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Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 7th Dec 2022, 11:25:29am CET
A world and a territory for being animal (from Kafka to Deleuze)
Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Kafka's little fable of a mouse running into a trap has two aspects in common with Deleuze's description of a tick (inspired by Uexküll): the contraction of a world and the imperative of inverting the prior direction. This imperative is particularly evident in Abécédaire ("A comme Animal"), where Deleuze, after a passage on the tick's world, affirms that it is not enough having a world for being animal, it is also necessary having a territory. The way he combines "world" and "territory" point to their understanding as two complementary movements of contraction and expression, respectively. An animal world is «reduced» to a selection of a restricted number of affects or sensations (which are defined by the «contraction» of vibrations, elements), while a territory is an «act» which results from the liberation of «matters of expression». The constrictive direction goes from the static or stable condition of a milieu to a world as movement of deterritorialization. By its turn, the expressive direction goes from the dynamic condition of a world to a territory as movement of reterritorialization. On different occasions, Deleuze declared himself «feeling» to be both an empirist and a pure metaphysician in the Bergsonian sense of a new metaphysics corresponding to modern science (characterized, at the time, by the advent of quantum physics). Therefore, a metaphysics of physics. Could the contraction of worlds and the expression of territories be understood as the vital movements through which metaphysics and physics unfold themselves in counterpoint?
2:30pm - 3:00pm
Force is what can, will to power is what wills: On the relation between the virtual and the intensive in Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition
Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom
Recent Deleuze scholarship has become more focused on Deleuze’s notion of intensity and in particular on the relationship developed in Difference and Repetition between virtual Ideas and their actualisation on one side and intensity and individuation on the other side. This paper will propose an interpretation of this relationship by linking it to the relationship between force and will to power that Deleuze offers in Nietzsche and Philosophy. It will first examine the idea that the will to power determines forces from the double point of view of their quantity and their quality and link this to Deleuze’s contention that intensive processes of dramatisation and individuation determine the differenciation of the virtual in actualised species and parts. It will then examine how for Deleuze these intensive processes do not actualise but rather incarnate Ideas, and that it does so by way of a synthesis of the disparate that does not constitute a substantial individual as such but rather a perspective, again along lines articulated in Deleuze’s Nietzsche book where the will to power constitutes distinct moral perspectives dramatised in the figures of noble and slave. Finally, it will use these considerations to highlight a crucial aspect of Deleuze’s philosophy seemingly missed by most commentators – that for Deleuze the virtual is never subject to a single actualisation but is always simultaneously actualised in diverse and irreducible ways, engendering a world of incompossibles at the level of the actual and not simply the virtual.
3:00pm - 3:30pm
The Delirium of Rationalism: Why Deleuze invokes Spinoza and Leibniz
KU Leuven, Belgium
Why does Deleuze—the Nietzschean philosopher affirming divergence, chance and becoming—rely so heavily on the classic rationalists, namely Spinoza and Leibniz? Deleuze says that when the ‘cry of rationalism’, namely ‘everything has a reason’, is pursued until the end, rationalism becomes ‘delirious’. In such a state, rationalism undermines the classic Aristotelian logic—or what Deleuze calls ‘organic representationalism’—in which difference is either essential and internal to the generality of a genus, or inessential (accidental) and external to the generality of a species. Spinoza and Leibniz drop the traditional distinction between essence and existence, and no longer understand concepts in terms of generality. They thus ruin the traditional model in which difference is mediated by identity and generality. In fact, Spinoza and Leibniz come very close to what Péguy called the ‘new rationalism’ of Bergson. The latter understands ‘sufficient reason’ in terms of duration and differentiation, instead of identity and generality. Finally, both the early modern and the Bergsonian version of rationalism understand knowledge of reality in terms of immediacy—understood by Deleuze in terms of immanence and univocity—and thus counter the representational model of mediation. However, in order for this rationalism to completely break with representationalism it needs to undergo some Deleuzean (and Nietzschean) corrections: Spinoza’s substance must be ‘said of the modes, and only of the modes’; Leibniz’s monads must be seen as the result of ‘pre-individual singularities’; and Leibniz’s condition of compossibility must be lifted.