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Three concepts of genesis for Husserl and Deleuze: development, individuation and Life
Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany
Husserl’s genetic phenomenology and Deleuze’s ontology intersect at one point: the « actual » world full of representations, which we believe we are living in, is a product of «genesis» including «passive syntheses». However, there seems to be many irreconcilable gaps between two philosophies. For Husserl, genesis is “the transcendental constitution of the transcendental ego”, while for Deleuze “the transcendental ego” is just an illusion, based on the “common sense” and “good sense”. Deleuze believes that genesis is the individualizing process of the pre-individual transcendental field as “actualization of the virtual”. My objective is to articulate three concepts of genesis, beyond estimating a mere terminological agreement or disagreement, and to clarify how they are distributed in Deleuze and Husserl's systems. Genesis as “development” (1) refers to the maturation or development process of a presupposed individual, possibly already completed, belonging to a particular species. To avode "tracing the transcendental on the empirical", simondonian Deleuze affirms that it presupposes as a prerequisite the question of its individuating process. Genesis as “individuation” (2) means the genesis of the individual from the pre-individual. The question is now, whether we can really distinguish from this second concept a third concept of “Life”, which Deleuze called “differentiation”. This has to do with the question of whether Deleuze's "the virtual" and "actualization" have distinct ontological statuses. From my point of view, Deleuze’s conceptual division is between (1) and (2), while Husserls division is between (2) and (3). For Husserl, (1) and (2) are just two aspects of the same process, while for Deleuze (2) and (3) are different names of the genuine genesis. I will justify these distinctions by correcting Deleuze's misunderstanding of Husserl's concept of «lebendige Gegenwart».
2:30pm - 3:00pm
Deleuze’s and Guattari’s Minoritarian Politics and Minimalist Phenomenology
Villanova University, United States of America
At the end of his 1998 book La phénoménologie éclatée, Dominique Janicaud discusses the possibility of a phenomenology that has left behind its “maximalist” tendencies, in order to develop a method qualified as “minimalist”. Interestingly enough, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical approach is considered as an example of such a phenomenological method that acknowledges its “minimalism” as an epistemological and as a practical resource for philosophical thinking. My paper aims at investigating the speculative potential of Janicaud’s hypothesis both in regard to Deleuze’s philosophical project and in regard to the ongoing development of phenomenology itself.
More precisely, I am interested in exploring the way in which the political dimension of Deleuze’s and Guattari’s late philosophy could be connected to a philosophical direction recently developed within phenomenology: that of critical phenomenology. This new orientation of the phenomenological project is interesting inasmuch as it revives the critical potential entailed in the Husserlian theory of knowledge connecting it to contemporary insights in critical theory, critical philosophies of race and queer theory.
Isn’t critical phenomenology the direction in which Janicaud’s minimalist phenomenology could be fruitfully invested? If so, could Deleuze’s and Guattari’s perspective on becoming a minority join the project of such a minimalist phenomenology that aims at fulfilling a critical task? Moreover, could minoritarian politics speak to a practical dimension of phenomenology which is not only the empirical alternative of pure theory, but social and political praxis? While reflecting on these questions, my goal will be to understand how Deleuze’s and Guattari’s use of “minority” as a philosophical category can help clarify Janicaud’s idea of phenomenology becoming “minimalist”. What seems to be a stake in both concepts is a shift of perception revealing unnoticed resources of meaning for subjective experience and political action.