11:00am - 11:30am
How to Make a Monster: Karl Popper as Transcendental Empiricist
RMIT Universtiy, Australia
This paper offers a reading of Karl Popper’s work in the philosophy of science as a form of transcendental empiricism, in the sense mapped out by Gilles Deleuze – an examination of the conditions of real experience. The ‘empirical’ part of Popper’s transcendental empiricism concerns science as the attempt to gain knowledge of the world by empirical investigation. The ‘transcendental’ part is the exploration of the conditions under which such science is possible. There is, of course, no direct connection between Popper and Deleuze. If Popper’s work converges with Deleuze’s, it is by virtue of shared core philosophical commitments that, although cashed out in different terms and with different emphases, have highly congruent consequences. Like Deleuze, Popper’s philosophical project can be read as a critical transformation of Kant’s transcendental. Popper’s rejection of mechanistic determinism (in terms very close to Bergson); of essentialist properties in favour or relational ones; and of reductionism in favour of emergentism commit him to a fundamentally open conception of the universe. In Deleuzian terms, the ontology implied by Popper’s philosophical commitments is a univocal one in which time and change (and thus difference) are the fundamental characteristic of being, that from which the diversity of the real must be derived. Recognising this not only changes the received understanding of Popper’s work and significance but opens a path to bringing this Deleuzo-Popperian perspective to bear on contemporary issues in the philosophy of science.
11:30am - 12:00pm
'The Actor Belongs to the Aion' - Thinking the Event in Deleuze
1Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Greece; 2European Graduate School
In The Fold Deleuze invites us to an astounding image of the event. To see not the point of creation but the duration of the Great Pyramid, of every moment, as event. The event is described as a vibration: Extensive and intensive; a wave, ripples, as sound – constituting the continuity of space-time, becoming. Events are flows, realization of pure potentialities, divergent infinite series of singularities; a chaosmos. These flows constitute indeed a river: all is river, flux, torrential. All is event, event everywhere, event all the time - eventum tantum, as Deleuze writes 20 years earlier in Logic of Sense. If, however, event is everything that happens, how are we to distinguish event from simple fact that happens in the 'world according to its laws of presentation'? Badiou's critique of the Deleuzian conceptions of time and event is twofold. On the one hand, it is a critique of the methodological apparatus used by Deleuze, his use of topology and geometry as pre-Cantorian, his conception of space, matter and body. On the other, it is a critique of the philosophy of difference, desire, affirmation and life. Thinking of the event and truth; the two are in 'an infitestimal proximity and an infinite distance'. What results, we shall argue, is a fine dividing line, which Badiou projects throughout the history of philosophy, between vitalism and formalism, and is sharpened with regards to its ramifications for the concept of the subject. 'The actor belongs to the Aion' - the subject becomes flight to pure interiority; a Nietzschean amor fati, or worse, another instance of Hegel's beautiful, lost soul.
12:00pm - 12:30pm
Assembling digital fragments of knowledge: affective relations to mathematics and life
University of Malmö & University of Thessaly, Greece
A human-technology relation can engage us in experiences of assembling, but also articulating, fragments of knowledge by presenting, transforming and, thus, moving them into new territories. Assemblage as it is used by Deleuze and Guattari refers to how contingency, structure, and change play out in the process of arranging, organizing and fitting together diverse or even heterogeneous elements. As they write; ‘We call an assemblage every constellation of singularities and traits deducted from the flow –selected, organized, stratified- in such a way as to converge (consistency) artificially and naturally; an assemblage, in this sense, is a verifiable invention’ (D&G, 1987, p. 406).
This idea has provided the impetus to work out a constellation of digital fragments, the ‘street mathematics’ website, concerning the presence of mathematical ideas in varied works of art such as dance, choreography, paintings, poetry, literature and movie images that aimed to support new affective ways of re-presenting, articulating and transforming our relation to mathematical ideas. The methodology for designing and creating the ‘street mathematics’ portal is based on the work of an interdisciplinary team that consists of educators, architects and information scientists. It takes into consideration three main axis. First, digital material has been collected and selected out of a long term process of fieldwork in educational and cultural practices that aim to view the construction and use of mathematical knowledge as a sociocultural and political process. Within this optic, the selection and archiving of digital fragments took into account the ‘presence’ of mathematics in varied genres of narratives as they are offered by practitioners who claim to use mathematical ideas in their art-work. Second, the archiving of digital material has taken into consideration certain dominant discourses and scripts that tend to become constellated and promoted through ideas about body and mind, power and values, tools and identities. Third, digital material as fragments of content and scripts of ‘what is mathematics’ and ‘how mathematics is used’ becomes represented through the spatiotemporal metaphor of ‘city’ in ways that attempt to capture informal communicative practices and engagements with information. A database management system (DBMS) has been utilized for the ‘street mathematics’ portal along with a spectrum of mediating tools that facilitate the sharing, archiving and communicating fragments of information.
The concept of assemblage reveals how institutions, discourses, practices and habits of thinking make and unmake each other, intersecting and transforming. They create territories, open lines of flight, but also shutting them down. Yet, we have to analyze the assemblage we enter into and create. Deleuze (1995) warns us ‘the machines don’t explain anything, you have to analyze the collective apparatuses of which the machines are just one component’ (D, 1995, p. 174). The present paper will discuss the potential and virtual experiences of engaging with such an assemblage and will attempt to hear ‘the sound of a contiguous future, the murmur of new assemblages of desire, of machines, and of statements, that insert themselves into the old assemblages and break with them’ (D&G, 1986, p. 83).
Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari. 1986. Kafka: Towards a minor literature. University of Mineapolis Press. Minneapolis. MN