14 Nov 2008

Symbols of Generality in Difference and Repetition

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

[Central Entry Directory]
[Deleuze Entry Directory]
[Difference & Repetition, Entry Directory]
[Scott Wollschleger Entry Directory]

Scott Wollschleger asks in the Comments to the Difference and Repetition §§1-2 entry:

belle parole!

about how Generality has two orders.
what does symbolized by cycles and symbolized by equalities mean? this seems to maybe be a comparisons of the two orders. I think i understand the latter, but the former? (i would think a cycle = 1)

CS Reply: When we group things according to resemblance, we notice similar items and consider one for the other; for example, when seeing each full moon we take it to be another occurrence of previous resembling instances. Deleuze writes "that is why the empiricists are not wrong to present general ideas as particular ideas in themselves, so long as they add the belief that each of these can be replaced by any other particular idea which resembles it in relation to a given word." This sort of generality is cyclical because each instance of resemblance is a new occurrence of something qualitatively similar, like full moons.

When we substitute entities by means of equality, the items do not resemble each other, even though they are equivalent. So "1 + 4" and "2 + 3" cannot be considered recurring resemblances. But one term may substitute the other because they are quantitatively equivalent (and not merely similar): they both have the same quantitative value. Hence these different entities are generalized together as instances of the quantity 5.

Important to Deleuze's distinction of generalities from the point of view of conduct is the way we come to substitute things, and we substitute cyclical recurrences according to relations of resemblance, and equivalent things according to relations of equality.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. thank you, i understand it much better. i wonder if these generalities can become confused, maybe thats why i say, a cycle = 1. would this be a confused way of conduct? maybe you can say more about the role conduct plays for you? is it related to a modality? i feel a need to ask myself; What is the best way to substitute things? And if i found that way, for whatever reasons, i would also have to be at a point of view which is of the "best" conduct. in the creative act, i would think the best conduct would be a mixing of different ways of substituting things.