contradiction, and compossibility is not the identical, producing a means for reason to grasp  sufficiently possibly infinite options.  Deleuze prefers to explain these concepts differently as singularities which produce divergent or convergent series respectively.

No matter how far representation is stretched, it still could not affirm divergence or decentring, relying on a world which is fundamentally open to reason.  The assumption of identity grounds reason [sufficient reason].  Specifically, analogy and the opposition of predicates can be extended to infinity, although the whole system began at the propitious moment [within normal ranges].  The difference between the finite and the infinite is ‘only an antimony of representation’ (332) [which is somehow linked to difficulties in grasping all the elements of the calculus until we see that it derives from an overall problem].  The ‘always rebellious matter’ which representation attempts to domesticate has to be either rejected or integrated.

The whole movement attempting to domesticate difference by representation began with Plato.  We know that he tried to establish a difference between the model and the copy, and then between the copy and the simulacrum—the former shares characteristics with the model, but the latter only shares in superficial appearances.  We see in this need to domesticate difference—the model retains the essence of the Same [identity with the Idea], and the copy the Similar [still good], but with some allowance for difference.  It is ultimately a moral issue for Plato—he just doesn’t like excessive differences in simulacra ‘free oceanic differences…  nomadic distributions and crowned anarchy’ (334) which implicitly challenge the model and the copy.  These initial moral concerns will later be forgotten, although the distinctions they make between originary and derived, original and sequel, or ground and grounded will be preserved in hierarchical representation.

Representation offers us transcendental illusion, found in particular in ‘thoughts, sensibility, the Idea and being’ (334). Thought takes on the conventional image discussed earlier—an identical thinking subject, seeking identity in concepts through ‘memory, recognition and self consciousness’, developing common sense (which still preserves a moral vision).  The process seems natural, and so the activity of thought, the ‘genitality of thinking’, the disappearance of the self centring in pure time—all these become forgotten (334).

Sensibility becomes illusory when difference is subordinated to resemblance as a result of domesticating the diversity of sensibility.  Differences are cancelled and the qualities which cover them, inequalities are distributed in extensions of variables, both qualitative and quantitative.  This produces the illusion of ‘good sense’.  It is an understandable illusion, but that’s because we don’t see difference as fundamentally intensive, rather than taking the form of qualities and extensity.  In particular, ‘intensity is not the sensible but the being of [origin of] the sensible’ (335). We can experience intensity of difference ‘only on condition that there is an assimilation of diversity taken as raw material for the identical concept’ (335).

The third illusion follows from the emphasis on quality and extensity, and the [extensive] notions of quantitative and qualitative limitation and opposition.  These operate at the surface, while differences without negation operate in the ‘living depths’.  Disparateness underpins the negative.  In this case the error lies in the depths and how they are incarnated.  Ideas are objective and appear in the mode of the problematic, so problems as such are not a result of ignorance or error on the part of a thinking subject, but rather a part of the Idea itself.  Problems are positive multiplicities.  Propositions effectuate them as solutions, so solutions are affirmations of difference, and multiple affirmations arise from problems as positive multiplicities.  The negative appears only as a shadow of these affirmations, pointing to the power of the problem.  'Problems - Ideas are by nature unconscious…  Extra propositional and sub representative’ (336), so conscious propositions represent them in an illusory way [affirmative propositions conjure up negative ones, they make sense of themselves by positing negatives].  This inaugurates the dialectic and eventually the Hegelian version.  The non-being that produces problems is now seen as defined by the negative.  The complementarity of the positive and negative in the problem itself is replaced by an artificial process of negation and negation of the negation.  It all leads away from the main task of grasping the complexity of problems in themselves: history progresses by 'deciding problems and affirming differences' (337).  It can still be cruel and bloody.  Revolutions are always positive and affirmative too, and 'have the atmosphere of fetes’.  Contradiction belongs to bourgeois defence [because bourgeois thinkers can decide what the contradiction is, and therefore what the problem is]. If we grasp the actual nature of problems, we can resolve contradictions by doing away with them—if we don't, philosophy remains rooted in ordinary consciousness.  We must also avoid the illusion that being is 'full positivity, pure affirmation…  undifferenCiated' (338).  This is so, but there is also a non-being, 'which is the being of the problematic', not the negative.  Only when we have seen difference as inherent in the Idea can we escape from these limits [antinomies] of consciousness.

The fourth illusion subordinates difference to analogy and judgment.  We need judgement when we see concepts as determinable [more specific than just belonging to being].  Each concept is related to being and therefore acts as an analogue in that sense.  Judgment involves distributing identities in good sense, and therefore representing identity in those originary concepts, which become categories or genera.  Further empirical concepts can then be derived by 'division'[the identification of contrary predicates leading to sub categories] (338).  However, there are problems alluding to being, since distributions can also be nomadic instead of sedentary, domesticated like this: these can only be dealt with by assuming they're all distributed by being in the form of fixed forms, and by assuming that the individual can only be understood as bearing differences in general [not haecceities, but types].

These four illusions distort repetition as well.  It must involve perfect resemblance, since it corresponds to the order of generality.  It also invokes an identical concept, although it in this case, it is apparently a difference without concept [see above]—as quantitative variability of the same concept.  Repetition similarly depends on the negative, some limit to the concept, or something that produces quantitative variability which is not a concept, some limitation in the way we frame concepts, some sort of imperfection in the general order of resemblance [maybe, 339].  Or perhaps it is some real blockage that prevents the extension of the concept—language repeats because the words have no independent definitions; nature repeats because matter has no inequalities, 'no interiority' (340); the unconscious repeats because the ego represses.  Repetition arises because things lack something, another example of defining elements of a multiplicity as negative.  Conventional notions of repetition [lead to generalisations], losing differences or parcelling them out.  Repetition claims to be primary, since bare repetition is seen to appear in matter itself: every actual variant has to be seen as analogical repetition.  This [limited empiricism] cannot grasp the 'thickness' in which repetition actually develops (341).  [There also seems to be an argument that analytic science misunderstands because it seems to be basic elements that are repeated in different forms of matter?].  Analogy distributes, but requires reflection, therefore conventional representation, and the notion of the subject as extrinsic observer.

What is meant by grounding?  It is an operation of sufficient reason.  The ground is the same or the identical, essence.  The ground in this scheme is used to test the claims of all sorts of secondary people and objects—the claim of men to be courageous.  Ground departs from essence in this particular way by focusing on claims: this in turn requires it to decide on the fundamental qualities of the essence, and to be able to identify them in the claimants.  This introduces difference, discussed in terms of the similarity of the claimant’s qualities to the essence.  This involves a judgment of resemblance to the ground.  Claimants can be ranked in terms of their resemblance.  'Each well grounded image or claim is called a representation' (342) [claims represent the ground]: this is how representation derived from a notion of ideals or essences.

Once established, representation becomes autonomous, identity is a matter of representation itself, and resemblance refers to the relations between representations and things.  This requires a new conception of ground—the ability of representation to grasp infinity itself, not to be derived from difference, but to conquer it.  This is achieved by making all the possible centres of representation  monocentric, 'which expresses sufficient reason' (342).  Sufficient reason sets out to subordinate difference entirely.

There is a third sense of ground which unites the other two.  To ground is to order things like the seasons or days, 'moments of stasis within qualitative becomings' (343).  People's lives are grounded in the present, a part of that order or progression.  It is this notion that forms the ground of Hegelian dialectic, or Leibniz’s compossibility, 343.  Grounding here refers to the process of making the present arrive, on the ground of a pure past.

These notions of ground ground representation, but ambiguity reminds, as a form of vacillation between complete grounding and groundlessness.  [Then a strange bit about how this also grounds philosophical proofs, which are also ambiguous, since you have to rely on representations which themselves are taken as proofs, 343].  Normal memory acts as a ground for the present, but transcendental memory dissolves this notion of the past, developing an notion of empty time [the argument seems to be that this also dissolves conventional notions of identity].

Simulacra challenge the notion of ground, offering 'divergence and decentring'.  Notions of grounding have tried to exclude simulacra, but are unsuccessful.  Simulacra challenge the consistency of the Idea on which the first notion of ground depends, hinting at 'an entire multiplicity' (344), which we must recognise.  Earlier arguments have shown how this recognition will produce an effective sufficient reason which incorporates 'determinability, reciprocal determination and complete determination'.  Conventional notions of sufficient reason, however, have a contaminated notion of ground which already favours conventional representation or the complete opposite, a groundlessness which cannot be represented.

To ground something means to determine what was indeterminate.  This does not mean simply providing a form on the basis of categories, as convention thinks.  In properly conceived determination, 'something of the ground rises to the surface, without assuming any form' (344-5) [I can only think of this in Freudian terms, which are used as a major example in LofS] This risen ground is depth or groundlessness, and it has the capacity to decompose every form and model, 'leaving only the abstract line as the determination absolutely adequate to the indeterminate'(345) [very heavy going here], something which does not limit the indeterminate.  Thinking in terms of matter and forms is misleading, because matter already has a form, and form implies the notion of a model: it is internal to conventional representation again.  We start to break with these notions when we consider 'the complementarity of force and the ground'as responsible for forms instead (345).  Even better is the notion of the abstract line and the groundlessness which dissolves the models.

Thought needs to confront this indeterminate, as groundlessness.  In its normal state, bêtise, thought prefers not to do so—but it is forced to proceed [with an obscure reference to some literary figures].  Normally, thought precedes only so far, and allows indeterminacy to remain, in a circular path.  This applies to the Carteisan cogito, failing to grasp the difference between thinking and existence.  Thought only proceeds when it encounters difference between the indeterminate and the determination [which is somehow depicted only in pure time], the difference between the I and the passive self [the passive self apparently is produced by a groundlessness which is contemplated by the I—this forces thought, possibly because the self is determined, and the I indeterminate?].  Thought needs to proceed beyond the conventional image, just as art proceeded from representation to abstraction.

Representation when it becomes infinite encounters the possibility of groundlessness, but, thinking it has subdued all difference, it sees this as ‘a completely undifferenCiated abyss’ (346).  Representation is always seen individuation as connected to the human subject, with its I and self, and the I is the superior form—'for representation, every individuality must be personal (I) and every singularity individual (Self)' (346). The passive self is actually an event arising in fields of individuation, claiming to be the focus.  The I can only grasp singularities after this process.

Groundlessness has neither individuality nor singularity in the senses, and therefore no difference.  This is the ultimate illusion of representation, however—for example ideas as multiples are full of differences

Both singularity and individuation are pre-individual or ante-self.  The world described by the third person is impersonal individuation and pre-individual singularities.  The impersonal formats tell us something about the profound and the groundlessness, and the emergence of simulacra.

Systems of simulacra arise where difference produces the relationship between differences. [They must be simulacra because there are no essences or models?]   They are intensive, and intensive quantities communicate through their differences.  Such communication is limited, and may takes place only via small differences and proximities, but this is no justification for seeing resemblance as prior.  On the contrary, resemblance is an effect of the system. 

[To summarise], such systems of simulacra require new notions, not the categories of representation:

The notion of depth or spatium ‘in which intensities are organised’ (347); the notion of disparate series formed in this way and fields of individuation that are ‘outlined’; the ‘dark precursor’ which helps series communicate; ‘linkages, internal resonances and forced movements which result’ (348); the emergence of passive selves and larval subjects, and ‘pure spatioemporal dynamisms’; qualities extensity, species and parts which are differenCiated by the system and which cover over the intensive processes; centres of envelopment which show how the intensive factors persist in the extensive world and the qualities.

Systems of simulacra affirm divergence, they are united only in the ‘informal chaos’ which contains them.  No one series is privileged over any other, none could be seen as a model, none is opposed or analogous to others, each series is composed of differences and the differences between those differences lead to communication with other series.  ‘Crowned anarchies are substituted for the hierarchies of representation; nomadic distributions for the sedentary distributions of representation’ (348).

In these systems, Ideas are actualised.  Ideas are multiplicities, with ‘differential elements, differential relations between those elements, and singularities corresponding to these relations’ (348).  The three aspect permits us to develop a suitable multiple reason—determinability or quantitability, reciprocal determination or qualitability, and complete determination or potentiality .  The three combine in a progressive determination.  We have to then investigate the empirical conditions—are the particles in physics elements, or genes or phonemes?  In actual relations, what is the precise combination of singularities, regularities, distinctive and ordinary points?  We have to remember that a singularity generates a series of ordinary points stretching to the vicinity of another singularity which may converge or diverge from the first one.  Ideas establish ‘resonance between divergent series’ (349).  This collection of terms are more important than those of truth and falsity, since sense-making depends on identifying the correct combinations in the structure of an Idea.  We can determine the structure of an Idea by describing the reciprocal determinations among the relations, and the complete determination of the singularities.  This is the method of vice-diction, generalised from Leibniz’s actual term which was still trapped within representation.

Ideas themselves are pure virtuality, with no actualizations—the relations and singularities remain at the virtual level.  Then they get incarnated in fields of individuation following the effect of series of individuating factors producing singularities, although these are still preindividual initially.  This is produced by the communications between the series, the ‘resonances’ (349).  In a second process, Ideas are actualised in the formation of species and parts, and qualities and extensities.  As we know by now, these cover intensive processes.  We’ve already argued that the species is the result of differential relations between genes, and actual bodies the result of actualised preindividual singularities.  It is important to remember there is no similarity or resemblance anywhere between what is actualised and the relations of actualizations.

So differenCiation, as the actualisation of Ideas, takes place through species/parts, and qualities/extensities.  However Ideas themselves at the virtual level are not differenCiated, but they are differenTiated, not indeterminate, fully objective, not vague, more precise than just the possible, which again relates to concepts within representation.  The two kinds of differentiation are related in a total system that incarnates the Idea, an example of the two asymmetric halves of the virtual/actual.  Individuation embeds these halves.  We’re talking about determination as both differenTiation and differenCiation, a distinction that corresponds to the relation between the distinct and the clear respectively—it follows that combinations of the virtual and actual involves rejecting the apparently necessary link between the clear and the distinct, as before.

[Recapping again], problems are not just subjective states produced by empirical limitations on knowledge.  This formulation leads to ideas of the negative as the only kind of non-being and of dialectic and the rest.  ‘The “problematic” is a state of the world’ (350), representing ‘the reality of the virtual’.  It is completely determined, differenTiated although not yet solved and therefore undifferenCiated.  It follows that problems at this virtual level persist in actual solutions.  [With another argument about the calculus eventually emerging as the first grasp of the problematic].

We have some nice terms to define [each one actually related to the notion of problems and solutions:

Perplication—the complexity of problems and ideas as multiplicities, elements and singularities, as an objective statement, not apparent to normal consciousness.

Complication—the chaotic state which includes all the actual intensive series, the problems and how they are distributed to different systems and fields.

Implication—how intensive series communicates through difference and resonate to produce the fields of individuation, where each one is implicated by the others.

Explication—the emergence of qualities and extensities  differenCiation and integration comprising the total solution

Centres of envelopment—the persistence of the problems or values of implication in explication [and the dick has added replication as another term to describe the process of enveloping?]

You can trace the same ideas by considering the Other in the psychic systems.  The other is not individuated itself, but it represents individuating factors, expressing possible worlds, ‘testifying to the persistent values of implication’ (351).  We need this structure to enable us to perceive objects in fields, identify them as individuals.  [The Other is a structure because it doesn’t actually have to be specific people involved, and you can be the Other for me, and vice versa].  The Other-structure is essential for the normal world of perception and representation to operate.  Without it, we could not distinguish form and ground, profiles, lengths, horizons and focuses, nor objects or the transitions from one object to another, nor that there is always something implicated which needs to be explicated.  This is the basis of individuation itself—it is the Other, not the self or the I which constructs individualities, since they too depend on the Other structure.  In effect, it is the Other that ‘integrated the individuating factors and pre–individual singularities within the limits of  objects and subjects’ so they can be represented (352).  So in order to understand how the individuating factors and singularities work, we have to escape from the Other-structure, which we do, apparently, by ‘apprehending the Other as No one’, then even imagining that the objects and subjects it integrates are replaced by the singularities and individuating factors.  ‘In this sense, it is indeed true that the thinker is necessarily solitary and solipsistic’ (352).

The same process of following reason to its limits will help us to understand where Ideas come from.  There is no original divine game, and seeing human games as models is not helpful.  Human games presuppose rules and particular probabilities for outcomes which, in Deleuze’s strange phrase ‘fragments’ chance, domesticates it, makes the outcome seem as the result of a hypothesis, a set of probabilities.  This is a sedentary distribution of outcomes.  There are moral propositions implied here [just deserts?  Also some notion that a good outcome represents good behaviour?].  There is a close link to the practice of representation—identity, the opposition of hypotheses, the resemblance of different throws, and the connection between the hypothesis and the consequence.

The divine game is different [and we know what’s going to come now—all the stuff about affirmative chance again].  It cannot be grasped by representation.  There are no pre-existing rules, and the rules change with each game—this affirms the whole of chance, with nothing exempt, no way of predicting consequences from some underlying ‘determinate fragment’ (354).  Each throw determines all the consequences, so throws are not distinct in the usual way, but are ‘ontologically unique’ [this is the lots of little Big Bangs theory].  Consequences distribute themselves, nomadically.  The game is nothing else but play, independently of human intervention.  Relations and singularities appear according to the rules of each throw.  There is no ultimate origin, only ‘the always displaced circle of the eternal return’ (354).  An aleatory point runs through each point on the dice.  The different throws with their own rules produce multiple forms, or ‘imperative questions’ which are always open and which produce deal problems.  Since problems determine solutions, differenCiated outcomes appear as incarnations.  This process is ‘the entire world of the ”will”’ (354) [I’m not sure what this means—maybe it is a way of saying that conventional philosophy and its notion of the will is an imperfect and partial description of this objective process?].  Problematics, and imperative questions replace hypothesis and category, difference and repetition replace the dominance of the same in conventional systems of representation. 

[Then an annoyingly poetic section, 355, about throwing dice to the sky, forming problem constellations which fall back to earth as solutions, still reproducing the throw.  Then a bit about two tables with a hinge or fracture between them, the first one with I, the second one with a continuous Self.  ‘The identity of the player has disappeared’, the hinge is Aion, the medium for the throws of the dice.  Apparently, there is no negative in this system, no acceptance of a false game, all are affirmative].

All these notions so far are descriptive, relating to the process from virtual Ideas to actual series, and the groundlessness from which it all comes.  This is not a list of categories, which belong to representation.  We need a different term to categories, ‘notions which are really open and which betray any empirical and pluralist sense of Ideas: “existential” as against essential, percepts as against concepts’ (355).  [Whitehead has apparently done this, by developing ‘phantastical’ notions which relate to simulacra, 356, produce nomadic distributions, and do not claim to be universals nor to be able to grasp diversity.  They seem to be notions that help us understand specific encounters, but not as recognition.  They apparently correspond to some extent to Kant’s schemata, but those have been dominated by representation again.  The section ends by asking how it is that being is distributed among actual beings—‘by analogy or univocality?’ (356)].

Repetition in representation involves a relation of identity, but also a necessary but implicit negative factor which limits the application of the concept.  This is seen in the usual [positivist] account of matter which allows lots of exemplars of identity, but refuses to see itself as in need of explanation, as natural.  This is a form of alienation of the concept, with no self consciousness.  Repetition is seen as simply bare and material—but technically, this leads to contradiction, since identical elements can repeat only if the cases are independent, separate from each other.  The contradiction has been overcome by another assumption, that independent cases in reality can somehow be brought together or contracted for the purposes of representation [Deleuze says it implies the installation of various ‘contemplative souls…  Passive selves, sub representative syntheses and habituses’ 357].  This strange assumption implies that the original distinction between independent cases has to be drawn off somehow by this contraction, in contemplation, as an integral part of it, so the contemplative soul is somehow a part of matter after all, something which permits repetition, some kind of depth.  [Weird]

If all this is so, what explains this independence or difference, or contraction?  [Here we shift towards Bergson’s notion, where all this is explained in terms of time]. The contraction is like the contractions of time, where the present is the most contracted.  This helps us see that the difference in bare repetition which we have been discussing can be seen as a depth for itself, making a totality with repetition, between the levels of a repetition.  All this is disguised.  The bare repetition is simply a relaxed level of the totality [heavy going here, 358] which is the thing that repeats.  It is [somehow] like the difference between habit and memory.  ‘Material repetition has a secret and passive subject which does nothing but in which everything takes place, and…  there are two repetitions, of which the material is the most superficial’ (358).

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ We see this in the workings of memory, which unites two repetitions the same and that which includes difference,  one with fixed  terms and places, the other displacement and disguise, one negative, the other positive and with excess.  One is full of extrinsic ‘parts cases and times’, the other of ‘variable internal totalities, degrees and levels’ (359).  The first one is static, extensive, ordinary, horizontal, developed and in need of explication, a repetition of ‘mechanism and precision’ rather than ‘selection and freedom’.

The ordinary philosophy of repetition makes the same kind of mistake as it does with difference, confusing the empirical forms with the proper philosophical grasp of them is totalities.  If difference was seen as a product of identity, repetition can only be seen as a difference without concept—this retains the identity of the concept, and sees difference as a matter of numerical difference or empirical variation.  This in turn presupposes some role for exteriority itself in blocking the conceptual grasp of repetition, some negative or default.

A thorough grasp of difference and repetition is required.  This includes the argument that Ideas are not concepts but multiplicities (360).  The differences found in multiplicities are always positive and intensive, producing divergence and disparity which cannot be grasped by the normal type of representation.  Repetition features displacement and disguise which has the same effect.  These features have no origin as such, but belong to Ideas as problems, which are sometimes excessive and exaggerated producing complex combinations of difference and repetition.  Conventional concepts try to repartition the excess by dividing it into conceptual difference and difference without concept, identity and blocks to identity.  It is the excess of the Idea itself which blocks the concept [overwhelms it?], and prevents difference being reduced to a conceptual difference.  We also have a positive principle for repetition here [better than the Freudian notions like a death instinct].

It follows that the bare and clothed repetitions are connected—the latter is the ‘”reason” of the first’ (361).  This more profound repetition can be seen in discussions of freedom, nature and nominal concepts [which he claims he’s done above].  Material repetitions are effects, animated only by the more profound ones [which is why they are difficult to grasp if seen as empirical events, they don’t seem able to be explained or to repeat themselves].  The secret repetition is concealed by the mechanical repetitions.  Seen as a totality, repetition becomes positive, and, ironically, produced by difference [between the intensive forces in the virtual?].  The same can be said with natural events: repetition here seems to be an observer effect unless we include some depth which unfolds.  This explains repetitions such as the seasons, which must be driven by some differences in the same.

The same goes for concepts of freedom and nominal concepts.  Attempts to achieve freedom produce material repetitions which are the effects of profound repetitions.  The same goes with obsessives, where the empirical elements of repetition clearly indicate some other deeper symbolic repetition arising from the past, a double repetition.  We see two dimensions, one of repetition in the present, the other in the past.  The more profound repetitions is clearly the one that produces the effects seen in material repetitions.  The two dimensions can be combined in complex ways.  The same goes for ‘linguistic repetitions or stereotypical behaviours associated with dementia and schizophrenia’ (362).  The seemed to be reflex activities, involuntary, but they do not arise from amnesia but through some kind of regression to earlier non integrated circuitry in the brain.  Sometimes these are indicated by linguistic contractions, which both modifying material repetitions, and indicate psychic repetitions. Stereotype behaviours, like grinding of jaws are therefore intentional, representing the entire psychic life in a fragment.  Pathology arises when this is not realised by the patient, and the contraction is no longer playable’ (363).  The material repetitions take over and dominate as things in themselves.

The repetitions of language arise from the ‘excessive Idea of poetry’ (363).  We can see language as displaying actualised and differenCiated series emanating from singularities.  The series resonate or communicate following a dark precursor, revealing a ‘totality in which all the levels coexist’ (363).  Resonance like this will produce repetitions between different series are linked by the dark precursor which gets displaced and disguised.  In this way, we have phenomena such as ‘words which designate the sense of the preceding word’ (363).  We can conceive of an ideal poetic word which transcends all degrees and says both itself and its sense, while appearing in disguise as nonsense [see L of S], so that actual series are all synonyms.  Real poems are not adequate to this Idea—we would need to identify the dark precursor and name it [and this leads to combinations of nominal concepts and concepts of freedom as in a song, where verses rhyme, or rhyme with a chorus]: the bare repetitions in music are produced by this secret repetition in disguise].

The second repetition has been described so far in terms of memory and ground—the circles of the past, circles of coexistence between past and present, circles of all the presents which coexist in relation to the Ideal.  The trick is to see behind the ‘brute’ repetitions (364).  As usual, we need some third synthesis which abolishes any ground, separates Ideas from memory, and links the process to divergence and decentring in difference.  This requires us to think of empty time as a straight line, ‘beyond the cycles…  Beyond memory, beyond resonance’ (364-5).  Ungrounding itself has to be repeated, as ‘an ontological repetition’ (365) [I think this is inevitably leading towards the eternal return].  This third aspect distributes differences in ways which affects the other dimensions, and which prevents the illusion that there are only bare repetitions—in this way, the third aspects, the third repetition ‘encompasses everything; while in another sense it destroys everything: and in yet another sense selects among everything’ (365) [witty drama queenism].

Perhaps the point of art is to display all three repetitions, to embed one another, and to ‘envelop one or the other in illusions’ (365).  Arts does not therefore just imitate but repeat, by simulating not copying.  In this way, even stereotypes can be art if ‘a difference may be extracted from it for these other repetitions’.  It is a way of inserting are into every day life, the most important aesthetic problem for Deleuze, since our daily life is ‘standardised, stereotyped and subject to an accelerated reproduction of object of consumption’ (365), badly in need of some notion of difference which alludes to other levels of repetition [pointing to schizophrenic clattering underneath consumption, war and its links with consumption], exposing the ‘illusions and mystification switch make up the real essence of this civilisation’ (365), liberating Difference, reintroducing selection, even if this only makes us aware of contraction, and therefore freedom.

Each art has a potential for revolution, breaking with habit, showing the effects of memory and then to the ultimate repetitions [earlier defined as the death instinct].  [Examples follow in music and painting.  One of them is pop art which displayed copies of copies of copies to such a points that the copy became a simulacrum as in Warhol’s ‘serials’ – ‘in which all the repetitions of habit, memory and death are conjugated’ (366).  Last Year at Marienbad also appears as displaying ‘particular techniques of repetition which cinema can deploy or invent’].

The pure form of time consists of a before, during and after as a totality and as a series.  Types of repetition correspond to each stage.  This is not what happens empirically.  The empirical contents succeed one another [in extensity], while pure time displays ‘a priori determinations…  [Which are]…  fixed or held, as though and a photo or a freeze frame, coexisting within the static synthesis which distinguishes a redoubtable action in relation to the image’ (366) [pass].  The action may be capable of many empirical forms: these require that somehow the action is isolated, but so embedded in the moment that it becomes ‘the a priori symbol of the form’. 

In empirical time, successions can be counted and measured, but perhaps nothing is repeated, or it follows a cycle or a successively  cyclic form.  Repetition seems external again, or confined to the first occurrence, seen as a ‘once and for all’, or repeated in cycles—all this 'depends entirely upon the reflection of an observer', making judgements about resemblances through analogies managing empirical circumstances (367).  In pure time each determination or stage is already repetition in itself.  The perspectives of the external observer are no longer relevant.  The problem shifts to become one in which actions are responses to problems [maybe].  The dynamic arises between types of repetition, not between and origin and bare repetitions.  The issue is how do repetitions get repeated?  [Nietzsche says ‘it operates for all times’].

The original repetition affects the others, select among them.  'This distribution is extremely complex' (368). We have to return to the earlier ideas of repetition as negative, the result of not knowing or not remembering, repeating unconsciously as does the Id.  Or there is the notion of the before or during and after as the hero’s passage—the hero lives a simple life before, and gets metamorphosed during so that he becomes capable of heroic action.  The ego projects into an ego ideal.  One becomes equal to the concept in general, the I.  Here we encounter the familiar mixtures of the negative and the identical.  Yet it is possible to see something hidden or disguised in the series so far.  The hero has had to become disguised himself, but after his metamorphosis he becomes a tragic hero, somehow representing the whole world and the whole of time.  It is at this level that the two repetitions do this complex distribution of time.  At the first two stages, we can see time as offering analogous cycles, where one ends and the other begins.  However, it is clear that there must be a third time which produces these analogous relations, among other possibilities.  [Among the examples is the connection between the Old Testament with its simple repetitions, and the New Testament with its important metamorphosis].

The third time can eliminate and replace the cycles of the earlier stages, operating as a straight line, in a pure form.  This stops normal time and ends the repetition of the earlier stages.  The before and the during turn out to be once and for all.  Apparently, a certain theologian, Joachim of Flora, saw the first two testaments in this way, as signs pointing to a third testament, 369.  The interesting issue becomes not the difference between the first two testaments, but between those repetitions and the possibility of ‘repetition within the eternal return’.  This is where the frame gets unfrozen, and the straight line turns into a loop [not a conventional cycle, since it includes the formless and the groundless].  The conditions for the first two stages don’t return, the eternal return is unconditioned and it expels conditions by turning upon itself.  ‘The negative, the similar and the analogous are repetitions, but they do not return, forever driven away by the wheel of eternal return’ (370).

[Then we enter upon a detailed discussion of Nietzsche and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  All is mysterious and not completed, but the eternal return is discussed twice and has different characteristics.  In the first definition, Zarathustra thinks that he has to live his entire life all over again, and this produces a mental crisis.  In the second definition, Zarathustra has already suffered a identity crisis because he keeps being reminded of his original non heroic identity, but he also knows that the eternal return does not require this complete recycling—but he still gets depressed because he knows that all the empirical elements, including his own identity, must disappear.  Eternal return is merciless, and those who fail the test perish—they include both ‘the passive small man... and the great heroic active man’ (372).  Only the Different returns as a form of pure affirmation {only the intensive}, only ‘impersonal individualities and pre-individual singularities’.  The eternal return is the chaosmos].

The content of the empirical world must be understood as simulacra, ‘implicating’ the pure object, language, or action.  The simulacra have ‘no prior identity, no internal resemblance’ (372-3).  They are produced by communicating series, but what is communicated is difference.  The resonating series implicate each other and are implicated, and this produces bare repetition, and, when other series are involved, disguised repetition.  The distribution by chance produces ‘numerically distinct combinations’ and these are [can be?] repeated in the different throws.  All the outcomes are included by the relations between implicated and implicator, each combination can reoccur since the throws of the dice are formally distinct but not numerically [a real weasel here I think].  Apparently, each combination also returns to itself ‘in accordance with the unity of the play of difference’[—what unity?  Where have we seen this argued?  Deleuze is starting to see the absurdity of seeing that everything is a haecceity?].

All this happens in the eternal return, driven by a pure power of difference which also disguises itself and appears in divergent and decentring forms.  ‘Zarathustra is the dark precursor of eternal return’ (373) [So Zarathustra traces out the path to be followed by real forces?].  There is no conventional representation in the eternal return, so difference is liberated, ironically by a repetition in the eternal return.  Representation is needed only once, in the early stages, and it is not reproduced in the eternal return.

Yet there is a unity of the play of difference, or similarity between the series when they resonate and return [but we have not been caught in contradiction].  As we saw, long ago, it is two different things to say difference arises from similarity, and similarity from difference.  The similar, repetition and the identical in the eternal return are products of difference.  They only appear because of the difference which returns.  It is the reverse of representation and the ways in which the identical and similar were depicted.  It is a better use, since D insists that representation and its uses apply only to simulacra, and not to the empirical objects of representation.  Operating with conventional usages limits the philosophy of difference [which is assumed to be wonderfully important].  The important differences are between empirical identities and repetitions, and the virtual processes that produce these empirical identities from difference [in the form of simulacra].

The history of representation is ‘history of the long error’ (374).  Instead, the Same or the Identical is ‘the repetition in the eternal return of that which differs’, produced by ‘the repetition of each implicating series’.  The Similar is produced by ‘the repetition of implicated series’.  The eternal return produces illusions, however, ‘in which it likes and admires itself, and which it employs in order to double its affirmation of that which differs’ (374), including an image of identity which appears to end difference, an image of resemblance which is really an effect of the disparate, an image of the negative which is really a consequence of affirmation.  These illusions surround simulacra: they are simulated identities, resemblances and negatives.  Negation similarly is put at the service of simulacra, helping to ‘deny everything which denies multiple and different affirmations’ (375) These simulations are ‘essential to the function of simulacra’.[God is a joker?]

The simulacra are derived from ontological causes.  Representation necessarily indulges in illusions about this derivation, with all the consequences of disguising affirmation, confirming the negative, and assuming some autonomy for the simulacra.  This in turn involves the Same is the origin of [merely conceptual] difference, that representation is the difference without concept, a negative explanation leaving intact the identical, and seeing bare repetition as primary, with closed repetition as a derivative.  Representation is forced back on to a network of analogies which make difference and repetition ‘simple concepts of reflection’ (376): as resemblances, oppositions or analogies.  Analogies in particular seem to complete the closure of representation.

Analogy operates within a range between ultimate concepts ‘(the genera of being or categories)’, and the smallest concepts ‘(species)’.  These two correspond—‘the genus in relation to its species is univocal, while Being in relation to the genera... is equivocal’ (376).  Together, these imply that being is somehow domesticated—distributed in forms, and divided among well determined beings.  Instead, it should be seen as a collective sense of being with individuating differences, the only proper way to grasp the universal and the singular.  In representation, we have a sedentary distribution dividing and sharing according to some pre-existing rules.  By contrast, those who advocate the univocity of being suggest that forms of being are not the same as categories, are not divided or pluralised.  Differences at the individual level arise from ‘mobile individuating differences which necessarily endow “each one” with a plurality of modal significations’ (377) [the haecceity?] In particular, Spinoza argued that attributes cannot be categorised, since they are ontologically the same even though they may be formally distinct.  Modes are the result of individuating differences immediately related to univocal being [this apparently covers numerical distinctions between things as well]. [D says if Spinoza had connected the two, with substances containing individuating differences, he would have completed the trick]  Deleuze relates this to his stuff about throws of the dice, which are numerically distinct, but ontologically unique ‘throughout the unique and open space of the univocal’ (377).

This notion of univocity is superior to that of analogy.  Analogy does operate with fixed elements which remain the same, and variable elements.  Univocity, however argues that although being operates in a single sense, this still produces difference, which is ‘mobile and displaced within being’(377).  This connection is outside of representation.  Being is univocal, while actualizations [?] are equivocal.  Categories are a poor substitute for the notion of the unity of all forms in being.  It also misunderstands how difference works to distribute beings in a space produced by univocal being, with no assumptions about fixed and variable elements, as in analogy.  Univocity is open.  It features nomadic distributions, crowned anarchy as opposed or sedentary distributions in analogy.  In univocal being everything is equal and everything returns, but only when difference is allowed full play.  ‘A single and same voice for the whole thousand – voiced multiple, a single and same Ocean for all the drops, a single clamor of Being for all beings: on condition that each being, each drop and each voice has reached the state of excess—…  that difference which displaces and disguises them and in turning upon its mobile cusp, causes them to return’ (378).

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