9 Apr 2015

Somers-Hall, (2.4), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘2.4 Deleuze’s Second Synthesis: Bergson (79–85/100–7)’, summary


by
Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own. Proofreading is incomplete, so please forgive my typos and other distracting mistakes. Somers-Hall is abbreviated SH and Difference and Repetition as DR.]



Summary of


Henry Somers-Hall


Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide


Part 1
A Guide to the Text

 

Chapter 2. Repetition for Itself

2.4 Deleuze’s Second Synthesis: Bergson (79–85/100–7)


 

Brief summary:

The second synthesis is based on Bergson’s theory of time. It synthesizes the past with the present. Both of which are cotemporal. Why? If a new moment supplants the current one, there needs to be a place for the new one to settle into. There can only be such a place if the present one is already in the past. The solution is to say that the present moment is already in the past, and this is because as soon as new moments are experienced, they are already registered or entered in our memory. For Bergson, the past and all the present are one large entity with no discrete parts. When we recall something, it may seem like we remember a discrete moment in time. Really it is just a part of the whole of memory that is expanded. Every moment of our lives we carry all our memory with us. Sometimes we act in the moment, and all past memories express themselves in how we act, like when performing something we previously practiced many times. Other times we sit back and expand moments, like recalling one memorable practice session. The past is inserted in the present and determines it. But we are free to choose which parts to expand and when to expand them and to what degree to expand them. This mixture of the past’s determinacy without our current freedom of choosing how to experience the past in the present Deleuze calls Destiny.



Summary


SH explains that “Deleuze’s first synthesis parallels Kant’s first synthesis” (SH 66). [Kant’s first synthesis is the synthesis of apprehension. Deleuze’s first synthesis is contraction. As I understand it, both are synthesizing the living present. For Kant, we put together a number of close recent moments into a chunk of presence. For Deleuze, the present is a qualitative feeling of waiting and anticipating on the basis of bringing the past to bear on the future using the imagination’s power to reproduce past experiences and foresee future ones.] Deleuze’s first synthesis also “aims to show how we are constituted along with a coherent temporal framework” (SH 66). [We saw this in the prior section.] SH then asks, why for Deleuze is the first synthesis insufficient for explaining experience? This is because the past and future that are in this synthesis are only experienced as presence. This present then can then be replaced by another one. [I think the idea here is that this present must already be synthesized with the ones that replace it, but I am not sure I get this.]

This particular present, with its particular anticipations, can itself become past and be replaced by another present. In this sense, as Deleuze puts it, ‘there must be another time in which the first synthesis of time can occur’ (DR 79/100).
(SH 66).


We recall from 2.2 “Kant’s claim was that our imagination reproduced a past present, which is recognised as such by the understanding” (66). So we have the present during which we do the recognizing and the present of the recalled moment. But since both are presents, how do we distinguish them? We somehow represent the past as past. For Deleuze, the past is the mediation of presents. [I do not know what that means. Maybe it is presents that are mediated by means of representations of them being past]. There are two important consequences to this. Firstly, it seems to assume that the past is no more than a series of passed presents. It also assumes that there is no difference between the current present and the passed presents [since all are equally presents, only some have passed.] Deleuze turns now to Bergson’s critique of associationism to explain why this account is flawed. (66)


Kant said that first a synthesis brings impressions into affinity with one another, and secondly past impressions become associated with present ones. [What it means to bring into affinity is not very clear. It seems to be recognizing similarities by means of conceptual relations.] One problem Bergson notes is that everything in some way will have some resemblance with anything else. There is nothing inherent to anything which would make it connect to one thing rather than another. [I am not sure I understand how, but] they are self-sufficient, so no relations can be determined. This means an exterior force like the active synthesis of consciousness must impose those relations. [I think the idea then is, if we give them these affinities, and those affinities were not there, on what basis do we say certain ones have affinities and others do not?] “If this act of relation is external to the elements, and comes after them, then we cannot explain how it is able to operate according to an affinity we find within them” (67). [I also do not grasp well the next idea. It seems to be that just as we experience something, we already associate it with forthcoming instances not previously related with the current one. Please read this part for yourself.]

Bergson presents the following alternative: ‘In fact, we perceive the resemblance before we perceive the individuals which resemble one another; and in an aggregate of contiguous parts, we perceive the whole before the parts’ (Bergson 1991: 165). Bergson’s point is that there is a self-relation of the moments prior to their constitution as individuals that can be given to an active synthesis. This in effect is the claim that active synthesis is transcendentally dependent on a prior passive (non-conscious) synthesis.
(SH 67)


Bergson will give an alternative account. For him, the past, or memory, does not resemble the present, or perception. We first note how three domains run together in Kant’s account: “recollection-memory, habit-memory, and perception” (67). [I do not understand how these three run together. Maybe the basic idea is that we perceive things, then we recall similar things, and this is from habitual recurrences. But the difference between recollection-memory and habit-memory is especially unclear to me. Please read for yourself:] “Habits are produced by the re-presentation of actual past experiences by the imagination, just as, presumably, the imagination reproduces particular events from the past that we recollect. These moments are represented as the equivalent of perceptions” (67). But habit [by which we anticipate experiences] directs us to things in the world of experience, while instead reminiscence detaches us from present concerns. (67)


Now we want to see how for Bergson these two notions of habit and reminiscence are related. We first note that for Bergson, consciousness is “fundamentally oriented towards action” (67). [So we sense something and its meaning is the forthcoming action we take in response.] “That means that the present moment of time is to be understood in terms of the connection between perception and action (i.e., in sensory-motor terms)” (67). But how we act in the future can be based on things we learned in the past, in our memory. Now, something interesting is that Bergson thinks that the past and the present are different in kind. Somehow “memory ‘begets sensation’ (Bergson 1991: 141) when it is brought to bear on a present situation” (SH 68). And somehow the present integrates two movements which are different in kind (68) [maybe, the movement from the past into the present and the movement of the present into the future? I am not sure. I also do not yet understand what it means for memory to beget the present.] We now ask, how is the past structured, since it is unlike the present? And, how does it integrate with the present, when the two are different in kind? (68)


[I am not sure about this paragraph, but the idea just seems to be that we retain all past experiences, and select them associatively given the situation.]

Beginning with the first question, we can note that there appears to be a process of selection involved in action. What is similar to the present is brought to bear on present experience. As Bergson notes, children often have far greater facility of recall than adults, which is inversely proportional to their ability to select the experiences appropriate to the present context (Bergson 1991: 154). If the detail of one’s recollections is inversely proportional to action in this way, then ‘a human being who should dream his life instead of living it would no doubt keep before his eyes at each moment the infinite multitude of the details of his past history’ (Bergson 1991: 155). So memory that functions by recollection contains a greater and greater part of the past, until we reach a point at which it is completely detached from action and hence, in the state of pure memory, contains a complete record of the past. Now, for Bergson, memory is different in kind from the present, which relates itself by succession to the future. We can now give a clearer account of its structure.
(68)


Firstly, we are not seeing the past as being made of discrete parts. We instead store the whole past as one thing. It might seem that we experience something now, smoke, then we ‘select’ from the past experiences of fire. Instead what happens is we see smoke, then we ‘expand’ in our memories certain parts of the past. These can expand at various levels. Thus Bergson’s cone, where the condensed tip of present action and at the top expanded memory. [See Matter and Memory §84 and especially §91. I am perhaps not saying enough here, so if you would like more elaboration and examples, some from cinema, I give some in my paper, “In the Still of the Moment: Deleuze's Phenomena of Motionless Time.”]

triple cone p211 english


You see there are various ‘layers’ of contraction. We might be more or less acting in the moment or detaching ourselves from the activities of the moment while drifting into a memorial daydream. (69)


Deleuze says there are three paradoxes involved in this account of the pure past. They result from the fact that representation cannot characterize its own account of representation (70). Yet, if we do not see the past as being represented, the paradoxes dissolve. Paradox 1: Suppose time is a series of distinct moments. As new ones come, they force-out the current ones into the past. But in order to force-out the current ones, it needs to be that the place they occupy in the present becomes vacant. They can only become vacant if the present ones were already in the past. Thus we have not explained how they become past in this account. We only assume it. Instead, the past must coincide with the present. [Just as things happen, they must also, in their presence, take on the trait of pastness, or at least the present moments have in the immediacy of their presence their mirror image in the past. Sometimes we experience something and we feel like it will be meaningful in the future, but we do not know why. Then later something makes us recall that event (which has come to be in the past) and see its significance. Someone is selling us something. They talk quickly about certain things and pass rapidly to other matters relating to the sale. We think at that moment something about this means something. We buy the thing. Later we learn that it is partly broken. We recall the salesperson was talking quickly when discussing that part which was really broken. This means that when we first experienced that fast talk, we constituted it as a memory, even as it was present, because we noticed it was memorable for some reason. We recalled it in advance (precalled it) by noting then that we will recall it in the future.] Paradox 2: [This one is confusing, so you will have to interpret it for yourself. It seems the idea is that we take two assumptions, one, that the present moment is a discrete moment, and two, that the present is different in kind from the past. We then deduce that since the past and present are different in kind, and since the present is a self-sufficient atom, that means the past cannot be atomic. If it were atomic, then part of it could potentially coincide with the present while other parts would not. And if a part of the past does not coincide with the present, then the whole of it must in fact coincide with the present. But there are a couple problems with my explanation. Is it really the case that two things which differ in kind must share no structural features at all? I do not know of some counter example, since we do not know what else could be characterized as different in kind in this way of thinking. Maybe one example could be time and objects. Time is composed of parts, before and after. Physical objects are composed of parts, particles. Both time and objects, which I assume are different in kind, share the structural feature of being composed of parts. So why is it that the Past and the Present, if they are different in kind, cannot share the feature of being made of discrete parts? The other thing that I do not grasp so well is the conclusion, namely that if the past does not partly coincide with the present, then it must do so entirely. Why not that it does not coincide at all? Is it because we ruled that out already by saying such a notion cannot explain the passing of the present and the formation of the past?]


The second paradox is that of co-existence. If the past cannot be constituted from the present, it must be different in kind from it. Now, as what characterises the present is the self-sufficient, atomic nature of the presents which make it up, the past must be non-atomic. If that is the case, then it cannot be only a part of the past which co-exists with the present, but the whole of it.
(70)

Paradox 3: The past is a prerequisite for the present. But how can the past come before the present? [I do not understand the problem here very well. I think this would only be a problem for the first moment ever. In that case, how could the past come before the present, if there was nothing before the present? But normally the past comes before the present. How could it come after? Is the problem that first there is a present, then it moves to the past, so the present precedes the past? Still however, the one that is past happened before the one that is present. Or maybe this problem can be put this way: the pastness of the present needs to precede the presentness of the present, but that present is still present and has not yet become past. So how can its pastness precede its presence? But I am not sure. I will quote.] “The final paradox is that of pre-existence. The past, as it is a condition of the passing of the present, must exist prior to the present.” (70)


There is a passive synthesis that synthesizes the present with the past. Then secondly there is an active synthesis which takes the the product of that synthesis (memory as a whole) and, and this active synthesis selects parts of the whole past to expand. (70)


Both passive and active synthesis lead to their own concepts of repetition. “In fact, there are four repetitions at play in Difference and Repetition at this point, as we have two levels, habit and memory, and two modes of synthesis operating at these levels, active and passive synthesis” (71a). How do the levels of habit and memory interact? Recall the representational account of associative memory. It could not explain on what basis the associations are made, since they are arbitrary when the memories are self-sufficient. Hume says that there is a passive synthesis of the imagination that contracts moments. But on what basis are the contracted moments selected? [I do not grasp very well the following explanation. Apparently the first important point is that the memories in the cone are already related, since they are “a field of similarities and differences between events”, with the example being that if we hear a word we can either evoke its meaning or the first time we hear it. I do not understand that very well. But maybe the basic idea is that the associations are built into the structure somehow. Perhaps the idea we take away from this is that the parts of memory are already ‘contracted’ in one whole, and additionally, particular regions are ‘contracted’ with the present through habitual actions and recollections. And we can choose to what degree we act in the present moment or detach from it and daydream.]

We still need to know how the imagination is able to select what it contracts, or what it fixes on as the basis for its anticipation. This is where the synthesis of the past comes into play. As we have just seen, Bergson represents the past as a cone, each level of which contains the entirety of the past, but at different levels of contraction and relaxation. At the widest level of the cone, we have the absolute relaxation of memory, the pure past. At the point of the cone, the past was contracted down to a point of practical generality. Between the two the past was layered in different degrees of contraction and relaxation. Each of these layers of contraction and relaxation can be seen as a field of different similarities and differences between events, just as in Bergson’s example of hearing a word in a foreign language can evoke either the meaning of the word, or the first time that I heard it. These two syntheses are therefore related as follows: ‘The sign of the present is a passage to the limit, a maximal contraction which comes to sanction the choice of a particular level as such, which is in itself contracted or relaxed among an infinity of possible levels’ (DR 83/105). The imagination that Hume talks about is therefore the point of actualisation of a particular plane of memory in relation to action. We therefore have two different contractions: the contraction of the plane itself, and then the contraction that relates the plane of memory to the actual world. Bergson’s account supplements Hume’s by providing a model of time within which the first synthesis can take place, but also by explaining how different contractions of the same temporal field are possible: ‘each chooses his pitch or his tone, perhaps even his lyrics, but the tune remains the same, and underneath all the lyrics the same tra-la-la, in all possible tones and all pitches’ (DR 83–4/105–6).
(72)


[By means of habit, we repeat instants, and by means of memory, we repeat the same past things but on different levels of expansion and contraction. Habit creates temporality and gives ‘material’ or ‘bare repetition.’ Underlying this repetition is the repetition based on memory. I am not sure how this is so, but maybe since the past itself is required for us to have the present moments of habitual repetition, and furthermore since the past is a repetition of layers, then habitual repetition is based on memorial repetition. The memorial repetition is ‘clothed’, but I do not know why this description is used. This memory is also responsible for the fact that the past determines the present, but we have the freedom to choose how we experience that past in the present. Deleuze calls this Destiny. Deleuze’s thinking and terminology here I find somewhat odd. I quote.]

We can therefore say there are two forms of passive repetition – the repetition of habit, which is ‘empirical’, and is the repetition of instants, and the repetition of memory, whereby the same past is repeated at a series of different levels, with different degrees of contraction and relaxation. Habit synthesises essentially indifferent elements into a field of temporality, or duration, and in doing so creates what Deleuze calls ‘material’ or ‘bare repetition. It does repeat, as in the case of the heartbeat, but only on the basis of the ‘clothed’ repetition which underlies it. This repetition is based on memory, and is responsible for what Deleuze calls ‘Destiny’: the fact that everything is determined by the past, but a past that still allows for freedom through the selection of the level at which the past is played out.
(72)

 

 


Citations from:

Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.



Or if otherwise noted:


DR:
Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994/London: Continuum, 2004.


Bergson, Henri (1991), Matter and Memory, trans. N. M. Paul and W. S. Palmer, New York: Zone Books.

 





 

Somers-Hall, (2.3), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘2.3 Deleuze’s First Synthesis of Time: Hume (70–9/90–100)’, summary


by
Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

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[Deleuze Entry Directory]
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own. Proofreading is incomplete, so please forgive my typos and other distracting mistakes. Somers-Hall is abbreviated SH and Difference and Repetition as DR.]



Summary of


Henry Somers-Hall


Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide


Part 1
A Guide to the Text

 

Chapter 2. Repetition for Itself

2.3 Deleuze’s First Synthesis of Time: Hume (70–9/90–100)





Brief summary:

We often see pairings of things, like: smoke-fire, smoke-fire, smoke-fire. After a while, when we see smoke, we then call to mind fire and expect to see it, and indeed, after looking below the smoke, we see the fire. This is because we contract all the prior instances of the pairings into one forceful association. Since it unites our past memories with our future anticipated impressions, this is a “contraction,” which somewhat inexplicably Deleuze also terms “contemplation”.  From an empiricist view, we are not some preconstituted subject who performs these contractions. Rather, the contractions happen automatically on a very basic level of experience, by means of a passive synthesis that does not involve our conscious understanding or the use of any concepts. Yet, [somehow] we can see every part of the world performing these contractions, including our hearts (and other organs) and all other things (including rocks, somehow). This means that we are composed of a ‘symphony’ (you might say) of different temporal contractions of past and future. This also means that all the world is such a symphony of selves each with their own temporality. Time then is not a linear, quantifiable sequence of successive events. It is rather a multiplicity of things feeling time in their own way, and is thus qualitative.



Summary


Deleuze first evokes in this chapter the Humean idea that repetition does not change anything about the object that is repeating. It only changes the mind that “contemplates” the object. Why do the objects not change? Well, if they did, then there is not a repetition of the same thing. We think of repeating pairing like smoke-fire, smoke-fire, smoke-fire, or AB, AB, AB, etc. If the repetition changed the objects, then it would be AB, CD, EF, …, and thus not a repetition. [SH moves to another point in this paragraph, but I am not sure if it is connected with the prior]. We now want to know, what allows us to expect B when perceiving A? [We might say that we “habitually” see fire after first detecting smoke. I am guessing that is what is meant by ‘habit’ here is not repeating actions that we have little control over, like smoking habits or superstitious habits. If this normal meaning of ‘habit’ is to be included here, I do not know how exactly. But it also seems strange to use the word ‘habit’ if this predominant meaning is not meant to be included. The next idea I think is clearer. We have different instances of AB, AB, AB, .., but they all contract together in the present when we see A and call to mind B. The force of the tendency to make that association is a product of the number and significance of the prior repetitions. Perhaps also the normal meaning of habit can be understood here, if we regard all habits as being responses to something else. We feel stress, the our minds automatically call to mind smoking.] In other words, we want to know, “what is it that allows us to contract habits?” (62). We already saw how the synthesis of reproduction of the imagination calls to mind past impressions that associate with current ones. But Hume thinks that “the ability to contract habits is not restricted to creatures with cognitive faculties as subtle as those Kant describes, and so any explanation in terms of those faculties cannot be accurate” (63). [I think the idea here is that for Kant, the imagination can only associate reproduced past moments on the basis of conceptual relations between the parts. So we see something that we match with the concept of smoke, and that concept is then matched conceptually with its correlate fire.  Where for Hume, no concepts are needed. In fact, what we call concepts are really just very strong associations.] For Kant, there is a “quantitative relation of the understanding, which relies on storing a sequence of prior moments. [I do not at all understand the quantitive relations. Perhaps for Kant we calculate how many times the pairing was found in the past. I do not know.] But for Hume, the imagination “operates like a ‘sensitive plate’ in order to develop a qualitative impression of the AB relation”.

Hume’s point is that the ability to contract habits is not restricted to creatures with cognitive faculties as subtle as those Kant describes, and | so any explanation in terms of those faculties cannot be accurate. Rather than an inference from a number of supporting cases, Deleuze argues that Hume sees habit formation as a process whereby past instances of the AB sequence are contracted together to form generalities by the imagination. The imagination operates like a ‘sensitive plate’ in order to develop a qualitative impression of the AB relation, rather than the quantitative relation of the understanding, which relies on storing a sequence of prior moments.
(62-63)


[We see smoke. We think fire. We then turn our eyes downward from the smoke, and we actually see fire. Thus] habit allows us to anticipate the future by means of the past, thus giving us “a relation between the past and the future”. SH then addresses what makes this a synthesis. [It is not entirely clear how the following point is different from the prior one. He seems to reiterate that on the basis of the past we anticipate the future. Please read to see if there is more in it.]

Now, on this level we have a conception of time, in that habit anticipates the future on the basis of the past. After having observed AB enough times, we anticipate a future, B, when we perceive A. So habit gives us a relation between the past and the future. In what sense is this a synthesis of time? Hume says the following about our perception of time: ‘For we may observe, that there is a continual succession of perceptions in our mind; so that the idea of time being for ever present with us’ (Hume 2000: 1.2.5). Habit turns this succession into a synthesis of time by systematising it, thus generating a field of past instances and a horizon of anticipation of the future. Rather than simply having a succession, certain impressions are retained (qualitatively), and others are anticipated on the basis of our retained impressions. We therefore have a model of time whereby aspects of the past are retained, and aspects of the future are anticipated from within the present.
(63)


SH then addresses “Deleuze’s account of method” [I am not sure what method SH is referring to here. None was mentioned before, so it must be a new concept, but I do not see what that concept is in the following material.] This account of method shows how active syntheses are possible by means of passive ones [I am also not sure what the difference is. I suspect that the passive ones are like the automatic habitual contractions, and the active ones are more explicitly, willfully, and conceptual performed. So we do not just see smoke and call to mind fire. We think about smoke and its significance, and we think about fire and its significance, and their connection. Probably there is a better explanation of what the active syntheses are.]. SH first notes that the subject is constituted through “the systematisaton of the flux of experience” (SH 63). Habit constitutes the subject. And the subject is the synthesis of time, namely, the synthesis of the past with the future. SH then says that on the basis of the fact that syntheses constitute subjects, we can now see how active syntheses are possible. [The next point is very complicated and very difficult to re-explain. SH deals with this Deleuze quotation. “Deleuze claims that once the subject emerges, then ‘on the basis of the qualitative impression in the imagination, memory reconstitutes the particular cases as distinct, conserving them in its own “temporal space”. The past is then no longer the immediate past of retention, but the reflexive past of representation, of reflexive and reproduced particularity’ (DR 71/92)” (SH 63). SH says that “we represent this process to ourselves”. But I thought Deleuze was saying that the past becomes represented as distinct memories, and these memories are the representations, and not that the process itself of reconstituting that past is represented. But let us assume what SH is saying. I suppose that means we are thinking about and representing in our minds the process of remembering something. SH continues to say that we represent it using Kant’s structures, I suppose the faculties. Maybe it works like this. We see smoke, and we think fire. We then say to ourselves, ‘oh, I must have conceptualized smoke and then using operations of my understanding I associated it with fire, even though all these operations were invisible to me.’ Somehow this operation of the understanding constitutes the relation of past and future, which I suppose means that we use our understanding to tie together past with anticipated impressions. This I suppose is an active synthesis which can be conducted secondarily to the original one in the imagination. But really all of this is done by the passive synthesis of habit. The final point is that this original synthesis cannot be accurately represented by the faculties, but I do not yet understand why.]

Deleuze’s account of method aims to show how active syntheses are possible on the basis of passive syntheses, and so we also need an account of how these higher syntheses are possible. The first point to note is that the systematisation of the flux of experience is, for Deleuze, the constitution of the subject: ‘Habit is the constitutive root of the subject, and the subject, at its root, is the synthesis of time – the synthesis of the present and the past in the light of the future’ (ES 92–3). I want to come back to this point in a moment, but if syntheses are constitutive of subjects, we can now see how the active syntheses are possible. Deleuze claims that once the subject emerges, then ‘on the basis of the qualitative impression in the imagination, memory reconstitutes the particular cases as distinct, conserving them in its own “temporal space”. The past is then no longer the immediate past of retention, but the reflexive past of representation, of reflexive and reproduced particularity’ (DR 71/92). So Deleuze’s claim is that when we represent this process to ourselves, we do so through the types of structures Kant has outlined. Doing so gives us a false impression that the work of synthesising time is being carried | out by those faculties themselves, whereas in fact by simply representing the process they have falsified it. The synthesis of a temporal manifold therefore, according to Deleuze, relies on a prior synthesis whereby the notions of past and future are generated, and the indifferent moments of sensation are related to one another through habit. Thus, Kant’s active synthesis in terms of the higher faculties relies on a prior synthesis that cannot be accurately represented by these faculties.
(63-64)


We said before that the subject is constituted through the contraction of habit, and it is not that an already constituted subject is doing those contractions. Now we ask what is the nature of this subject? SH says that it is “simply the organisation of impressions themselves” (64). So habit is not an activity that the subject performs. It is rather a mode of expectation or ‘contemplation’ using Deleuze’s term. And “it is this contemplation of time as involving anticipations and retentions that Deleuze claims is the subject. We now address some implications Deleuze draws from this.


1) “First, this synthesis of time is organised according to rhythms of anticipation, rather than simply as a succession of moments. Rather than mathematical time, which is modelled on space, the time of habit is qualitative, and, like Henri Bergson’s duration, forces us to wait” (SH 64). [What is a rhythm of anticipation? That is not clear to me. And what does it mean for time to be qualitative? That it feels like something? So we feel like something will happen, because we anticipate it? Thus time is experienced as a sort of tension of waiting?]


2) The self is anything that contracts. This includes hearts. So selfhood is not psychological. [This next part is hard to follow. For it to work, we need to accept that rocks are performing some kind of contemplation, thus some sort of habitual contraction. What would that be? I do not know. Maybe the rock was formed by a contraction of particles. Put I am not sure what this has to do with the habitual contractions we are talking about. At any rate, assume that somehow this is happening, that means the rock has both selfhood and its own temporality. In fact then, everything in the world has selfhood and its own temporality. Furthermore, all time is organized. So far the organization has meant organized into habitual contractions. That means that time is not pure succession, because it is contracted all over the place. I will quote this paragraph, since I cannot explain it.]

Second, if the subject is simply the synthesis of time into an organised structure, then it is going to be the case that wherever we encounter such a synthesis or organisation of time, we will encounter a self: ‘there is a self wherever a furtive contemplation has been established’ (DR 78/100). This means that habit is not itself a psychological phenomenon, but instead operates throughout the world. In fact, as this synthesis is constitutive of the psychological realm, it will operate in the material world prior to it. We can see, for instance, that the heart contracts, not in the sense of the actual movement it makes, but to the extent that it organises an essentially indifferent succession into a series of moments of a particular duration (the heartbeat). Now, if the heart can be seen as operating according to a habit, then so can almost everything in the world. Deleuze puts this point as follows: Perhaps it is irony to say that everything is contemplation, even rocks and woods, animals and men, even Actaeon and the stag, Narcissus and the flower, | even our actions and our needs. But irony in turn is still a contemplation, nothing but a contemplation. (DR 75/96) A consequence of this is that if everything is a contemplation, then although the organisation of time is subjective, all time is organised. Essentially, the world is constituted as a field of co-existing rhythms operating with different tones, rather than as pure succession.
(SH 65)


3) [This third inference says a lot but gives no explanations. I will just quote it since I cannot explain anything in it.]

Third, when we look at how habit functions, even when a habit is driven by a need on the part of an organism, it is not the case that the habit itself is constituted in terms of the objects themselves. If I am thirsty, for instance, I do not anticipate or expect the molecular structure, H2O, but rather water. Habit does not operate in terms of that which generates impressions, but rather in terms of signs. Habit does not, therefore, operate with representations of things, but rather with what Deleuze and Guattari will later call affects.
(65)


So recall that our heart is contemplating. We have other organs too that must be contemplating. Thus we are a system of syntheses. We dissolve into these syntheses and thus we are larval subjects. [This notion of larval subjects is very interesting, but it is not explained here, even though it is in the quotation. A larva is a younger form of an animal before it metamorphosizes into its adult form. What does us having many internal contemplations have to do with our subjectivity being larval? It would seem to imply that our constitutive multiplicity or complexity of selfhood makes us be in a state before metamorphosis. Why? Is it because it prevents us from taking a final form? How?]  [This next part also seems to need some clarification and elaboration] SH also says that the “notion of the sign is important here” [but he does not explain what is meant by the sign. It is very difficult to explain what SH is saying in the rest of the paragraph about signs, since it introduces concepts without clarifying their meanings. So please read it for yourself.]

This leads us on to the fourth point. Deleuze has said that the heart contemplates, and obviously, the heart is a part of us. What is the relation between us and our heart, and all of the other organs and constituents of organs that make us up? We ourselves, according to Deleuze, are systems of syntheses [The following up to citation is Deleuze]:

The self, therefore, is by no means simple: it is not enough to relativise or pluralise the self, all the while retaining for it a simple attenuated form. Selves are larval subjects; the world of passive syntheses constitutes the system of the self, under conditions yet to be determined, but it is the system of a dissolved self. (DR 78/100)

The notion of sign is important here, because the relations between levels of the self cannot be understood as if the self were a series of distinct elements brought into relation with one another. We don’t have interactions between different substances, but interactions between levels of the same substance. Rather than a causal interaction between entities, we therefore have signals between levels. Our heartbeat appears as a ‘sign’ in our world, but this sign does not resemble the movement of the heart itself. The signs transmitted between levels are different in kind from the selves that generate them.
(65)

 

 


Citations from:

Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.



Or if otherwise noted:


DR:
Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994/London: Continuum, 2004.


 




 

Somers-Hall, (2.2), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘2.2 Background: Kant’s Three Syntheses of Time’, summary


by
Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own. Proofreading is incomplete, so please forgive my typos and other distracting mistakes. Somers-Hall is abbreviated SH and Difference and Repetition as DR.]



Summary of


Henry Somers-Hall


Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide


Part 1
A Guide to the Text

 

Chapter 2. Repetition for Itself

2.2 Background: Kant’s Three Syntheses of Time
[Further Introductory Material For Ch.2]





Brief summary:

Kant has three syntheses of time by which object representations are formed. As (1) our senses receive sense data, (2) our imagination constructs the pieces into wholes, by means of (3) the unities of our understanding’s concepts belonging to those wholes. [On the first level (sensibility), we grab onto a chunk of present moments, thereby synthesizing the flowing present. On the second level (imagination), we constitute the past in memory. And on the third level (understanding), we have conceptual structures that allow us to anticipate forthcoming impressions, thereby synthesizing the future.] The foundation for all synthetic unity, especially the unity of moments separated by time, is the unity of the subjectivity that is conscious of those moments. The syntheses of objectivities take the subject-predicate conceptual form of judgment, and thus this is a “representational” system.

 



Summary


[Recall what we said about incongruent counterparts in section 0.6. We looked at the idea that a conception of the spatial relations between something’s parts is not enough to determine it in reality. For example, think of the sort of glove that is the same whether it is palm up or palm down. The spatial relations between the parts, on the conceptual level, is not enough to determine which will be the left hand glove and which will be the right hand glove. Of course such gloves are made for both, which makes the example less clear. In fact, the example in SH’s rendition, which is faithful to the Kant text, has us  imagine a hand. But as we noted, hands can be determined as right or left solely by the spatial relations of the parts. The left hand is the one that when looking at the palm, the thumb is to the left of the fingers beside it. So some interpreters use the example of a glove. But perhaps this example only works if the gloves were made so that it does not matter which hand they belong to. (Consider latex gloves for example.) For such gloves, their determination of left or right is a variable, and so they might not exemplify the concept Kant is conveying. At any rate, perhaps this is important for the philosophical point we are drawing here. SH writes:]

We saw in relation to the argument from incongruent counterparts (0.6) that for Kant there was a fundamental difference between sensibility (intuition in Kant’s terms) and the understanding.
(SH 58)

[So perhaps the idea here is that the uni-handed glove’s right or left-handedness cannot be inherent to the conceptual relations of its parts, but it is only determinable by means of the faculty of intuition which may sense the glove being on someone’s right or left hand. But I am unsure.] What we learned from this fundamental difference between sensibility and understanding is that the way our faculty of understanding organizes the world and the way objects are presented in space differ in kind. But now we must explain how these fundamentally different faculties can relate to one another. What is needed then is a synthesis of the representations of our sensibility (intuitions) and our understanding (concepts) [with both intuitions and concepts being manifolds that each on their own need to be synthesized]. [In that synthetic process, the concept will be matched with the intuitions, such that we may say, ‘this (thing we are looking at) is an x’. Perhaps that is what SH means here:]

Kant defines synthesis as ‘the act of putting different representations together, and of grasping what is manifold in them in one act of knowledge’ (Kant 1929: A77/B109). As we can see, this model of synthesis is very closely related to judgement, and an act of judging is this conjunction of what is manifold in one single act (A is B).
(SH 58)

[So since our automatic syntheses take the form of judgment, that means our judgments will accord with the world. There might be some other point here, however.]

Kant’s essential claim is that the judgements we make about the world seem to accord with it because the world of experience is itself constituted by a series of syntheses by the same faculties, but operating in a transcendental manner, that is, prior to our conscious experience of the world. Because of this parallel between our judgements about the world and its constitution, the model Kant uses for synthesis is judgement.
(SH 58)

[I am not certain, but I think the idea in the following is that if we only could avail ourselves of sensibility (intuitions), without the help of understanding (concepts), then we would not be sensing a world of objects. However, we see more than mere appearances, more than mere variations of color in our visual stream for example. So there is something that is unifying the sense elements. But it does so in accordance with different objectivities, which are conceptually different. We do not see a world of the same object or of objects generically. Thus there is not just conceptual unity at work but there are also different concepts as well.]

Kant’s solution to the difficulty of the relation of the faculties involves arguing that conceptual thought plays a necessary role in experience. Whereas perception simply requires intuition, experience also involves the notion that we experience a world of objects. Now, when we look at our experience of the world, Kant argues, the notion of an object is not directly given in sensible intuition. Rather, our experience of a world made up of things – instead of, for instance, sense-data – presupposes a conception of an object, or object-hood. The question of the deduction can therefore be reformulated as: what is it that allows us to experience a world of objects rather than simply appearances? The claim that the transcendental deduction makes is that it is the understanding – which | is the faculty of concepts (or, as we shall see, rules) – which gives us the concept of an object. As such, the understanding plays a necessary role in experience, and the gap between the different faculties has been bridged. (58-59)

And furthermore, “To prove this result, Kant argues that experience rests on a threefold synthesis, which in turn requires us to posit a subject and an object, leading us to introduce the categories as rules which relate to the constitution of objects” (SH 59).


The first synthesis is the ‘synthesis of apprehension.’ The first point SH is making about it is that on the level of sensibility, something synthesizes temporally distinct moments together. Otherwise they might not be able to be combined, if they are not thought to belong together. (59)

The first synthesis is what Kant calls a ‘synthesis of apprehension’. He begins with the claim that if we experienced everything at once, our experience would just be of an undifferentiated unity. For this reason, Kant makes the claim that we have to experience different moments at different times. Just having a collection of moments is not enough, however. We also have to experience these moments as a part of the same temporal sequence. Without some kind of unifying synthesis of time on our part, all we would encounter is a series of moments without relation to one another. Now, Kant claims that our ability to relate particular empirical experiences to one another relies on a deeper, transcendental synthesis. In order to be able to relate different moments in time to one another, we also need to be able to synthesise time itself into a unified structure. This first synthesis therefore ‘[runs] through and [holds] together’ (Kant 1929: A99) the various moments of time in order to allow us to be presented with a unified temporal framework.
(59)

[This “holding together” is not entirely clear to me in SH’s or in Kant’s text. I assume it will be different than the holding together of temporally distinct parts that the reproductive imagination conducts. So it would seem to not be holding together moments perhaps like short-term or ‘working’ memory does. Let us look at the passage in Kant.

Every intuition contains a manifold in itself, which however would not be represented as such if the mind did not distinguish the time in the succession of impressions on one another; for as contained in one | moment no representation can ever be anything other than absolute unity.
(Guyer trans, 228-229)

So let us break this down. We have a succession of impressions. They come at different times. In any one moment, a representation can only be absolute unity. This is not clear. I think it means, in one moment, we do not have enough data to say that what we are seeing are things. For that, we need to know what stays the same from moment to moment. At any rate, the impressions have something to do with intuition. Perhaps they compose intuition, which is made then of a manifold of impressions happening during more than one moment.

Now in order for unity of intuition to come from this manifold (as, say, in the representation of space), it is necessary first to run through and then to take together this manifoldness, which action I call the synthesis of apprehension, since it is aimed directly at the intuition, which to be sure provides a manifold but can never effect this as such, and indeed as contained in one representation, without the occurrence of such a synthesis.

(Guyer trans, 228-229)

So we have a manifold of impressions. Out of it comes the unity of an intuition. We take the example of the representation of space. I will suppose that the impressions would be visual data of what we are looking at. There is a manifold of things we see in one moment, occupying the different places in our field of vision. There is also the temporal manifold of different moments of that same region of space we see during a succession of instants. So for example perhaps, we see that the floor or ground has remained in the same place for some number of moments. First we must “run through and then take together this manifoldness” by means of the synthesis of apprehension. Here is my interpretation, which may or may not agree with SH’s. The synthesis of apprehension is like what has also been called “the specious present” or “the living present”. It is like ‘grasping’ at the fleeting present such that we get in our hands a little bit more of the most present instant. If we only could grasp at instants, we would not even know that time is passing. I am not sure what that would be like. It could be like the world is frozen, or that there is no consciousness since there can never be unities in our consciousness and all conscious acts would be experienced only partially in some instant. At any rate, since we do perceive a flow of time, that means we are perceiving more than an instant. But it is a brief moment. My interpretation is that for Kant, moments are given singly, but apprehended multiply. The apprehended units of time are as brief as the current flowing present, and no longer. In the next step, the reproductive imagination we will see takes various tiny ‘chunks’ of time and retains the ones that have passed out of the window of present time in the current specious present, that is, in the current apprehensive synthesis.]


SH’s next point is that “The synthesis of apprehension allows us to recognise different moments as belonging to the same temporal sequence” (59). [I am not entirely sure I come to the same conclusion. In our interpretation, the synthesis just made units that contain moments of very brief temporal sequences. If that is all SH means, I can see that. But if he means that each ‘chunk’ is shown to be in the same sequence, I am not sure how to explain the way that is so.] Our imagination uses associations to link together representations. So when we see red, we might think of something that is red, like an apple, or to use Kant’s famous but odd example, cinnabar.

cinnabar Kant
(Image from wikipedia)

Empiricist David Hume explains how repetitions of combinations of things causes these associations [more explanation can be found here]. Every time we see cinnabar we also see red. Then when we see red, perhaps we also might think cinnabar. It is a matter of habit that we see these correspondences. We see smoke, we know there is fire. We see dawn. We know the sun will rise. SH says that this is an empirical synthesis, which allows us to anticipate forthcoming moments. SH also says that to contract habits in general we need a second transcendental synthesis [I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps it is the atemporal or transtemporal unity that allows different moments to be combined into one act of consciousness, but I am not sure]. SH then says, ‘however’ and quotes the famous cinnabar passage. [This part is unclear for me. Why the ‘however’? I am not sure how the cinnabar example calls into question anything already said. So perhaps we are just adding something here. The quote says that if cinnabar were sometimes red other times black, each time having properties incompatible with the others, then when seeing red we would not be able to associate it with cinnabar. Kant also says that if on one summer solstice there is warm weather and at other summer solstices cold weather, we also would not be able to form associations. It is not entirely clear what Kant is saying here. One interpretation is that he is saying the world itself, in how it gives itself to us, has certain consistencies. In SH’s wording, it is the empirical imagination that discovers these consistencies. However, it is a transcendental synthesis of production (perhaps then the productive imagination) that somehow both generates those affinities and reproduces past moments associated with them.

In order to be able to reproduce empirically past moments that have an affinity with present moments, we need a transcendental synthesis of production in the imagination to generate those affinities that the empirical imagination discovers.
(60a)

It is not clear to me here how this works. The affinity is discovered by the empirical imagination, than produced by the productive imagination? Why is it being produced if it already was discovered? Perhaps the idea is like this. The empirical imagination is dealing with impressions happening now. It somehow detects something experienced before. Then the productive imagination draws those prior moments out of memory. Or perhaps, the empirical imagination is working both with present and past impressions, and there is also a “transcendental synthesis of production in the imagination” (which may or may not be carried out or provided by a faculty like the productive imagination) that merely provides the “glue” which allows long past moments to remain relatable to current ones. Or perhaps we are to think of contraction here. The reproductive imagination gathers the moments, past and present, but the productive imagination contracts pairings down into general associations. To give an example, we have a full bank of memories. In present experience we see smoke. We have in our memory bank many instances of the pairing smoke-fire. The productive imagination takes all of them, makes them into one potent association, such that when we see smoke now, fire is immediately called to mind. Perhaps he clarifies in the following sentences. He seems next to be saying that the productive imagination is what reproduces the moments: “That is, in order to relate different moments together, I must be able to compare moments that have passed with my present experience. If I draw a line in thought, it must be the case that I can reproduce the previous moments as being contiguous with the present one in order for the thought to be complete” (SH 60) . It is unclear now who is doing what. Who (or what) is doing the reproducing, and who (or what) is doing the producing. Furthermore, what is the “production” since it is also described as “reproduction”? Is there a difference, and if so, what is it? I quote the paragraph for your interpretation.]

The synthesis of apprehension allows us to recognise different moments as belonging to the same temporal sequence. Kant notes that we often make use of these kinds of relations in our imagination’s use of associative principles, particularly in the contraction of habits. So, if we see a pattern, or hear a melody often enough, we come to expect the next sign, or musical note. Now, this is an empirical synthesis on the part of our imagination, to the extent that our particular habits themselves are not conditions for the possibility of experience. The possibility of contracting a habit in general does imply a second transcendental synthesis on the part of the subject, however [the following up to citation is Kant]:

If cinnabar were sometimes red, sometimes black, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, if a man changed sometimes into this, sometimes into that animal form, if the country on the longest day were sometimes covered with fruit, sometimes with ice and snow, my empirical imagination would never find opportunity when representing red colour to bring to mind heavy cinnabar. (Kant 1929: A100–1) |

In order to be able to reproduce empirically past moments that have an affinity with present moments, we need a transcendental synthesis of production in the imagination to generate those affinities that the empirical imagination discovers. If we turn to Kant’s example of drawing a line, we can see what this deeper synthesis is. In order for there to be the possibility of associating representations, they have to be in themselves associable. That is, in order to relate different moments together, I must be able to compare moments that have passed with my present experience. If I draw a line in thought, it must be the case that I can reproduce the previous moments as being contiguous with the present one in order for the thought to be complete.
(SH 59-60)


 
But in order for there to be any unity between moments and within moments, that which is doing the unifying needs to remain the same. So there is one “I think” that accompanies all the temporally diverse acts of consciousness. [So the unity of the subject is clear here. SH then moves to the concept of the object, but I am not following him entirely. He says “It is the concept of the object that gives all of these moments of appearance a unity, as it is by seeing all the moments of appearance as referring to the same underlying object that we are able to unify them. The concept of the object thus makes the unity of consciousness possible” (SH 60-61). He says that it is the concept of the object which gives the moments belonging to the same subject their unity. So it is not entirely clear to me whether it is the unity of the subject or the unity of the object that provides the unity of synthesis. There is probably not a contradiction here, but I am not sure how to put these ideas together exactly. One possibility is that he means that the unity of the subject presupposes the unity of the object, perhaps because the subject’s unity is like an object’s unity, or in other words, the subject is a thing, and so it must have the unity that things (objects) have.  Another possibility is that he means the unity of the subject is the basis for the unity of the object, which is the basis for the unity of all intuitive contents that are synthesized into coherent objects. Or perhaps he means that there are both subject and objective unities, and neither is more basic than the other. SH’s final point in this paragraph is that the concepts of (the unity of) subject and object comes prior to experience, so we cannot say anything about them. I am not sure why we can saying nothing about them. Can we not speak of its structure or other a priori features? Perhaps the idea here is that we are unable to cognize without both intuitions and concepts together, so without intuitions for these concepts, we cannot think about them. Maybe this is further discussed a later section.]

This synthesis in turn implies a third synthesis. In order to have experience, we don’t just need to have an affinity between different moments of experience, but these different moments of experience need to be related to one another as a unity for consciousness. ‘Without consciousness that that which we think is the very same as what we thought a moment before, all reproduction in the series of representations would be in vain’ (Kant 1929: A103). Kant puts this point as follows [the following up to citation is Kant]:

It must be possible for the ‘I think’ to accompany all our representations; for otherwise something would be represented in me that couldn’t be thought at all, and that is equivalent to saying that the representation would be impossible, or at least would be nothing to me. (Kant 1929: B131–2)

When we walk around a building, we are given a series of perspectives on it. Now, a condition of seeing these different perspectives as being perspectives on the same building is that I am able to relate them together as being my perceptions of the building. Otherwise, we would simply have a series of fragmentary appearances. We can go further than this, and say that without the unity of consciousness we would not just see appearances of different buildings. We would simply see a series of appearances without any kind of unity – they wouldn’t relate to anything. Now, this is a key point. Kant has claimed that in order for experience (that is, a relation to the world that gives us knowledge, rather than just sensation or appearances) to be possible, we need to be able to see appearances as belonging to the same subject. In order for this to be the case, they need to exhibit some kind of unity. It is the concept of the object that gives all of these moments of appearance a unity, as it is by seeing all the moments of appearance as referring to the same underlying object that we are able to unify them. The concept of the | object thus makes the unity of consciousness possible. We can note that, while for Kant we need the concepts of a subject and an object to make experience possible, precisely because they make experience possible, we don’t have direct experience of subjects and objects. Rather, they are necessarily prior to experience (and to synthesis). As such, while we need to presuppose them, we cannot say anything about them. This point will be important when we look at Kant’s criticisms of Descartes in relation to Deleuze’s third synthesis of time (2.6).
(SH 60-61)


To synthesize appearances into objective unities, subjects need to use categories, which “give us the essential characteristics of what it is for something to be an object (to be a substance, to have properties, etc.),” and which also give us the rules for how to synthesize appearances. (61)


We previously saw Deleuze being opposed to representation and the formation of concepts by means of the subject-predicate form of judgment. Kant shows that objecthood [which requires unity that will take the form of subject-predicate] is connected to judgment [which provides or uses that subject-predicate formulation/structure], and this connection is one of synthesis [of the parts of the object and of the object’s appearings with its concept]. Kant’s model has an active subjectivity/consciousness and a passive given [in intuition]. Deleuze will give a sub-representational model. We will learn later how, but somehow synthesis for Deleuze will be active and it will produce a new form of identity in the I, and somehow also the passivity will be “understood as simple receptivity without synthesis (DR 87/109)” (SH 62).


 

 

 

 





Citations from:

Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.



Or if otherwise noted:


DR:
Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994/London: Continuum, 2004.


 

Kant, Immanuel (1929), Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith, London: St. Martin’s Press.


KrV:
Kant, Immanuel. Kritik der reinen Vernun , Erster Teil, Werke Vol. 3. Edited by Wilhelm Weischedel. Darmstadt: Wissenscha liche Buchgesellscha , 1968. — Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1998.


I also discuss these syntheses in section 4 of:

Shores, Corry. “Self Shock: The Phenomenon of Personal Non-identity in Inorganic Subjectivity.” in The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2013. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2013. 157-183.

https://www.academia.edu/7434129/Self_Shock_The_Phenomenon_of_Personal_Non-identity_in_Inorganic_Subjectivity


As well, pages 61-67 of my thesis.

Shores, Corry. Difference and Phenomena: A Deleuzean Phenomenal Analysis of Body, Time, and Selfhood. University of Leuven, 2012. Dissertation.

https://www.academia.edu/2573653/Difference_and_Phenomena_A_Deleuzean_Phenomenal_Analysis_of_Body_Time_and_Selfhood

http://www.kuleuven.be/research/researchdatabase/project/3H09/3H090218.htm

 

 

Cinnabar image from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cinnabar_on_Dolomite.jpg




 

6 Apr 2015

Somers-Hall, (2.1), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘2.1 Introduction’, summary


by
Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own. Proofreading is incomplete, so please forgive my typos and other distracting mistakes. Somers-Hall is abbreviated SH and Difference and Repetition as DR.]



Summary of


Henry Somers-Hall


Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide


Part 1
A Guide to the Text

 

Chapter 2. Repetition for Itself

2.1 Introduction [Introductory Material For Ch.2]





Brief summary:

In Chapter 2 of DR, Deleuze will elaborate on two themes from the prior text. He will look more at how repetition is possible. The difficulty is that repetition requires a new and different iteration (or else something is continuing and not repeating) while at the same time, the new reiteration needs to be identical to predecessors (for otherwise it will be something new altogether and not something occurring again). The other theme is explaining how the world can be constituted without supposing a unified subject that provides the basis for the coherence of the world.

 



Summary


Chapter 2 brings together two themes that were previously developed. The first is the idea that somehow repetition must involve something new occurring [for otherwise it would just be a continuation of the prior thing and not a reiteration] while at the same time, it must be identical somehow, for otherwise it would not be a recurrence but rather something radically new.

Chapter 2 explores the phenomenon of repetition, where we have elements that are absolutely identical (if they are not identical, then there is no repetition), but yet must also be different (if they are not distinguishable, then we once again have no repetition, as we only have one event).
(SH 56a)

We might think that it is possible using representation. [At one moment we experience something. Later we remember it, for example. But each time we remember it, picture it in our mind, give it some symbolic representation like a word, and so on, our mind is different. I suppose this means that each instance of the representation cannot be identical, but specifically why is not clear to me yet. Perhaps each instance of representation has its own context that colors the concept differently, thus making it not absolutely identical. But I am not sure.] However,

As Deleuze notes, representation might try to provide a concept of repetition by noting that while the elements that make up the repetition are identical with one another, ‘a change is produced in the mind which contemplates: a difference, something new in the mind’ (DR 70/90).
(SH 56)

[I am not exactly sure how to summarize the next points. It seems that in the case of representation, the differences are synthesized into a unified concept. Then somehow there is the appearance of sameness, but really the foundation is difference that is secondarily synthesized into unities/identities.]

Repetition is in this case made possible by the way in which the subject takes up the elements. In this sense, repetition is tied to the notion of synthesis. Once again, we will find that there are two forms of repetition: bare, material repetition, which operates at the surface, and a clothed, spiritual repetition which makes bare repetition possible. Furthermore, beneath the representation of repetition, the second mode of repetition will be an intensive repetition, reiterating the result of Chapter 1.
(56)


The next theme has to do with the structures of our mental operations (synthetic activities) involved in our making sense of the world. Kant thinks that we can know things about the world a priori (based on a basic conceptual analysis rather than on judgments based on experience) because our mind is structured in such a way that the world is given as having certain structures. For example. the outer world is spatial. But this is because our mind structures visual data spatially. Yet, since there is always such an organizing structure, there is central identity [I think for example, the structure of space (non-temporal juxtaposition)maintains its identity despite the variation of exterior things we see.] This means that Deleuze needs a viable alternative to a Kantian sort of synthesis.


Deleuze will draw from Hume [as part of his effort to offer an alternative]. In his book on Hume, Empiricism and Subjectivity, Deleuze distinguishes a transcendental from an empirical critique. [The transcendental critique assumes a constituted subject to whom things are given and who conditions that givenness. The empirical critique looks first at the given, then secondly asks, how by  means of the given, or how in relation to the given, is the subject constituted?]

Deleuze begins Chapter 2 with an analysis of Hume, and it is in Deleuze’s early 1953 book on Hume, Empiricism and Subjectivity, that we can find an account of the difference between Hume’s project and Kant’s [The following quotes Deleuze]:

We embark upon a transcendental critique when, having situated ourselves on a methodologically reduced plane that provides an essential certainty – a certainty of essence – we ask: how can there be a given, how can something be given to a subject, and how can the subject give something to itself? . . . The critique is empirical when, having situated ourselves in a purely immanent point of view, which makes possible a description whose rule is found in determinable hypotheses and whose model is found in physics, we ask: how is the subject constituted in the given? The construction of the given makes room for the constitution of the subject. (ES 87)
(SH 57)

SH note the distinction. For Kant, we begin with a subject and an object, then we explain how they can enter into a relationship with each other. SH interprets “methodologically reduced plane” to mean “the field of representation, with its concomitant positing of judgement” (57). But this will in the end run us into similar difficulties to the ones we had with Aristotle’s representation. However,

Hume’s approach instead begins with the ‘given’ that precedes the subject, and attempts to show how it is constituted, which in turn allows us to explain how the subject systematises the given into its own categories.
(57)

In Chapter 2, Deleuze will take this Humean path, and he will try to explain how the world can be constituted not on the basis of a subject. This will involve distinguishing active from passive synthesis.



Citations from:

Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.



Or if otherwise noted:


DR:
Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994/London: Continuum, 2004.


 

ES:

Deleuze, Gilles. Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume’s Theory of Human Nature, trans. Constantin V. Boundas, New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.

 





 

2 Apr 2015

Somers-Hall, (1.12), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘1.12 Plato (59–69/71–83)’, summary


by
Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own. Proofreading is incomplete, so please forgive my typos and other distracting mistakes. Somers-Hall is abbreviated SH and Difference and Repetition as DR.]



Summary of


Henry Somers-Hall


Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide


Part 1
A Guide to the Text

 

Chapter 1. Difference in Itself

1.12 Plato (59–69/71–83)





Brief summary:

Plato has a method of classification that is obtained by jointly dividing general groupings into more specific ones while simultaneously having a (rough) definition for the things to be classified. Aristotle’s system of genus-species classification is similar, since he also divides general to specific. But inclusion for Aristotle is absolute, while for Plato it is relative. A candidate can be more or less faithful to the ideal model it is an instance of. Thus there are ‘imposters’ or ‘pretenders’ that can get mixed up with the good examples of a class of things. Similarly, Deleuze’s project of tracing phenomena to their origins in a field of difference (that is, his project of transcendental empiricism) is like Plato’s project of tracing things’ origins to transcendent ideals. However, Deleuze does not think that the origins lie in a separate world but rather that these origins are immanent yet go unnoticed since we normally fabricate artificial boundaries in the world of intensive variation, when in reality there are none.

 



Summary


The last part of Chapter 1 discusses Plato, in reference to Nietzsche’s call to overturn Platonism [DR 59/71] (SH 53). Plato is both an “important and ambivalent figure in Deleuze’s history of philosophy” (53). Plato thinks that “everything partakes in being,” (53) [and thus Deleuze would appreciate the fact that Plato seems to have a univocal conception of being.] However, Plato, like Aristotle, is at times concerned with the question of ‘what is it?’ [and for that reason Deleuze would perhaps not like how Plato places identity at the basis of his inquiry.] In fact, in certain cases in Plato we see things being defined by a method of division that breaks general classes into more specific ones, which would seem similar to Aristotle’s method of genus-species division. [The difference between Aristotle’s and Plato’s divisions that will be described is not entirely clear to me. The difference is somehow that for Aristotle it is a taxonomical division of classification, while for Plato perhaps the method of division is used to answer deeper philosophical questions. There are other distinctions that are made, but exactly what is meant here I am not sure. Another difference is that the definition in Plato is given early on, before much of the division has taken place. I am not sure what that implies yet. Does it imply that the division already took place in an implicit way, and the subsequent actual divisions were to bring the implicit ones to light? Does it mean that Aristotle’s method does not begin first with the definition? In other words, we might in the end come to define man as a rational animal, but we have no idea of that specification at the beginning? Instead, we first just see a bunch of animals, and we see some differences that can divide groups, and we keep dividing, then low and behold we see that there is such a creature as the human whose specifying difference is that, unlike other animals, humans reason? I also am not following what is implied in the next point, which is that there are many various things which fit the original definition. So in the Statesman, we begin with statesmanship defined as “knowledge of the collective rearing of human beings.” However, many other professions are included in this, for example, merchants, farmers, and bakers (I do not quite understand why bakers and these other would be included as having knowledge of collective rearing of human beings. Here is a relevant passage from the Statesman. “Like this: that merchants, farmers, millers and bakers, all of them, and gymnastic trainers too, and doctors as a class—all of these, as you well know, would loudly contend against the herdsmen concerned with things human whom we called statesmen that they care for human rearing, not merely for that of human beings in the herd, but for that of the rulers as well”. Maybe the idea is that bakers want people to be nourished and raised well, but I am not sure.) Perhaps we are supposed to note here that Plato’s method is one of trial and error, unlike Aristotle’s. But if so, I do not know what is the significance of that yet. Or perhaps the idea is that every specification will have its own difficult cases which call into question the integrity of the system. For example, do not many non-human animals reason? And is not much of human life non-rational? Are there not humans with disabilities that prevent them from reasoning? That still does not seem interesting enough to be what is implied here. It gets less clear to me with the Deleuze quotation that follows:  “As Deleuze puts it, for Plato, ‘difference is not between species, between two determinations of a genus, but entirely on one side, within the chosen line of descent’ (DR 60/72)” (SH 54). So the chosen line here I suppose is the general concept of rearing human beings. Somehow this is not a difference between species, perhaps because it does not differentiate baker, farmer, etc., but I am not sure why. I also do not understand what is meant by it being ‘entirely on one side’. Perhaps the idea here is merely that the distinction that makes something a statesman was not found by differentiating it from other things but instead just by assuming it has certain inherent or essential traits, and whether or not they are shared or not-shared by others is a secondary matter. I will quote for your interpretation.]

At first glance, it appears as if Plato’s approach to this question mirrors that of Aristotle. For instance, in the Sophist, the visitor defines the nature of an angler by a progressive method of dividing classes into smaller and smaller groupings, distinguishing between acquisitive and productive arts, and within acquisitive arts between willing exchange and taking possession, and so on down to distinguishing between fishing with nets and spear fishing (Plato 1997c: 218a-221d). Deleuze notes, however, that we cannot see this procedure as operating in the same way as species and genera were determined for Aristotle. Aristotle criticises Plato’s method of division, for instance, by noting that ‘someone who states the definition as a result of the division does not state a deduction’ (Aristotle 1984c: 91b35). Aristotle’s point is that the determination of entities according to genera and species is a purely taxonomical procedure that allows us to classify entities of a similar kind. It seems that when we read a Platonic dialogue such as the Sophist, or the Statesman, a much more significant project is going on, however. If we look at the Statesman, for instance, the definition of statesmanship as ‘knowledge of the collective rearing of human beings’ (Plato 1997d: 267d) occurs quite early in the dialogue. Once we have this definition, however, we are still faced with | the real difficulty, since it appears that there are a large number of people who fulfil this description: ‘merchants, farmers, millers and bakers’ for instance (Plato 1997d: 267e). As Deleuze puts it, for Plato, ‘difference is not between species, between two determinations of a genus, but entirely on one side, within the chosen line of descent’ (DR 60/72).
(SH 53-54)


[The question is not, as it would be in Aristotle, what distinguishes each of the species of things? Instead,] “Plato’s question is rather, which candidate is truly the statesman?” (SH 54). [I am not sure how exactly to summarize the main idea of this next paragraph. SH’s first point is that the myth story in the Statesman is not to illustrate his point to non-philosophical readers but rather it plays a more philosophical role. I am not sure what the difference is, but I suppose an illustrational usage of the story only retells the point in a less purely conceptual way, while a philosophical usage makes new points not previously given in a purely conceptual way. But I am not sure. This point does not seem to be what is important in this paragraph anyway. The next idea seems to be that the story tells us that the Gods serve as an ideal model for things in the world. And things in the world can more or less ‘participate in’ (perhaps ‘resemble’, ‘represent’, ‘express’ or something like that) the ideal model. Then we make a distinction between a faithful imitation and one that is distorted so that it in fact appears more like the model. The example would be two ways of making a large statue. One way keeps all the proportions proper to those the original has. The problem however is that it will appear disproportioned, since from the ground the upper parts, being more distant, will appear smaller than they actually are. If for example it is a statue of a human-like figure, the head will seem too small even though it was made at the right proportion. The other way is to distort the upper parts of the statue, stretching them out, so that from the ground the statue on a whole looks properly proportioned. Thus if we flew up to the head in our example, it will look too tall, perhaps as if seen in a fun-house mirror, even though it looks proper from the ground. What is interesting here is that the one which appears disproportionate is the one that is truer to the model. So we see a preference for an ideal reality of things, even if they appear wrongly. While it is interesting, it is not yet clear how this applies to things other than visual models made in great size. How can a statesman actually resemble the ideal but appear not to, and how can an imposter appear to, but in reality not resemble the ideal? In the second case, I can think of deception. In the first case, I suppose it would be based on a misunderstanding of those perceiving the true statesman. Still I am not sure exactly.]

Plato’s question is rather, which candidate is truly the statesman? Whereas Plato is normally understood as using myth to allow nonphilosophical readers to understand the point of the dialogue, Deleuze gives it a more philosophical role. The Statesman introduces the fable of two cosmic eras, that of Cronos, and the present age of Zeus. Each of these gods allows ordered existence to carry on in the world by ensuring that the universe continues to revolve around its circle. These gods’ governance of the universe provides us with a model by which to assess which of the claimants is the true statesman. We can see in the god a metaphor for Plato’s theory of Ideas, the theory that what determines the nature of something temporal is its relation to an eternal supersensible entity. So actions are just in so far as they participate in, or resemble, the Idea of justice. The true statesman is therefore the one who participates in (or best represents in the temporal world) the eternal Idea of statesmanship, whereas the false claimant does not. Now, obviously a statesman cannot be a god, but there are two ways in which he can resemble one, which Plato outlines in the Sophist [the following up to citation is Plato]:

Visitor: One type of imitation I see is the art of likeness-making. That’s the one we have whenever someone produces an imitation by keeping to the proportions of length, breadth, and depth of his model, and also by keeping to the appropriate colours of its parts. Theaetetus: But don’t all imitators try to do that? Visitor: Not the ones who sculpt or draw very large works. If they reproduced the true proportions of their beautiful subjects, you see, the upper parts would appear smaller than they should, and the lower parts would appear larger, because we see the upper parts from further away and the lower parts from closer. (Plato 1997c: 235d-236a)

The true statesman resembles the Idea of the statesman in the first of these senses, as the form itself cannot be given in appearance, since it is not spatio-temporal. The pretender only resembles the appearance of the Idea, not the Idea itself. They are instead tied to the world of appearance. The problem, therefore, is to distinguish the candidates who bear a true likeness from those which merely appear to do so.
(SH 54)


[The next paragraph is also slightly confusing for me. We saw how for Aristotle, something obtains a classification if it possess the differences that distinguish that class from others. In Plato, something obtains its classification depending on whether or not it expresses an ideal form for a class, and it can do so more or less depending on its fidelity to that form. What is unclear to me is how the ideal forms are distinguished if not by differences between them. The next point in this paragraph is that “the definition alone does not determine whether something partakes in the relevant form” (55). I know that we already made this point, but I still find it puzzling. So we have the definition for a statesman. It includes bakers, farmers, and so on. I am not sure here what we are concluding regarding that. I would have assumed we are concluding that the definition is imprecise. But in that case, were it made precise, then I would think it in fact would determine whether or not something partakes in its relevant form. So that cannot be the implication here. Part of the problem is trying to integrate the sculpture example with the statesman example. In the end, I am pretty sure we will want to draw the conclusion that the farmer, baker, etc. are imposters. Using the sculpture analogy, they appear like statesman (perhaps because they fulfill the definition, which is supposedly adequate to the concept even though it invites imposters) when in fact they really are not statesman. And perhaps somehow the statesman does not appear to be one when in fact he is, but I am not sure if we are to also take that meaning from the sculpture analogy too. At any rate, the way it seems to work is the following. We have many ideal forms. We have one for statesman, which can be defined as ‘a person with the knowledge of the collective rearing of human beings’. We also have one for baker, which could be defined as ‘one who bakes bread and other baked goods.’ Now, for ‘statesman,’ we have certain people who fulfill this definition very well, and others who fulfill it less so, like bakers. That does not mean bakers have less reality. Bakers better fulfill the model for the ideal baker, and perhaps house-wives who do a fair amount of baking also match this model, but less so than the professional bakers. I am not exactly sure how to distinguish this from something like a cross-classification in an Aristotelian system. What seems to be important here is the more-or-lessness of something being in its class. In Aristotle’s system, something either is or is not included in a class. For Plato, many things may be included in a class, but more or less rightly so, and thus there is a lot of ambiguity built into Plato’s system. The next idea is very interesting. SH quotes Deleuze saying that the ideal form does not demand that things in the world either fulfill it or not; for, most things in fact do not fulfill it and there are many imposters. Rather, things in this world are what they are, and this ideal form cannot be represented in worldly things, even though it can be invoked by them. The next point is that Plato starts a genealogical project that later makes Aristotle’s notion of representation possible. I am not sure what is meant here. Perhaps Plato’s aim is genealogical since it wants to know families and sources of things. I do not understand why Aristotle’s notion of representation depends on it, however. Perhaps it is because Aristotle’s system says there are distinct essences that species can have and which define the members of that species, but I am not sure.]

For Aristotle, the essential nature of something was determined by a process of division much like that of Plato. For Plato himself, however, we have just seen that the definition alone does not determine whether something partakes in the relevant form. ‘The Idea is not yet the concept of an object which submits the world to the requirements of representation, but rather a brute presence which can be invoked in the world only in function of that which is not “representable” in things’ (DR 59/71). Deleuze therefore sees Plato as situated at a decisive moment in the history of philosophy, as he instigates the kind of genealogical project which will later make Aristotle’s notion of representation possible.
(55)


[The final paragraph in this section is quite heavy and a challenge to unpack. We will deal with a very difficult Deleuze quotation, in which he describes four aspects of Plato’s dialectic. It was not previously called dialectic, but I think this is merely Plato’s method of division, but perhaps I am wrong. Deleuze is describing Plato’s ‘procedure’, but these do not seem like four linearly applied steps in a methodology. Deleuze in fact calls them four ‘figures’, but I am not sure what that means. The first ‘figure’ is the selection of a difference. I think this would be asking such a question, ‘what is a statesman?’, having a certain implicit sense of it, and bringing out an explicit definition by means of division. The next ‘figure’ is “the installation of a mythic circle”. SH says that this is either the cosmological myth of the Statesman we noted above, or Plato’s doctrine of anamnesis, that is, the notion that we know the Ideas before birth and we in life remember them. I am not sure how this notion of anamnesis presents circularity exactly. Perhaps it is like circularly coming back to our pre-born state by means of memory. In the first case of the cosmology, we were dealing I think with the circular movement of the heavens and the perfection of this movement. I am still not exactly sure what to make of this, but perhaps Deleuze is merely saying that the first aspect is to select a difference and the second is to assume that there is an ideal form to which that difference corresponds. The third ‘figure’ is the establishment of a foundation. SH’s explanation is that the foundation is the ideal realm to which ours is a copy, and thus the world of becoming is grounded in the world of being. It is not clear to me how SH deals with the fourth figure: “the position of a question-problem complex,” but it seems to have been combined with his discussion of the third. He writes: “The foundation is then given by the relation of appearance to the realm of Ideas, allowing us to ask the question of descent.” So perhaps the question-problem complex is something like the following. The fact that we have a world of copies that only more or less participate in their ideal models means we always are left with the problem or the question of: which ones have more fidelity to that model? SH continues by noting the parallels and distinctions between Plato and Nietzsche. Plato was interested in the question of genealogy (which I think is the question of what are the realer origins or sources of our worldly copies, and which items form families of things which more or less participate in the same model.) Nietzsche was also interested in genealogy. Recall our previous discussion of the passages from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, specifically the example of the birds of prey and the lambs they feast upon.  We saw that a ‘genealogical’ study of the moral notion of ‘evil’ takes us to the feelings of helplessness and weakness of the lambs. They are vulnerable to the birds, so they call them evil. Then inversely all things opposite to the birds are good, and thus sheeplike things are good in their eyes. However, the birds do not feel weak to the sheep, in fact, the sheep are delicious and supply them with empowering nutrition. So the birds think that the sheep are good, but also they do not regard inversely themselves as evil. We noted that the sheep use a ‘sedentary distribution’ meaning that in reality there is a field of differential intensive variations of struggling powers, and the sheep section out divisions in this continuously varying field. Maybe we can look at it in the following way, keeping with the sheep/birds example. There is a power relation that is basically a complex dynamic of chase/flee/hide/seek. We could say that there are sheep that hide and flee from the birds, which themselves chase and seek the sheep. But from a broader view, we would see an event of chasing-fleeing-hiding-seeking. I am not exactly sure how, but I suppose it could be by looking more at changes in states of affairs rather than at changes or conditions of individual entities within those states of affairs. Think for example of the classic sentence: the cat is on the mat. We have a cat, we have a mat, but we also have a state of affairs, the cat’s being on the mat. In the case of birds and sheep, we might look at the situation of there being birds and also there being sheep. We may also describe the situation as “The birds are eating the sheep”. However, our concern could lie more in the active interaction and the changes in states of affairs that they bring about. We might for example be concerned with the ‘eating sheep of the birds’ and then the ‘hating birds of the sheep’. This ‘eating’ and ‘hating’ can be seen as power variations in a field of interacting forces. That is the best I can do with making these ideas clear. At any rate, the birds supposedly take the broader ‘nomadic’ view, and they are just engaging in the activity without passing moral judgments which distinguish other entities from themselves as being bad. The sheep are their food. So the sheep are a part of the birds internally, in a sense, and the hunt is just the dynamic of that internalization. The sheep however, do not regard themselves as being internal to the birds. They therefore say the birds are external to them and that they are evil, since the power dynamic tends away from themselves. So the birds understand the world as nomadically distributed, since they do not draw these lines of distinction. I would like to think that the sheep also could take the nomadic distribution view. Doing so would involve regarding their interaction with the birds not as an opposition but rather as a dynamic by which they express their own powers. Sheep can survive the hunt, if they run and hide very well. So they can affirm their own power too. All species have survival skills sufficient to have preserved them up until now. And this does not even take into account the power of a species to evolve so that it has even greater survival power. At any rate, the problem comes when the sheep demonize and resent the other powers rather than contesting them, I suppose. At any rate, SH’s point here is that like Plato, Nietzsche also is concerned with a genealogy, but rather one that is interested the sedentary and nomadic distributions. Another similarity is that “they both involve tests of selection.” I am assuming the ‘they’ here refers to their genealogies, since I am not sure how the philosophers themselves could have that involvement. Plato’s selection is the selection of faithful copies, and also SH mentions a selection of real knowledge. This seems to be that we say some knowledge is not based on knowledge of the ideals. I am not sure what else it would be based on. Perhaps the idea here is that a person who does not know what is the ideal form for a statesman would erroneously select the baker as being one. But I am not sure. For Nietzsche, selection seems to be how we select which beings take the nomadic view. But I am not certain. SH’s exact wording is: “Nietzsche selects those entities whose existence is founded on a principle of becoming” (55). There are two other parallels. One is that they both rely on myth. SH mentions the demon, but I only recall a demon in Nietzsche’s myth, so I suppose Plato’s myth is of the Gods and the cosmic circles and ideal perfect models. I however am not entirely sure of the philosophical significance of the fact they both use myths. The next parallel is that both Nietzsche and Plato rely on “a relation between questions and problems”. This point is not entirely clear to me. Are there any philosophers who do not rely on the relation between questions and problems? There must be something unique in these particular cases. It is a bit more evident in the context of the above Plato material. Perhaps at the basis of Plato’s ideas is that since it is question of whether or not something fits a concept, that implies there is an ideal to which things can more or less, but never entirely, correspond. How this is so for Nietzsche is not so apparent to me. Is it that Nietzsche also notices this discrepancy between ideals and appearances, but for his own reasons grants more reality to appearances? SH’s final point is that Deleuze’s project parallels Plato’s. Perhaps Nietzsche does not trace things’ origins to something exterior to them, especially not to some transcendent world of ideas. Deleuze is also not doing that exactly, but he is tracing the origins of things to something more fundamental than them, namely, to an original field of (intensive) difference. Also, Deleuze calls this transcendental empiricism, which may suggest that he is unlike Nietzsche who might be against the idea of transcendental origins.]

Deleuze presents Plato’s procedure as follows: ‘The four figures of the Platonic dialectic are therefore: the selection of a difference, the installation of a mythic circle, the establishment of a foundation, and the position of a question-problem complex’ (DR 66/79). We therefore begin by determining the definition through the method of division. The mythic circle to which Deleuze refers is either the myth of the Statesman, or more generally the Platonic doctrine of anamnesis, that we have knowledge of Ideas because we remember them from our existence prior to our birth. The foundation is then given by the relation of appearance to the realm of Ideas, allowing us to ask the question of descent. Plato therefore ultimately grounds the world of becoming on the world of being. We should note that there are a number of parallels between Plato and Nietzsche. For both, the question is one of genealogy (in Nietzsche’s case, whether something is based on a sedentary or nomadic distribution), and they both involve tests of selection. Plato selects genuine copies, and real knowledge which is based on being or the Ideas. Nietzsche selects those entities whose existence is founded on a principle of becoming. Both rely on myth (the demon) and a relation between questions and problems. Deleuze’s project therefore parallels Plato’s, with his account of superior empiricism, as determining the differential origin of perspective, mirroring Plato’s own project of tracing appearances to their Ideal origins. Rather than an investigation in search of a primal identity (the Ideas), Deleuze is attempting to trace phenomena to their origin in a field of difference.
(55)

 




Citations from:

Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.



Or if otherwise noted:


DR:
[Deleuze] Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994/London: Continuum, 2004.


 

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (1962), Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.