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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, 11:42:13am CET
Rethinking ‘the Possible’: Fatigue and Exhaustion in Deleuze
University of Colorado Denver, United States of America
According to the Korean-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han, melancholic temporality is a crucial affective element of the capitalist dispositions in the constitution of the subject. Han claims that melancholia is resulted in the shift from disciplinary society (a society of ‘should’) to achievement society (a society of ‘can’); in a society that says ‘nothing is impossible,’ the imperative to achieve leads to the production of a self-exploiting subject and exhaustive depression.
This paper offers a Deleuzian analysis of melancholic temporality as a mode of subject formation under capitalism. Drawing on his concepts of fatigue and exhaustion, I examine the temporal structure of the systematically imposed hope and optimism, represented by the above statement ‘nothing is impossible.’ In his essay on Beckett, Deleuze notes that fatigue and exhaustion are radically different from mere tiredness; the tired can no longer realize the possibilities, but the exhausted can no longer ‘possibilize.’ The exhausted only concerns the real, as it exhausts the whole of the possible: ‘nothing is possible, and everything that is is real.’ I suggest that we read this inability to possibilize in exhaustion as a form of resistance against the logic of achievement society. If tiredness is resulted from the attempt to realize possibilities as prescribed ideals, the exhaustion enables reinventing the category of ‘the possible’ itself. I consider how capitalism takes a form of temporal control through socially imposed optimism, which leads its subjects to submit themselves voluntarily to ‘the possible’ as a predetermined condition of the real.
4:30pm - 5:00pm
The Timelessness of the Unconscious in Deleuze’s Logic of Sense
Theodore T. Bergsma
The Pennsylvania State University
This paper advances an interpretation of the Deleuze’s Chronos-Aion distinction in Logic of Sense as a development of Freud’s thesis concerning the timelessness of the unconscious. If Chronos forms a unidirectional sequence along the arrow of a living present, the Aion as eternal truth of events represents a form of time that is transcendentally distinct. While Chronos belongs to consciousness through the functions of good and common sense, the paradoxical insistence of the Aion represents for Deleuze the force of the unconscious. By identifying the Aion with the death drive, Deleuze positions timelessness as the condition of psychic life
5:00pm - 5:30pm
Deleuze and Guattari’s Concept of the Concept: Deterritorializing the History of Philosophy
Marlboro College, United States of America
Deleuze and Guattari argue in What is Philosophy? that the “concept belongs to philosophy and only to philosophy” (WP 34), and that “philosophy is the art of forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts” (WP 2). This paper analyzes Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the “concept” as an “intensive” reality. It develops from it a “minor” practice of doing the history of philosophy in which concepts are realized as powers of deterritorialization, of liberating ideas from determinate historical contexts or rigid frames of signification. For Deleuze and Guattari, the philosophical concept is more than an idea, statement, or meaning as an historical occurrence: it is foremost an “event” that constitutes a “transhistorical” power which, by virtue of being a concept, escapes and becomes effective beyond its historical place. If philosophy’s proper occupation is the “creation” of concepts, what role does history have in philosophy’s work? The concept, in short, carves a “line of flight” in and through history. There is a power of a concept itself, born in a particular text and of a determinate world, as a power of a thought beyond its origin, inclined to a future. Doing the history of philosophy, on this model, means more than understanding what philosophical concepts “meant” in their context. Deterritorializing the conceptual past, we argue, opens an indeterminacy of futural possibility and re-activates or intensifies the past for the sake of the future, for thinking differently about what our present is.