becoming, Deleuze, event, image, internal resonance, Logic of Sense, metaphysical surface, paradoxes, Plato, sense, signal-sign system, simulacrum

Notes on Logic of Sense: Preface, Series 1 and 2, Appendix 1 on Simulacrum and Ancient Philosophy


Logic of Sense: Preface

Here Deleuze begins by highlighting Carroll and the Stoics for their theory of events; he says that there is a marriage of language and the unconscious at work.

Paradoxes imply that sense is a nonexisting entity (xiii). Deleuze claims that the Stoics formed a new image of thought [how can this be linked to Difference and Repetition wherein Deleuze claims that it’s imperative to move beyond a certain dogmatic image of thought? Ultimately, in the preface Deleuze claims that Logic of Sense will attempt to develop a logical and psychological novel (xiv).

Series 1: Paradoxes of Pure Becoming

Alice in Wonderland—simultaneity of a becoming whose characteristic is to elude the present. Good sense affirms that in all things there is a determinable sense or direction—but paradox is the affirmation of both sense or directions at the same time (1).

Plato—limited and measured things, fixed qualities vs. pure becoming without measure—becoming-mad. We can see this distinction in the Philebus where the becoming-mad introduces a certain rebelliousness into matter (thus subverting the identity of the concept).

There is a subterranean dualism—that which receives the action of the Idea and that which eludes it—the icon-copy as good image, the simulacrum as bad image.

Simulacrum eludes the action of the Idea and contests both model and copy; thus it is not enough to say that the simulacrum is a copy of the copy.

In Plato we find that this pure becoming might be a problem related to language (Cratylus and Philebus). There is a flow of speech that constitutes a wild discourse, incessantly sliding over its referent. Might then, as Deleuze suggests, there be two languages, and two sorts of names?

There are those names that designate pauses (substantives and adjectives/qualities) and those that are essentially movement (the infinitive). One is always concealing or enveloping the other dimension (2). There is also a paradox of infinite identity (D+R on the infinity of representation, plus Appendix 1). Language fixes the limits but also transcends these limits (2-3).

Sense moves in both directions at once—there is a reversal of the active and passive—all these reversals contest Alice’s identity and her proper name (3). Name is guaranteed by the permanence of savoir. (Here we see not only an affinity with Badiou’s theory of knowledge but also we come into contact with one of Deleuze’s own conceptual pairing of knowledge and learning in Difference and Repetition). When these names dissolve, the substantives and adjectives that envelop personal identity slide into the language of events and the verbs of pure becoming (3). All identity disappears from the world, self, and God. Everything happens as though events enjoyed an irreality (or as Deleuze will expound more later, a virtuality).

Personal uncertainty is an objective structure of the event itself, insofar as it moves in two directions at once, and insofar as it fragments the subject following this double direction (3). Paradox destroys good and common sense (link this to the notion of para-sense in Difference and Repetition—also pg. 300 in Difference and Repetition on a good summary of the interaction of series).

2. Paradoxes of Surface Effects

Stoics contend that bodies are: tension, physical qualities, actions and passions, and ‘states of affairs’ (Wittgenstein’s Tractatus will be key to some of the passages in LoS). These are determined by the mixtures of bodies (4). At the limit there is a unity of all bodies in a primordial Fire. The only time of bodies and states of affairs is the present. The living present accompanies the act. Cosmic present—immobile sections.

All bodies are causes—this unifying, cosmic tendency is called Destiny.

All bodies are causes in relation to each other and causes for each other—their effects, however, are ‘incorporeal’ entities. They are logical or dialectical attributes, as opposed to physical qualities. They are not things or facts but events (Can Wittgenstein think the event?). They subsist with a minimum of being. They are verbs—the results of actions and passion—impassive results. They are not living presents but infinitives—the unlimited Aion.

There are two times—one for bodies and one for incorporeal events (5).

Only the present exists in time, but the past and the future subsist in time and divide each present infinitely (thus there is an actualization of the present but a virtual memory of the past and future as a whole, etc.).

Brehier and the Stoics—real and profound being is force; the plane of facts on the surface (5).

Mixtures and qualitative states of affairs constitute depths; incorporeal events arise at the surface as a result.

Deleuze claims that the Stoics displace all reflection: the genius of a philosophy must be measured by the new distribution which it imposes on beings and concepts (6).

Cleavage of the causal relation—declension of causes and conjugation of effects. There is a causality without destiny (6).

The extra-being and quasi-cause of the effect (7). Highest term is not Being but Something (Adorno’s Negative Dialectics). The Stoics are the first to reverse Platonism (although Deleuze will also say that Plato points to this reversal in the Sophist).

The Idea is impassive—it constitutes itself through an extra-being on the surface—the ideational is nothing more than an effect (7).

Everything now returns to the surface: the unlimited returns—Becoming-mad rises to the surface.

The surface now represents all possible ideality. Simulacra cease to be subterranean rebels and constitute phantasms on the surface.

The impassive event allows the active—passive to be interchanged more easily (8).

Events envelop quasi-causes in their relations.

Stoics use paradox as an instrument for the analysis of language and as a means of synthesizing events. Dialectics is the science of incorporeal events as they are expressed in propositions and of the connections between events as they are expressed in relation between propositions (8).

(Remember the dialectic as discussed in D+R, Plato (Philebus) and in Hegel.

Dialectics is the art of conjugation (or confatalia of the series of events).

Paradox is a sorites—series of interrogative propositions which, following becoming, proceed through successive additions and retrenchments (8). Chrysippus and nonsense: chariots.

Paradox appears as a dismissal of depths—Humor is the art of surfaces—Irony of depths/heights.

With the Stoics, humor found its dialectic (9).

Carroll and the Stoics: events, things, states of affairs.

Events are like crystals and grow on the edges (9).

Alice’s move from the depths to the surface—follow the border, there is an ethic of surfaces (9-10).

Only little girls understand Stoicism, or a stuttering, left-handed boy (10).

Continuity between reverse and right sides—surface effects communicate in one and the same Event (11).

Appendix 1: Simulacrum and Ancient Philosophy

Reverse or reversal of Platonism? Abolish essence/appearance duality (253).

Motive of a Theory of Ideas must be to select and choose—Platonism—method of division, the dialectic of genuses and species (254).

The purpose of Platonic divisions is to select lineages and to distinguish from the impure; this is a dialectic of rivalry (254). There must be a way to screen for claimants (Difference and Repetition and the ground of Justice p. 9?).

An elective participation is the response to the problem of a method of selection. Unparticipated, participated, participant—justice.

Myths construct the immanent model or foundation-test. The Sophist is the being of the simulacrum (256).

Plato points the direction for the reversal of Platonism by an analysis of the simulacrum in the sophist. Copies are secondary possessors, but simulacra are like false claimants (256).

Copies—icons vs. simulacra—phantasms (256)

Plato must distinguish well-founded copies from simulacra (257).

Icons are good images endowed with resemblance—this is due to an internal relation to the idea (Poinsot).

Internal and spiritual, resemblance is the measure of any pretension—Simulacra have an unfounded pretension and elude the action of the idea—Derrida, writing as false suitor (footnote 2) (257).

Simulacra are not copies of copies, they are different in kind—simulacra are images w/o resemblance (257).

Simulacra internalize dissimilarity—they are based on the model of the Other (D+R—the Other-structure).

Good copy = right opinion/ bad copy = the knack (technique without rationality).

Simulacra offer huge depths, dimensions and distances that the observer cannot master [mastery, sublimity of the sense] (258).

Simulacra include a differential point of view that subsumes the observer—always more and less at once but never equal (258). How to tame the becomings with icons? Platonism founds the domain of representation (D+R and the 4 chains of representation).

Abstract determination of the foundation as that which possesses in a primary way (259).

PlatoàAristotleàChristianity (categories to infinte)—Hegel + Leibniz—infinitely large and small. Leibniz and compossibility (259-260) Convergence and exclusive disjunctions. Monocentric Hegelian dialectics.

Iconology and selectionàexhaustion of pretenders (260).

Aesthetics as duality—theory of sensibility as the form of possible experience and theory of art as reflection on real experience (260).

Work of art as experimentation—more than one story told at once—divergent stories (metalepsis) (260).

Internal resonance of basic seriesàinduces a forced movement which goes beyond the series (261).

This is the simulacra that affirms its repressed power (261).

Conditions of real experience and the structure of the work of art are reunited (261).

–Divergence of series

–Decentering of circles

–Constitution of the chaos which envelops them

–Internal resonance

–Movement of amplitude

–Aggression of the simulacra

These systems put disparate elements or heterogeneous series in communication (261).

Signal-sign systems—signal is a structure in which differences of potential are distributed assuring the communication of disparate components—the sign flashes across the boundary of two levels, between two communicating series. All phenomena respond to these conditions inasmuch as they find their dissymmetry. In order to speak of simulacra, we have to highlight inclusive differences and internalized series.

2 ways of thinking difference—world as icon/world as phantasm. Constitutive disparity and the unity of measure and communication-resemblance is produced on a curve (262).

Reversing Platonism means to make simulacra affirm their rights among icons and copies.

Simulacrum’s positive power—2 inclusive divergent series of the simulacrum. Resemblance makes the series resonate.

Simulacrum as machinery—Dionysian machines. Power of the false (phantasm). Nomadic distribution and the unground as a joyful, positive event (263).

Simulation designates the power of producing an effect (263). Hence ontological and simulated sense.

Simulation and eternal return—distinguish from Platonic return.

Zarathustra’s refusals of the dwarf and the animals.

Chaodyssey (chao-errance).

Only a simulated Same and Similar.

Eternal Return is still selective—it makes the extremes return and denies the mediocre, the mediated, the negative.

Developing an untimely philosophy—three times—distant past, present, future—(reversal of Platonism, critical modern edge of the simulacra, future and the phantasm as belief in the eternal return).

Artificial vs. simulacrum and the two modes of destruction/nihilism.


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